January 9, 2010
His column was actually written by one of his daughters.
On the 14th day of Christmas, my dad asks me to write his column for him again. He says he feels like Santa after the holidays, tapped out and smelling like sweaty reindeer. After all the holiday activity, my dad just likes to sit in his fave chair and "keep an eye on the kids," which is code for "watch a lot of bowl games." Oh, my God, we should put him out on the curb with the tree.
"Got any of that good bacon left?" he hollers.
"What bacon?" my mom answers. "We haven’t had bacon in . . . "
"My point exactly!" he says, snaring her with his wicked wit.
Unfortunately, I haven’t written my dad’s column for a while. As the oldest daughter, I seem to have a sense of responsibility that the others lack. For example, I’m the only one in the house with a full-time job, including my dad. (Seriously, does anyone know what he does all day?)
So even though I’m still living at home, I’m hardly ever here, except during the holiday season. I mean, would you be?
The floors need refinishing and the front lawn is a dusty mess where my brothers play basketball all the time. Most kids, they play basketball on the driveway. Not my brothers. By the time they’re done, they look like sharecroppers.
Did I mention that on Christmas Day the toilets all stopped working? That was pleasant. "Merry Christmas, don’t flush!" said my dad when we all woke up.
Trust me, Bing Crosby never sang about plumbing. Oh, my God.
See, here in Mayberry, we’re still on septics. My dad says we’re very fortunate to be able to maintain a hillbilly lifestyle right here on the edges of a major metropolis.
"It plays right into my Libertarian tendencies," he says, then goes back to the garage, where he’s building a nice brandy still for my mom.
Anyway, my mom called the septic dude, who actually came out on Dec. 25 — "our Christmas miracle," my dad said — but then the toilets still didn’t work.
So, yeah, we live basically in a developing nation, except the property taxes are a little steeper.
I give them credit, though, Mom and Dad, for holding it together on Christmas when the toilets stopped working and for not sniping at each other, which can happen.
For example, you should’ve seen my dad when we opened the gifts. It was like watching a cash register short out. "And we’re paying for this how?" he kept muttering to himself. It was almost heroic the way he kept his yap shut.
And my mom still managed to roast a turducken for Christmas dinner. Dad was so excited, he almost hugged it.
"Turducken," he announced, "is the most important discovery of my lifetime."
"More important than fire, Dad?" asked my brother.
"More important than the spice routes?" my sister said.
"This is the best," my dad insisted.
If you’ve never seen a turducken, it’s a duck, stuffed inside a chicken, stuffed inside a turkey. When it’s done, it weighs, like, 400 pounds and is visible on Google Earth. Seriously, it could play left tackle for Baltimore. It could be a planet.
My dad says the only way a turducken could be better is if they stuffed it inside a lamb and then inside a cow and then inside a camel.
"Dad, what about a goat?" I say.
"What about it?"
"Don’t you want one in there too?"
"Sweetie, that would just be gross," he says dismissively, then goes off to eat chocolate-covered cashews and bellow at the Georgia Tech offense.
"Run, you idiot!"
"Me, Dad?" my little brother asks excitedly.
"No, you come here," he says, then tickles him till his ears get all pink.
So, yeah, it was a glorious holiday season around here, capped off by this little newsletter, the only truly honest newsletter anyone ever sent. Writing this really eats into my Facebook time, but it’s worth it, on account of I can get all that stuff out there. It’s sort of like emptying my psychic sleigh. Sort of like flushing.
I’ll confess that I sometimes feel like a hostage in my own house, three weeks with these people — tinsel in their hair, eggnog on their sweaters. They sit here night after night on the couch, wrapped in blankets and crying over "Home Alone" or doing spit-takes during Leno.
Ha-ha-ha. Ho-ho-ho. . . .
She writes almost as well as he does!
Hope you’re having a great weekend.