Not Just Another Christmas Letter

by Joseph E. Scalia

     Back last January 2002 when Auntie May Castor was arrested for passing all those bad checks during Christmas shopping past, no one believed that the State could make the case against her stand up.  And then when she was found guilty and sentenced to a year in the Annadale Dyson Women’s House of Detention and Correction Facility, no one believed that the time would ever pass.  Well, it has.  Auntie May was released last month just in time to start passing bad checks for Christmas shopping present.  And another year has almost found its way down the flusher.

     Speaking of “flushers,” Mother has finally gone through her “changes” that she started twelve years ago.  We tried to get her into Ripley’s Believe It Or Not for the slowest change of life on record.  I thought it was difficult sharing a bed with her before she changed, but between her cold flashes and the hot flushes, I haven’t been able to sleep a wink since March.  “At least I can’t get pregnant no more,” she quipped, and I guess it is a good thing she can’t.

     Wished I could say the same about daughter Laureen, who got herself “with child,” as they say, again.  Her husband Lonny has been in the U.S. Army somewhere in one of those countries where they wear towels on their head and pray to Mohammed Ali.  She hasn’t informed him yet by letter that he is going to be a daddy again.

     Lonny isn't the brightest bulb in the Christmas tree and he can’t read much.  In his last phone call home he said he was up until the wee hours studying for his urine test the next day because he hopes the Army will give him a GED when he passes.  Frankly I don’t know if Lonny can even spell GED!  And I sure hope his arithmetic skills aren’t much better.  He’s been away for more than a year and Laureen is six months gone.
     No matter how much we badgered her, Laureen has kept mum about who the real father is this time.  We have our suspicions that it wasn't some heavenly angel visiting her every night while the carnival was in town, and except when she’s eating for two, she isn’t opening her mouth.  Mother said she wished Laureen had kept her mouth open and kept her legs closed, at least while Lonny is gone out of the country looking for that Sodomy Ben Louden guy.

     The operation to separate the Siamese Twins went well, for one of them anyway.  It seems it isn’t right to call them that no more.  Though Chang and Wang didn’t seem to mind.  I think the politically correct term these days is conjoined twins.  I have to admit that I miss seeing the two of them clowning around and doing headstands.  Without his partner, Chang lost his job with the circus and now he just sits around the place watching Jerry Springer and eating Chinese take-out.  Chang seems to be adjusting slowly to not having his brother around, although he is still a little sad and depressed.  But Chang can't cry, because Wang was the one with the tear ducts.

     While I'm at it, it was another year of good news and bad news for fat cousin Eileen Dunst.  Eileen, who was obese at birth and nearly out-weighed her mother, has unsuccessfully tried everything from grapefruits to the “all-air diet” in order to lose some weight.  In the spring she went into the County Medical Center to have her stomach stapled, but in the middle of the operation they ran out of staples.  Well, I am happy to say that Eileen has trimmed down some and finally dropped a ton of weight!  She'd love to kick up her heels in celebration if she hadn't had one of her legs amputated.  It gives at least one new meaning to her name "Eileen"!

     I successfully passed several kidney stones and had a polyp removed.  Had them all polished up and now they're hanging around Mother's neck on a necklace I made while I was in the drug and alcohol re-hab the second time.

     We filed an insurance claim on that old pickup truck that didn’t start anymore.  It seems that it had just enough left to roll off that grassy knoll and into the quarry.  But that “good hands” insurance company is giving all of us a hand job.  Seems they are refusing to settle the claim while they are still investigating our previous claim for the loss of a whole fleet of limousines under the World Trade Center.  Back last November Uncle George Fester convinced us that they would never be able to clear up the debris and no one would ever know if we really lost the cars or not.  He said the sales receipt he printed up on his new computer would be good enough to collect the three million dollars we put in for.

     Speaking of a million dollars, have you seen cousin Burt Cooperman, Aunt Clara’s youngest and slowest, on this year’s Survivor Thailand?  Look for him there in the beginning when they show all the contestants paddling to the island.  But you’ll have to be fast and look close because Burt fell out of the boat before they landed and he drowned.  That's him flailing away in the background.

     The mud slide finally hardened and we rebuilt the house on top of it.  It makes ours the only two-level trailer in the county.

     I have to run to keep the dogs from digging up Grandma and Grandpa again.  We buried them deep this time, but the frost heave keeps resurfacing them and those hounds are relentless when they smell something to eat.  And speaking of eating, that reminds me, I have to head up to the Super Right Mart in town for the big mad sale on cows they are holding.  They are practically giving the stuff away and the people are falling all over themselves to get some. Actually, they started falling all over themselves last week after the big Beef Council BBQ they sponsored for everyone to celebrate the holidays.

     Well, that’s about it for now.  I got nothing more to say until next year’s letter.


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