A few Hayters from an earlier Christmas.
Jill, Susan, Mom holding Big Al, me and Dennis.
This was before flash attachments.
Now that the smoke has cleared from all the Holiday cheer, let me ask about your Christmas? Before you start telling me, let me say that I don’t have time to hear it.
There is just not enough space here for all of us, so what say I tell you about my Christmas? A tricker guy I be.
My Christmas was okay. Had I been expecting more, I would’ve been disappointed. When you quit expecting, life can’t disappoint. Isn’t that neato?
Truth is, Kay and I buy ourselves stuff during the off season – March, late September – so, by the time Christmas is here we don’t need anything. If I waited till December to buy a double-handled hammer wrench that I’ll never use, I wouldn’t even have one. Kay would never know to get me something like that.
No, we kept it simple. Kay got me a LARGE jar of cashews. Is there anything that says “I love you” more than that? I think not. She also got me a new ear/nose hair trimmer. Is there anything that says “You need to trim your ears and nose” more than that?
And, do you wanna know the scary part? I was glad to get the thing. Don’t you just hate it when a person is talking to you and you spot a hair on his lobe that’s as long as a cat whisker? I usually point and scream.
There are actually rich and famous people with nose hair issues. Seriously. It must happen to everyone. You think? Well, it may not happen to me anymore, ‘cause I got the trimmer.
Oh, and let me tell you what I got Kay? I got her this big, cushioned lap desktop thing. Something that enables her to comfortably use her laptop while it’s in her lap. Get it?
The leather-topped cushion is so big that she even has room for her mouse. Normal people don’t have the coordination to use a flat-surface in place of a mouse. Our brains don’t work that way. The only people who can master the flat-surfaced mouse are individuals who can curl their tongues -- backwards. They’re just wired differently.
I also got Kay a giant tin of bad cookies. In my defense, I didn’t know the cookies were bad. They were labeled as being really good. The big selling feature – other than the price – was the word “chocolate.”
You’ve got to go a long way to mess up a chocolate cookie. But, they managed. The cookies were well traveled. Some were made in Italy, a few in Sweden, but most came from Uzbekistan. (Please note that all three countries have great cookies. They just weren’t included in this particular tin. -- Sheesh. Have you noticed how people are so easily angered? – “You don’t like Italian cookies? I’ll give you and Italian cookie!)
The good news is, we got rid of some of the cookies at the Christmas supper Kay prepared for the Hayter family. Just the older Hayters. I didn’t invite any nieces and nephews, ‘cause… well, there are just too many of ‘em.
Do you have any idea how tactful you have to be to exclude certain family members from a “family” gathering? Turns out, nobody seemed to care one way or the other. It was one less place they had to go. How sweet is that?
I let Jill show up early Christmas morning ‘cause I like her best, and ‘cause she bought our breakfast at I-HOP. I had no idea I-HOP would be open on Christmas. Try to figure. Ryan, our waiter, said that I-HOP is opened on all holidays. He should know. He’s worked ‘em all.
I-HOP didn’t even close during Hurricane Ike. Two guys with a Coleman stove were in the parking lot flippin’ jacks. (I just made that up.)
Anyway, turns out, Jill started a new Christmas tradition. From now on, she will take Kay and me out for breakfast at I-HOP Christmas morning. She’s thrilled.
Kay and I also got to— Oh, my goodness, I’ve gotta end this thing. I don’t want to do to you what I did with the Christmas Short Story. Boy, that thing was long, wasn’t it? It takes me longer to develop characters than it does the really good writers.
So, I’m going to give you a rest and stop this thing right here. What a great way to start the New Year. – That didn’t sound right.
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