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Humor November 2013

Ernie's World

Let the Holidays Begin!

By Ernie Witham

Once dinner is over and the serious drinking begins, things start to pick up. That’s when we look for more physical activities. Anything from indoor full contact soccer to blind relay races involving small animals. This year, though, someone suggested a dance circle. That seemed pretty mellow.

They arrive from the far corners of the earth (actually Los Angeles and other parts of Santa Barbara) bearing gifts... “Where should I put my dirty laundry?” ...and exotic treats... “Anyone want half an eggplant and goat cheese taco I couldn’t finish?” ...and exciting news... “We may have run over a skunk. Either that or there are rats living in the engine compartment. We parked in the garage to check it out.”

Ah yes, the holidays are here.

My wife had been busy for a week preparing enough food to feed the World Boxing Federation and I had been preparing “extra bed” air mattresses that no longer have working pumps. So my job had been to blow and blow until all sound fades and I see little white lights dancing in front of my eyes, pass out momentarily, and then try to inhale enough oxygen to re-inflate my lungs so I can finish. My wife also makes me vacuum the entire house.

“Before the holidays? Are you kidding? That’s like mowing the battlefield before Gettysburg!”

That year the season started the day before Thanksgiving as we celebrated my granddaughter Ashley’s 21st birthday.

“She’s 21 on the 21st,” Christy pointed out. “That makes it her golden birthday!” A statement like this means one thing: theme party.

“We brought gold tinsel, streamers, stars, glitter, glue sticks, ribbon, bows and sparklers,” said Leila.

“Try not to get anything on the floor,” I suggested, as I waded through enough glitter to supply all the dance troupes in Las Vegas.

“Plus we have yards of gold material for a backdrop for the photo,” said Carl. There’s always a photo. It usually involves multiple takes.

“Charlie made a weird face!”

“Jessica’s standing on my toe.”

“Jon kissed me. I need to touch up my gold lipstick!”

“The flash didn’t go off again.”

There are also games. They start out sedate enough with something like “Catch Phrase” where teams guess answers based on simple clues.

“It’s something you eat for breakfast,” I said, as the timer beeped faster and faster.

“Cold pizza!”

“Cheetos and beer!”

“Flan!”

The timer goes: “Bllllllaaaahhhh.”

“Actually, it’s eggs.”

“Eggs! That’s dumb.”

“No, flan is dumb.”

“I love flan.”

“That’s cause you’re dumb.”

“Oh yeah, well you said Cheetos!”

“Cheetos are a breakfast staple!”

“I wanna be on a different team!”

Once dinner is over and the serious drinking begins, things start to pick up. That’s when we look for more physical activities. Anything from indoor full contact soccer to blind relay races involving small animals. This year, though, someone suggested a dance circle. That seemed pretty mellow.

“Is that as loud as the speakers go?”

“What?”

“Try hooking up the amp!”

“More reverb!”

“What?”

In a dance circle, one person dances into the middle and out again and the next person has to dance into the circle duplicating whatever the previous person did on the way out. Then they make up a new step that the next person has to duplicate.

Did I mention that some members of the family are professional dancers? Others are acrobats. Some are really macho. Then others...

“What the heck was that?”

“I call it the Ernie.”

“Right! You couldn’t even duplicate that and you did it. No wonder you always need a chiropractor.”

“You give up then?”

“Not a chance. Someone put on some heavy metal music and let’s make it challenging.”

The neighbors used to come over occasionally to see what was going on during our family holidays. Now they just shutter the windows, barricade the doors, and bring in their pets.

The good thing is that eventually we run out of food, beverages, and energy and everyone quietly retires.

“This air mattress is flat!”

“Mine too!”

“Someone spilled something in mine!”

“I think that’s just dog drool.”

“What are we doing tomorrow?”

“How about a nice family hike?”


“Great. I brought some climbing ropes.”

“I’ve got a couple harnesses and extra crampons.”

“I heard there’s been a hatching in Rattlesnake Canyon.”

“Cool or we could go to Deadman’s Ravine or the Terror Creek Trail.”

“How about we make it like Survivor?”

“Great. Same teams?”

“No way!”

I wonder what other families do for the holidays?

 

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