I was going to write my own but I found this gem on the WWW. I’m posting it mostly unedited.
Dear Cousin Kate,
Merry X-Mas! Another year has flown by and it’s time to spread good will toward men, and women too, of course. And especially to all you little kiddies. I hope your year has been as happy and eventful as ours has been.
Right off the bat Uncle Clive and Aunt Etta got in a car wreck out by the swamp. Clive said he saw a deer and swerved to avoid it. Etta says he saw a bottle of Jack Daniels and swerved to avoid an imaginary deer. Either way, the car went careening toward that old oak that was hit by lightning over by Turtle Town Road just as you come out of the curve by where Everett Skelton used to park his trailer? Well, Clive managed to miss the tree, but they got stuck out in the swamp and no amount of wheel spinnin’ could have got them out. So Etta, she slogged out of the car and hauled the come-along out of the trunk. She hooked it to the undercarriage and around the big oak.
She was all in swampwater and mud up past her knees and was in her going-to-town dress. She had to beat an alligator off with a tire iron. Then she pulled on that lever until the car got unstuck. When she finally got back to the car (one of her Hush Puppies got sucked off into the mud) She made Clive get the tarp out of the trunk and put it over the driver’s seat. Then she got in and SHE drove all the way back home where she cleaned up and changed her clothes. (So if you’re wondering what to get Aunt Etta for X-Mas, think: Hush Puppies-size 11)
Etta then called the Le Chat beauty salon and told LaDonna Bourgois she was gonna be a little late for her appointment. LaDonna said it was fine and to come on in. So it turned out that Clive was fine, the car was fine, the oak was fine, Etta was fine and her hair was puffy and shellacked all nice for church the next day.
Then in February my brother Billy Jack went to prison for six months. He was doing fine down there in the Willa City jail playin’ pinoccle and such for matchsticks and cigarettes. And when his time was up, he was all set to go back to his little family in Turtle Town. But the Willa County sheriff was there to meet him as he come out the door and arrested him again to go to the county jail for another little while. He’ll be getting out before X-mas, we all hope, and he says he’s made some real nice things down in the prison workshop that he’ll be bringing us for presents. (Does anybody know what a shiv is?)
My neice Colinda hurt her back out working the street one night (she always tried to bend over backwards to please her customers, she says). She had to go to the Urgent Care Center the next day and they gave her some painkillers and some kind of cotton (oxie cotton?) to help her with her back. Well, it turned out she got addicted to the stuff. She always was one to overdo. (Once she ate a whole big bag of Reeces Cups then threw up for three hours. Then she ate M&Ms to settle her stomach.) Anyways, she and her boyfriend Delray Cornish sat up all one weekend while she stopped cold turkey. I guess she got pretty sick. But that’s what happens when you get undercooked turkey. I once threw up for two days after my mama made a turkey that was still pink on the inside. Bless her heart, she kept handing us the 409 bottle and paper towels and yellin’, “clean it up”. (I think my dear old daddy may have been inadvertently killed by her cooking)
We lost a dear old friend this year. My darlin’ Carl Gene’s tick hound Chester got caught in a bear trap back in the spring and it broke his leg near clean off. Carl Gene was beside himself. Darlene Clark, our local vet told us we would have to amputate his leg. There was a big misunderstanding about whose leg was going to be cut off, then Carl just up and shot the dog. Darlene looked at him all upset and everything and Carl Gene just said, “They shoot horses, don’t they?”
Over at the trailer park we had a little incident back in the fall. The biker folk who live down on space #15 decided to have a Halloween Party. Seeing as how they already looked scary all the time anyways, Carl Gene and I were real interested to see how they’d all dress up. Well shut my mouth if they didn’t come dressed as Bernie Madoff and Ann Colter. The scarist one of all was a lady who came in with a pair of square glasses and a tee shirt that said: President Sarah Palin. That one gave me and Carl Gene the willies!
Anyways, while we were out on the front steps watching the party there was a huge explosion! The trailer belonging to 94 year old Juanina Belmont-Suggs away over in space #23 was just a bouquet of flames. And the smell brothers and sisters? Aughhh! It was like pee, only worse. Everyone, of course, run out to see what all the commotion was. All the Sarahs and Anns and Bernies and Baraks staggered out with their wacky tobacky cigarettes sayin’ things like, “Whoa, man! That’s beautiful!” and “Totally Sick, dude!” and “Oh, man! Wasn’t that the meth lab?”
Personally, I thought it was hot. Really hot. TEMPerature hot. And I was worried about Juanina. But here in a few minutes here she come out of the woods all black and smoky. Apparently she was on her way to the outhouse when the explosion occured and it got blown plumb off the hole! She looked madder than a wet hen.
The fire department came and put the fire out after a couple of hours. They said it was an especially hot fire because Juanina was cookin’ in there. I was thinkin’ Hell, I cook all the time, but I never blowed up a whole trailer doin’ it! But the police came and put Juanina in the back of a car and spirited her away. Maybe they were just helping her find a new place to stay.
My precious little grandbaby Carnelian graduated from kindergarten in May. She looked so cute in her little cap and gown. The teachers told her mama that she was the third smartest little girl in the whole classroom. We was bustin’ our buttons proud. Her brother Onyx-Bob flunked out of third grade again, but we think he’ll only take another five years to get to middle school. He’s a rock, that boy. Little Opal Ann, she’s a hoot. She’s two and come runnin’ into the living room one day buck-ass nekkid screamin’, “Where’s my *&^%$! Binky?” They’re gonna have trouble with that one, I can tell ya.
Lester Michaels got another speeding ticket last week. That makes it probably about three tickets a week over the last year. But that wouldn’t even be so bad if he wasn’t the Willa City School Bus driver. But county wide police pursuits at speeds exceeding 100 mph in a bus full of children is frowned upon by the school district. (Of course at 100 mph, crossing the county should only take about four minutes) And of course there are a lot of people who criticize the police for engaging in a chase like that. It’s not like they can’t radio ahead. I mean it’s hard to miss a big yellow bus full of kids that says BUS 42 WILLA CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT on both sides.
No vehicle can go faster than a radio, ya know?
And now that X-mas is nearly upon us we’re all out shoppin’ and visitin’. We’re having all the aunts and uncles and their kids over for X-Mas dinner. I’m cooking a big old goose and if Carl Gene can bag an out of season deer by then, Venison stew. And some possum puffs. Sounds yummy, huh? And we’ll have taters and yams and pumpkin pies, and green bean casserole, and cranberry sauce (can shaped) and home made biscuits and all kinds of other really good stuff.
But the main thing is that we’ll be all together, laughin’, jokin’, fightin’ and lovin’ like a big family should. Y’all have a Merry X-Mas now.
Hugs and Kisses and X-Mas Wishes,
Ruby Lei Pershall
Spreading kitty fur worldwide
And now, from me to you, have a very Merry Christmas!