Sunshine and Mumbles left North (or is it South?) Carolina on Thursday morning, and were planning to drive all the way to our house in one straight shot. Toney said it would never happen, but I wasn’t so sure. They’re pretty cheap, after all, and a night in a motel would set them back at least $29. (They’re not very fancy, remember. The place where they stayed in Arizona last Christmas didn’t have a door knob, just a hole with a chain through it.)
It was my first day off in a long time, and the thought of them dragging in here with their lung-blower and portable Revco drug store made me almost sick to my stomach. I needed some decompression time, dammit. I was struggling, mightily, and needed one quiet day. Is that too much to ask? Just one quiet day?
Toney talked to Sunny during the late morning, and she didn’t know what state they were in, or what day of the week it was. But she knew one thing for certain: they were coming all the way. They would NOT be spending the night in a motel. My heart sank, and it felt like I might have a Tony Soprano panic attack.
I worked on cleaning the family room and the bunker, and Toney went to the grocery store. We had Chinese food for lunch, from the Frog and the Overshoe or whatever that place is called. Very good, as usual… I went with the cashew chicken, and thought this would be the last quiet and civilized meal for two weeks.
But we got a reprieve. Toney called her mother around dinnertime, and they had stopped for the night in Winchester, VA. I pumped my fist in the air, like Billy Idol. Hell yeah. And later, we got even more good news: Nancy and the gang picked up Toney’s brother in Atlanta, but they were tired and weren’t going to attempt to drive straight through, either. They’d just go back to Nancy’s place, and get some sleep. It was a Christmas miracle!
We had dinner and the four of us watched TV together: Modern Family and The Office. Toney and I enjoyed a few Sierra Nevada Celebration Ales, she dozed off, and I watched Top Gear with the boys.
They did a feature about a weird British car from the ‘70s, with two wheels in the back and one in the front. Every time the guy would make a semi-sharp turn, the vehicle would flip onto its roof, and it was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time. How was such a thing ever allowed on the market? I had tears of laughter streaming down my face.
After the boys went to bed, I wanted to watch Black Christmas, via Netflix streaming. But it wouldn’t work for some reason. Every time I clicked on the Netflix logo, I was taken to an offer for a free trial. Free trial? I’ve had an account for years. Grrr… I was about to lose it, man. I was (and am) seriously at the end of my rope.
Finally, I called Netflix and a 12 year old girl answered. She was very friendly and California-chirpy. And before I’d even finished telling her my problem, she’d begun reciting the remedy. Hold down two specific buttons at the same time, she instructed, and enter your username and password at the prompt. I did as the sixth grader said, and it worked. I guess my issue isn’t unusual?
Unfortunately, the sound was horrible on Black Christmas (the only such problem I’ve ever encountered with the streaming service), and I ended up watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer instead.
The next morning I finished cleaning the bunker, and it’s a thing of beauty. I must’ve tossed fifty pounds of paper from that tiny room. I don’t know how all that stuff gets in there. There was a shitload of newspaper, magazines (Wired and Esquire), random pieces of mail, a dozen books or more, and all sorts of other crap. I got rid of 90% of it, took the books upstairs, dusted, and vacuumed the carpet. Man, it’s pure luxury now. Relatively speaking…
Sunshine and Mumbles finally arrived around 2 pm, and the rest of the kooks got here thirty minutes later. Even though they’d come from the same house, and S&M had a 24 hour head-start.
Sunshine always had a giant Ann and Nancy Wilson perm, but is now wearing her hair straight. Not a good choice… Her gray skin and wispy hair makes her look like she should be sitting in a rocking chair at Norman Bates’ place. Yikes.
She was walking with a cane, and was all jittery and slow-moving – like Miss Jane Pittman. Mumbles looked exactly the same, and gave me a friendly four-fingered handshake. Somewhere along the line he lost his right pointer. Who the hell knows? It could’ve been a table saw, a snapper turtle, or a whorehouse in Singapore. None of those explanations would surprise me.
After she’d gingerly planted herself on the couch, Sunshine said, “You people aren’t drinking yet? I thought you’d be into the Lincoln Logs by now.” WTF?
As Nancy and the gang came busting through the door, I zeroed in on Toney’s brother. Holy mackerel! I hadn’t seen him in three years or more, and he was enormous. I mean, MASSIVE. He was holding a Big Gulp, and was wearing some sort of black leather trench coat. He looked like an Eastern European drug dealer who loves pie.
The translucents were a little taller than last time, but were pretty much the same. And Nancy and Nostrils haven’t changed, except Nossy is sporting his professorial goatee. It comes and goes…
Instantly, the place was plunged into chaos.
Everybody was talking, except for me and the Secrets, and the noise level was incredible. Those see-thrus never stop chattering: just a continuous, unchanging sound that reminds me of some sort of industrial machine. Wow! I wanted to scream, “Shut up! Or at least alter the inflections of your speech every once in a while!! Sweet Jesus.”
Nancy started doing her stretches in the living room, bending fully in half and making her ass the top of her. Nostrils made a beeline for the dining room, where Toney had loaded up the table with all manner of food and snacks. “Groovy!” he shouted, and commenced to snorkeling down M&M cookies.
Andy was barking, Mumbles was mumbling, Sunshine was railing against some religious or ethnic group, Toney’s brother was furiously sucking his empty Big Gulp, and the translucent children were making their chattering noise, all at the same time. I looked at my kids, and we shared an expression of high distress.
It continued, this cacophony, and Nostrils and two of the translucents started looking at the collection of wooden nutcrackers in the floor beside our Christmas tree. He was explaining each, going into great historical detail, and injecting a big dose o’ douche into the proceedings. At one point I heard him say, “And this big fellow is a Cossack,” and I nearly swallowed my tongue.
After Nancy and the gang left (they stayed at a motel, were undoubtedly sick of seeing Sunshine’s face, and didn’t stick around very long), the noise level dropped a bit, and Sunny hollered, “Gawd! Why is the TV off?? It makes me nervous to be in a room with no TV!!”
And I’ll pick up the story from there, next time. It might not be tomorrow, but I’ll try. One thing that helps: the Easy Note app on my phone. It turns my Droid into a notebook, so I’m always prepared.
Thanks for reading, and Happy Holidays!
big bear in OH says
Let the holiday hilarity begin!
Oh man, great stuff.can’t wait for more!
top three! Merry Christmas to me!
” He looked like an Eastern European drug dealer who loves pie.”
I thought that was fucking hilarious too.
Me too! Too bad you didn’t illustrate, Jeff!
WB in OH says
Sweet! Super Secret to boot!
Son of Sam says
That is what I was thinking.
you need a crime scene sketch artist. I want pictures!!!!
D in Seattle says
Yeah you should definitely hire one of those court room picture people that do the funny water color drawings or whatever.
You could pass him/her off as some sort of exchange student from the local art school, or maybe an intern of some sort. Or a parolee you volunteered to take in for the holiday season. I dunno, you’re creative, I’m sure you can figure it out.
Or you could just sneakily take pictures with yer ‘droid, and make creative use of photoshop to hide people’s true identities… Maybe replace everyone’s faces with Andy Dick’s?
That says “Andy Dick’s”, not “Andy’s Dick”, just to be clear.
Chuck in Belpre says
He looked like an Eastern European drug dealer who loves pie.
And the Reply feature isn’t working.
Man, my blood pressure shot up just reading that!
I think the noise would’ve put me on the express bus to the looney bin.
My new favorite line, “He looked like an Eastern European drug dealer who loves pie.”
You need to send Sunshine to the local Best Buy and sit her down on one of their sofas. “Look! A lot of TVs. Have at it.”
I. Love. Your. Life.
“You people aren’t drinking yet?”
I couldn’t stop laughing at that line. Sure enough it’s what my neighbor and I said to each other on Sat, after all of our respective families left.
Good luck Jeff!!!
At least my crazy family doesn’t stay the night!
Lee Harvey Ramone says
I’ll pile on and say that the line “an Eastern European drug dealer who loves pie” is about the funniest image I have had in my head in some time.
OMG…can’t wait for the next installment! Also……Lincoln Logs????????
I concur – the pie line is the best of the year. Does Will still keep the Blanket? That needs to go in there.
Steve in WV says
Sounds like a classic Griswold family Christmas. Love it.
Top twenty! This is my Christmas present. The only thing i wanted this year was this and the upcoming series of updates. The high point of the season at my house is the grand nutbaggery that went on at the Kay homestead. Thank you, sir.
Wisey in Ttown says
Into the Lincoln logs?? Double WTF!
He looked like an Eastern European drug dealer who loves pie. – Hahahahaha
Now I’m picturing Sunshine as Jessica Tandy at the end of Driving Miss Daisy, or at the beginning of Fried Green Tomatoes.
Great update – and loved the image: “…dragging in here with their lung-blower and portable Revco drug store”
“and she didn’t know what state they were in, or what day of the week it was” but isn’t that normal?
Joey Jo Jo says
Thank god for Nancy, Nossy, Sunshine, and Mumbles. No bag o’ ticks?
My father-in-law is also missing an index finger. About 60 years ago, he lost it in the back of the ice cream maker at work. They never found the finger, I shit you not.
Ahhh…I think I’ll pour myself a nice Lincoln Log and re-read this.
Groovy!!! A Super Secret update! That’s almost as good as M & M cookies.
Other kristin says
Than you! I hope you heeded Sunny’s advice and commenced with the libations!
Jeff, you should push Sunshine to explain the Lincoln Logs reference – I’m getting too much weird imagery in my head over that one…
Great stuff, and mmmmm, pie…
Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have a larger family… And then an update reminds me why I’d probably kill all of them and revel in the quiet again.
The three wheeler (I didn’t see top gear, gotta wait til I get to work so I can download it at a decent speed) was probably a Reliant Robin (also making a cameo appearance in practically every episode of Mr Bean, ironically also seen flopping over as they where prone to do anyway). Anyway it got to market becuase it fit class rules for a motorcycle. Being England, that meant less taxes to pay, and if you lived in one of those cramped up row houses, you could squeeze it into what passes as a front yard. Same sort of deal with the Japanese Kei vehicles. 660cc engine limit, overall dimension limits, all mean lower yearly taxes on the thing. They’re kinda neat and come in all sort of car, truck and van configurations with a variety of drive configurations (AWD, 4wd, front or rear wheel drive).
Not neat enough to pry me away from my big old American made rear wheel drive, v8 machines…
it’s official – I’m a nerd, because it please me to know that somewhere in the world someone knows about this stuff.
D in Seattle says
Alex, it was a Reliant Robin. The episode was hilarious, definitely see it if you get a chance. And I agree with you, not cool enough to pry me away from my American iron. And Japanese deathcycles.
Ian the Errolite says
4wd on a three wheel car?
I transitioned to the Japanese Kei vehicles, some of which come in a 4wd configuration.
And D, thanks, I actually typed it in both ways a few times, becuase the Iacoca Reliant K car sprang into my mind as well and fudged up my recolection.
Black Christmas! No better way to celebrate the birth of Jebus than hacked-up sorority girls!
Loved it Jeff! Glad the Amazon account did well for you too!
Ahhhhhh! Awesome update. I think I’ll celebrate with a drink and some Lincoln Logs!!
I was just thinking about Lincoln Logs the other day. I was looking at some spaceship a kid made out of “Lego,” and thinking that all we had in the old days was Lincoln Logs (but we still thought they were groovy).
Jeff, what were the 2 buttons you had to hold down for Netflix? I have that problem too, and I’m too lazy to call customer support.
I can’t wait to hear more about Toney’s brother. He’s kind of mysterious with his big coat and Big Gulp cup.
Pure, unadulterated awesomeness. Best of times, worst of times.
I liked the “pie” line too, but I’m more likely to repeat the one about “a table saw, a snapper turtle, or a whorehouse in Singapore”.
Time for a nice Lincoln Log.
Alice in WV says
“injecting a big dose o’ douche” — I’ll be using that. Thank you and thank you for the super secret update. heehee
Lori in Cbus says
My Christmas is now complete.. Thanks Jeff and remember, it won’t last forever…
Lots of new classic nuggets in this update..looking forward to more..
I thank God everyday for having no in laws or a big family.. the noise would drive me to murder and mayhem..
Shiny Rod says
Jeff, your not going to make me feel guilty that I took two weeks off for Christmas. Nope not one shred of guilt.
“Tony Soprano Panic Attack!”
“Frog and the Overshoe.”
“A Snapper Turtle.”
Holy shit! This update is a tent pole! A tent pole, I tell ya.
I thought things were different here in No. NV. Please let us here know when those two fine citizens are on their way back so that we can prepare for them.
What’s the old saying? Fish and company both start to stink after 3 days?
The noise would drive me insane – here’s to you to finding ways to put up with it.
D in Seattle says
Cool, super secret update! Makes me feel super special!
Good Morning Surf Reporters…..
loved the super secret update, the stuff of legends.
Believe it or not, there are some striking similarities between Sunny and my MIL. Just saying random bizarre shit that comes out of nowhere.
Just yesterday, we were all in the living room watching some home decorating show ( ok, they were watching, I was at the computer playing poker) and MIL says out loud, “you know, I haven’t had a good Fig Newton in a long time”.
JK, I feel your pain, I really do.
what kinda pie goes good with drugs reckon? punkin?
Outstanding! So worf the wait!
Its lunch time. Going for my double Lincoln Logs on the Rocks. Oh, and pass the beer nuts!