Saturday, December 27, 2008

Good Tidings

Sorry for the long absence. It's been a special time here at our house. Lucy the Miracle Dog cracked a tooth. Did you know there were people who specialized in canine dentistry? Neither did I. The next time you see one of them on his or her yacht, be sure to wave.

After the trip to the vet, I took my youngest to a batting cage. Not surprisingly, this prompted the middle one to complain he was being shortchanged.

"I have to spend extra time with your brother," I told him. "He needs the attention. Your mother and I hope he can learn to make change and wash himself so that someday he can live on his home."

The middle one glanced at his younger brother, who was dancing to the rhythm of an out of balance washing machine, and nodded in understanding.

It was not entirely gloom. The Lovely Bride, the boys, and I had a nice dinner on Christmas.

"Do you know the story of the Hanukkah Ham?" I asked my kids as we sat down to eat.

My mother had joined us, as she often does on this day. It beats going out for Chinese. She scowled at me. "What foolishness are you telling them now?"

"Ignore her," I told the boys. "She'll be in a home soon. Then your aunt and I will divide up her stuff."

"That's rude," said my mother.

"Lying is worse," I said.

"Anyway," I continued, turning back to my children, "many, many years ago there was a village in Israel that had only enough ham to feed a family for one night. A messenger was sent to the grocery to buy more, but it was a long trip. Miraculously, the ham fed the entire village for eight days. And that's the story of the Hanukkah Ham."

"That's crazy," said my oldest.

"No, that's faith," I said. "I can understand your confusion, though."

My mother batted away the dog, who was trying to snare some Hanukkah Ham off her plate. "Did I tell you I'm going to Belgium?" she asked.

"Why on earth would you want to go there?" I asked in return. "It's a filthy country."

My mother glared at me.

"Open sewers and roving bands of thieves. For God's sake, you've been to a Brazilian favela. Wasn't that enough? Are you some kind of vulture?"

"Fine," she said. "I won't bring you a magnet."

"Let's not be hasty," I said.

"Grandma, did you really eat a live monkey's brain when you were in China?" my youngest inquired.

"Of course not," she said. "What made you think that?"

The boys looked at me.

"That figures," she said. "I did, however, see an orangutan orphanage when I was in Borneo."

"And the people did rejoice and did feast upon the lambs and toads and tree-sloths and fruit-bats and orangutans," I intoned. Everyone ignored me, except the dog. I snuck her a piece of ham as a reward.

"The orangs lived there until they could be conditioned to return to the wild," said my mother.

"That's a racist term," I interjected.

"What is?" my mother demanded.

"Orang."

The Lovely Bride said, "Be quiet and let her tell the story."

"Yeah, be quiet, Dad," the boys said in unison.

"Who's my little orangutan?" I asked the dog, sneaking her some more ham. She rolled on her back and I gave her a belly rub while my mother told her grandchildren a story about orangutans and the wide world that waits for them.

UPDATE: Verily, sayeth fish, suffer unto me the little children and I shall give the meaning of the Ham, forever and ever. Amen.

8 comments:

gregor samsa said...

I sure hope that most of these stories are true.

Jennifer said...

Canine dentistry... I've managed to avoid it. Canine orthopedics though... not so lucky.

Welcome back, Snag!

fish said...

I think you have some of the details wrong.

rotten mcdonald said...

Polite people do not mention Belgium in mixed company.

Of course a dog will crack a tooth when you feed her floor tile, you bastard.

rotten mcdonald said...

"That's crazy," said my oldest.

"No, that's faith," I said. "I can understand your confusion, though."


yea, verily: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/12/29/israeli-assault-targets-s_n_153872.html

Brando said...

Hilarious as always, Snag.

When my parents give me a hard time about things, I always tell them, "I've got three words for you: power of attorney."

Righteous Bubba said...

After mom's last vote I pounded her 25 games in a row in Scrabble. I'll let her win one again next visit.

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