“Daddy, when does the day start?” my son asked me once.
“Midnight, son,” I replied.
So, too, today’s events began at 12AM.
Where was I?… Oh yes, my children, hopeful for the impending arrival of St. Nick, were actually asleep before the midnight hour. This left plenty of time for my wife and I to begin the task of wrapping presents. By 1:00 my wife had done a phenomenal job. I offered moral support. Shut up. It’s what I do. But, feeling a little bad that I had not found the mental strength to tape brightly colored paper to bland boxes, I offered to assist in another way. It’s actually not what you’re thinking. I offered to run to Walgreens!
Before I tell you about my pre-dawn outing, a story… My sister approached me in her kitchen and said “Can you head to the basement and give my husband a hand?” This sounded ominous. However, it also sounded like there might be a surprise involved. As I headed down the creaking and narrow steps I imagined he might have a pony waiting for me! No such luck. The basement was under water from a clogged drain. We spent the next hour trying to plunge, snake, and pray our way out of this before deciding on an action plan.
“Nobody flush a toilet or turn on a sink. We’re calling a plumber in the morning.”
That should work.
For years while I lived in this area I had a little tradition that on Christmas Eve I would make a trip to Walgreens. It’s open 24 hours and carries a ton of crap. Where else could one find a cheaply made stuffed animal, dirt cheap candy, make up, and cigarettes at 2 in the morning? So with my nephew and a sister I walked into the Walgreens. Did we need anything? Not particularly. I did pick up a Christmas stocking for my wife since we had left ours at home. Walking down the aisles I stopped to look at various products and laugh. For instance, this year’s Christmas magic brought me face to face with a product called “Weekend Colon Flush”. And you thought the best gifts were already snatched up.
To your health?
No overnight outing would be complete without a trip to Dunkin Donuts. We stopped, got some coffees, a breakfast sandwich, and some gift cards and headed back home. My wife had already gone to bed. It was 3:15. Guess the other gift I had for her would have to wait.
My children woke us up at 7:30 and we headed down the stairs. My sister greeted us at the bottom of the steps and directed us back to our room. Seems her Christmas morning was not quite set up for her own kids yet. By 8:10 I received a text. “Safe to come back down,” she wrote.
Where else could one find a cheaply made stuffed animal, dirt cheap candy, make up, and cigarettes at 2 in the morning?
And we did. And my kids were genuinely surprised and truly appreciative of their bounty. And my wife and I were sincerely happy for this moment. And then all everyone else came down. And I vowed to write a whole paragraph where all the sentences began with “and”. And a Roto-Rooter van pulled up. And the plumbing situation was fixed. And it was glorious.
I must have incredibly long arms… Yes, this was a “selfie”. No stick.
We drove over to visit another sister and her family. My brother-in-law served me a glass of his famous punch. I took many selfies and remember not much else.
Christmas dinner was magnificent! The punch had worn off. Even still I stared at the Christmas ham and began to wonder why the statues of Easter Island were staring back at me. I excused myself from the table after dinner to take a rest. Waking up a couple of hours later I looked around and remembered where I was and what had happened. The Lord has been very good to me. There was dessert!
He’s looking at me…
As I headed to be, grateful for the beauty in this day, I approached my wife to kiss her goodnight. “Don’t get too close,” she said. “I’m not feeling so hot.” “Funny,” I said, “but you look hot to me.” Ha ha. She laid down to get some well-earned rest.
Remember that virus?…
About an hour later I was awakened to my wife testing me to see how much vomit I could endure in a single week. She even missed the bucket for me so that I would have the joy of stripping sheets and starting a load of laundry at 3:30AM. Glad she got it out of her syst- oh wait, there’s more. I think she’s done. Let me go dump this thing. By the way, stop reading if this makes you sick. Also, consider never being around children because this is a part of life.
As a final Christmas present to me, I went to dump the bucket down the toilet. Just imagine it’s a bucket full of glitter and you won’t get sick. Floating in this bucket I noticed (remember, it’s dark, it’s late, I’m tired) two small blocks of styrofoam. I have no idea why. But remembering the plumber’s visit from the morning, I knew these should not be flushed. Use your imagination, but somehow they had to be “removed” and disposed of.
My children will one day take care of me.