Monday, January 16, 2012

December 12, 2011 The 1999 Christmas Letter

   HO HO HO MERRY CHRISTMAS!! Let’s begin where this little holiday started. Ok, this carpenter discovers his virgin wife is pregnant. He is screaming at her that had better be the son of GOD, so to avoid an argument she says it is. In order to avoid abuse down at the union hall (besides the abuse of still having a virgin wife), he starts telling everyone his wife is having the son of God. Joe must have been a BA, because everyone believes his story. Now let us fast forward to the story of SANTA. Some fat old guy in a red suit with leather boots lives in a remote area with a bunch of male dwarfs that build toys and make reindeer fly (I won’t even get into how they accomplished this feat, let’s just say I’d also learn how to fly just to escape them). They created Mrs. Claus just to stem the tide of vicious rumours. Am I the only one who wonders just what the hell we are celebrating here? And now some more fiction about a year in the twisted life of Chrissy & Gregg.

   I’m getting old & fat real fast lately, so I can’t recall what I did earlier this year but I do remember some good meals at Café Borgia. I know Chrissy finally granted her Grandmother’s final wish and spread her ashes around The Harbor. Unfortunately for Chris, it was very windy and her Grandma blew back into her face. According to her sister, Kimmie, Chrissy got a mouthful. Chris will not confirm or deny that this happened. But at least she isn’t in a closet like my Grandmother. I’m sure she is praising her beloved son while cursing my mom & Aunt Pat from the great beyond for not granting her final wish.

   Once again we went to Coastermania, but this year was definitely different. Both of my brothers and Mike Crafton went this year. Mike led a queue full of people in a rousing version of the Brady Bunch theme. By the last verse about a hundred people were singing and laughing, OK, mostly laughing. Georgie (of course) provided us with the best laugh. At least three different times, he came out of the bathroom at Cedar Point with money in his hand and a big smile on his face. This led to many jokes about bathroom stalls, George Michael and glory holes.

   My parents, always the source of an amusing story, have been working out at a local gym. Those two in spandex has probably cut the membership in half. Anyway, we couldn’t figure out why these two bastions of good health decided to get in shape. Then it came to me, they decided to work out in order to live longer. Why?  Because they still hope to become grandparents…NO! They couldn’t live long enough for that, then Why? You ask.  So they can smoke longer. They work out so they can live longer and smoke more. It is all they have left.

   We went to Alaska this year. It was the most incredible two weeks of our lives. We saw glaciers calving as seals floated by on icebergs, we sat on the edge of the Kenai River watching the sunset, lulled by the sound of the river into a relaxed state that is not possible in the lower 48. We sat mesmerized by the fall colors in Denali National Park. We kayaked to Admiralty Island to sit on a log and watch brown bears pick salmon out of a river just a few yards away. We rafted on the Mendenhall & Kenai Rivers as eagles soared overhead. We hiked in Denali across the tundra with the Alaskan Mountain Range in full view. We flew around Mount McKinley on a beautiful fall day. But my favorite thing about Alaska is while standing in a crowd, you can yell “LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THAT RACK” and “I HOPE WE SEE SOME BEAVER” without getting smacked. I posted pix of trip at

   Our dog, Thunder has had a rough year. Old age has set in and he began to really struggle just to stand up. We started talking about putting him to sleep, WELL once he heard that, he would run across the yard and pretend to be a puppy again, “LOOK AT ME, I’M FINE, NO PAIN HERE”. So Chris put him on Rimadyl, now he fakes the limp just to get a fix. He looks at me and goes COME ON MAN, CAN’T YOU HELP A BROTHER OUT, I’ll PLAY FRISBEE WITH YOU IF YOU JUST FIX ME UP. Now, I have a junkie for a pet.

   If you had any doubt that Chrissy loves animals more than humans let me prove it to you. Thunder gets painkillers that cost me $3 a day, but when I complain about a sore back or legs she says lose some weight you fat bastard. And that’s on a sympathetic day.

   My parents had a sneak attack visit this summer; they came in for Don’s surprise 60th B-Day party. They insisted on staying at a hotel. Then they wouldn’t let us come use the Jacuzzi in their room. I couldn’t believe it. I told Chris that if we had their grandchild they would stay at the house. She told me to get a vasectomy immediately. They were here & gone in two days. AHHHH…a perfect visit. Poor Jeff & Jen, they lost the parents for Christmas lottery. A whole week with Mom & Dad….MERRY &%$#*@$ CHRISTMAS.

   Everyone can quit getting on our asses now about having a baby. CHRISSY HAS A BABY. She is hand raising a polar bear cub. The mom stopped taking care of it so now Chrissy is its mother. Every day I hear about every detail of the baby. She’s so cute, she gained 42 grams, she shit solid today. Now let me explain something about that last comment, apparently polar bear moms have to lick their cubs you know where in order to get them to shit & piss…Sorry, defecate & urinate. So Chris has to rub it with a wet cloth, at least that’s what she says she does, in order to get her to go potty. Just one of the many joys of motherhood, I’m sure.

   The following is a true story, only the names haven’t been changed since I predicted this in last year’s newsletter. Karen & Jim used to go out to dinner with us. They used to make fun of other couples stuck at home with babies. They said they would never change. They used to have a big Christmas party every year. They had a baby this year. They also aborted two lives this year…their own. We will miss them.

   I guess I should recap our year through ticket stubs. Concerts- Lyle Lovett, Sheryl Crow, BoDeans, Semisonic, Reel Big Fish, Springsteen twice…Plays- Rent, Tap Dogs, Spirit, Cirque Ingenieux, Titanic… Indy 500 & US 500 races, several White Sox games, a trip to Tiger Stadium, a Bear game & with much shame…a Blackhawk game.

   I finally joined Jimmy D. on the Deep River Grinders. It is a 1800’s baseball team. I have never had more fun playing baseball. Every attempt to duplicate 1858 is made for our games. Some days it really felt like 1858 playing in a horse field in the middle of Ohio. I created a web site at  that provides more details.

   I know this is getting out late, but I haven’t had much Christmas spirit this year. Everyone knows the reasons, too busy at work, over commercialized and a new one for us this year, it’s so warm it doesn’t seem like Christmas. I put this pain in the ass letter off in hopes that something would revive my Christmas spirit. Since a visit by three ghosts seemed unlikely, I found the true meaning of the season in two unexpected places. While picking up some homemade candy at Gayety’s Chocolates (a family run candy & ice cream parlor) Jim, the owner, stopped me on the way out of his place. He handed me a box of chocolates and wished Chrissy & I a HEARTFELT MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR. ( a well deserved plug). Then a Christmas party at Megan & Bob Ochi’s house really brought out the Christmas spirit in me. A gathering of friends just enjoying an evening together. Those that know me well, know that I can bullshit the night away and consider it time well spent. So hopefully everyone can enjoy a few minutes this season with those that matter to them, I believe that is the true meaning of Christmas.

   Well that about wraps up another year for us. You know the old joke about how do you know Santa is married? Because he only comes once a year. So I have to get going, I only have a week left in the year to match Santa’s output. And I doubt my body is Y2K compliant. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.

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