Mother Constance and I are doing well, and we’re so happy to report the children are blessed and growing, each in his or her own way.
Sister Feeka, now 9, who insists on being called “Princess Swirling Hair” during the holidays, has been rehearsing for the “Mary Alice Montgomery Elementary School Grand Pageant of the Feathers,” an annual ritual attended by the pageanteers, their parents, wards of local state prisons, and two hundred thousand starving birds who peck the popcorn out of the costumes.
Little Bimbo is now three, and has asked Santa for her own North Pole, so she can practice dancing and prancing, the little vixen.
Baby Bumpee is learning his ABCs and 123s (though he is still struggling with number 2 at all the wrong times). His favorite is a crowded elevator, but he’s making progress, bless his screwy little heart.
The triplets Harpo, Peebo, and Gumbo are hard at work on their annual talent show, featuring gymnastics, miniature bicycles and ramps, and a new secret act involving boiled root vegetables, a hammock, and a Gila Monster named Vanessa.
Brother Yupo is trying to grow hair under his arms “so my voice will change in time for the caroling competition.”
Shanana is making great progress on her website and gets calls from all across the country. Goodness, that child can talk a blue streak—heaven knows what she has in common with all those people at all hours of the night, but she is putting together a nice little bankroll. Ever since the “tour guide” from the “vacation outlet” stopped by, we have pretty much left her to her own devices.
Welkie is doing so well at college. He almost made dean’s list, except for the C- in hygiene, and two Ds in second semester Spanish. He was taking it twice this semester, with two different professors. As you know from our letters, he’s been trying this with French, Portuguese, Texan, Irish, and Australian the past seventeen years, but you have to admire his determination. We just keep writing the tuition checks and he keeps sending notes of thanks and that’s all a parent could ask. He’s turning 35 this year, so we expect he’ll be coming up on graduation soon.
Hermie is now Haroku Numori, having moved to Japan and “converted.” He asks for all of you to visit anytime, but not to mention “Purr Hahbuh.”
Brammy is still in his goth phase, wearing black cloaks and knee-high boots, even in bed, and counting everything at the top of his lungs. “ONE! TWO! THREE! pancakes. ONE! TWO! THREE! FOUR! FIVE! steps to the driveway…” And on–and-on.
Lastly, our high school senior Skubidoo has finished her dental work and will begin prepping for the upcoming swim team’s big season. With the oars, wings, flaps, rudders, and struts removed from her mouth, she figures to be a strong contender in the freestyle. Not to mention the hallways.
We visited Uncle Turlo just before the holiday and he showed us around the airport he’s been building in his Dorchester basement. “Getting the tower up was tough, but it all kinda fits. Next year, I’m building a jumbo jet, a really, really, jumbo jumbo jet,” he smiles. “This year Muriel and I are settling for the helicopter on the roof, but it kind of aggravates the neighbors” [they live in a three-decker].
We left him with a Costco-sized case of cranberry juice (he loves it in his weekly bath). Muriel was happy to see us, and thanked us for visiting the airport. “Better you than the FBI,” she said nervously. “Every time someone walks by, they stare, so I think we’re under surveillance.” We think they’ve done really nicely with their driveway, given all the cement and asphalt trucks, the cranes, and FAA vehicles that rumble through each hour.
Grandma Sam is still living with us, and she’s working on the crossword she hopes to send to the New York Times. We keep telling her the theme of ‘1930s cusswords’ probably isn’t going to be accepted, and then she tells us to go *%##%* ourselves. Whatever that means. (Last week, we had a little scare. That rascal Bumpy was loading some peanut butter into Grandma’s IV tube, but we caught him in time.)
Mother has been packing all week for Uncle Jeffie’s visit, but I keep telling her, “He’ll leave us when he’s ready. Now go put his things back in the guest room.”
We’ll be having the usual big feast with turkey and all the trimmings. This year Mother is determined “to turn the stove on, damn it!” because we all got sick last year after pretending for her sake “that it was cooked just fine.” Don’t ask.
Even our little dog TrentLott is in the holiday spirit, chewing off his leg hair in a candy cane pattern.
And I in my kerchief have just settled down to finish this long winter’s note.
Lastly, we give thanks to the almighty, the pretty mighty, the almost mighty, or the totally-distracted-ethereal-being who allowed that idiot Bush to become President twice, for all the blessings on this holiday season, our family, friends, and most of all, that guy who has mixed up his bank account number and paid our mortgage online the past three months.
Grandma adds: “Have a happy sp%3*#$%&# holiday! Or kiss my pl#&*%#@*#.”
With love, J.
J. DiCocco works for a local academic institution (of higher learning) and submits his rantings to the TMG, from time to time.