Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Tree Trimming

Sunday afternoon was the annual McFamily Christmas celebration, held at the palatial home of my newspaper-running uncle and his wife the gourmet chef of whom my Babcia says "She's French but she's nice." When I tried to explain to Babcia that this was a bit like someone saying to her "You're Polish, but you're smart," she was hearing none of it.

Each year French Auntie prepares a sumptuous feast -- lots of nibbly treats like shrimp cocktail and cheeses and various delights wrapped in phyllo, followed by one big phyllo-wrapped treat: Beef Wellington.

This year my brother brought his girlfriend. As we were chatting in the kitchen, one of my uncles walked in. I warned the girlfriend in a low voice not to ask said uncle anything about his love life. Then I proceeded to ask said uncle how he was doing.

Uncle: "Well, I had a friend trim my tree for me. An acquaintance, really. She hung that godawful ornament I won at last year's Yankee swap on the fireplace mantel." (McFamily X-mas also includes what can turn into a rather vicious Yankee swap; Babcia is still pissed at one cousin who tried to get her Olive Garden gift certificate last year. He's a supreme court justice in NH and she had an article of him with his picture that she'd saved from the paper. After he went for her gift card she tore the picture up and threw it away.)

Me: "Mm-hmm"

Uncle: "She did a fine job trimming the tree."

Said uncle chatted a bit more with other relatives about his tree and then as he went to leave the room he said to me, under his breath:

"She was totally nude. I loved it!"

Now would be the time to inform you that this uncle is similar in looks to Al Pacino and is a retired, divorced airline pilot who lives alone. He developed a taste for 25 year olds while doing international flights and he, to put it nicely, really gets around. And he's not afraid of talking about it.

Anyhoo, I got number one in the Yankee swap which is the best number you can get and I was glad to see Fortune smiling upon me again even as Dirty Bastard was whispering in my ear.

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