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« Away-From-Home for the Holidays | Main | 'Tis the Listing Season »

Where's My Porridge, Bitches?

Well, hello there, boys and girls. Long time, no see. I hope all of you are enjoying this holiday season. Dip yourself some eggnog and gather 'round, and I'll tell you a very special holiday story. It's the tale of Charlielocks and the Two Families.

Come on, now -- scootch closer; don't be shy. Uncle Charlie's not going to bite. And he's only had a few beers, so he's not going to tip over and fall on top of you, either. Again. Probably.

And remember, the story of Charlielocks and the Two Families is just a fairy tale, so far as you know. The Charlie in the story is never meant to represent Uncle Charlie, or his family. Or the family of his wife. Not if any of them ever happen to read this, certainly. Charlielocks is a blonde in this story, but he's not fucking stupid. He knows where inheritances come from.

Anyway, let's get on with the story of Charlielocks and the Two Families. One of you kids bring Uncle Charlie another beer to help him remember it. And the rest of you stop touching Uncle Charlie. Uncle Charlie's not the 'touching' kind of uncle.

Okay, let's begin.

Once upon a time, there was a man named Charlielocks, and he lived with his wife, Mrs. Charlielocks, in the great enchanted wood. Every Christmas season, Charlielocks and Mrs. Charlielocks would fly on a magic carpet for three hours to see their Two Families for the holidays.

Actually, they would usually fly for two hours, and end up in Atlanta or Cincinnati or Pittsburgh, which are nowhere near where the Two Families live, but the magical carpet-lines apparently only fly from the great enchanted wood to one of those cities, so Charlielocks and Mrs. Charlielocks spend three hours of magic carpet layover drinking magic elixirs out of frosty mugs, wondering why the hell ninety percent of magic carpet traffic from the east coast of the frigging great enchanted wood has to funnel through those three little clearings. Many a Charlielocks finger has been waggled at a magic carpet hub barman over that issue, let me tell you.

But I digress. Back to the story.

Every year, Charlielocks and Mrs. Charlielocks make the perilous trek to see the Two Families. After finally arriving in the land of Family One. they soon rent unicorns and hoof it to the land of Family Two for a few days. At the end of a week, it's time to ride the magic carpet back home -- via some godforsaken neck of the great enchanted wood, likely in the opposite fricking direction, of course. In between, though, Charlielocks and Mrs. Charlielocks find the same things during every trip. Things that aren't quite right, or not quite their style. Things that the Two Families seem to be happy with, but then again, neither of the Two Families lives in a place large enough to rate as a magic carpet hub, so what the hell do they know, anyway?

At any rate, the adventure of Charlielocks and the Two Families is a treacherous one, seemingly more so every year. Here are just a few of the hurdles that Charlielocks, and the lovely Mrs. Charlielocks, must overcome:

When Charlielocks is with Family One, the bed is too hard. Charlielocks has slept on harder surfaces before, but that was way back in Charlielocks' younger days. Charlielocks thought he was done with that, after escaping from the gulags. Charlielocks was quite the bolshevik, back in the day, apparently.

When Charlielocks is with Family Two, the bed is too soft. Charlielocks feels that one shouldn't be lying in bed and feel one's ass resting on the floor through the mattress. That's not good for a back, you see. Charlielocks calls Family Two's guest bed the 'Spinewrecker'. But not to its face, of course. Charlielocks has enough problems, as it is.

When Charlielocks is with Family One, the food is too sweet. Small children have been known to develop diabetes, simply from walking past Charlielocks' grandma's house when a batch of cookies is in the oven. Luckily, the Magical Denture-Making Man is close by Family One's neck of the great enchanted wood.

When Charlielocks is with Family Two, the food is too salty. Don't get Charlielocks wrong; Charlielocks is a big fan of salt-cured ham, for instance. It's just that Charlielocks can feel his pancreas shrivelling from dehydration when he eats it. Charlielocks used to be ninety percent water, like the rest of you. But after Christmas, deer and other wild animals like to lick Charlielocks for their electrolytes. Charlielocks doesn't mind, of course. That's how Charlielocks rolls.

(Also, while we're on the subject, can someone fricking tell Charlielocks why Family Two insists that oyster casserole is a 'traditional' Christmas dish? That part of the great enchanted wood is landlocked on all sides for as far as the magic carpet can fly. The closest thing to an oyster bed within a thousand miles of there is the saltwater display tank at the local Fish-O-Rama pet store. They don't even have decent sushi around -- where the hell did those oysters come from, dammit?)

When Charlielocks is with Family One, the people are too distant. Apparently, Family One is not the kind of family that 'says stuff', or 'does things'. Charlielocks suspects that most of Family One is secretly in therapy or something.

When Charlielocks is with Family Two, the people are too touchy. Charlielocks likes the aunts and uncles on the Family Two side... but Charlielocks doesn't need a tongue in his ear and a hand on his ass to say 'Merry Christmas' to them. Perhaps if Family Two had a few hot cousins on hand, Charlielocks would feel differently. But no. Charlielocks suspects that most of Family Two is secretly wifeswapping or something. Charlielocks spends many sleepless nights on the too-soft bed trying not to think about such things.

When Charlielocks is with Family One, the family drinks too little. Some members of Family One are very strictly religious sorts -- druids or wiccans or some other woodland type of fundy, Charlielocks suspects. But probably nothing quite so cool. In other words, just the sort of people that Charlielocks really needs a few good stiff drinks in order to deal with. The irony of the situation is delicious to Charlielocks, but it also makes him sad. And very, very thirsty.

When Charlielocks is with Family Two, the family drinks too mu-aw, who is Charlielocks kidding? Can you ever drink too much around the holidays? With the magic carpet rides and the unicorn treks, and the beds like stone and Jell-O, and the people clamming up or copping cheap feels, and the food, and everything else... why it makes Uncle Charlie thirsty just thinking about it. Jesus.

Because, uh, Uncle Charlie is very empathetic, of course. To Charlielocks. Who is entirely ficticious, after all. Uncle Charlie is just telling a story, you see. Don't you kids question Uncle Charlie on such things. Uncle Charlie will smack a bitch, if he has to.

Anyway, the moral of the story is: Christmas sucks reindeer balls. And when you're in your own neck of the great enchanted wood, with your own Mr. or Mrs. Charlielocks, leaving the magic carpets behind and eating your own just-right food and sleeping in your own just-right bed and including the just-right amount of appropriate touching in your greetings... well, kids, that's when everything is absolutely. Just. Right.

So, there you go. That's your Christmas story for the year. Now, who wants to go outside to see Uncle Charlie write his name in the snow? Let's get you kids bundled up, and we'll go out and try it. One of you bring Uncle Charlie another beer first, though. Uncle Charlie's not sure he'd be able to dot the 'i' just yet. Good thing there's plenty of magic elixir in this neck of the great enchanted wood, eh, kids?

Permalink | Comments (4)


'Bout time you got back... :^) Anyway, Charlielocks gets to spend New Year's in his own neck of the enchanted wood. I've been in that other neck (hell, I'm there now, I think), and it's everything you say it is. And less.

Uncle Charlie, you know I read a lot of books, and it's common knowledge that you have to be a virgin to ride a Unicorn. Are these unicorns Charlielocks rents lesser unicorns with diminished morals??

Uncle Charlie is my favourite uncle of all. He is just the right amount of surly.

Uncle Charlie, I can't wait to hear the story about New Years in your neck of the woods!

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