Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

He got carded

Monday, November 21st, 2011

By Tiber 

As you know, this house is so big and with so many people working here, even the staff members have become family.

 So the security guys are still with us, even though Dad can’t afford to pay anybody what they were getting before. Glad as I am to have them, the security guys can still be sort of intimidating. Which I guess is the point.

Anyway, Ben is the head man and I think we all know his Achilles’ heel now.

As a former member of Mossad, Ben could probably kill you differently every day of the week. But recently it was his birthday. And the only card my mother could find in the house was a grossly sentimental one.

So she went ahead and presented it to him.

So overcome was Ben by my mother’s kindness and that “sweet leetle bunny” on the card, that he burst into tears and fled to the bathroom.

So you see, I know now that even I could bring Mr. Tough Guy down if I wanted.

I figure one of those big-eyed plushy toys wrapped in Hello Kitty paper would do it.

Yeah. I’ve still got it.

Happy Bastille Day, Happy Moo Day

Thursday, July 14th, 2011


By Tiber

Happy Bastille Day to everybody.

I’ve been to France. I like France.

I even went and saw where the Bastille used to be. I imagine the French are a little sorry now that their ancestors tore it down since it would be even better if you could go there today and see where it still is.

Minus the prisoners, of course.

And Happy Moo Day?

Well, some people have also declared today National Cow Appreciation Day!

For some reason, it seems to be honored on a number of other days too so maybe we should just celebrate National Cow Appreciation Month.

I’ve seen cows. I like cows.

My sister, Iris Nell, would, of course, say you ought to get out there and give a cow a kiss. I think that may be going a bit far.

But I suppose a small, heartfelt hug wouldn’t hurt.

And if you hug a French cow, all the better.

How would you know it was a French cow?

French cows say, ”meuh.”

Plus, they just dress better. 

Cheapy cheapy bang bang Part II

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

By Tiber

You may recall that last year on Independence Day, Dad said we couldn’t have real firecrackers because he was “concerned about our safety.”

We knew right then, of course, that his “concern about our safety with  firecrackers” just meant that he didn’t want to pay for them.

Now, this year, he’s not going to pay for them again.

His reason?

Well, since last year we were forced to pretend to have fireworks…now that’s traditional! We can’t win.

Unfortunately, this time, Dad also invited some friends to watch.

Once again, Dad coerced family members and staff to “be the fireworks” by banging on pans and running really quickly in and out of the woods waving flashlights covered in colored cling wrap.

As I said before, we’re not so much “going low-tech” as actually collapsing into “subterranean.”

Then, this year, to cap it, Dad actually allowed his grandchildren, the triplets, to write their own words to some John Phillip Sousa music.

Really, Dad? Come on! You know these people!

So, not surprisingly, after the “fireworks display,“ our friends were treated to patriotic tunes like, “Da-Da-Dee-Dum-Dum, It’s Time To Smell Your Feet.”

I don’t think I’m alone in saying that the audience, even though it was comprised of people who know us and seem to like us, didn’t look so much entertained as… perplexed.

I guess Dad saw it too.

So he went for our number one 4th of July crowd pleaser!

He had our butler, Brunty, dress up once again as the Statue of Liberty!

Oh, who am I kidding? Brunty could have dressed up as Genghis Khan. The point was, he was pushing a well-stocked liquor cart.

Some traditions just work better than others.

When you care enough to send the very best

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011


By Tiber

I haven’t mentioned this because, frankly, it was too damned disturbing.

The triplets worked forever on my brother Duncan’s Father’s Day gift. Then they unveiled it and the entire family went mute.

They had created a life-sized replica of some demonic entity that clearly worked full time as Satan’s primary henchman.

Mom didn’t know what to do with it.

On the one hand, the kids were so proud of their art. They’d worked so hard on it. Plus, they’d actually been considerate enough to give their Dad a present.

Still, Mom wouldn’t have the thing lurking in a room where any of us spent any time.

So the sculpture ended up in the front hallway, near the door, where only visitors are now suddenly jolted into thinking they’re about to be personally escorted into some fiery vortex to hell.

Today, though, finally realizing they were a little short in the “thanks” department, one of the triplets asked Duncan,

“Didn’t you like your Spiderman statue?”

“Spiderman statue?…OH! SPIDERMAN! Yes! Yes! I love it!”

We all jumped in with our own gratitude, of course.

It’s much better to accept that some relatives are just massively untalented rather than confirm that nagging fear that they really are small minions of Beelzebub.

Please pass the spinach

Monday, June 20th, 2011

By Tiber 

I hope you had a good Father’s Day. Ours had its ups and downs.

Since everyone’s short of gift money, Dad said we could all just sing or do a dance or a dramatic reading for him.

Mom was smart and she just dressed up like Dad’s favorite, Ann-Margret in “Viva Las Vegas,” so she didn’t have to speak at all.

The rest of us tried the singing and dancing and it was bad. The dogs didn’t just leave the room. They started packing small bags.

My brother, Kru, however, managed to come up with something that Dad really needed. In my previous post, I wrote about how we just heard on a recording what sounded like one of our ghosts saying the word “yam.”

Dad truly hates yams and he freaked.

But Kru thought there was something more on the recording. He took it to the ghost hunting team and they enhanced the audio.

And sure enough, they thought the phantom might be saying, “I am, I am,” or “I am what I am,” as if trying to announce and justify its presence. And it just sounded like “I yam” or “I yam what I yam.”

That sounded familiar to me. And, of course, I quickly figured out why.

Not only do we definitely have spirits in our house but now, clearly, we’re also being haunted by the ghost of Popeye.

The Big-Time Bunny Run goes on

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

By Tiber 

Since my brother’s triplets are now 11, Dad asked if they still wanted the Easter Bunny to go to all of the trouble of our usual “Big-Time Bunny Run.”

The kids got that look on their faces that some might say was pained disappointment. I say they were quickly communing with their demonic overlords but maybe that’s just me.

Either way, Dad knew that the egg hunt was still on.

Mom will only let Dad eat candy on holidays so, conveniently, he has always maintained that the Easter Bunny has a strict rule that all candy not found by the children during the hunt reverts to the dad.

The triplets, however, are so good at finding the candy that this year, Dad said the Bunny had, for some reason, generously dropped off an entire extra stash of it. What are the odds?

Dad said maybe he should just eat all of the extras but Mom jumped in and said, no, even though all the rest of us are grown, E. B. should hide this candy for us.

So the triplets had a big hunt outside and we had a big hunt inside. It was not pretty.

I’m thinking now that maybe we could hire ourselves out if someone has some densely-packed property they want cleared. We’d have the place flattened in no time if the owner just said there was chocolate in there.

Dad raced around like a crazed loon, trying to hide candy in successively harder to find places so that no kid would find it and he could have it.

But the only piece he managed to keep away from us was one he had stuck in his sock.

The triplets saw it, though, and they came after Dad from all directions. And the rest of us saw Dad disappear under a canopy of wildly waving little legs.

It looked like the Easter where Dad was, surprisingly, eaten alive by an octopus.

“Look into my cake. You’re getting very sleepy.”

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

By Tiber

When we were kids, Cook would make us these great birthday cakes, where each piece had a little wrapped-up charm in it that was supposed to tell your fortune. A coin meant that money was coming, a little ball meant you were getting on a sports team, that sort of thing. It was fun, even though we didn’t give it much thought later on.

This week, for the housekeeper Mrs. Brunty’s birthday, Cook made a charm cake for her and every member of the staff got a piece of it.

Gabby got the heart charm and two days later, a new guy asked her out. Mrs. Brunty got the coin and one day later, she got an insurance refund.

Brunty, the butler, got the four-leaf clover. And he had some good luck immediately when he suddenly changed course in the hallway and thus avoided being mowed down by the dogs, who flew in, playing a lethal game of snout-hockey with their Justin Bieber doll. (You can really get your fangs into those bangs!)

Taffy, the maid, had gotten the little fruit bowl charm. This was meant to signify some extra sweet snacks, I guess, but since Taffy is perpetually attacked by the Universe, in her case, it just meant that she ran into the doorframe of the pantry and a can of peaches fell on her head.

Still, this time, all of Cook’s cake charms had come true! And Taffy has become completely unhinged by this.

She’s afraid that Cook has developed some kind of dangerous power with desserts.

Hearing what Cook was making for the family last night, Taffy tried everything she could to foil her.

It didn’t work and we all ate Cook’s delicious Baked Alaska anyway. Now, though, Taffy is convinced that, by dawn, we’re all magically going to wake up in Anchorage. And we’re all going to be stoned.

To the great Scottish poet, Robbie Burns: We will never forget your “Auld Lang Syne” and we will never know what it means

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

By Tiber

Since the whole family stayed home  last New Year’s Eve, I didn’t realize that, this year, everybody had plans. Except for me.

And just as Santa sped away wishing “all a good night,” suddenly my brother Duncan and his wife were speeding away, yelling back, “You don’t mind taking care of the triplets, do you?” In their case, they were speeding away because they knew the answer would be, “I’m a normal human being, so yes! Yes, I do!” But it was too late.

I learned long ago, when babysitting the kids, never to ask them, “So, what do you want to do?”

What they want to do is clock your MPH when they push you off the roof in a greased sled.

What they want to do is calculate how large a living creature they can slip into your underwear before you start to scream and dance.

They also want to know if they can make it to Carmel or Cleveland or Cairo before you can escape from the cocoon they’ve sewn you into (made from Grandma Noni’s quilt) while you were napping.

So, instead, I said why don’t we play something passive, like Monopoly? This elicited their Damien/little girls from “The Shining” stare we all know which made me want to take the “Go Directly to Jail” card out of the Monopoly set and use it.

Knowing that tryptophan can make people sleepy, I begged Cook to make three turkeys before she left but she just laughed all the way to her car.

So, finally, I got the kids to admit that they’d like some music and I proceeded to sing songs from the “One Hit Wonders.” They didn’t realize there are hundreds of these and at last, their sweet, beady eyes began to close.

Unfortunately, they woke up just in time to see the New Year’s Eve Countdown in Times Square. Dammit! I know now they’re going to figure out some way to construct a giant ball as a school project. And then, they’re going to drop me.

Until then, however, whether you’ve had feast or famine, fortune or failure, fine wine or Funyuns, we wish for you an even happier New Year – where you make the world a better place for everyone that you meet.