Posts Tagged ‘Holidays’

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.

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.

It’s February 15th! That means it’s “National Narcissus Day!”

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

“Narcissus” by Caravaggio

By Tiber

I know other people have talked about this sort of thing but, being single myself, I say it’s time we got serious about it.

I hereby declare that the day after Valentine’s Day is now officially “National Narcissus Day!”

Everyone knows you’re bombarded with the endless “here a couple, there a couple, everywhere a couple, couple” in the approach up to Valentine’s Day, so even if you were fine before, you can’t help but end up feeling a little depressed.

But now you have something of your own to look forward to! The 15th of February is now “National Narcissus Day,” celebrated exclusively and with delightful self-absorption for all of the single people out there.

And yes, your couple friends have to buy you a present. God knows, you’ve spent more on them, what with wedding gifts, bachelor party gifts, shower gifts, housewarming gifts, baby gifts.

Granted, on Valentine’s Day, you still won’t have sex or physical affection or warm nurturing or any of that human stuff but hey, we live on a material plane as well and on “National Narcissus Day,” be comforted by all of the material things that you do have!

You get sole possession of the remote! You get the whole bathroom! You get the middle of the bed! You get all of the liquor and all of the food! And you never have to share!

So call up your couple friends and let them know!

Candy would be fine.

Knock yourself out on Boxing Day

Monday, December 27th, 2010


By Tiber

The day after Christmas is Boxing Day, where one of the Victorian customs was to give all of the servants a day off.  This year, everybody who works for my parents made use of it and took off.  At least, we hoped they had. This house is so big, you know we’ve already found one unknown person up in the attic. Over in the massive staff wing, there could be an unknown settlement of villagers, for all we’d know.

It’s very rare when we go over there at all but being pretty sure that everyone, including Dad, was gone for the day, the rest of us decided to go over to the big kitchen and make something to eat.

Mom offered to do it but instantly, everyone else leaped in, saying it was our treat, etc., anything to keep the world’s worst cook away from the food.

I remember when I was about 7 and all of the moms were bringing food to a holiday party at school. Mom gamely attempted some fudge but it ended up, no lie, looking partially green. She said maybe if she put a red ribbon on it, it would just look “Christmasy.” I said I really didn’t think so. So she stopped at a restaurant in town and had them make up some salmon roll-ups, I think it was, for me to take to school instead. Of course, the other 7 year-olds took one look at those and I knew right then, they would have preferred the green fudge.

Anyway, we kept Mom, the chef, out of the kitchen and then, of course, quickly realized that the rest of us weren’t that much better. Cook didn’t have anything you could just heat up. She only had ingredients you would have to assemble. This would be as bad as making food from IKEA.

In the mop closet, we did find some of the cans of Spam Dad keeps trying to foist on us but we left those there.

Somebody suggested we make S’mores but, thankfully, Iris Nell knew that they wouldn’t work with baking chocolate, which was all that Cook had.

Frustration set in and I’m not proud to admit this but all we ended up with was a food fight (which we did clean up afterwards). Still, it was wasteful, pointless, incredibly juvenile and more fun than anyone had had all day.

Afterwards, we went into town and just bought Mom some flowers. She barely eats anyway and I think the flowers pleased her more.

Silent Night, Happy Night

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

By Tiber 

You may remember that last year at Christmas, Dad found a box of real 19th century clothing up in one of the attic rooms and proceeded to dress us up as Charles Dickens-style carolers so we could try to make some money at the mall.

Of course, there wasn’t enough of the 19th century clothing to go around, so Dad had to raid a box of 1920’s and 30’s clothing to fill in. Vanessa ended up looking more like a hooker in a speakeasy and Kru looked more like Scrooge’s accountant so this alone should have tipped us off that the project was doomed.

We got to the mall and auditioned out on the floor, only to realize, belatedly, that none of us knew all of the words to a lot of the carols. Dad panicked on “Oh, Tannenbaum” and instead started singing about his old college friend, Joe Tannenbaum.

And even with “Jingle Bells.” somebody replaced “riding in a one-horse open sleigh” with “riding in a Porsche Cabriolet,” which we then had no choice but to follow. Dad was furious and said later that we’d taken a lovely song about festive bells and turned it instead into a Christmas carol about German engineering.

In spite of it all, though, Dad optimistically thought that we might still get a call from the mall for a return appearance this year. That call did not arrive.

So Dad called all of us together around the piano here at the house and asked if we wanted to sing, just with the family. He turned around to pick up some sheet music and all twelve of the rest of us had disappeared instantly, like mist in a forest.

When we don’t want to do something, we can all vanish into thin air, thick air, medium-sized air faster than a frog tongue on a mosquito. I think we would all make very good spies.

So whether your family is singing well, singing badly or even not at all, Happy Holidays to you and have a New Year that is bright.

Gobble Gobble. Or not.

Thursday, November 25th, 2010


By Tiber

As you may recall, last year, in order to save money, Dad bought cases of Spam and tried to get us to eat it. Consequently, Dad still has cases of Spam.

This year, what with over 20 people here for Thanksgiving just with family and staff alone, Dad suggested that rather than buying an expensive turkey, we could model the Spam to look like one. Cook wouldn’t participate for professional – and sane – reasons, so Dad ended up doing it himself. Dad is no sculptor and the end result really looked a lot more like a bulbous pink stomach that had somehow escaped from a Pepto-Bismol commercial.

We still have the two peacocks, so my sister, Iris Nell, instantly jumped up and announced that anybody getting any ideas at all about them would have to kill her first.

So we made a meal out of the side dishes. My brother, Kru, sat there morosely trying to build a turkey out of his mashed potatoes and looked more and more like Richard Dreyfuss, in “Close Encounters,” after the aliens had zapped his brain.

Someone suggested that, for fun, the triplets could make those turkey pictures where you draw an outline of your outstretched hand. This was quickly vetoed. Not only are they about six years too old for that but knowing them, if you add a lack of protein into their everyday selves, they could easily just end up eating their own hands.

Finally, my sister, Erin, said,

“The point is, we’re all together!”

And instantly, people were yelling out things like,

“It’s not my fault!”

“I tried to lock him in his room but he got out anyway!”

“I told them Thanksgiving was in December this year but it still didn’t work!”

And then, we all realized that she’d meant it as a good thing.

And, truthfully, it was.

So Happy Thanksgiving from all of us to all of you and yours.

Cheapy cheapy bang bang

Monday, July 5th, 2010

By Tiber

Dad said we shouldn’t have any fireworks on the grounds this year, “for safety reasons.” It’s always a sure bet that when Dad says he’s concerned about our safety, what he really means is that he doesn’t want to pay for something. Either way, he insisted we could have just as much fun having a low-tech 4th of July.

The audience consisted of Mom, Duncan and Honor’s 10 year-old triplets, Honor, Jasper the renter and even the rarely-seen-out-of-her-room Aunt April, who, wisely, sat far away from Jasper since, as we all remember, she mistook him for an intruder the night he arrived and attacked him with a pitchfork. Even so, Jasper kept eyeing her, probably worrying that she still might be carrying a smaller, fold-up version of a pitchfork in one of her pockets.

So our celebration began and we had some John Phillip Sousa music which went off fine. Dad, Vanessa, Duncan and Iris Nell then proceeded to do patriotic readings and those were audience-pleasers too.

But then, we got to the fireworks substitutions, which consisted of Dad covering a bunch of flashlights with different colors of cling wrap and having us run really fast, in and out of the woods, with them. At the same time, Mrs. Brunty, the housekeeper, and all of the maids, beat on pots and pans and shook large pieces of foil for the “booming” sound effects. I think, truthfully, at this point, our efforts were not so much “low tech” as “subterranean.”

Kru and Iris Nell soon collided and Kru hit a tree and chipped a tooth. I’m always reminded of Mom going to a parent/teacher meeting for our youngest sister, Erin. She earnestly asked if there was any way for the school not to teach Erin anything about genetics, in the hope that at least one her children wouldn’t live in fear that she’d turn out like the rest of us.

Time arrived for our finale where Brunty, the butler, only had to walk out as the Statue of Liberty, holding aloft a sparkler. Unfortunately, since it was dark, he first fell into the lily pond.

His sparkler was doused so he grabbed the first wooden thing he saw, in hopes of lighting that as the torch instead. Unfortunately, when Brunty came staggering out, with his drenched clothing clinging to his skin and lily pads plastered onto his skull, he looked less like The Statue of Liberty and more like the Swamp Thing, brandishing a croquet mallet.

The triplets, after a lifetime of terrifying everyone else remotely in their orbit, actually got scared themselves and ran!

But maybe this is a way for them to learn empathy.

Oh, who am I kidding? I must still be blinded by the mind-blowing spectacle of all of those flashlights, so excitingly rolled up in Saran Wrap.