An Alternative View of the Florida Keys
The Infamous Christmas Letters - 2000
Friends and Family,
say familiarity breeds� contempt.
Well. Lauren and Jon
now have 8 years of familiarity behind them and, as with all rats
trapped in close confines, forced to compete for the same questionable
resources, the inevitable vituperative disdain has set in for what
appears to be the duration. Having
said that, I can happily report that all is normal in the Cruciger
household and we are looking forward to ending what has been one of the
single worst years I can recall in a very long time.
As with all sinking ships we are abandoning the Keys for the
Holidays and heading south to Aruba over the Christmas break.
Perhaps the heat will have a soporific effect on our offspring
and suck the fight out of them somewhat.
Doubtful. But we can
The year 2000 began with a death in
the family. This was a very
hard letter to write. Most of you know that my father died on February 9th.
He spent Christmas with us in December and declared that my kids,
who I know for a fact are worse than I ever was, were great kids and I
was doing a fine job raising them. He mentioned that my British
relatives had asked after me and that he had explained to them that I
was a bit of a flake.
ďThat would have to make you Tony
the Tiger then, because I am doing a spectacularly abysmal job of
raising my kids.�
Right about then, Jon Jon finally
exploded in a wave of frustration at not being allowed to open presents
until Dave could get home off the midnight shift, ďMy life sucks.�
ďSee what Iím talking about?�
ďI happen to think itís very nice of you to wait for Dave
before the kids open the presents.�
At some point in life, probably after he divorced his second wife
Mary, Dad had gotten back his sense of humor.
He knew I wasnít keeping Lauren and Jon Jon from opening the
presents until Dave came home for Daveís sake.
I just have so few opportunities to torture them that wonít
call down the HRS on me and I have to grab every one of them as they
come along. The ďpresent
wait torture� puts the Joy back into Christmas for parents everywhere.
I canít get them to clean their rooms, but I have absolute control
over when the Christmas presents get opened.
Either PK or Precious chose that
moment to jump up on the kitchen table in a futile attempt to get me to
open a can of cat food. This
launched Dad into a subject that I had hoped he and Dave had exhausted
the night before. Cats. Dadís
cat Andy was a perfect cat. My
cats were something less than perfect - a lot less than perfect.
In fact, they are rotten. I
have inherited Andy, who was actually more my grandmothers� cat than
Dadís. This explains a
lot, by the way. Andy, the
perfectly behaved cat, is now completely ruined.
She has no claws, so her attempts at scratching the furniture �
using my cats as an example � are kind of cute.
The lack of claws also gives her no traction when she attempts to
jump up on counters and tabletops, thus rocketing her off the other end
of every surface sheís attempted.
The same cat that my grandmother assured me would not go out an
open door, attempts to go outside at every opportunity.
In short, Andy is now a normal cat.
We have spent the rest of the year
since then settling Dadís affairs under the screeching shrieks of his
ex-wife Mary. But those are
details in a life that should never be put on paper.
It simply defies description.
Jon, I have decided, is a cat.
He used up one of his nine lives over spring break.
In his endless quest to arrive everywhere five minutes before
everyone else, he took off ahead of Lauren and I, crossing A1A in
Flagler Beach and was struck by a car doing at least 35 mph.
The man didnít hit the breaks or even swerve and he launched
out of his car like a fury from hell screaming at me about the damage
Jonís little body had done to his car.
Moments like that seep through time for a lifetime.
I had my hand on Jonís chest holding him down and feeling his
heart beating frantically. I
had the cell phone in my other hand talking to the �911� operator.
Lauren was crying on a strangers shoulder.
(She loves Jon. She
just doesnít LIKE him.) And
here was this man, old enough to know better, angry about his car.
Fortunately, there was more damage to the car than to Jon.
Jon had a few scrapes and bruises and that was about it.
Nothing broken. Even
his skim board was undamaged. The
car, on the other hand had a broken windshield, dented front bumper, and
the side view mirror had been ripped off.
Jon 1. Car 0.
Eight lives to go.
This year the whole world knows
about our local politics. I
canít think of anything to add other than a note to those of you
overseas. The same thought,
integrity and American ingenuity go in to making and maintaining our
nuclear weapons as went into our managing our elections.
Everything in this country was built by the lowest bidder, and
only someone a little off in the head would willingly work for the U.S.
Government for the wages they pay.
Which brings me to my husband.
This year Dave succumbed to the final level of Yuppie life and
went on a guided hunt somewhere in the Carolinas.
I donít remember which one; I try never to know where he is if
at all possible. That way,
I can maintain complete believability when the police arrive at the door
looking for him. The deer
failed to kill something, Dave went back to his roots and went hunting
again the following month in Ocala.
Dave has a very nice truck.
This is important, stay with me now.
He went as a guest of a local family.
Nice people � a little off.
I will remind you that Ocala is the home of the Handy Way
Militia. Look back a few
letters to the Georges hurricane evacuation itíll come to you.
The familyís 19-year-old son was driving the family truck in
front of Dave, who was driving our truck.
The kid proceeded to stop in a mud hole and spin out his tires.
This had the effect of bathing Daveís truck in six-inch deep
mud and muck.
ďBoy. You gonna
piss that man off.� His father admonished him.
ďAwe Iím just funning himís
ďI suggest you stop.�
About then Dave had had enough and
kicked his truck into four-wheel drive and pushed the kid and his Dad
out of the mud hole � sideways � or so he says.
The kid was impressed. Dave
received several offers of marriage from under aged girls.
The kid cleaned Daveís truck.
Dave has now had a glimpse of what life might have been like had
he married his first girlfriend.
The good news for the year is that I am being published monthly
in Romantic Times Magazine. I
am writing a monthly journal on what itís like to get a book
published. RT is walking me
through the steps of publishing my first romance novel.
My first chapter will be online in January at www.RomanticTimes.com.
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12/20/2008 10:33:35 AM
|Easter Apology 2000|