As I read the Christmas holiday memoirs of famous dead writers I realize that their accounts of their holidays are often superior to those of my own.
One of the major differences is that classical writers seldom identified friends by entire name. They simply used initials, I suppose for fear of betraying a personal confidence.
I have decided to employ this technique for documenting our recent holiday season.
My wife, K., and I ( J.) felt that it might be pleasant to spend the Christmas season traveling in the country in a one-horse open sleigh since no one in the alphabet who lived in the city had returned our phone calls.
We had exhausted all 26 letters and were contemplating moving to Russia where they have an alphabet of 33 letters.
Because of death threats by certain mid easterners (such as Mr. O. b. L.), Ms. K. and I elected to avoid air travel. Additionally, since there was no snow in Los Angeles, Ms. K. also elected to travel by Acura. Worse, she elected to drive.
The Zs (alas, we were once again at the very end of the alphabet) had invited us to the wedding of M., their son, in San Jose. Obviously, the Zs desired M. and his bride (H.) to surround themselves with people who were honorable and uplifting.
The Zs were from Canada and knew only six other people in the United States. Fortunately, these six people (P., Q., 3 Rs and a W.) were all out of jail.
The wedding went off without a shot being fired other than a slight altercation between the parents of the bride and the management of the hotel that hosted the reception.
It was rumored that the affable father of the bride (Mr. KO) was a ruthless self-made millionaire. Before I could delve deeper into this matter, the hotel caught fire.
We left the city and headed for San Louis Obispo to visit Mr. and Mrs. B. who had O.M. staying with them.
O.M. (Oscar Myers) is a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig. The Bs adopted O.M. ten years ago when he was a cuddly 11 pounds. O.M. is still cuddly, albeit 225 pounds. Mr. B. proudly pointed out that the pig is smarter than a dog and just as friendly when he is not hungry.
The pig is hungry no more than a dozen times a day and if you are not between O.M. and his feed pan, he will not gore you. This is one of the reasons that the pig is no longer allowed in the house and Mrs. B. sleeps with a matched brace of stun guns under her pillow.
On the way back to Los Angeles we had planned on welcoming in the New Year with the Ls near Santa Barbara. However, en route to the wedding we had accepted an invitation for a Christmas Eve dinner with the Ls. (We assumed we would see Mr. and Mrs. L. twice within a single week.)
However, the J&Bs also had been invited to that Christmas Eve party. The conversation deteriorated when I (J.) became too deeply acquainted with the J&Bs and alluded to the many weaknesses of Ms. K. and her lunatic family.
For this reason, the Ls elected to tell us there would be no room for us at their New Year soiree as they were inviting the Bs and O.M.
Fortunately, some new initials, B. and T., who had just completed a house in the High Sierras, mentioned — in the course of innocent conversation — that we ought to drop in for the holidays if we were near them.
We simply made a 400 mile detour (or as B wrote in her journal “J. and K. fell upon us in the midst of chaos”) on the eve of the New Year. Ms. K. with her usual animal cunningness succeeded in jamming the transmission of the Acura so our new initials were compelled to let us stay in their guest room.
B. and T. have a manufactured house that was transported by helicopter to their site on a lovely five acre plot filled with evergreens. With its 14-foot ceilings and crown moldings, the home is one of the most beautiful residences we have ever been in.
We had a truly old-fashioned jolly holiday with B. and T.
Scarcely had ten days elapsed when Ms. K. noticed that our new hosts’ pantry was bare. We borrowed some cash from T. and got the Acura working and drove into a nearby town for groceries.
When we returned to our hosts we noticed that a helicopter was airlifting their house off the ground.
B. and T. (who were in their front room) waved and smiled to us from 400 feet above the ground as they disappeared into fluffy white clouds.
We contemplated waiting to see if the helicopter would return but as noted we had elected to avoid air travel during this holiday season.
We motored back to the city, determined to meet fresh initials in the New Year, our annual resolution for some years now.
See More: Travel Stories