Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Welcome to this intrepid tale of joy and excitement, and much mirth and joy, and so on and so forth.  This tale centres on the gathering of two families, and the events that transpired during a Christmas meal.  But first, let me introduce the cast of this frivolous adventure.

Dramatis Personae:
Ariel: le me
Kyle: le brother
Sarah: le brother’s partner
Hayley: le Sarah’s sister
Sarah’s mom: le Sarah’s mom
Dad: le my dad
Mom: le my mom
Sarah’s dad: le Sarah’s dad

*It should be noted, at this point, that none of the parents have names, well of course they have real names in real life, but in this adventure, all parents shall be referred to as mom/dad.  Simply because it would be weird to call my mom and dad by their real names, and thus, in the interest of balance, Sarah’s mom and dad shall be referred to as ‘Sarah’s mom and dad’. 

I’m sure we are all familiar with the traditional Christmas cracker.  Two people engage in the act of savagely yanking each of the ends of the cracker, and lo and behold “CRACK” and out falls a paper Christmas hat (often in a pleasing shade of bright green, red or yellow) and the world’s worse useless items.  For last year’s Christmas, mom, dad and I, went up to Cambridge to Kyle and Sarah’s house for Christmas.  Sarah’s family was visiting from South Africa, so we had a big Christmas meal with all of us. 

The day progressed much as you would expect: open presents, squeal in delight at said presents, and progress to the Christmas day meal.  I shan’t go into much detail, but of course the food was delicious (how could it not be, we make fabulous lasagne).  And of course, the obligatory Christmas crackers were present.  At some point during the meal, the crackers were cracked, and we all donned our lovely Christmas hats, while some of us (i.e. me) looked in disgust at our useless cracker items (i.e. a tiny set of screwdrivers that could not possibly be of use to anyone but Thumbelina).  Some of us, however, received ingenious little problem solver thingies; basically just bits of metal wire twisted in such a way as to be impossible to separate.  Anyway, the emphasis here is on the paper hats…

At some point, once the meal had been consumed, mom and Sarah’s dad were cleaning in the kitchen, while the rest of us were still seated at the table, in various stages of Christmas laziness.  Dad however, was engrossed in trying to solve the problem solver thing.  Somehow, someone, somewhere, somehow, managed to get a paper Christmas hat perilously close to the flickering candle in the middle of the table.  As expected, the paper hat exploded in a ball of flames (…was set alight…).  I think Hayley or I were first to notice the fire ball of death blazing on the table, I just remember going “woah woah woah” (but with more emphasis). 
Sarah’s mom took one look at the fire ball and shrieked, while Sarah, ever the quick thinker, calmly stood and blew out the fireball like an oversized candle.  Of course, being made out of paper, the fireball wasn’t very substantial, so Sarah’s act of extinguishing the fire ball, promptly sent tiny flecks of paper ash in every direction, and of course, poor dad, who was sitting right in front of the fireball, peacefully engrossed in his problem solver, got a face full of ash.  Hayley and I also managed to NOT escape the wrath of Sarah’s fire ball extinguisher blast, and we too had little bits of ash rain down upon us.  Dad’s face of course, was priceless; the look of surprise and puzzlement, the problem solver clasped in his fingers, his face covered in (or rather sprinkled lightly with) ash.

And so ends this tale of Christmas and crackers and fireballs of death.  All who endured it lived happily to tell the tale, and Christmas was saved for all and everyone.  But more importantly, the pudding survived just fine.

**Due to the fallible nature of memory, the tale above may be prone to some alterations and artistic licensing.  But it was still pretty funny anyway.