First of all I learned that in the Consumer Universe I am a novice, a beginner, I am without the survival skills one needs to compete in the shopping aisles on the day after Christmas.
People were mean and hostile- they road raged with shopping carts and a few of them were talking to their kids in a way I wouldn’t have talked to my own dog. My sister gave me her shopping cart and I hid at the end of an aisle were there weren’t any sale signs and tried to not make eye contact with the shoppers who strayed into such areas.
I did buy a couple of things- and when I was done I all but ran for the safety of my Sister’s car.
” Those people scared me.” said I- the former Mortician’s Apprentice, the writer of macabre, the woman who used to sit in the basement of a columbarium because it was warm down there and quiet.
” They are scary Anita. ” said my sister in a whisper. ” They are very, very scary. I should know. I do this all of the time.”
I backed away from my Sister and I was careful to not look her in the eye.
Next year I think I’ll stay home and skip the trip to the store. That experience unnerved me and no one should have to feel that kind of fear with ” Frosty The Snowman ” playing endlessly from a two dollar Christmas card ( half off ) hidden on a picked over shelf of discounted Christmas Decorations.
On Christmas Eve my Sister and our Mom and my nieces went to the cemetery to set flowers on our Dad’s grave.
It was cold that day- bright and cold.
My nieces joined my sister at the graveside and one of my nieces looked down at her Grandfather’s grave and didn’t quite shout:
” Grandma stayed in the car. She’s cold. She said to say hi.”
When they told me that, I cracked up.
Dad would have too.
When I got to my Sister’s place later that day I let my dog out of the car and he took a victory lap around her yard and then he peed on her inflatable Rudolph. I called him back before he could whiz on her Santa but I may have been to late. I can’t be sure. My eyes were closed. Seeing him pee on a happy Rudolph so wrong.
That night when she hit the switch and the inflatable decorations started to fill with air and come to life Rudolph took the longest.
We watched him struggle to come to life and then he simply gave it up and started to shrink.
” I think Hamish’s pee killed him.” I said wondering how many other people were stringing those words together on Christmas Eve.
My sister loves my dog. ” No. I saw Rudolph’s Soul leave his eyes yesterday. It’s sad. I wonder if I can get one on sale after Christmas?”
I looked down at Hamish and he was wagging his tail.
” And here people think I’m the morbid one. I am outing you guys. ” I looked down at my dog. ” You too.”
They both walked into the house and my sister was laughing- or it could have been my dog.
It was one of those nights when the odd and macabre came joined my fmaily Christmas Festivities and to be honest-
I wouldn’t have expected it to be otherwise.
My Niece and Hamish Macbeth- aka The Rudolph Slayer