It was quite a Christmas

Published 7:25 am Thursday, December 31, 2009

Oh, what a Christmas it was.

Two wise guys surprised their 65-year-old, semi-blind grandfather with a special:  The latest edition of Playboy magazine. Not only can’t I read the stories, I can’t even see the pictures.

Warning:  If at all possible, do not travel in a SUV to relatives for a Christmas celebration with a large dog who needs a bath and a couple of Gas-X.  That’s what I did.  Fortunately it was a one-way trip, and he didn’t have bad breath.

I was waiting in line at Mernards with some power tools for my girlfriend, when I ran into a sailor home on leave from the Navy.  Boy, how things have changed since I was risking life and limb, protecting America in the hostile San Diego Harbor.  He told me this story about today’s Navy:

The Navy Chief noticed a new seaman and barked at him, “Get over here! What’s your name sailor?” “John,” the new seaman replied. “Look, I don’t know what kind of bleeding-heart pansy crap they’re teaching sailors in boot camp nowadays, but I don’t call anyone by his first name,” the chief scowled. “It breeds familiarity, and that leads to a breakdown in authority. I refer to my sailors by their last names only; Smith, Jones, Baker, whatever. And you are to refer to me as ‘Chief’. Do I make myself clear?” “Aye, Aye Chief!” “Now that we’ve got that straight, what’s your last name?” The seaman sighed. “Darling, My name is John Darling, Chief.” “Okay, John, here’s what I want you to do …..”

My 4-year-old grandson Zeke was worried about Santa coming in his house while he slept on Christmas Eve.  Luckily, “heavily connected” Dr. Joel Schieck has performed dental work on Santa Claus, as well as dignitaries from the Eisenhower administration, and was able to convey Zeke’s concerns to the big fellow.

Early Christmas Eve afternoon, Santa was able to stop at Zeke’s house and calm his fears.  They negotiated a presents for cookies exchange that would not wake him up.

Thanks Doc.  I hope Santa left you an extra toothbrush under the tree.

Everybody has their own Christmas memories and that’s what makes the holiday so memorable.

My favorite memory outside of the family came at the Saturday Dec. 19 matinee performance at the Paramount Theater of Michael Veldman & Friends.

They are simply the best.

From my second-row seat view, I was amazed to see Mr. Veldman do the splits in tights.

Personally, I thought Brian Bawek and Erin Schumacher were just so-so……wonderful on stage.  In my book, this is the fantastic four for the holidays, anywhere.

Now, it’s New Year’s Eve. Why it seems like only a decade ago I was a part of Spruce Up Austin’s planting of the Millennium Maple along the Mill Pond Pathway in Horace Austin Park.

Fortunately I won’t be participating in any midnight tree-plantings tonight.

As a public service to all, I would like to offer these tips—compliments of David Letterman—for celebrants:

Top 9 Signs You’re At A Lame New Year’s Eve Party

1. To give it a Times Square feel, everyone is groped and pick-pocketed

2. The ”Party Hats” look suspiciously like stolen traffic cones

3. There’s a “Happy 1995″ sticker on the packet of shrimp you’ve been eating all night

4. It’s Jan. 6

5. Prison regulations require lights out at 10 p.m.

6. The guests have decided to start the midnight countdown at 10,000

7. At midnight everyone gathers around to watch your Uncle Earl’s pants drop

8. You hear a guy doing a count down before using the bathroom

9. The ”Champagne” tastes suspiciously like apple juice mixed with Alka Seltzer

Happy New Year!