Well, I had a nice Christmas day, and if you observe Christmas, I hope you did too. I’m not the biggest Christmas fan. Left to my own devices, I’d probably swap a gift or two with my loved ones and then spend the day hanging out quietly at home or going to a movie.
But my family makes a big deal out of it, so I go along. It’s interesting to be down in Georgia again. My relatives have been coming out to Seattle a lot lately, so it’s been two years since I visited. Max tells me that just a few short hours after we stepped off the plane, my southern accent was back in full force. I believe him – it took me some time to un-learn it when I moved north, but I didn’t want to sound like a hick. Thus, if you see me within a few days of my return Wednesday, don’t be surprised to hear me drawling and ya’ll-ing…
Notable moment: Max and I were at a large family party being given by my mother’s husband’s daughter. (That’s a mouthful, isn’t it? But saying “my stepsister” seems odd, given that my mom married this man when I was in my mid-twenties, and I hardly know her.) Anyway, suffice it to say that this lady and her husband are both gracious and genteel people, if rather conservative, and definitely not the sort to whom one would make lewd jokes. Max and I and a half dozen other people were sitting around the enormous mahogany dining-room table, finishing dessert after a buffet luncheon. Everyone was perfectly groomed and dressed in the usual way of well-to-do Atlantans, and everyone was, of course, on their very best social behavior.
Our host – who has the air of a man who might actually be a lot of fun if you got him alone and gave him a few drinks – was commenting on his impatience with their rambunctious pedigreed dog.
“You need to give Daisy her Christmas present,” his wife observed.
“I did!” He explained to the rest of us that he’d bought the dog an electric collar – the kind that gives the dog a small shock when it barks, thus inducing it to be quiet. Max and I exchanged glances. I own an electric dog collar, too. But I don’t put it on canines. I strap it around the genitals of human boys and zap them. It’s big fun.
The host went on.“And I put it on her, but it’s not working, Daisy's still out there barking like crazy.”
Without missing a beat, Max piped up. “Maybe she likes it.”
There was a momentary silence and then a titter of nervous laughter around the room, and I elbowed him under the table. My step-brother-in-law gave Max a look. “We’re not going to get into that conversation.”
But one corner of his mouth twitched.