Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas is a Time for Giving: Headaches

Cross-posted at

In the spirit of sharing, I thought I’d recount the scene of domestic holiday tranquility that was only marred by threats to my physical my dear brothers (the cop and the part-time small arms dealer), who lamented that I purchased irresponsible (and loud) gfits for their hoard of children (the western contingent of the Chinese Army).

Their children call me Auntie Lita (or in the words of the less-than-verbal ones, Antee Yeeda) and they call my house Wonderland. It’s the place where the rules (time, space, propriety, courtesy, gravity) don’t apply. Anything can happen and usually does and now that I’ve trained them not to squeal on me (have just _one_ snow cone party…at 1 am…using real snow…and strange snow cone toppings like prickly pear cactus syrup, and they just can't be counted on to hold their water: they blabbed and I was punished by some stern-looking adults).

Now, each year, I expand my plan to further ensnare my brothers’ expanding tribes to my evil will. I have no shame: I can buy their undying devotion with an assortment of toys that are turning my brothers into tired, old men.

I love it.

One year, last I think, one brother attempted to thwart my plan. He called my cell while I was out shopping for his boys. He heard the reign of thunder that was the noisy backdrop for one particular toy I was handling. He told me he would make it painful and leave my entrails along an overpass with a sign as a warning to all other aunties to be afraid–-that it would be a public service to all fathers everywhere. I thought policemen weren’t supposed to threaten to murder people, but just so we’re all clear here: I got scared and scarpered away from that section of the toy department as fast as my shopping cart would go. I think there were scorch marks on the floor.

Now, here’s the lay of the land: there are 6 of them. Six! Two girls and four boys.

The girls are girlie girls (no help for it), so I got them art stuff (messy, staining art stuff) to help advance their creativity (and to help them redecorate their mother’s house). For their two brothers (boys’ boys) I selected monster trucks with realistic sound. These trucks transform into monsters (much like my nephews did when they saw them). One monster toy smokes enough to set off detectors!

For my other brother’s two boys (the Baby Gap/Little Einstein poster tots), I gotten them musical instruments–xylophone, drum and, oh yeah, emergency vehicles with lots of fussy parts and lots of noise. One other shopper in the store, a harried dad, suggested I consider witness protection. I remarked: “These are educational toys, sir” and sidled away in a pretend huff.


Now, this means that, in order to give myself a fighting chance of survival I had to get excellent presents…for their wives. I’m now officially broke. It takes a lot of cheddar to manage this kind of deep-seated evil throughout the holidays.

One day, I’ll be made to pay. But not now, friends. Not now.

Entering an Auntie Protection Program, Sven Svensen