The whole house was ablaze with Christmas lights, Annie and Annie Jr. had spent the entire day stringing hundreds of tiny lights all over the house.   Duh-Wayne and Spam had an old RV, parked in the driveway and Duh-Wayne was outside dressed in a bathrobe and a hat with ear flaps; a hose in his hand screaming randomly, “Poop pot is full!”

Annie Jr. was covered in the brown colored clay, with a Santa hat on, he was running around screaming “Hi dee Ho!”   He was riding on the Santa Commode this year in Annie’s Poop Factory Christmas Parade.   He was Mr. Annie the Christmas Poop.  He rose out of the commode and tossed turds with little Santa hats, to all of the good children.   Spam made the Santa hats and Duh-Wayne, well he made the rest of it.

Annie crawled in my lap and screamed over the blasting Christmas music and the smoke alarm that kept going off because she  was baking Christmas cookies.   “Santa comes tonight, Slam!”

“I know Annie, I know,” I replied.   “You have been rigging your trap for Santa for over a week now.”

Annie snuggled in my lap wearing her favorite ‘ugly’ Christmas sweater.    On the front it was red with pieces of coal as a pattern.   It said, “Naughty!”  underneath was a picture of me, a pretty unflattering picture.   On the back it was green with presents as a pattern.   It said, “Nice,” and a picture of herself underneath.

She cuddled down in my lap more, laying on her back.   She was licking a huge candy cane and it was all sticky and covered with hair.   She kept whacking  me in the head with it, then pulling it back quickly taking half my hair with it.

“Tell me about Christmas back in the olden day?”  she purred kneading me with her claws.

Annie Jr. could not miss out on that one and he jumped into my lap, still dressed as Santa Poop.  He even smelled like poop and I could see bits of corn in the clay.   I was beginning to wonder if it was clay.   But again we had corn last night for dinner and I thought there were some left overs.

“Tell me the time, you and your sisters, got let out of school early and a blizzard started, and Mr. Edwards brought gifts in his undies.”  Annie purred.

“Annie that was little house and those were two different episodes.”

“Well what about that time a lady had a baby in the club house and that old guy was evicting you and the gang from the junk yard.”

“Annie that was Fat Albert.”

“How about that time all of the other reindeer picked on you about your ugly red nose?”

“Annie that was Rudolph. You watch way too much tv.”

“Was there TV’s when you were a girl?” Annie asked seriously.

“Yes Annie, I am not that old.”

“Wow I am surprised you had electricity.” she responded.

“Did you watch Christmas Specials?” she asked.

“Sure.” I said, relaxing even though Annie was tearing out another wad of hair out of my head with the candy cane which looked more like a hair cane by then, but was still just as hard.

“Like what?”  she persisted.

“Rudolph, Snoopy,  The Grinch.” I began.

Annie listened and as she listened, she began to smile; kind of like she was getting an idea, an awful idea, a wonderful awful idea.  “What kind of presents did you get?  A penny, a orange, a tin cup and red mittens like when you were a sprig in Tennessee.”

“Annie, I never lived there.  I was not Laura!”  I yelled.

“I know that Nellie.” Annie replied.

I shook my head.   “I got toys and stuff.” I said, ignoring her tv alter-reality.

“What kind of toys?”  Annie asked, sitting up at attention, pulling out her cell phone.  Annie Jr. grabbed his too.

“Umm, well I got a baby alive once,” I said.

“That isn’t great,” Annie screamed.   “Those are a dime a dozen, K8 has three of them!”

“Mine was different.” I said.  “Once I got a easy bake oven.”

“Common!” Annie said.

“I got Barbies,”I said.

“Really?” Annie asked.  “What ones?”

“Well one; her hair curled.  I had a growing up Skipper and if you turned her arm, she got taller and her chest grew.  And a Dusty doll and her horse Nugget.  That was the year I got the Barbie tent.”  I said feeling nostalgic.   “And little people play sets.   I had a couple of those.   Aunt Paulie got a camper one year and I got a boat.”

“Aunt Paulie got stuff too?” Annie asked in surprise.

“Yes, of course!”

“Like what?” Annie asked.

“She got a milky the marvelous milking cow one year.”

“And your brother Sigh got stuff?” Annie asked.

I sighed and nodded.

“Like?” Annie prodded.

“GI Joe’s.” I replied.  “My Barbie’s dated Joe, they were big back then.”

“Boys played with dolls?” Annie asked.

“Yeah, I guess.” I replied.

“Is that all?” Annie asked.  “Is that all you got over the years?”

“No we always got lots of stuff.   We opened for a long time.   Santa was pretty generous.”

Annie smiled her smile again.   Then said, “Got it made in the shade.” She jumped off my lap and was soon off chatting with Duh-Wayne on the cell phone who was still standing outside by the RV emptying his port-a-potty into the street because his hose would not reach to the sewer hole.

A short time later they were pushing a ramshackle sleigh up the stairs into the time machine.   Annie was painted green wearing a Santie Claus suit and Duh-Wayne had an antler tied to his head and on his nose was a red clown nose.   Annie Jr. was with them still dressed as poop.    Sometime later, I heard the time machine banging and clanking and it continued for quite a while.

Hours later, they all returned.   The ramshackle sleigh was filled to the top with wrapped gifts.   They pushed it out into the room and then pushed out another, and another, until 18 sleighs filled the room.    They all sat down and began to unwrap stuff.

“Look at this one Mom-Mom, it’s a star trek play set with all the characters.” Annie Jr. screamed.

“Really?” Duh-Wayne yelled.   “I wanted one of those!  Hey look an SSP race car! I had one of these.”

“This stuff is worth a millions!” Annie screamed, emptying a full stocking out on the bed. “Tooth brushes, who would want these?  Wait some comic books and a can of slime?”

“How about Cabbage patch dolls?” Annie Jr. asked.

“What year was that?” Annie asked.

” ’84,” Duh-Wayne announced.   “These are legit.”

“Annie where on earth did you get all of this stuff?” I yelled.

“We went back through time and Grinched  your house and Aunt Paulie’s for a few years.”  Annie said.

I looked at Annie.  “Annie that time machine doesn’t work.   What are you planning on doing with all this stuff?”

“Selling it on the internet, it’s all in the original boxes,” Annie said.  “Before you and your brother and Aunt Paulie got your grubby hands on it.”

“Oh Annie!” I sighed tired of her time machine stories.   I picked up a gift.   The paper looked familiar and the tag had my name on it and it looked like my mother’s handwriting.    I opened it and it was a doll I had once gotten for Christmas, just a plain old baby doll that was not popular or anything but I had loved her nonetheless.   I shook my head, it couldn’t be.   Coincidence.   It had to be.

Duh-Wayne, Annie and Annie Jr. were still taking inventory.    “An Emergency lunch pail and a Snow White one.” I heard.

“Wait we never got those for Christmas!” I said, proving they were lying.   I had an Emergency Lunch pail and Paulie had a Snow White one but we did not get them for Christmas.

“Slightly used,” Annie continued.

“If we stick the Emergency Lunch pail with the dolls and the squad and Rampart General, we can sell it as a whole lot!” Duh-Wayne said.   “Or were we selling the play sets separate.   That Walton Doll house will bring a pretty penny, I can tell you that.” Duh-Wayne said.

Now I knew they were lying.   I had a the two main character dolls from the show Emergency but not the squad nor a hospital.   I didn’t even know there was one and no one I knew got the Walton House although I kind of wanted it.

“I didn’t get all that.” I said.

“Didn’t you, Slam?” Annie suggested.  “You would if Annie was writing your list to Santa!”

“Oh Annie!” I yelled.   Still not convinced.   I left the room and let them fool around with their stuff.    ‘Time Machine; bah!”  I said to myself.

Later Paulie called.   “Hey remember the year you got that milking cow for Christmas,” I asked.

“I remember wanting it,” Paulie said.   “But don’t you remember, the Grinch stole our stuff every year.”

I hung the phone up, walked to the bedroom and climbed into my hairy pig smelling bed with Christmas Carol, the St. Bernard and the Turkey, and pulled the covers over my head, wishing the whole season could just be over.   Life with Annie was way too overwhelming sometimes.

“Pass the roast beast, Duh-Wayne!” I heard Annie yell.






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