Day 1 • Day 2 • Day 3 • Day 4 • Day 5 • Day 6 • Day 7 • Day 8 • Day 9 • Day 10 • Day 11 • Day 12
The moment I woke up this morning, I could sense something was wrong. The house was too still, too quiet. I ran downstairs, and to my utter surprise — and delight — I found only eleven people there.
Late last night, the lords had begun to tire from all the jumping, and one collapsed onto the couch before Lord Vader's allotted break time. Vader admonished him for his insolence as the poor sap tried to catch his breath,1 then made sure he never caught another one. Again, Vader’s henchmen carried the body off.
I assumed Vader had killed off everyone else the same way overnight, but a maid set me straight: There had been a mass exodus. Vader had stopped to argue with a dancer who had gotten in his way, and the few remaining lords leapt at the chance. All but one jumped ship, taking with them five dancers and three maids.2
The one lord who stayed behind has been matching Lord Vader leap for leap ever since. He prefers we call him Michael Flatley, rather than his formal title, Lord of the Dance. I prefer he put on a shirt.
Unfortunately, the house didn’t remain quiet (or relatively empty) for long. Just before I left for work, eleven men in kilts arrived at our door carrying bagpipes. I let them in, and, not wanting to be around for what happened next, promptly ran for my car.
Denise called me at lunch to fill me in on the morning’s events. When the plumber arrived to stop the flooding in the basement, the Scots had cursed at him unintelligibly until he fled. Then they piled their bagpipes by the door and headed downstairs.3 They repaired the leaks, started pumping out the water, and then began to completely rework all of the plumbing. Plus, they insulted Denise (from what she could decipher), made unkindly remarks to the four remaining dancers, and ceaselessly harangued the pipe-laying geese for not belonging to the Pipers’ Union. Just before she headed back to work, Denise caught a couple of them conversing with the mafioso parrot in hushed tones while eyeing the geese. I told her I’d get home as soon as I could.
I begged out of an afternoon meeting and headed home. Though I searched every room in the house — and the oven — I couldn't find the two pipe-laying geese anywhere. Everyone I asked clammed up on me. Oh, and the basement now looks like one of those old Windows screen savers from the ‘90s.
All these pipes and not one giant plumber-eating plant among them? What a gyp.
I thought about asking someone from Jim’s Plumbing — that’s the new van parked across the street today &mdash if they’d be willing to strip all this piping out in a couple days, but then I remembered my last credit card had been shredded earlier in the afternoon, and my last two checks had bounced. Instead, I decided to drink. Heavily.
And here I thought Christmas was supposed to be a time of joy, full of holiday cheer and whatnot.4 Well, it’s not a time of joy. It’s a time of pain and death and far too many birds.
Only one more day. One more lousy, stinkin' day. It can’t get here soon enough.
1 “Nooooooooooooooo!” (He didn't actually say this when it happened two years ago, but I was given creative license for the rewrite.)
2 I asked the rest of the maids why they had stayed. They said they hadn’t finished their drinks yet.
3 Sonya, on the other hand, stayed upstairs and spent most of her day attacking the bagpipes.
4 Especially the whatnot.