I reached into the mailbox and pulled out my favorite piece of mail. It comes only once a year, yet getting it is like a visit from Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Hugh Hefner all at the same time. More so than any other item to land in my mailbox, this is the one I wait for.
No, it is not the Publisher’s Clearing House entry with its promise of coming riches – You may have already won fifty million dollars! And it’s not the Rigid Tool Calendar with its full dozen bikini clad models showing off an assortment of heavy duty tools. However, if one of these did find its way into my mailbox, I might have to rethink my definition of favorite. Nor is it the annual announcement for the Saint Basil’s Church flea market and bingo extravaganza, which is the always the official kickoff to the spring drinking season.
It’s the annual invitation to the Sullivan Thanksgiving dinner. My hands quickly tear into the envelope looking for the time/date/place of the big event. I invested every bit of two milliseconds considering not going, but thank God, that thought disappears just as quickly as it came.
The last time I didn’t get there, Bobby Jr. poured the punch bowl over Aunt Lily. Her hair fell halfway to China and her eyelashes dropped into the Tuna Casserole. Uncle John got drunk on Tequila and pissed in Aunt Beverly’s Petunia garden. It probably needed watering, but not in front of the kids.
Uncle Crawford found two of the prettier cousins in the upstairs bathroom French kissing. Fortunately they were both college freshmen and of legal kissing age. Sometime later, Crawford’s wife found him watching the cousins French kissing in the bathroom, and the fight was on
I vowed to never miss another.
One of the true joys in my otherwise boring life is seeing the three people I only get to see at this yearly soirée. First, there is Uncle David’s daughter, Cousin Janice; twenty-nine and recently divorced, her overly developed breasts will be spilling freely from a low cut dress she hand makes specifically for the dinner. Last year she caught me staring at her developments. She smiled and I turned red while adjusting my britches
I am seriously conflicted about my feelings for Janice
Then there is Uncle Brad’s oldest son, Daniel. We all knew he would grow up gay from the time he showed up at my eleventh birthday party with a Barbie doll. He will be there with his domestic partner, Bruce. Now, Bruce is a nice enough guy, he just makes poor choices in men.
Daniel has never been known for his ability to hold down a job so I suppose it is quite provident that Bruce’s success as a writer of erotic literature affords them a very comfortable lifestyle. I am assuming Daniel has a lot to bring to the relationship. (Filing that under things I don’t need to know.) I continue to ignore their invitation to the house in Key West.
Last, but certainly not least, there is the mother of all black sheep. My Father’s youngest brother, Charlie. He will show up fashionably late and more than mildly intoxicated. The roar of his Harley, signaling the grand entrance, is like the starting command at the Indianapolis 500. The party always picks up steam with his arrival. Considering that alcohol is a preservative, I expect Charlie to survive well into the hundreds.
These are three of my favorite people on the planet. By themselves, they are extremely entertaining. Throw them into the fray together and you get world-class entertainment. The brightest television minds of the twentieth century have spent millions of advertising dollars trying to capture this kind of comedy.
It is not so much what these three bring to the party, it is what these three bring out of the rest of the Sullivans. You see, Charlie hates Daniel because he’s gay. Daniel hates Janice because she likes Charlie. Janice likes Charlie because he has a big motorcycle. I like them all, but especially Janice because she has got big…. eyes. The rest of the Sullivan clan hates them all.
Three years ago as the festivities were nearing a climatic conclusion, Charlie ended up wearing his birthday suit and peeing in the pool. Aunt Lily fainted when Charlie shouted… “It’s the Fountain of Youth… wheeeeeeee!!” Frankly, I did think she was being a little melodramatic when the paramedics hauled her out on a stretcher.
My heart sank as I read Papa Sullivan’s words scribbled at the bottom of the invitation.
It should be a good dinner this year. Your Uncle Charlie went to jail for knocking over a taco stand. Bruce shot Daniel with a spear gun. He’ll live, but I think there’s trouble in Camelot. Your cousin Janice moved to France to do wardrobe for the Moulin Rouge.
A small tear formed at the corner of my right eye. That clinches it. I’m not going this year. The rest of the family is way too boring. Giving in to primal urges, I start thinking, How much is air fare to Paris?
This is a piece of pure fiction. No turkeys or Sullivans were harmed in the writing of this story. Any resemblance to any person, living or otherwise, is purely coincidental and unintentional. Should anyone in this piece resemble any family member, you have my utmost apologies and sympathy.