Saturday, December 11, 2010

Because It Wouldn't Be Christmas Without the Ghost of Bob Marley

We've ushered in the Christmas season with a little Scrooge.  I love to read A Christmas Carol out loud and the children suffer through it quite nicely.  The little ones like it the best.  Anyway, we rented the movie, the one where Scrooge is played by George C. Scott (my favorite Scrooge). Jasper was a little nervous, worried he'd be scared by the ghost business and lose face in front of the big brothers.  So when the first chain rattling apparition appeared, Jasper peeked out from behind a sofa cushion and proclaimed, "That's the ghost of Bob Marley!" Everyone laughed, of course, and Jasper really hates it when that happens. But I made them all stop and said, "No, mon. That be the ghost of Jacob Marley." But he was close.

Sometimes Jasper isn't close with his proclamations. Sometimes he is Right On.  Are you sensing another Christmas tale coming up?  Because you'd be right.  Let's see...

Once Upon a Time - as in just a couple of days ago, the Sardines accompanied the Daddy Sardine to Corpus Christi, where he would be working for a few days.  They do this fairly regularly, and always stay in the same place  - a place with an indoor pool that is Very Important to the Little Fishies- and a free happy hour that is Very Important to Sardine Mama.

Now, one morning Sardine Mama was walking to the indoor pool when she was accosted by a lovely woman. "Excuse me," said the lovely woman.  "Is that your family in there?" she asked, while pointing at the pool area on the other side of the glass partition.

Sardine Mama glanced nervously behind the lovely woman.  It was quite noisy in the pool.  A long-haired boy was dunking a much smaller boy under the water - and the smaller boy wasn't going under without a good fight. There was a lot of splashing and shouting and hair pulling....and some of what might be considered "minor" cursing. There was also a bald man swimming with two smaller children clinging to his back, both wearing goggles, one with a snorkel, and both screaming hysterically - one because he was slightly terrified of getting splashed and the other because she is just made that way.  It sounded as if there were at least 100 people in the pool.

After a moment of hesitation, Sardine Mama went ahead and claimed her family.  Somebody had to, after all, and she swallowed in nervous anticipation of what was to come next.  Would it be a complaint about language? Volume? Long hair? Would it be the ever so tiresome Why Aren't They In School question?

It was none of those things.  The lovely woman started with, "Don't be alarmed..." 

Now when Sardine Mama hears this, she generally becomes alarmed.  Was there a herd of sardine-eating piranhas in the pool?  Had the woman accidentally spilled a vat of acid?  Let loose a great white shark?

"Don't be alarmed," she repeated. "But my husband is in the pool's bathroom putting on a Santa suit."

Sardine Mama wasn't anticipating that.  Not at all.  She didn't know whether or not she should be alarmed, and she didn't know what to say.

"The children are welcome to say hello, of course," the lovely woman said.  "But please, they mustn't sit on his lap."

Sardine Mama was quite certain that there was no way in hell that the little sardines would be sitting on the Bathroom Santa's lap. 

"Because they're wet, you see," said the woman. "We wouldn't want them staining Santa's lap. We're late for a party."

Sardine Mama assured her there would be no wet lap sitting and the woman seemed relieved to hear it.  Then she looked down, noticed Sardine Mama's bare feet and said, "Oh my!  What a beautiful tattoo!"  Because it is, that's why.  And then she proceeded to talk about all of her tattoos, because apparently, beneath the Reindeer sweatshirt, Mrs. Claus was quite inked up.  Eventually she stopped the tattoo talk and yelled, "Oh! Here he comes! Here comes Santa!"

Sardine Mama turned to see a very rumpled and sweaty Santa emerge from the pool's tiny (and steamy) bathroom. Silence descended upon the pool area.  The formerly noisy little girl sardine blew water out of her snorkel and lifted up her mask, completely speechless. 

"Ho ho ho!" said the Bathroom Santa, waving to the Swimming Sardines. 

None of them waved back.  It was so quiet, you could hear the water dripping off of the long-haired boy's...long hair. Finally, the six-year-old sardine - the one who goes by the name of Jasper - said, "Wow.  This is weird."  And then they all stared as the Bathroom Santa unceremoniously dodged puddles on his way out the door.

The End.

See what I mean? Jasper was right on the money with that one.  It was weird.

Would you like to hear another little hotel tale?  You would?  Well, you're in luck because I have one.

At the Entirely Free Happy Hour, we are in the habit of downing massive quantities of popcorn and goldfish while drinking sodas, Shirley Temples, and the occasional glass of merlot or even a tequila sunrise.  And I had just ordered Camille's second round of Shirley Temples (with extra cherries), when the bartender accidentally spilled the bottle of cherry syrup stuff and it literally shot out towards me like we were meant for each other.  It hit my hair, dribbled down my glasses rather pathetically, and then did a slow-mo splash and splatter down my Brand New Favorite Chocolate Brown Blouse.  Everyone at the bar was stunned and speechless in the exact same way you would be stunned and speechless if you were innocently entertaining yourself with a dip in the pool and a gigantic Real Life Santa were to emerge from the bathroom. 

"Oops!" said the bartender.  Oops?  Are you kidding me?  But you know what?  I am a really, really nice person.  I assured her it was okay.  I understood it was an accident.  I delivered the Shirley Temple to Camille - who took one look at me and went back to her popcorn like so what?  you want to stun me you've got to find a santa suit...seriously... And then I went and changed and thew my blouse in a sink of cold water.  The boys, being boys, didn't notice that I a) had arrived at the table with bright red syrup dripping down my face and hair, or that b) I had returned to the table a few moments later with wet hair and different clothes.  They didn't know what happened until they heard me telling their dad about it after we picked him up to take him to dinner.

"When did that happen?" they wanted to know.  Whatever.  They listened to the story as I recounted it and when I got to the "oops" part....Joel said, "Well, if that had been me spilling something like that I wouldn't have just said oops.  I would have done the honorable thing..."

Oh boy, I it comes...

"I would have pulled out my samurai sword and stabbed myself in the scro...wait a minute..."

"Sternum!" yelled Jeff. 

"Yeah," Joel laughed.  "I didn't think scrotum sounded right..."

So there you have it.  Just another blog post about Bob Marley's ghost, bathroom Santas, spewing syrup, and scrotum stabbings.  More holiday stories to come! We're just getting started over here...oh! And my birthday is on Wednesday.  I bought myself a present.  It's finally out and just in time for the holidays!  The new Red Hot Chili Peppers book! Woot!  Because what would the holidays be without a coffee table book with naked Flea pictures? Life is good.


  1. As I am laughing at this great post I am regaled with Jack's opinion of my blog.
    "Mom, Miss Carol writes funny cool stuff. You just post lame baby pictures. Why can't you write about funny stuff like Miss Carol?"

    See? Jack appreciates you!

    This was a great post, and so sorry about the shirt. At least now everyone knows what to get you for your birthday next week!!

  2. I was once in a testimony meeting in church, which is like open mike Sunday. A woman got up and thanked everyone for their prayers, meals, and kind words as her husband recovered from an injury to his scrotum. She went on to say that even though his scrotum was still causing him pain, he had come to church that day. She continued to go on about his scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum...
    After she finished speaking, an angry looking, red raced man hobbled to the mike and growled: "Sternum!" and then sat down.
    Disclaimer: I made that story up, just for you. But it would have been funny, eh?

  3. K- Tell Jack that if he were to threaten to stab himself in the scrotum with a sword you would have more to blog about. Also? I appreciate his approval - I know it is hard to come by.

    Heidi - You must post that story as the Gospel Truth on your blog. I won't tell a soul.

  4. Wow.

    One never knows what one will find here, does one?

    Not that I'm one.

    But I think you might be.

  5. Well these stories REALLY have put me in the Christmas mood!

    Your'e a great storyteller.

  6. Awesome. Simply awesome. The inked up Mrs. Claus made my day.- Amy, who can't seem to leave a comment under my normal blog account name.

  7. LOVED the bathroom Santa story. Seriously genius.

  8. Ditto to what Jack said. You tell the best stories! [laughing]

    In fact, from now on, I'm going to drink Shirley Temples while reading your blog.

  9. Long live the holiday seasons and all your lovely stories to go with it!! Happy b-day, it's too early, but at least I won't forget...

  10. Did anybody ever tell you before that you're kinda funny?
    That was great! Plus, you always have ghost stories to tell. Whether they are the ghost of 18th century british rock stars in chains or at your sister's place. Lots of fun!
    And I just love how you get Alarmed when someone tells you Not to do it. That always cracks me up.
    Hmm, another birthday, huh? You feel up to it? Fred's birthday is on Thursday. I should probably do something special for him but who has the time?
    Oh by the way, last year, right before Christmas 2009, I had my own story of a creepy Santa coming out of a bathroom at the bowling alley. I wonder if it was the same one?
    Ewwww, that would be freaky.
    Your Friend, m.

  11. I'm so happy right now. Here is my own early Christmas present, in the form of this post. Yay for me! And yay for you for being SO funny. And yay for every word you wrote because each one must be doing a little happy dance right now saying, "Dang we're awesome! *And* we belong to Sardine Mama so that's double plus good."

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, by the way—I just realised I was writing this on the very day! (I think? 'cos I'm on the flip side of the planet). Hope your day is filled with much joy and a whole lot of cake! :)