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How I got the Name Ralphie Junior.

from cbc.ca

Did I ever tell you how I got my name? I actually have the same first name as my father. This makes me Ralphie Junior, of course. My parents had decided on the name David for me and were in complete agreement about this. When the happy day of my delivery and my mother’s deliverance had finally come, my father was delighted to have a son as his firstborn and decided to go out to celebrate.

He rang up all his pals and invited them to the pub. He bought drinks for everyone and handed out cigars, as you do. After several stiff drinks, he got pissed as a newt, but somehow remembered that he had to go to the municipality to register his son. When he got there, they were sympathetic and asked how his son should be called. How should he be written up in the official register and be known for ever more?

Daddykins was sooo drunk that the only name he could remember was his own. Maybe we should count our blessings and thank the heavens that he wasn’t in the mood for a cold glass of milk, which he was wont to drink before going to bed. Otherwise I would perhaps have been called Bill, after the milkman. How would he have possibly explained this to my mother? I should also not have told the kids in school this story, because Ralphie Crockett does sound a bit silly!

The Dream Machine

In my dream I walk along a thin spaghetti bridge

High up in clouds of candy floss, it leads me to a fridge

Inside the fridge I walk along a path of velvet eels

One gets between my toes, I don’t like the way it feels


I see there is a doorway in a round magenta cheese

It opens to a forest full of purple pasta trees

A garden gnome pops up from an orange jelly stream

I ask him who he is and what he’s doing in my dream


He says his name is Snorkel from the bottom of Loch Ness

And tells me that he’s in my dream due to a wrong address

He proffers me a packet labelled ‘Made inNorth Tibet’

From the packet I select a king size rhubarb cigarette


‘But dreams don’t have addresses, please do you have a light?’

‘Land of Nod,Lotfour three two, first bedroom on the right

You see the address is written on this plastic macaroon’

‘My door is second right, you should be in my brother’s room’


He cried ‘Oh pickled gherkins! Now whatever shall I do?

I should be in your bro’s dream and it’s half past quarter two’

‘Why don’t you go there then’? I say. ‘Its better late than never’

‘I can’t just walk out from a dream it’s just not done, not ever’


‘So how do you depart from a dream for goodness sake’?

‘Rule Number One – don’t leave until the dreamer is awake’

A flying scarlet albatross performs a sausage roll

‘You’re in the piccalilli now, they’ve sent the Dream Patrol’


Snorkel scratches his long beard with a cock-a-leekie stick

‘Maybe I should call them, and say that I’m off sick’

‘Who is them? I ask him ‘For whom is it you work’?

‘I’m on the staff of Dream Machine owned by a Scottish Turk’


‘I resemble my dear brother, perhaps they’ll never know’

That you were never in his room’ An eel bites my big toe

He says ‘Look, in the dream, I have a special role to play’

‘Play it in my dream instead, does it matter either way?


‘If you read your brother’s dreamplay, you may be too shy

To take your brothers place, you see he’s gay, and so am I’

I had no clue at all that he is gay I must confess

But at least it does explain why he wears our sister’s dress


Dark Star

One winter’s night it did appear

A dark and brooding cosmic sphere

A black death hanging in the sky

A monstrous and all seeing eye

And the world was struck with fear

The prophet said we’d sowed the seeds

Four horsemen saddled up their steeds

The malignant quasar in the night

Was proving Nostradamus right

It was all down to Mankind’s greed

The flames of unrest were thus fanned

Which tore across the promised land

We watched our world begin to die

The apocalypse of man was nigh

And still we did not understand

The dark star grew and blocked the light

We cowered in the murky night

We prayed to God and asked him why

Do you not know? Was his reply

As the stars disappeared from sight

Satan had weaved his wicked spell

The world became a blackened shell

We’d gone too far and paid the price

The dark star watched as cold as ice

We’d turned paradise into Hell


Lost in the Post

I was reading one of those magazines

With pictures of girls from thePhilippines

It said they delivered ‘brides by post’ 

So I picked out the girl I liked the most

Now she was a girl named Angelina

Dressed in a bikini down at the marina

She looked real good laid on the deck

So I filled in the form and wrote out a check

I watched for the postman coming to my house

To deliver a package containing my spouse

But I never got the girl I liked the most

My mail order bride got lost in the post

I went to the Post Office in the High Street

I said to the clerk ’I’m expecting a treat

A hot Asian babe from over the sea

Please tell me that you have a parcel for me’

‘Can you describe the contents please’?

I said  ‘Five feet tall with 36Cs’

But he couldn’t find the girl I liked the most

I guess she must have got lost in the post

I begged him to please take another look

So he opened up an important looking book

As he read these words I was so dismayed

’ Returned to Sender – Postage Underpaid’

So I reached right over gave him a smack

For sending my cute Filipina back

For she was the girl I liked the most

My mail order bride was returned in the post

He said ‘Hey man adjust your attitude

When your girl arrived she was in the nude

She should have worn postage stamps at least

So we had no choice but to send her back East ‘

Sweet Angelina, I never even kissed her

So I got the magazine and ordered her sister

‘Cos she’s the girl I like second most

I hope she doesn’t get lost in the post

The Heartache of Being Merry (for the holidays)

This IS the season, isn’t it?  A happy time, a time of magic and wonder, a time of laughter and fond family memories.   A time of snow kissed holiday romances, of sugar-plum fairies, of unending familial feasts.  

The time of torn gift wrap piled to ones knees.  A time of scents…pine sap and cinnamon aromas in the house that smell so heavenly one could cry!  A time of snoring Grandpa’s and baking Grandma’s. A time of church bells and church plays, a time of red velvet dresses, patent leather shoes, bb guns, big soft dolls, and peanut butter fudge. The wonder of the holiday season, no matter what you call it, is a time of sweet merriment, a time for giving, receiving, loving, and being loved, right?

Well, not really, not for everyone. It’s also a time of sadness, of deep throbbing sorrow, of loneliness, of heart ache that begins after Thanksgiving (in the USA) and continues until after January one of the next calendar year and beyond. 

I wonder why no one told me the awful truth as I was growing up, why was I not prepared that people would begin to die away? That they would be here one season, and not here the next. What crap, what awful, heartless beasts they were to keep that fact of life a secret until I discovered it all on  my own.

I think to myself “Maybe it isn’t that others have it so good, it’s just that YOU  have it so bad?” (a line from the movie “As Good As It Gets”) but for tonight, I simply had to borrow it.

This witch is not a crier, no-no no. However, honestly, I “fake” it this time of the year. I do an awfully lot of hiding, tear swiping and make up retouching.  I cry daily, I cry while I cook, I cry in the bathtub, I cry before sleep.

 I go numb when I am shopping, right in the middle of an isle, I freeze when I see something precious and perfect, something wonderful that I would love to buy for someone who I love, but, I can’t do it because that loved one is that is no longer here on earth to receive my gifts.

You see,  I sorrowfully miss our youngest daughter, my Daddy, my two brothers, my Grandparents, several dear friends as well.  Truth is, if I allowed myself, I could howl continually this time of the year. How truly “Merry” am I? NOT!

There is no wonder that suicides go up dramatically at holiday time. It’s all of the emotion involved with the decorations, the shopping, the scents, the weather, the music…oh God, the music!  You get all softened up like warm butter, and then you look around and there is the empty chair at the table, the quiet unoccupied rooms of the house that once rang with excitement, it’s all quiet now. How am I supposed to feel, MERRY?

Our sweet daughter that is no longer here with us, she was always the first one up, running excitedly with her long pony-tail flying, up and down the hallway, waking everyone at five in the morning.  Her river water green eyes sparkling with fun.

Now, the dogs snore, the clock chimes, the door is to her vacant room is closed. I weep.

My two brothers with their laughing, flashing, Irish eyes are no longer sneaking out to my parent’s garage on Christmas Eve for a smoke and a nip of bourbon during the family Christmas gathering.  I could hear them through the furnace vents, I could hear it all, all of their laughing and lying.  I knew that they were down there hiding from the rest of us, telling one another fantastic lies, taking a big drink, a big draw, and getting on with a new tall tale. They were like kids again down in that cold garage, sneaking their booze and cigs, even at age sixty they were naughty brothers…..no more, no, no, the old garage is forever silent, it is lie, smoke and booze free.   I weep.

My Dad is no longer cutting the wrapping from his gifts with his super sharp pocket knife, every cut precise, like a surgeons cut. He always cut those boxes and the paper too, then painstakingly placed the rubbish in neat little stacks around his chair. I don’t know why this was so important to him on Christmas Eve?  No more, no sliced boxes and wrapping paper in their neat little piles at his slippered feet, no laughing dancing “fathers eyes” to mesmerize me. In my mind yes, but, not in his recliner where I want him to be. I weep.

Yet, in all of this sorrow, there is one new and shining star. We have a toddler Grandson and he wanted rubber “farm boots” for (Solstice) this year.  He wanted gloves and he wanted to bake cookies with Granny, and make punch with Poppa.  He wanted a tricycle and a train engineers hat, he got all of it and much more, he is only two, so we had to complete his list for him.

What a blessing he is, what joy to behold, his eyes so bright, his mind so quick. The way he says “Thank You Granny” makes me swoon, makes me dizzy with grandmother love. So of course, I cannot shoot myself, or worse. I cannot leave Poppa or our sweet surviving children, these are my beloved ones. I must dry my eyes and get on with the holidays, for there is this life to continue.

Life is a sacred gift, and no matter how sorry I  feel for myself, I must carry on, it’s a rule you know.   I want everyone and anyone who ever reads this sad little holiday post to realize that “going on” is a rule, so do it……but, still, I weep. (and I don’t blame me)

Jace and Gran on Solstice