Friday, December 23, 2016

Another Year, Another Letter (When Will the Madness End?)

After having been a member of the local gym for the past few years, I wish I could say I’ve learned how to eat better and take better care of myself, but if this Christmas missive were accompanied by a photograph (there’s more than one reason we stopped sending those out YEARS ago) you’d know that’s a big, fat lie.  What I have learned, though, is that there’s a direct relationship between a man’s age/weight and the amount of time he walks around completely naked in the sauna and locker room.  You guessed it: the older and fatter, the longer we all get to see them in their full glory.  It’s like a demented episode of Naked & Afraid – the longer they walk around naked, the more afraid I become.  I open with that little gem so you have a nausea-inducing rumbling in your bowels that will last far beyond the time it takes to read our annual letter – and you’ll forget everything you just read.  You’re welcome.

Sam hit the big 16 this year and got his driver’s license as soon as humanly possible.  For Erin, that wasn’t quite fast enough because from the time Sam started his sophomore year at school until he got his license, she still had to chauffeur him to and from school – possibly the longest seven months of her life (since Jack was no longer available to taxi himself and his brother).  Upon acquisition of the truck his brother had previously driven, Sam got the notion that being without an operational stereo was intolerable.  He tried convincing us that this was cruel and unusual punishment, and we just laughed and sent him back out in the 120-degree heat and cancer-inducing sun to cut the grass with a push mower.  Kids!

Back in August, Jack hit his one-year mark – his Hump Day, if you will – so he’s on the downhill side of things now.  He’s slated to come home from Peru at the end of July and start at ASU for the Fall 2017 semester.  While we’re understandably excited to have him come home, we have a feeling it might be advisable to tell him to get on the airplane with only the clothes on his back and leave everything in the jungles of Peru.  As I probably mentioned in last year’s note, it rains over 10 feet each year in his little corner of Peru so nothing every truly dries out, which means everything he has (including his own person) will have mold in every nook and cranny possible.  We might pick him up from the airport in our truck and have him ride home in the back so when we pull up to the house, we can march him in the backyard, have him strip down to his essence, and jump in the pool that’s been treated with triple the normal amount of chlorine (while we burn his clothes and shoes in an open fire pit).  Welcome back, Jack!

Back in October, Erin began working at one of the local high schools as an assistant to the librarian.  She makes it abundantly clear to everyone who asks: she’s not the assistant librarian; she’s the assistant TO the librarian.  In a way, you could say she’s the Dwight Schrute (assistant TO the regional manager) of the Casteel High School library.  That’s certainly better than being Creed, Meredith, or Kevin, for sure.  In her spare time – you know, when she’s not chasing down juvenile delinquents trying to dodge paying fines for overdue books – she’s really gotten into Pilates, so she’s now more flexible than a four-year-old with an underdeveloped spinal column.  It’s quite impressive.

As for myself, what can I say?  I still haven’t written a best-selling novel (or even a worst-selling one, for that matter) or started a rock n roll band that will be the next U2/Beatles – beside the fact I have absolutely no musical talent (which didn’t necessarily stop Justin Beiber), I don’t hang out with enough people to complete a band.  For now, I’ll stick to my snarky comments on Facebook and mildly amusing (at least I make myself laugh) posts on Instagram.  We, the Greenes, wish you a very warm and happy holiday season and hope the nausea will pass quickly!

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