Brushing the Cobwebs

What’s the first Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, or whatever you celebrate during this time of year, that you can remember? Many such particular events come to my mind from various ages, but the earliest memory for me has to be from when I was four or five years old.

It’s a shame I have no one left to ask when exactly this took place. Everyone who would remember is dead, unfortunately; but the event that sticks out in my recollections was when I had to celebrate Christmas while suffering with the mumps.

Do people get them anymore? I looked it up on the Net. According to the CDC, between a couple of hundred to roughly two thousand cases occur annually in the U.S. A vaccine now prevents the viral disorder, which effects the salivary glands, causing them to swell, making a person look like a chipmunk with a mouthful of nuts, as seen below.

Photo Credit: Babak Hendizadeh

The only thrill I recollect having was twanging my Adam’s apple, causing it to wiggle back and forth a multitude of times, feeling like the following sound effect I made to emulate the occurrence. Googling for the classic Looney Tunes’ SFX, I found none was available, hence my improvisation:

My other recollection was spending the holidays either in bed or laying on the couch in the living room. My dad, the comedian that he was, filmed my looking like a stuffed rodent with his Kodak 8 mm camera, which I had to see for the next several Christmases when he’d pull out the movie projector and show all of the family’s holiday extravaganzas to whomever would watch.

Don’t know what happened to all those home movies. I searched for them when sorting through my father’s belongings when he crossed over the River Styx, to put it euphemistically. Couldn’t find the movie camera or projector either. What a shame.

My parents were always good about making our Christmases exciting and worthwhile otherwise. My older brother Ray and I traditionally found their hiding places for stashing our presents. I recall especially the time we put together my HO train set they bought for me when I was about eight. Bro assembled his electric race-car track too, and the two of us had a ball that evening while the folks were out finishing up their holiday shopping.

What about Santa Claus? How old were you when finding out he was make-believe? Ray was the one who broke the news to me. He and his friend Dougie Anderson were sitting on the stoop one afternoon during Christmas break from school and called me over, both telling me how I’d been hoodwinked up until then. I was six at the time, and didn’t believe them. They were constantly picking on me.

During that Christmas Eve after going to bed, Ray positioned a mirror at the foot of his bed, so as to see into the living room unnoticed, while my parents brought out all our presents for wrapping, and putting them under the tree afterward.

He woke me up to show me the scam. I was flabbergasted, but happy to see all the neat toys I was getting.

Well, another year is just about through. Amazing how fast this one flew by for me. It seemed to take forever for Christmas and New Year’s Eve to roll around when I was a child. Now I wish time would slow its pace down.

Thanks for stopping by, and as always, for your continued support. Merry Christmas and New Year. May good health, happiness and a whole lot of fun follow close behind you in 2019.

Happy Christmas Everyone!

About Mike Slickster

As an early retiree with an honorary doctorate degree from the proverbial "School of Hard Knocks," this upcoming author with a lot of free time on his hands utilizes his expansive repertoire for humorous yet tragic, wildly creative writing that contains years of imaginative fantasy, pure nonsense, classic slapstick, extreme happiness and searing heartbreak; gathered by a wealth of personal experiences throughout his thrilling—sometimes mundane or unusually horrid—free-spirited, rock-'n'-roller-coaster ride around our beloved Planet Earth. Mike Slickster's illustrious quest continues, living now in Act Three of his present incarnation, quite a bit on the cutting edge of profundity and philosophical merriment as seen through his colorful characters, most notably evident in the amusing Thirty Days Across the Big Pond series, all of which can be found at
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