merry christmas

THE CONTRARIAN

‘TWAS THE SECOND NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

Joe Carpenter was sitting out by the barbecue on his lanai, nursing a beer, and trying to figure out why his dancing lights display wouldn’t work, when a nicely tricked out Camel rolled up his driveway.

“Why, It’s Fred and Wilma!!”, he exclaimed  “Great to see you guys.  Come on in, Wilma, I want to see Mary’s face when she sees you, she will be so tickled, she is a bit down these days. There’s a beer in the cooler there, Fred, help yourself, I will be right back!”

Returning, Joe asked Fred “So how was the trip, any problems?” Fred replied “well, you know how it goes, we thought we would be here last night, but traffic was a bit heavy on the Camelbahn, and we got on the wrong ramp at Damascus, I think there was a sign missing.  We were half-way to Nineveh before we realized we were going the wrong way on the freeway, then wouldn’t you know it, the Camel blew a shoe when we were coming back.  By the time we limped into Damascus, Canadian Camelshoe was closed and we had to stay the night.  Worked out OK, though, they had those new wintergrip shoes on sale, so I had a new set put on, guaranteed for 100 000 miles, so they should last till I trade the old Camel in. ”

“So, other than that, how did the Camel perform this trip?”, asked Joe.  “Pretty good”, answered Fred, “kind of heavy on feed, I don’t get more than about 15 miles per bale, but then it is a nice smooth ride, so I guess that’s the penalty.  I might try one of those new two-hump models next time”  

“Yeah”, said Fred, “it’s always a problem.  I get really good mileage out of my old Ass over there, over 40 miles per bale, but it is a pretty rough, choppy ride.  We don’t do many long trips, so it works for us.  So, what brings you out this way?”

“Funny thing”, says Fred.  “Me and the boys were out looking after the sheep, rounded up a bunch of new lambs to dock their tails, finished up just at dark.  And wouldn’t you know, we saw a star getting brighter and brighter, then it seemed to be moving toward us, maybe a UFO or something, anyway it stopped right over us and was beaming down, and seemed to be telling me I should get over here to my old stomping ground, there is something big about to happen.  So I asked the boys, Ezekiel is 22 now, guess he will be taking over the sheep farm, anyway, I asked would they be OK if Wilma and I took off for a couple of days.  Zeke said OK, they would run into Babylon tonite and take in a movie, maybe hit a couple of bars, and be back by morning, and they would be quite content to stay home with the sheep for a while.  So here we are!  Anyway, is there any big news around here right now?”

“Not really”, says Joe, “Mary has an appointment with the gynecologist in Jerusalem day after tomorrow, we were planning to jump on the Ass and run over there.  Probably only get to Bethlehem and stay the night there, Mary can’t ride too far in her condition.  Don’t have a reservation, but I expect we will find somewhere to stay.  Sorry to be such a poor host.”  Fred responded, “No problem, maybe we will do some visiting around here, and catch up with you at Bethlehem tomorrow night.  We can go back to Babylon on the new south route from there.”

“Great”, says Joe, “We aren’t doing much cooking around here these days, why don’t I cruise over to the Colonel, pick up a bucket of Kentucky fried manna for supper, maybe some cole slaw and some of those new sweet potato fries, then we can catch up on gossip.  Help yourself to another beer, I won’t be long.”

“OK”, says Fred.  “I will see if I can get these dancing lights working for you while you are gone, I am pretty up on this newfangled electronic crap.  See you in a bit”.

Things don’t really change all that much.  Merry Christmas.

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