MATTHEW MORIARTY: Here's to Celebrating the Holidays with Family
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Picture this scene: A family -- mother, father, grown son, grandmother -- sit around a table. The smell of turkey permeates the air. In the background, a football game is on television.
The father pops the cork of a wine bottle and pours four glasses.
Mother: "What should we drink to?"
Son: "Here's to having dinner at 2 p.m."
Grandmother (to son): "So, how's your love life?"
Son: "Not too good."
Grandmother: "Don't you think you should get on that? Your sister's baby is a year old. I used to worry about you, but not anymore."
Son: "Well, I appreciate that. I also am pretty sure I'm not gay."
Mother: "I never heard, how did your date go the other night?"
Son: "Didn't happen. Her brother had to have an emergency appendectomy."
Father (laughing): "Bet you never heard that one before."
Mother: "What a brother. He's willing to get surgery to keep you away from her."
Son: "And get this, I was supposed to play tennis with this girl the other day, and her grandfather had a stroke."
Father: "Maybe you should stay away from people for a while."
Son: "I know."
Grandmother: "Did I ever tell you the one about Philip and that kid?"
(Father hangs head.)
Son: "Yes, many times."
Grandmother: "Well, Philip used to go see this boy name of Brian, and Brian was retarded."
(Father shakes head.)
"Philip would play baseball with him. And it didn't matter if he hit the ball."
All: "He'd run the bases!"
Grandmother: "Heard that one before?"
Father: "Yes, mother."
Mother: "Hello, happy Thanksgiving! Well, hey, how you doing?"
Grandmother: "Are those the people who stole my car?"
Father: "No, mother, you gave us your car because you can't drive anymore and we gave it to friends of ours, remember?"
Grandmother: "I'm going to call the police."
Father: "That would be a colossally bad idea."
(Mother hangs up phone. Grandmother grumbles under breath.)
Son: "Hey, did I ever tell you that my buddy Nick's family doesn't celebrate Christmas."
Son: "They call it the Tower of Greed. They stack boxes, some of which have cash in them, others have coupons for Arby's or horrible looking sweaters."
Father: "Do they do the Airing of Grievances and the Feats of Strength?"
Son: "It's a Festivus for the rest of us."
Mother: "Have you ever considered the fact that your friend may be an idiot?"
Son: "Yes, many times. Same goes for most of my friends, actually."
Grandmother: "It's not the company."
Mother: "Have you seen the video of the baby walking?"
Son: "Yeah, It's pretty cool. I can't believe my big sister has a 1-year-old baby.
Mother: "I watch it every day. It just makes me happy."
(Father pours four more glasses of wine.)
Father: "To family."
Matthew Moriarty is a staff writer for The Pilot. He writes a bi-weekly column and is happy to have family around him for the holidays.
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