Saturday, December 08, 2012

The Thanks You Get: A Christmas Story

Well it didn't start out like one of those days but things went sideways in a hurry. Crumpet was supposed to go and have her picture taken with Santa at the feed store and just at the wrong moment like always Betty came into heat. Crumpet doesn't like riding around with a lot of riffraff so it was decided she would stay home and Wendell would go instead and have his picture taken even though he is not as photogenic but it would be better than nothing. Wendell got into his Yuletide turtleneck with the snowflakes on it and after capturing Betty everyone got in the truck and off they went.

Crumpet stood at the gate and whinnied with hamster indignation. Betty glared at the world from the back of the truck. She was furious, she thought they must be on the way to some kind of ungodly winter fair.

I forgot to mention that Betty was going to see the Tiny Giant over at the drive-through buck service. The Tiny Giant is one of the handsomest bucks in the world and that is saying something because it is a big world. He is known for his magnificent hair and his lordly demeanor. Not to mention his blue eyes, his wattles, his dalmatian spots, his impeccable buckly manners. He is my half-removed cousin so it isn't that surprising. Anyway off they went.

The farmer stopped to get two coffees and two raspberry scones. Wendell pretended to be asleep, even going so far as to emit some ghastly sleeping-dog farts that caused the farmer to roll down the window even though it was very chilly. They were almost there when the "check engine" light came on. The farmer started in cussing a storm.

All right they made it to the drive-through buck stand and the farmer gave the farmer from Minter Bay a scone and coffee on account of the Tiny Giant being so magnificent and after a few minutes Betty was settled without any difficulty and she got back in the truck. The two farmers were talking on the same monomaniacal topic as always: "wasn't the Tiny Giant handsome? Just look at him!"

"Tell me one thing you don't like about him," insisted the farmer from Minter Bay. "Go on just tell me one thing."

"Well," said our farmer.

"Go on, tell me one thing. Just tell me one thing," said the Minter Bay farmer.

This could have gone on for hours but just then the farmer thought, "wouldn't that scone taste good right now," and reached into the truck just in time to see the last few scone crumbs disappearing down Wendell's gullet and just then the farmer remembered "check engine" light or no they had to hurry up to the vet to get Spenny's arthritis medicine before they closed at  noon or Spenny would be sore all weekend. And so they peeled out to go get the medicine and got there just in the nick of time and when the farmer came out from the vet the farmer gave Wendell the evil eye for eating the scone because the scone had not been addressed.

"We are not getting any Santa photos today Wendell, do you know why?"

Wendell wisely did not say anything.

"Because the check engine light is on and I do not want to break down on the freeway with a bad dog and a doe in heat."

Wendell assumed a noncommittal pose. "I see," said his expression.

"Is this the thanks I get?" the farmer asked. "Who drove you to the hospital when you got run over by a truck? And who drove you to the hospital when you get bit in the eyeball? Who rescued you from the horse attack?"

Wendell bugged his eyes out. He could not stand the suspense.

"And this is the thanks I get?"

Wendell did his look of supreme devotion which he always does in the face of disaster and he started shivering for effect.

"Fine," said the farmer. "Don't even look at me all the way home."

And they rode halfway home in silence without any Santa picture and the check engine light on and Betty glaring in the back and Wendell shivering in the front but halfway home some Christmas songs came on the radio and so they sang the rest of the way.

Anyway in case you were wondering the answer is yes. This is the thanks you get.