Christmastime 2000

Dear Fellow Goredheads,

The holidays have arrived once again in downtown Bedford, and a more welcome diversion has rarely been hailed. While the Cratons have survived most of the year without major incident, the events of the past month have nearly done in both their hallowed household and the Bedford community at large.

The fracas began, of course, after the election imbroglio in Florida. Old Harold Simms, staunchest of local Republicans and fanatical devotee of George W., was utterly incensed when Gore refused to concede the election. Then when Harold heard all the furor over the dimpled chad, he somehow got it in his head that Chad Holman was responsible for our nation’s woes. Chad, a former activist with the local UAW and lifelong democrat, retired from GM about three years ago and moved to sunny Florida. By some weird coincidence, he was long known for his prominent dimples that charmed more than one local lass and perhaps played a great role in a series of divorces throughout the surrounding counties. (Rumor has it that even Mrs. Simms fell victim to his amorous advances once a number of years ago.) At any rate, when Harold heard reports about pregnant chads he concluded that Holman had knocked up some cute Floridian poll worker and that this had somehow disrupted the entire electoral process. After loading up his '53 Studebaker with a shotgun and a week’s worth of suntan lotion, he was determined to venture southward and set the matter straight. It was all Mrs. Simms, Reverend Peterson, and Deputy Waxman could do to stop him from becoming a feature on the evening news. Had it not been for Jake Williams’ surreptitiously slipping a little Prozac into Harold’s RC, the national crisis may have taken on an entirely different perspective.

Fortunately the Cratons were not directly involved in any of this tumult, but they have been greatly disturbed by the election deadlock nevertheless. At this point it’s not clear whether their next Christmas letter will come from Bedford or from a remote village in the Carpathians, depending on the eventual results. Only time will tell.

On an individual basis all the Cratons have done reasonably well this year. Ben, the eldest offspring and well-renowned for his cyclopean humility, took it upon himself to compose his own Christmas letter this year — the result of his efforts appears below. In brief it can be reported that Dr. Debbie has taken on a new partner in her medical practice and soon will be relocating to yet another office closer to the hospital. On a sadder note, she also lost her bid this year to serve a third term on the local school board. She’s convinced that if only the hand recount could occur in Miami-Dade County enough votes would be found to reinstate her, but for now she’s content to let the new electees endure the suffering their posts will entail.

As Ben has enlightened our faithful readers on the rest of the family’s travails throughout the year 2000, we simply wish you and your’n a joyous season and turn now to....

Ben’s version of the annual Christmas letter....

Hello all,

Well, this year has been the weirdest one yet so far. It’s been fast and furious yet slow and dull. Nothing has changed around here that warrants any recognition at all. Not that nothing has happened. Oh, heavens no! Bedford is bustling with excitement and things to do [muffled giggle offstage]. Yes, life has never been more thrilling than it has been living in Bedford. I bet you all wish you here now, don’t you?

Ok, first things first. I’m writing my own Christmas letter this year because if I don’t the image that you would get of me would probably be skewed by that strange little man who lives downstairs. That plus I am the resident genius in the house, not to mention adorable too. I mean — duh! What’s been up with me over the past year? Oh nothing much. I got my driver’s license. My pretty '89 [gag] Firebird died on me and got replaced with a '95 Sunfire 5-speed (Sunflower to some). I am constantly tormented by my buddies for my driving habits. They say I drive way too slow (my 50 mph compared to their 70 mph in a 45 zone). Well, I may be slow but at least I’ve not gotten a $75 fine. Anyway, lets see... I wrote a survey on love and printed the results. It was not received well by the kids at school, mainly because it told the truth! But I digress.

How am I? I’m bored. very bored. Someone please come kidnap me. I’m trapped in Bedford and I can’t get out. My high school has got to be the biggest collection of idiots this side of West Palm Beach — and I thought my brothers were dumb.

Speaking of — Jon [whimpering sigh] has reached 14. Need I say more? (“No, but go ahead.”) All right. Jon has gotten the stereotypical “teenager” attitude, but not only that — he has the loudest talking voice I’ve ever heard. It’s a deadly combination. One can hear him talking through 4 six-inch-thick walls. He’s into Pokémon (still), Digimon, and smacking Stephen upside the head. Jon did the Pokémon League thing over the summer and won a whole bunch of badges that just cry out “geek.” He has accumulated roughly 1,700 Pokémon cards since he started. He’s trying to sell 700 of them starting at only $500. Call 1-800-FAT-CHANCE now to order. (Did I mention that he’s loud?) Oh, and another thing: Every day this kid gets better and better at the point-the-finger game. He blatantly hits Stephen, then somehow blames it on me [sigh]. Let’s see, did he do anything worthwhile this year? Hmm ... [gets lost in thought] ... oh yeah, I forgot — he was baptized over the summer, which is always good. But other than that ... nope. (Did I mention that Jon is loud?)

Ok, now on to Stephen. Must I do this? YES! [sigh] Well, it must have been the year of the fish. Stephen also was baptized this year. He also turned 5 years old. ... 11! ... Oh, um, 11. Right. Yes, folks, that’s right: Stephen is still daddy’s little girl ... er, BOY ... I meant boy. His favorite words are “Stop it!” “Leave me alone!” and (always a favorite) “[whine] Poppy!” Living with Stephen is a daily challenge. The tears, the whines, the computer. Oh, you don’t know about the computer? Hmm, well then you will be enlightened. [evil chuckle] As an I.V. is to a patient so the internet is to Stephen. He is on the internet on average from 4:30 pm till 10:00 pm (omitting supper) every weekday. He is always downloading something or checking one of his umpteen thousand e-mail accounts. It’s almost scary. [shiver]

Now for Mom. She’s mean; she scares me. She’s ... “Remember I can return your presents!” ... nice. She’s caring. She’s pretty.... Pop is crazy and loves Stephen. (Sorry for being redundant.)

And now, for the animals. The 7 turtles are still in the tub. The shrimp are dead, I think. My dad has pretty much adopted an opossum. Mom is still obsessing over armadillos. And my beautiful cat, Kiwi, the almighty queen over all, the mighty and omnipotent cat, got a deadbeat roommate. Yes, my dad took pity on a stray, and now it lives in the kitchen with Kiwi. Needless to say, Kiwi merely puts up with her and wishes she had never heard the name Isis.

Well, if anyone out there would like to come and rescue me I’d be more than grateful. Remember, I am adorable and fun to be around. Just ask Amber. (That’s another letter entirely, i.e. the survey). And by the way, my letter is much better than the one you normally get isn’t it? Of course it is! Well, I have to go. The Pentagon just called me in for a top-secret conference on thermonuclear weaponry and ... oops! Well, I guess I’m going to have to kill you now. This message will self-destruct in 5... 4... Bye bye! 3 ... See ya, ... 2 ... Ben ... 1 .........BOOM!!

The Cratons (including all mammals & reptiles resident thereunto)
John, Debbie, Ben, Jon, & Stephen Craton, et al.

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