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Thurston Thornton Tells It Like It Is!
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Annual Christmas Report 2009

December 28, 2009

Christmas is finally over, thank God. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm no Scrooge. I'm all for the holiday spirit and all of that good stuff. Whatever gets America's economy rolling along is alright by me. As far as I'm concerned, all of you should go out, buy as much stuff as you can, put up a tree and a bunch of lights, sing "Jingle Bells," eat and drink until you can't button your trousers anymore, etc. My friends, all of that is perfectly acceptable, and what is more, I consider it to be intensely patriotic behavior that reinforces an undying commitment to the loftiest capitalist principles that underlie the honorable foundation of this great and glorious nation. If only one's family need not form any part of such a noble equation, but alas, my friends, alas, there can be no Christmas without family, like it or not. And quite frankly, I don't like it at all.

Now, I am of course not opposed to the institution of the family, which should consist of a father who smokes a pipe, sits in a lounge chair, and reads the paper while his simply yet elegantly dressed wife prepares a hearty dinner in the kitchen, and then calls her loving husband and two adorable, scrubbed, and wholesome children to the dinner table. This is the kind of family for whom Christmas was designed. However, my friends, regrettably, this is not the family that I myself have.

No, my family consists of my middle-aged siblings and me -- my older brother Ernie and my younger half-sister Myrtle -- our elderly mother who lives in a nursing home, Myrtle's four rude, snot-nosed brats whose ages are five, seven, thirteen, and seventeen, Myrtle's subversive and America-hating husband Ralph, and Ralph's incredibly irritating and insufferable relatives that always descend upon Myrtle's home during the holidays like a swarm of locusts.

This Christmas, I figured that I had the perfect plan for avoiding any contact with those people, yet at the same time I might also fulfill all of my necessary holiday obligations, so that nobody might say to me, "Thornton, you are being a real jerk this Christmas!" Well, not that I would care, of course.

I went out to the local pharmacy, bought up a bunch of discounted generic Christmas cards, signed my name in each of them, enclosed separate checks for two dollars each, mailed everything off, and figured that I'd done my duty and that was the end of it. I then poured myself a tall glass of eggnog mixed with pure grain alcohol, slipped into my flannel pajamas, eased down into my comfortable living room couch, turned on the television set to Fox News, and prepared to ride out the rest of the holiday season in blessed solitude, save for the warm and furry presence of my trusty dog Mr. Twinkle beside my bedroom-slipper covered feet.

Yes, my dear readers, all was right with the world, and my generous and altruistic heart was brimming over with holiday cheer and love for all, except, of course, for those who are destroying this great nation, which would include about seven out of every ten Americans.

Then, the phone rang. It was my sister Myrtle, who said: "So, this is all we get from you this Christmas, a stupid card and a two-dollar check? Thornton, as always, you are being a real jerk this Christmas!" Alas, so much for my best efforts.

I told Myrtle that she should be glad that I even sent that, since I had seriously contemplated sending her nothing at all. She asked when I was coming to visit. I asked her why she didn't visit me. She told me my house was in such bad shape and such a total mess that she wouldn't even let me babysit her French poodle there. Get in the car, she said, and come over here right now. You need to visit mother at the nursing home with me, she went on. I told her, forget it, mother doesn't even recognize who we are anymore, what's the point, and you don't need me and Mr. Twinkle at your house. She responded by telling me to check in Mr. Twinkle with a dog-sitting service, since the last time he was at her house he had knocked over her china cabinet, and she told me that I would be sleeping in the basement next to the washing machine and dryer on a cot. Once more, I let her know that I wasn't going to be pressured, that she could forget it, and that I wasn't going to lose my temper and start telling her what I really think about her husband Ralph and her unruly children, but I did anyway because she wouldn't let up, and in the end she hung up in my face. Great, I thought, that's the end of that, merry Christmas and adios. Or so I thought, dear reader, or so I thought.

The next day, I heard a knock on my door, which really scared the hell out of me, since nobody ever comes up to my door to knock, not ever. Fully prepared to defend myself in complete accordance with the second amendment to the Constitution, I grabbed my bee-bee gun and took a shot at a shadowed profile in the curtained glass windows on the left side of the door and hit it in the right thigh. I heard cursing and screaming and I recognized the voice as that of my brother Ernie. "Damn it, Ernie, what the hell are you doing coming up to my house like that! Why didn't you call first?" And he said, "Myrtle told me to just drive up to your house and pick you up. She said not to call you because you wouldn't listen to reason." That is so typical of Ernie, always the willing stooge for Myrtle's despicable plotting.

I had him lie down on the floor and I dug the bee-bee out of his leg with my Swiss Army pocket knife while he screamed and howled like a baby. What a wimp he is. No wonder he voted for Obama. Ernie is incapable of ignoring pain because he is constitutionally unable to sacrifice anything whatsoever on behalf of the United States of America. With him, it is not country first, it is Ernie first. If it were up to Ernie, the terrorists would win. I gave him some of my specially prepared eggnog, which seemed to do wonders for reducing the pain he was feeling, but he also threw it up on my rug after he'd had a couple of glasses of the stuff, then passed out and I was unable to wake him. Fortunately, Mr. Twinkle quickly took care of the mess. He loves eggnog.

I figured, I'm not going to deal with this whole problem with Ernie here, I didn't start this mess, and I'll be damned if I'm going to be made responsible for it. So, I threw him over my shoulder and tossed him into the back seat of his pathetic little compact car -- he considers himself to be a freaking environmentalist, what a joke -- with its Obama sticker on the rear bumper. Well, it used to have an Obama sticker on it, but I took care of that right after I saw it. So, Mr. Twinkle got in the passenger seat, I turned the ignition key, and off we headed on a ten-hour drive for Myrtle's house.

My plan was simple. I would dump Ernie off at Myrtle's place, then immediately walk to a nearby Greyhound bus station and take the first bus back home. It was Myrtle's fault that I shot Ernie, so, I thought, she can nurse him back to health.

About halfway through the trip, Ernie comes to and complains that his right thigh is on fire and swelling up. He goes on and on about how it supposedly has become infected and he just won't shut up, and he begs me to take him to an emergency room at a hospital. Well, let me tell you that had to be the absolute last thing that I was willing to stand for. Just imagine, hours and hours in a damned hospital emergency room reception area because of something that was totally Myrtle's fault.

No worries, I told Ernie, I've got just the thing for you; there'll be no need to pay a visit to the hospital. So, I pulled in to a liquor store and got a bottle of good old pure grain alcohol. I found an old dirty rag in Ernie's trunk and soaked it with the stuff, then rubbed it over Ernie's wound, which actually was starting to take on a rather disturbing appearance, what with the curious swelling, greenish color, and globs of yellow pus oozing out from it. I figured that wipe-down with the alcohol should fix that little old scratch for good. I concluded that the problem had been solved, and I recommenced our journey.

But Ernie kept on with such a moaning and groaning, and started to sweat like a pig and turn white as a sheet, so that I finally shouted at him, here, and handed him the liquor bottle, which he drained in short order, and mercifully passed out again.

Well, we eventually arrived at Myrtle's house, and I pulled Ernie out of the car and threw him onto the snow in my sister's front yard. I wasn't going to carry him a step further after all of that. I then knocked on her door, and Ralph opens it and greets me with his usual condescending smirk. Aha, he says, looks like you've decided to join us after all! I said, no I haven't, I've just left you all a nice little present on your lawn, and now I'll be on my way, happy holidays. So, Myrtle and Ralph rush out there to Ernie, and just totally overreact to the whole situation, they say, he's dying, you've tried to kill him, you threw him onto the snow like a sack of potatoes, blah, blah, blah! I told them, look, there's his car, you started this whole thing, so therefore I am heading off to the Greyhound bus station, adieu. And I really start walking away, but then Myrtle comes charging after me and knocks me down and starts pummeling me with her festive Christmas mittens, and gives me a classic right hook across my left temple that quite frankly knocks me unconscious.

The next thing I remember, I was waking up on a cot next to the washer and dryer in Myrtle's basement, and my left temple had a knot on it about the size of a walnut. And there is Mr. Twinkle licking my face, which turned out to be the high point of that day, because it was all downhill from there. Myrtle's and Ralph's brats come charging down into the basement and start yelling and screaming and tormenting poor Mr. Twinkle, who starts barking and running around, and the racket got my poor head to throbbing and aching like you wouldn't believe.

So, I stumble upstairs, and find Myrtle at the kitchen table, and she starts talking and just won't shut up for one instant, accusing me of having tried to kill Ernie, and they took him to the hospital not a moment too soon, and didn't I know that he was developing gangrene in his thigh, and you made it worse by wiping it down with that filthy rag, and why the hell did you shoot him, your own brother, he should turn you in to the police, but he's a saint, that Ernie, and just because of all the trouble you've caused us, you'll be going to visit mother this afternoon, and then you'll be taking the kids to the shopping mall to see Santa, and there's no pet-sitting service in town with room for Mr. Twinkle anymore, they're all booked up, so he'll have to stay here in the house, and I swear if he damages anything you're going to get it, blah, blah, blah!

So, later on that day I found myself at the nursing home with mother, who called me Fred -- I have no idea who Fred might be -- and encouraged me to vote for Eisenhower in the upcoming election. Then, I took the younger kids to the mall to see Santa, with whom I argued for several minutes about politics before we finally came to blows, and we were both thrown out of the mall while Myrtle's kids cheered on the security guards. I'm telling you, they shouldn't let a communist stooge like that put on a Santa Claus costume. I'm a tolerant man, but there comes a time to draw the line in the sand, and that was one of those moments.

I get back to Myrtle's house, which is now packed full with visiting members of Ralph's horrible family, the most asinine group of individuals ever assembled upon the face of the planet. So, I figure that I should just go ahead and drown my sorrows in whiskey while the others are watching a Christmas special on television. I take a bottle with me into the basement, sit down on the cot, and drink myself into oblivion while Mr. Twinkle scratches himself nearby. I supposed that I had reached the absolute low point of the holiday season. However, dear reader, how wrong I was, how wrong I was.

I awoke several hours later in the darkness to find that I was wet. At first, I thought that I had wet my pants, something that admittedly happens to me from time to time, but not all that often -- I'm not ready for incontinence pads just yet, folks. However, I heard a distinct sloshing sound, similar to what one might hear in a swimming pool, plus the noise of water being sprayed out at high volume, and the frightened yelps and splashing struggling of Mr. Twinkle. Raising myself up upon the cot, which was partially submerged, I clicked on the basement light to find that there was a full foot and a half of water beneath me. It turned out that Mr. Twinkle had somehow chewed through one of the plastic water pipes, which then ruptured.

Well, as foul luck would have it, I discovered this unfortunate accident at 3 AM Christmas morning. I awoke Ralph and Myrtle and alerted them to this grave problem, and Ralph rushed down into the basement in his pajamas to try to fix the ruptured pipe, but to no avail, since it was now underwater. The water quickly rose and snuffed out the basement furnace and then shorted out all power to the house, which somehow caused the transformer just down the street to explode. Eventually, the water made it well above the basement windows, which after a short while shattered under the increasing pressure, and water flowed out into the yard and into the street, where it immediately froze into a solid sheet of ice, since the temperature had dropped to ten degrees below zero.

Myrtle called every plumber in town, but all she got were answering machine messages. She and Ralph packed us all into her mini-van, and then tried to drive away, but lost control on the newly-formed ice sheet, and ended up driving the damn thing right through a wall and into a neighbor's living room. The police showed up a few minutes later, and everyone end up yelling and screaming and arguing, punches were thrown, and Myrtle, Ralph, and I ended up in jail, which is where we stayed for the rest of Christmas Day.

The next day, Ernie, recently released from the hospital, came by the jail to bail us all out. As I greeted him, he presented me with the best Christmas present ever: a one-way Greyhound ticket back home, and leaving in only thirty minutes. I asked him: "But what about Mr. Twinkle?" And he said, follow me, and we walked out to his car, where I found Mr. Twinkle in one of those plastic doggy travel cages that you can put on airplanes, trains, and busses. It turns out that Ernie had dropped by Wal-Mart for one of those things and had somehow got Mr. Twinkle inside of it, I think by throwing a raw t-bone steak into it or something. So, I developed a new appreciation for Ernie after he did all of that for me, but I still basically think that he's a stinking pink commie.

So, Ralph and Myrtle start going on and on about how I have to pay for Ernie's hospital stay since I shot him in the leg, and how I'll have to pay for all the damages done to their home, and also for the damage done to the neighbor's home, blah, blah, blah, blah! And I was ready to punch Ralph in the nose right then and there, but Ernie reminds me that the bus is about to leave, so I just shout out to Myrtle and Ralph, you'll be talking to my lawyer about this, and Ernie takes Mr. Twinkle and me to the bus station.

Twenty hours later we were back home. I opened the door to find that my house had been robbed. It turned out that when I shot a hole in the window next to the door, it made it really easy for a thief to stick his hand in through it and unlock the door. The robber had spray-painted the following message on my dining room wall: "MERRY CHRISTMAS FOOL."

As you can see, all of this is completely Myrtle's fault, because if she had just left me alone, Christmas would have really been peace on earth for me, but as you can see it turned out to be a holiday from hell. Next year, I won't even send out any Christmas cards at all, and they can forget about the two-dollar checks. Ho, ho, ho my hindquarters.

"Won't you tell me where my country lies?" said the unifaun to his true love's eyes...