Since I am in the holiday spirit (and, having just consumed a mug of hot toddy, a glass of eggnog and a nip of cheer, the holiday spirits are in me), I have decided to follow in that great tradition of boring everyone silly by writing a Christmas letter.
That is why I am pleased as punch (which I also drank) to present the following chronicle of the Zezima family, which includes Jerry, the patriarch, and Sue, the matriarch, as well as two daughtersiarch, two sons-in-lawiarch, five grandchildreniarch and a partridge in a pear tree.
It sure has been an eventful year for the Zezimas!
The highlight was a family reunion that included Jerry’s mother, Rosina, who at 97 was the life of the party. She was thrilled to be with all three of her children, all five of her grandchildren and all five of her great-grandchildren for the first time.
It also was the first time that all of Jerry and Sue’s grandchildren had seen each other in person. The kids, who range in age from 9 to 3, had a ball, especially with Jerry, who splashed at the beach, bounced on a trampoline, acted silly at an aquarium and rode on a carousel. He was more fun and less mature than any of them.
The good times continued when granddaughters Chloe and Lilly set up a lemonade stand on Sue and Jerry’s front lawn. The girls netted $45 in 45 minutes, which made Jerry wonder if he picked the wrong profession.
In automotive news, Jerry got a new car. His old car wasn’t that old (two years, 17,000 miles), but the trade-in deal was too good to pass up. Jerry even has seat warmers, which he previously called pants. Unfortunately, he is still getting calls about his extended warranty.
On the domestic front, Sue and Jerry got new garage doors. It was about time because one of the old doors had a gap that allowed snow and leaves to accumulate in the garage. To Jerry’s dismay, the place is so cluttered with junk that he can’t fit his new car in there.
Sue and Jerry also got a new dishwasher. It replaced the world’s worst appliance, which leaked so much it threatened to turn the kitchen into a swimming pool. Now Jerry won’t have to do the dinner dishes in his bathing suit.
An alarming development occurred when Sue went out of town for five days and left Jerry home alone. In a blunder that would have impressed Macaulay Culkin, Jerry set off the house alarm and had to convince a nice person at the alarm company not to send the cops. As Sue said when she returned, “At least I didn’t have to bail you out of jail.”
Sue and Jerry had a tarot card reading at a wine bar, where they really got into the spirit. The reader couldn’t give Jerry the winning Powerball numbers, but she did tell him that he was already rich because he had Sue. Jerry drank to that.
Jerry came out of retirement to work as a brand ambassador at Costco, giving out samples of peppermint pretzels and mint truffles. He proved to be a super salesman but retired again after only two days. For some unfair reason, he can’t collect a pension.
In medical news, Sue and Jerry both went to an ENT specialist to get their ears cleaned out because they couldn’t hear each other. Jerry still has a tough time making out what people are saying on TV, but Sue, regrettably, can clearly hear all of his stupid jokes.
Jerry also got a new primary care physician because his old doctor, who is 81, finally retired. Jerry likes his new doctor, who at 51 is the first physician Jerry has ever had who is younger than he is.
In a frightening coincidence, the day after Jerry updated his will, which could have been written on an index card, he received a brochure in the mail from a cemetery. He did not, thank God, keel over.
In sad news, Sue’s mother, Josephine Pikero, passed away at age 92. A career woman in the days when such a thing wasn’t common, she had three children, seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. She also was an excellent cook – Italian dishes were her specialty – but she never understood why Jerry doesn’t like anchovies. “Because,” he explained, “I draw the line at fish with hair.”
Last but certainly least, Jerry’s sixth book, “One for the Ageless: How to Stay Young and Immature Even If You’re Really Old,” was published. Like all his other books, it’s a crime against literature. It also comes in handy for propping up a wobbly table leg. And if you suffer from insomnia, you might even want to read it. Tell Santa that it’s better than coal.
Merry Christmas with love and laughter from the Zezimas.
Jerry Zezima writes a humor column for Tribune News Service and is the author of six books. His latest is “One for the Ageless: How to Stay Young and Immature Even If You’re Really Old.” Reach him at [email protected] or via jerryzezima.blogspot.com.