A Christmas Story

Last night, I got up to pee. I walked into the bathroom in the dark, and released Gene Creek into the Great Basin, in the dark, when I looked down and saw a moving shadow in the bowl. Remembering that a friend of mine had a snake come into his house through the toilet, I jumped back and fumbled for the light.
It was a mouse, floating in circles in the wake of the Gene Creek release of water. It had a red tail. It had a corded red tail. Both of its white eyes were on one side of its head. It was a toy mouse.
As far as I knew, only one critter in the house could fling a toy mouse with a corded red tail into the air so that said mouse could fly and land in the Great Basin. That critter, a certain feline, was lying on her back, on the living room couch, fast asleep, and she was emitting a mother-in-law snore. You know: “wheeWheeWHEE-unhhhhh.” “wheeWheeWHEE-unhhhhh.”
Meanwhile, I had a toy mouse problem: how to extract it from the Yellow Sea. Maybe you have a relationship with your pee. I do not. With your pee, or my pee.
I settled on a pair of tongs, which I use to manipulate grilled chicken. I carried the tongs to the bathroom and plunged them into the Yellow Sea. The toy mouse, like a ship without a rudder, moved counter clockwise around and around the bowl. Finally, with the finesse of a jeweler about to cut a diamond, I slowly closed the tongs until they gripped the mouse.
“Hurrah,” I cried.
I lifted the dripping mouse up, which is how I knew it was dripping, which told me I had a further problem, how not to drip pee drops on the floor.
I lowered the mouse back into the Great Basin, only this time it boated clockwise. The feline now snored loud enough to cause a change on the Richter scale: “wheeWheeWHEE-unhhhhh.” “wheeWheeWHEE-unhhhhh.”
I walked back to the kitchen. Notice, English students, that perfect declarative sentence, clean and clear, direct. But… add one word: “Naked,” I walked back to the kitchen. Notice how “naked” adds drama. I walked back into the kitchen. Who cares? Naked, I walked back into the kitchen— “eeeew,” or “ooooh.” See?
You brazenly walk naked around your house, you know you do, like Donald Trump. Do you walk furtively? Like you were guilty of something? Yes, you do The Donald.
Naked (furtively), doing The Donald, I fetched the empty bag which held this night’s chicken bones, and with chicken bag and tongs, I walked back to the bathroom. And tripped and dropped the chicken tongs into the Great Basin.
Now (naked), I had a bag of chicken bones but no plucker. You can’t get far in the mouse toy fetching business without a plucker. Worst of all, I was waking up, and “The Little Drummer Boy,” the Bing Crosby version, began to play and replay in my head.
“Come, they told me, Parumpum-pum-pum!”
“wheeWheeWHEE-unhhhhh.” “wheeWheeWHEE-unhhhhh.”
Bing Crosby: “Come, they told me, Parumpum-pum-pum!”
I screamed for courage and lowered myself to one knee, plunged my right hand into the Great Basin and plunked the toy mouse with the red, corded tail into the bag of chicken bones, and plucked out the grilled chicken tongs, put my right hand into the bag of chicken bones and proceeded to the sink where I washed the soiled appendage and the plucker.
Bing Crosby: “Come, they told me. Parumpum-pum–”
The snoring had stopped.
The feline was standing in the doorway with yet another corded-tail toy mouse in her mouth. She lowered her head in preparation for a launch.
Quickly (and naked), I lowered the lid of the great basin, the motion of which made my “boys” … well, Bing Crosby: “Parumpum-pum-pum!”
The feline laughed. The effing feline watched my “boys” … you know, Bing Crosby: Parumpum-pum-pum! and laughed at me.
So, I skulked back to bed. I pulled on some sweat pants, to hide my furtive nakedness from myself, took a couple hits from that pipe you don’t tell Grandma about, and gradually I fell asleep.
I was having a pleasant dream. I was standing under a waterfall, and the jazz goddess Esperanza Spaulding was there playing her bass fiddle. I reached to touch her…
And I woke. Someone was in my bed. I reached and touched a bony shoulder. The owner of the shoulder turned and kissed me, beard stubble caressing—
Esperanza Spaulding has beard stubble?
He—HE—sang: “Come, they told me, Parumpum-pum-pum!”
And from the living room came such a clatter: “wheeWheeWHEE-unhhhhh.” “wheeWheeWHEE-unhhhhh.”
Merry Christmas from Gene and Scout.

About Eugene Jones Baldwin

I am a writer: non-fiction, fiction, journalism (Alton Telegraph), essays (The Genehouse Chronicles) and have a website: eugenebaldwin.com. I've published a couple dozen short stories and had eleven plays produced. Current projects: "Brother of the Stones" (available on Kindle), a book of short stories; "The Faithful Husband of the Rain, short stories"; "A Black Soldier's Letters Home, WWII,;" "There is No Color in Justice," a commentary on racism; "Ratkillers," a new play. I am an avocational archaeologist and I take parts of my collection of several thousand Indian artifacts (personal finds) to schools, nature centers, libraries etc. and talk about the 20,000 year history of The First people in Illinois. (See link to website) I'm also a playwright (eleven plays produced), musician, historian (authority on the Underground Railroad in Illinois, the Tuskegee Airmen) and teacher.
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