Alfred and Monroe grew up together. They terrorized the school and romanced all the girls at North Park school. They loved one another like brothers and as they grew up got married and had children their children and spouses all came to feel the same as the two men did about one another. They were thick as thieves, close as capers and as loving as lemmings. Wait are lemmings loving?
This story took place some years ago when Buck, my older brother, and Bird, Monroe’s oldest daughter, were in the Franklin Junior High School Christmas Choir Extravaganza. There on the stage stood the two older offspring of Alfred and Monroe. The two families sat close to one another announcing one another’s arrivals with hails of “Alfred, how the heck are you! I haven’t seen you in a coons age. Hows the wife. Oh there she is” to be met with “Monroe you look great. You couldn’t tell you just had a complete hemrhoidectomy.” This would be broadcast loud and clear through out the reverberating assembly hall of the junior high even though the two families had just eaten dinner together and arrived at the same time.
It was during this time that the youngest offspring of Alfred was having a little trouble with his “t’s” and “f’s”. Now John Darling would get his f’s confused and say things like “if’s frue” instead of “it’s true”. It was also this very season that he at the ripe old age of five had made his very own Christmas wish list. Now what was on every young man’s list at the age of five way back in 1967? There would have been cap guns, spurs and chaps and of course every good cowboy needs some firefighting equipment because evidently cowboys and fire fighters go together like peas and carrots. It was also the Christmas that Brother Dave, the bathtist preacher, attended the Christmas Choir Extravaganza and decided that he needed to sit right next to Alfred’s family.
Brother Dave sat down next to little John Darling and said “well young man how is your Christmas so far.” John Darling looked up from under his bright red eyelashes and said “Tine, jisf tine. I gof my cwissmuf wisf all tinished.” Brother Dave, returned the smile and tousled the tikes bright red hair and said “Well I hope you get each and everything on that list.” Hearing this Monroe couldn’t resist and hollered from two rows back “Hey John Darling, what are you getting from Santa?”
The little red haired boy jumped up in his seat and said “Hey Uncle Monroe! I’s gonna gef a gun daf shoofs real bullefs and some chafs and some Gee Eyed Joes and a BIG RED FIRE F**K!” The auditorium went silent except for Alfred’s wife’s face who you could hear turning red. Brother Dave blew out a big breath and Doobie, Monroe’s wife, drew in a deep breath. What with all the stopping of whispering and face turnings and the in and outs of breaths little John Darling had the rooms attention and he repeated it again so each and every family could hear what Santa was bringing him for Christmas. “Uncle Monroe, did ju hear me? I’s gaffing a big RED FIRE F**K!”
Monroe picked himself up from rolling around on the floor and while holding his sides he yelled back at little John Darling “I hope you get what you asked for and would you ask Santa to bring me one too?”
Merry Christmas from Alfred and Monroe and me, we hope Santa brings you everything on your Christmas list. I know I for one would be happy with a good old fashion Christmas Truck.
Saturday at the Maul
15 hours ago