Tuesday, December 1, 2009
The McDoogle's Christmas Party at the Saved By Grace Lutheran Church.
Welcome to December in Cloverdale! Its the holiday season and that means families from one end of the shire to the other will be gathering for parties and reunions. The McDoogles will gather for their Christmas party in a few weeks. They’ve reserved the Saved By Grace Lutheran Church’s coffee hall for the event. They find it best to have the party in a church. The surroundings help calm the waters if cousin offends cousin or Uncle and Aunt come to the realization, over a class of egg nog and a helping of grandma's almost famous pumpkin pie, that their marriage was a mistake from the day they both said "I do".
Last year the McDoogles made a family rule that concealed weapons would be banned at all future gatherings after Great Grandpa tripped over 2 year old Malcom and shot himself in the foot. Great Grandpa McDoogle started began having problems with his balance shortly after loosing control of his bladder. Adult diapers helped with the leakage but Great Grandpa refused to use a walking frame to help with his balance.
“Damn thing makes me look old,” he said to his daughter. “The day I can’t walk is the day you better just take me round back and put a bullet in me.”
Of course, 95 year old Great Grandpa doesn’t seem to realize the fact that his face, hands and hairline are a sure give away that the man looks to be just shy of 120. Not to mention the fact that every piece of clothing he owns he bought from the 1935 Sears Roebuck Catalog. Oh, let’s not forget the fact that his dentures slip regularly when he gets into one of his argumentative moods. Once he and Great Grandma got into an argument over the best hospital in the Shire. Both consider themselves hospital connoisseurs - considering the fact that they both spent much of their 80’s in and out of several of them. Grandma insisted the All Saints Catholic Hospital in Tamworth on Tide is best hands down. Grandpa cried foul.
“The worse colonoscopy I ever had in my life was at All Saints,” Grandpa shouted across the table during last Saturday’s All You Can Eat Oatmeal and Scrambled Eggs at the Salvation Army's Monthly Salvation for Seniors Prayer Meeting . Grandma countered by claiming her surgery for women’s complaints at the government hospital in Fernwood on the Moor was frightening.
“It was like stepping back in time . I expect the doctor’s to pull out leeches and attempt to bleed me before putting me under the knife,” she said.
Great Grandpa attempted to spit across the table and into her oatmeal with blueberries (he’s been doing a lot of that lately. That, and having trouble getting to the toilet in time). Of course, the force needed to land a loogie squarely on the top of a nicely melting cube of butter was more than Great Grandpa’s dentures could handle. They flew out of his mouth and right onto the floor. Major Lydia Hawksworth stepped on them as she walked by banging on her tambourine and singing "Onward Christian Soldiers". It was an ugly scene best left forgotten.
Anyway, back to Great Grandpa tripping over two year old Malcom. Grandpa didn’t see the little tyke sprawled out on the carpet sucking at a large red punch stain made when Aunt Linda spilled her drink as she swaggered back to her seat. It was her fifth serving of a very spiked punch. Yes, the spiked punch - a contribution from one of the McDoogle teenagers hoping to have a laugh at every else's expense.
Great Grandpa, having had two cups of the punch himself, stumbled over Malcolm. The young lad was typsy himself from what he licked out of the carpet and didn't seem to notice the fact that his Great Grandpa had stepped on his hand. Great Grandma, on the other hand, saw what happened and screamed at Gandpa to be careful. The shock of it all caused Great Grandpa to loose his footing. He reached out to take hold of a hand or arm to break his fall but most family members knew to stay away from him. Grandpa had a tendency to loose control of his bowels in stressful situations.
Great Grandpa fell to the floor. The impact caused his concealed handgun to misfire. The bullet hit him squarely in the foot. Everyone at the Christmas Party dove for cover. The sound of the blast was heard throughout the building. The Saved By Grace Women’s Guild was in the room four doors down. The blast caused Miss Trelba Toosh to empty the contents of her coffee cup onto the beautiful quilt they were finishing for the Pastor's Christmas.
An ambulance was called. It arrived within minutes. The paramedics treated the gun shot wound on site then loaded Great Grandpa into the ambulance to take him to hospital.
Just as the ambulance prepared to drive away, Great Grandpa waved it down. She hobbled to the driver’s window and motioned for him to roll it down.
“Listen, I want him taken to All Saints Hospital,” she said to the driver. “He so loves the excellent care the nuns give.”
The driver nodded at her request and sped away. Great Grandma looked so pleased with herself.