The Befouled Weakly News

26 December 2010

We hope you have all had the most delightful of Christmases – we certainly did. And, of course, someone celebrated a “significant” birthday in the week which was equally delightful.

The celebrations began on Sunday morning when our Ben walked through the door – undoubtedly the best birthday surprise anyone could have hoped for. He flew in to the UK on Saturday morning but because of the chaos caused by the weather, his flight was diverted from Heathrow to Manchester. Nick, who was in on the surprise, of course, had started his journey to Heathrow to collect him (we, of course, were up in London enjoying War Horse) but was forced back by the conditions on the motorway, fortunately, and didn’t struggle all the way to the airport. Instead, Ben made his way by train from Manchester to Leamington and then Nick brought him over on Sunday morning. Complete and utter surprise and a delightful one at that.

Birthday Cards

So, on Wednesday we celebrated Greg’s Gargantuan Birthday. There were many presents and a grand feast in the evening prepared by Byfield’s most famous and well-respected chef, Penny. The dining table was extended to its maximum and we managed to squeeze thirteen around the table; Pete and Sally from next door, Mary and Paul from across the road, Nick and Lucy and Ben, the Waltons (Dave and Sue) and Sue and Stuart from the south coast. Everyone made it through the weather and it was a fabulously delightful occasion.

The menu was extraordinary and even I made a couple of contributions. I choose the wines and made the sorbets and ice cream! The rest of the feast was lovingly prepared by Ms Playchute and we partied well past our bedtime. (Well, partying might be a bit of an exaggeration but the final guests did not leave until about noon the following day so, as far as I can remember, we sure had a wonderful time).

Birthday Dinner
Birthday Dinner

The great thing about my birthday is that it sets you up nicely for the festivities on Christmas Day. Sadly, Ben had to fly back to LA on Friday so we got him delivered to the airport on time and his flight was only delayed by about an hour and a half – luckily he wasn’t trying to fly earlier in the week when Heathrow simply was not coping.

After a leisurely start to Christmas Day, Nick and Lucy arrived (again) and we were joined soon thereafter by Penny’s folks, Beryl and Oz. Another fantastic meal once again, surprisingly, prepared by Ms Playchute (I don’t think I made any contribution to this feast; if so, I certainly can’t remember what it was – how bad is that?). We opened presents and had a lengthy Skype with Adam and Tang in China which was a real treat. A roaring fire in the lounge ensured that almost everyone was snoring contentedly away once we put a film on the television.

Lucy's Hat

Lucy's new hat from Ben & Donna

Skyping with Adam and Tang

Skyping with Adam and Tang in China

Christmas Morning

Christmas Morning - He Came!

Frozen Downspout

A great day and a great week.

All our love to you all,


A few festive anecdotes this time:

Three men died on Christmas Eve and were met by Saint Peter at the pearly gates.

"In honor of this holy season," Saint Peter said, "You must each possess something that symbolizes Christmas to get into heaven."

The first man fumbled through his pockets and pulled out a lighter. He flicked it on.

"It represents a candle," he said.

"You may pass through the pearly gates," Saint Peter said.

The second man reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of keys. He shook them and said, "They're bells."

Saint Peter said, "You may pass through the pearly gates."

The third man started searching desperately through his pockets and finally pulled out a pair of women's panties.

St. Peter looked at the man with a raised eyebrow and asked, "And just what do those symbolize?"

The man replied, "They're Carol's."

What would have happened if on the first Christmas, there had been three wise women instead of three wise men?

They would have:

  • asked for directions
  • arrived on time
  • helped deliver the baby
  • cleaned the stable
  • brought more practical gifts, and
  • made a casserole.

But, women shouldn't necessarily gloat about these truths, since there are several other truths here. After they left, they'd be saying to each other:

  • Did you see the sandals Mary was wearing with that gown?
  • Did you see the drummer boy?! He can beat my drum anytime.
  • That donkey they're riding has seen better days.
  • I hear that Joseph isn't even working right now.
  • Virgin? Hah! I knew her in school days!
  • That baby doesn't look anything like Joseph.
  • Wanna bet how long it will take to get your casserole dish back?

A family had twin boys whose only resemblance to each other was their looks. If one felt it was too hot, the other thought it was too cold. If one said the TV was too loud, the other claimed the volume needed to be turned up.

But worst of all, one was an eternal optimist, and the other a doom and gloom pessimist, so their father decided to play a trick on them both.

On Christmas morning they found two huge boxes under the tree. The pessimist's box had the greatest, most expensive toy ever. The optimist's box was loaded with horse manure.

When the pessimist opened his box, he burst into tears.

"Why are you crying?" the father asked.

"Because my friends will be jealous, I'll have to read the manual before I can play with this, I'll constantly need batteries, and eventually it will get broken," sobbed the pessimist.

Then the optimist opened his box, and he whooped with joy.

"What are you so happy about?" the father asked.

"Well, daddy," the optimist twin replied, "there's got to be a pony around here somewhere!"

And finally, just because it’s Christmas.

Lovable Louise -- a Christmas Story

As a joke, my brother used to hang a pair of panty hose over his fireplace before Christmas. He said all he wanted was for Santa to fill them. What they say about Santa checking the list twice must be true because every Christmas morning, although Jay's kids' stockings were overflowed, his poor pantyhose hung sadly empty and grew increasingly threadbare.

One year I decided to make his dream come true.

I put on sunglasses and a fake beard and went in search of an inflatable love doll. Of course, they don't sell those things at Wal-mart. I had to go to an adult bookstore downtown. If you've never been in such a store, don't go. You'll only confuse yourself. I was there almost three hours saying things like, "What does this do?" "You're kidding me!" "Who owns that?" and "Do you have their phone number?"

Finally, I made it to the inflatable doll section. I wanted to buy a standard, uncomplicated doll suitable for a night of romance that could also substitute as a passenger in my truck so I could use the car pool lane during rush hour. I'm not sure what a complicated doll is. Perhaps one that is subject to wild mood shifts and using a French accent for no reason at all. (That also describes a few ex-girlfriends.) Finding what I wanted was difficult. Love dolls come in many different models. The top of the line, according to the side of the box, could do things I'd only seen in a book on animal husbandry. I figured the "vibro-motion" was a feature Jay could live without, so I settled for Lovable Louise. She was at the bottom of the price scale. To call Louise a "doll" took a huge leap of imagination.

On Christmas Eve, with the help of an old bicycle pump, Louise came to life.

My sister-in-law was in on the plan and cleverly left the front door key hidden under the mat. In the wee morning hours, long after Santa had come and gone, I snuck into the house and filled the dangling pantyhose with Louise's pliant legs and bottom. I also ate some cookies and drank what remained of a glass of milk on a nearby tray.

Then I let myself out, went home, and giggled for a couple of hours.

The next morning my brother called to say that Santa had been to his house and left a present that had made him very happy but had left the dog confused. He would bark, start to walk away, then come back and bark some more. I suggested he purchase an inflatable Lassie to set Rover straight.

We also agreed that Louise should remain in her pantyhose so the rest of the family could admire her when they came over for the traditional Christmas dinner. It seemed like a great idea, except that we forgot that Grandma and Grandpa would be there.

My grandmother noticed Louise the moment she walked in the door. "What the hell is that?" she asked. My brother quickly explained.

It's a doll.

"Who would play with something like that?" Granny snapped. I had several candidates in mind, but kept my mouth shut. "Where are her clothes?" Granny continued. I hadn't seen any in the box, but I kept this information to myself.

"Boy, that turkey sure smells nice, Gran," Jay said, trying to steer her into the dining room. But Granny was relentless.

"Why doesn't she have any teeth?"

Again, I could have answered, but why would I? It was Christmas and no one wanted to ride in the back of the ambulance saying, "Hang on Granny, Hang on!"

My grandfather, a delightful old man with poor eyesight, sidled up to me and said, "Hey, who's the naked gal by the fireplace?" I told him she was Jay's friend. A few minutes later I noticed Grandpa by the mantel, talking to Louise. Not just talking, but actually flirting. It was then that we realized this might be Grandpa's last Christmas at home.

The dinner went well. We made the usual small talk about who had died, who was dying, and who should be killed, when suddenly Louise made a noise that sounded a lot like my father in the bathroom in the morning. Then she lurched from the pantyhose, flew around the room twice, and fell in a heap in front of the sofa.

The cat screamed, I passed cranberry sauce through my nose, and Grandpa ran across the room, fell to his knees, and began administering mouth to mouth resuscitation. My brother wet his pants and Granny threw down her napkin, stomped out of the room, and sat in the car. It was indeed a Christmas to treasure and remember.

Later in my brother's garage, we conducted a thorough examination to decide the cause of Louise's collapse.

We discovered that Louise had suffered from a hot fireplace ember to the back of her right thigh. Fortunately, thanks to a wonder drug called duct tape, we restored her to perfect health. Louise went on to star in several bachelor party movies. I think Grandpa still calls her whenever he can get out of the house.

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