The circus of life

If you are familiar with Bill Keane’s comic strip, “The Family Circus,” then you can imagine what life is like sometimes at my house.
In fact, it often also includes a few frames from National Lampoon’s “Vacation” series mixed with scenes from other knee-slapping comedies.
Where do I begin?
How about a scene from “The Christmas Story.” History lesson #1: the 1983 movie (set in the 1940s) centers around Ralphie, a seven-year-old boy who wants a Red Ryder BB gun from Santa. His parents don’t think he should have one because “You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out!”
’Twas the Wednesday before Christmas. It was pizza night at our house—a “from scratch” ritual Peter and I always do together, usually on Fridays (we use the time to get re-acquainted).
It was 7 p.m. and Peter had just come home from work, where he’d had a long, hard, dirty day on the job.
I poured us each a glass of wine and we sat down to untwist from our daily grinds. One glass led to two, and then it was time to make pizza. Peter decided to take a shower first while I threw the dough together. He peeled off his work clothes, threw on his housecoat, and off he went to get cleaned up.
Wife puts on Christmas music and moves to kitchen area.
History lesson #2: Pete is notorious for two things a). not using a clothes hanger or bathroom hook and b). talking to himself in the shower.
I heard him beller something inaudible, which isn’t unusual. I figured he was already in the shower and discussing the problems of the world with himself.
But shortly thereafter, he came skidding across the kitchen floor housecoat flapping in the breeze with a look on his face that said “You’ll never believe what just happened.”
Turns out the beller I heard was him, but came from the yet unfinished en suite bathroom in our bedroom, where he had stopped to get his bath towel. He’d reached for it, draped precariously over the top end of a stainless steel rod propped against the wall.
Beside the towel stood his weekend entertainment—an air gun that looks like a .22 rifle, but shoots tiny lead pellets at empty beer cans in the yard.
Towel snags, pole falls, hits air gun, gun moves from its upright position and falls into open housecoat and directly into naked target area “below the belt.”
Something tells me “You’ll shoot your eye out” doesn’t exactly cut it here.
Of course, the gun was empty and posed no danger, but apparently the experience was enough to make Pete hang the towel on the rack in the hall bathroom.
History lesson #3: Pete should know by now. Home life is an open road where my “View” is concerned (but he is a very good sport).
Meanwhile, I could go on to expound on “The Family Circus” that ensues when the kids are home from school for the holidays. Let me suffice by saying by this week, it was “TGIM” for me (Thank God, It’s Monday).
Though people headed back to work wouldn’t agree with me on that one, I had good reason to raise my coffee cup and toast Jan. 3. I hailed the day based on logistics close to the hearts of all mothers.
From the moms of the little tikes who’ve spent the holidays wearing out the welcome of noisy toys, to the moms of teens who’ve emptied the refrigerator for the umpteenth time in the last two weeks, do I hear a resounding “Yahoo” for school has begun again!

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