Here’s a piece of Christmas in April from my latest book, LONNIE, ME, AND…. The book is a collection of short stories about Lonnie, a natural-born fool, and his pal, Tiny.
In this one, Lonnie has, against all probability, bought an inflatable Santa that his sweet but highly doctrinaire wife approves.
A Blowed Up Santa
excerpt from “Lonnie, Me, and the Blowed Up Santa”
by Marian Allen
“You’re gonna put a what out for Christmas?” I thought I heard right, but my ears was covered up with cap flaps, so I couldn’t be sure. My best friend, Lonnie, was helping me string Christmas lights along my gutters, which meant he was standing on the ground passing the lights up to me and I was on the ladder doing the work.
“A BLOWED UP SANTA!” His cheeks got all red from shouting so loud, and faces appeared in windows all up and down the block.
“Okay, all right,” I said, patting at the air to tell him to lower the volume. “That’s what I thought you said, but it didn’t sound likely. Is Leona gonna stand for that?”
Leona is Lonnie’s wife, and she doesn’t hold much with Pagan trappings to a holy day, and she puts Santa Claus into the Pagan category. My wife, Mary Lee, carries on a friendly dispute with her over it, pointing out that Santa Claus is slang for Saint Nicholas. But Leona’s a hardshell Baptist, and Catholic might as well be Pastafarian as far as she’s concerned.
“Well, okay.” I came down, moved the ladder along, and went back up.
Mary Lee and I love decorating for Christmas. We love everything about Christmas, period. If we ever manage to have kids — and we ain’t quit hoping — that kid’ll be so Christmassed out, it’ll be dizzy clear through Easter.
Lonnie and Leona’s kids, though, if they ever have any, won’t know if they’re coming or going. What with all Leona’s rules and all Lonnie’s breaking of ’em, their kids’ll be as like as not to grow up with double personality disorder or what have you.
Mary Lee says Lonnie won’t ever have kids, because everybody knows a jackass can’t reproduce. Lonnie’s one of those friends your wife doesn’t know why you have. Her and me and Lonnie and Leona all grew up together, though, and you couldn’t split us with an atom.
“Tiny? Hey, Tiny?” Lonnie shook the ladder to get my attention. It got my attention, all right; I nearly went off into the hydrangeas. And, when a man my size hits the hydrangeas,they get hit and stay hit.
Buy LONNIE, ME, AND….
A WRITING PROMPT BASED ON MY POST: How does your main character decorate for Christmas? What would they never, ever, EVER have as a decoration?