Newsletter #9
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Hare–Raising Adventures
9th Edition, Early January, after the fifth

Unfortunately, I have been swamped with work and computer troubles, so that is why I have not written a much sought after newsletter (to your collective sorrow, I’m sure). I will make up for that by making this one so big that it clogs your In–box, not letting any other mail in until you read and discard this — or just discard it. Since I am going to be thorough, I will start way back in November, when I last wrote…

The Great annual Christmas rehearsals were starting up, and along with it, four–man Chess season. Since I wasn’t in the choir this year, that gave me more time to challenge the other outcasts in games of strategy and wit. Unlike other years, though, this year was tainted by the inescapable fact that Stephen was not in the choir this year either, so was eager to infringe on my sacred game playing time. This was not appreciated, especially since he seems to have mistaken chess for a debate, not a strategy game — the way to win is to have the loudest voice, not the best mind according to his way of playing. He also incorporated a few unsavory fellows to participate in his “Chess” games. I, undaunted by these new complications, managed to have a couple of my tradition Chess games in relative peace, along with some other games, and still had a good time.

During the rehearsals many other things were happening. One of them was a trip to visit some friends of ours, the Jibilians, where we had been invited to have supper. Unrealized by Mom, she had scheduled an orthodontist appointment for me, to have my braces tightened, or whatever they do, so my mouth was all sore while eating, but luckily most of the food was pretty soft. Ah, the sacrifices I go through for all Mom and Dad’s friends.

Something else that kind of snuck up on us was Mom’s birthday, just one day before Thanksgiving, so we all had to scramble around finding something reasonable that she wanted. One amusing thing that I noticed while Dad and I were at a mall, attempting to find something for Mom’s exacting tastes, was that they were already playing Christmas music, and getting decorations up and everything — and Thanksgiving hadn’t even come yet. This bring to mind another amusing incident, in which Mom bought some delicious juice, which was labeled Orange Strawberry Banana Swirl or something, but when I looked at the ingredients, it went like this: water, orange juice, apple juice, pineapple juice, Strawberry juice, white grape juice, and then at the end, Banana juice. I think I shall never understand the twisted whiles of marketing.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, our Thanksgiving was rather disappointing in that only Uncle David, Amy (although only for a little), and Aaron, came, and not the usual hordes of relatives, friends, and one or two strangers that traditionally invade us. We still made up for it by having a giant turkey, 20 pounds, even though there were only nine people there. While I was thankful, I had trouble finding something specific to pin down, so I believe I went with thankfulness for Sage’s health and well being.

On the seventh, we had the Master’s Academy of Fine Arts (MAFiA, for short) final program, which was basically just boasting about much stuff we did and how well we did it. There isn’t really much to tell — there were a lot of people, and lot of stuff, and some food and drink. I had made an oil painting in my art elective, and Mom oohed and ahhed over that, but that was basically it, except for one girl who was there who had a tiny little rat that she just kept on her shoulder or in her hood the whole time she was there. She said that it didn’t excrete on her at all, and that she just put it on a towel when it needed to go. Of course, after having seen that, Mom was sure I would attempt something similar with Sage, but he is too big and plump — he would just fall off.

After that Dad went on one of his pleasure trips, this time down to Atlanta, since he heard the weather was good there — of course he told us that he had important staff meetings, highly required, et cetera, et cetera, but we all know the truth. We got back at him by losing in the local Geography Bee while he was away, although I still managed to tie for fourth. He returned back to us just in time to be late for the Christmas recital, which was nice, although my fellow companions and I sadly realized the end of the four man Chess season, and we had a moment of silence to reminisce upon the good times we had.

The next thing that happened was the big annual (of course) Christmas party for the Krick’s bible study, and therefore for me and my charges as well. I believe that I had nine charges that night, and to complicate the matter, we also had our evening meal there. It was definitely a memorable night, with some kids wanting to be with their parents, others wanting things that someone else had — another wanting some juice… And me, trying to maintain something just under chaos, but, needless to say, I survived, or I wouldn’t be here today to add some flavor to your lives.

Then Bang! There was it was — Christmas Eve, and the final frenetic dash of Christmas present buying and wrapping was over. I managed to keep the season jolly by constantly reminding Mom and Dad (who acted like the season was some kind of ordeal) that this was the season of Joy, Happiness, and so on. We shouldn’t be anxiously worrying about whether so–and–so would like this or that, and work we all have to do… But luckily I managed to keep that kind of mutinous talk to a minimum, at least near me. For the last meal before Christmas, Mom decided to make cheese fondue in her new fondue pot, which she bought over the Internet. It had come with a tiny little dish to put a candle in, but Mom put it on our old fondue pot holder, with the old heating system which was hotter than the one it came with, so in mid meal the pot cracked in half, tossing cheese everywhere, to our great amusement.

We had many debates as to when, exactly, we should get up and open our stockings and presents. Steve was going for five thirty (A.M.), I was going for six thirty, and Dan and Pete were going for ten. We finally decided (I think) on when Ben woke up, but no later than eight. I woke up at my designated time of six thirty, and played on the computer until everyone else got up and about. I got a lot of chocolate in my stocking, including some Jamaican Rum balls, which Mom had gotten once while I was shopping with her, and I had wanted to try one (to see what it tasted like) but she wouldn’t let me — and there I got a whole bag in my stocking. I also got a three foot long pepperoni stick, which has been put to good use. After we opened our stocking we took a half an hour to manage to walk down the stairs and congregate in the living room, which I find to be a great feat of loitering. I got many presents, and would bore you all by listing them all, but I will mention some of the more memorable ones. I got several guinea pig related ones, including a calendar, a video spoof of Star Wars in the form of a sixteen minute long guinea pig only cast, and we got a DVD player from Uncle Dale — we have to keep up with the times, you know. I also got a guinea pig, which was by far the best present, not to put down the others, but I have to be honest… I think the main reason was that Steve and I consistently reminded Mom that Sage was sad and lonely, down in the basement with no–one to play with… I employed a variation of the phrase practice practice practice — instead, Persistence, Consistence, Resistance. Anyway, the guinea pig was really skittish, so we let him have as low key a day as was humanly possible, to let him get used to his surroundings. Later on, Uncle John and Co. arrived, and Uncle David came over too, and we had supper and played and exchanged presents, and so on.

Uncle John stayed for two more days, and then returned to New Jersey, since we had arranged to go to the Farm on Thursday, and return on Saturday. We took the new guinea pig along, whom we had christened Nutmeg, since I wanted to keep an eye on him, and didn’t want to leave him for three days. We had a nice time at the farm, but when we returned, we found the main water pipe into the house had frozen and broken, so we were without water for six days, and it was a real pain, and really made us appreciate water. Since in my mind it was still the Christmas season, the season to be joyous, I said to look on the bright side, and pointed out that at least it wasn’t our electricity that was out.

During this crisis, we had our Church New Year’s Eve party, annually hosted by a family in our church, but since this year the wife’s mom had died shortly before, she didn’t feel up to having the whole church over for the night, so after much nail biting, it was decided to have it at the church building, which, to me, seemed the only sensible idea from the beginning, since no one else had a big enough house. That finally concluded the game playing spirit, with a the traditional Trivial Pursuit game going on past midnight. Mr. Caggiano, who usually hosts the party, is the long standing champion in this game, but Mr. Femister is a fierce opponent, and Mrs. Hansell is worthy of note as well. Since Mr. Caggiano was away this year, Mr. Femister saw his chance, and a game was started with Mrs. Hansell and Mom (later Elder Harley replaced Mom) on a team, Mr. Femister and Mr. Jenkins on a team, and Mr. Plowman and I on a team. It was hard fought, and Mom claimed that every single answer I got right or wrong, was because I paid attention to or ignored her schooling, respectively, as if I learn nothing without her help. She was particularly elated by the fact that my team’s final question pertained to a scene in Hamlet, which we had studied a year and a half ago, which I answered correctly, even though she wasn’t there to make her usual comments about how she taught me that. By twelve thirty Mr. Plowman and I had won, with the other two teams only one pie behind. Mr. Femister, to show his goodwill, transported us home, since Mom and Dad had left earlier in the evening.

The day after our water was fixed Mom and Dad left for yet another (in Dad’s case) trip to the tropical southern states, this time Florida, under the guise of a visit to one Mrs. Houck, an old friend of ours, in both meanings of the word. They left us in the dubious care of our oldest sibling, in the hopes we would be alive when they returned. We survived off of leftover in the fridge, eating out, and pierogies. The large blight upon this month is that on January fifth, Nutmeg inexplicably died. In the morning, Steve and I had been holding him, and he was his usual fiery self, but then he escaped by way of Stephen’s foolhardiness, and when Steve caught him he seemed a little tired, and then when he put him in his cage, he just plopped down, not making any noise or moving around much at all. After only two hours from the first abnormalities, he was dead, for no apparent reason, since there were no wounds or anything on him. The only connection was that Thyme, another I had a couple years ago had the same stuff — apparent weakness, not moving much, not making any squeaks or anything, and then he died as well, although after a couple days… It’s a mystery. So we then buried him by the house, once it stopped snowing. Not much else has happened since then, which is good, since my fingers are killing me, so I shall now end here. I wish to apologize for not having the usual copyright information at the bottom, but due to technical difficulties, that would be a waste of time, to be blunt. Have a nice year 2001 — the true start of the millennium, so they say.

–~Snowshoe Hare~–
–~Christopher Green~–

*Here Endeth the Newsletter*