Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Calvey Christmas Card

Having reached eleven I am starting to get nostalgic about Christmases past. With that in mind I went into the basement of my condo and pulled out the journals of my Daddy’s childhood dog Barney. (Back in those times before computers and the Internet dogs had to write in journals and hope that someday humans would invent something to allow their stories to be widely distributed.)

I dug out a journal that said Christmas. There was the story about how he chased Santa down the driveway barking at him when he paid an unexpected visit; the story of the Jewish lawyer who each year brought the family fruit basket and for years Daddy and his sister thought Hannakuah was a day people of the Jewish faith brought Christians fruit.

But then I found one I thought you would enjoy. It is called: “The Calvey Christmas Card.”

From the paw of Barney Dog:

It was a freezing cold December morning. I was trying to keep warm in my dog house but some days there just weren’t enough wood chips. I heard the sound of the postman pulling up to the mailbox.

I trotted over to him and looked up, my tail wagging. “Nothing for you today Barney,” he said. “You know dogs don’t get mail.” I had told him my dream: Of a day when dogs sent each other cards, and gifts, and talked over computers, and the postman didn’t think twice about delivering mail with a dog’s name on it. AAlthough I may not get to that mountaintop of mail with you, I will be there in spirit.

“Oh look a this,” the postman said holding an envelope. “It’s the Calvey’s Christmas Card.” He laughed as I covered my eyes with my paws.

The Calveys were friends of my Boy Daddy’s family. I had never met them. Being a dirty black dog I would be hidden if a Calvey scurried near our door. There was a tall handsome father, a beautiful blond wife, and two beautiful blond daughters. By some kind of magic probably manufactured by their beauty they were able to project their picture on to their Christmas card.
The father would be sharply dressed in a dark suit with a red tie, and his hair was perfect. His wife would be seated, looking like a blond Jackie O. The two girls, each hair glowing, teeth perfectly aligned, were smiling. It’s beauty was too great to behold. Each member of Boy Daddy’s Family would look at the card and say “This, this is the family I wished I had.”

An aside: The Calveys had a pool. The beautiful Mrs. Calvey painted a mural on the bottom of her pool, because that is what beautiful people do. In the summer, on days they were not with the other beautiful people, they invited Boy Daddy’s family. One time they did it on the Fourth of July. The plan was swimming, a cook out, then getting dressed and going to the Brockton Fair, which is a place to go with the family ro have fun and watch the fire works (Foley note: Now it’s a place to watch gang fights and get Hep C.) The swimming and the cookout were done. Boy Daddy was dressed with his Buster Browns on and was near the pool with the youngest beautiful blond Calvey daughter Mary. Now, Boy Daddy’s story is that Mary pushed him in the pool. Her story, and the story of everyone who knows Boy Daddy, is that the klutz fell in the pool. Either way Daddy was in the pool, fully dressed, even in his shoes. He got fished out. They put his clothes in the dryer, and while they dried, his shoes did not. Our Mommy did not want to put his dry socks in wet shoes. So she put his feet in baggies and used rubber bands to hold them in place. So, with my Boy Daddy in foot condoms they went off to the Fair.

When they got their Boy Daddy, his sister, and the beautiful Calvey girls saw the greatest of sites. A bouncy house. Boy Daddy excitedly asked his Mom if he could go into the house and she agreed talking off his shoes. But she did not remove the baggies from his feet. This led to the first time in his life that Boy Daddy heard the term F*g*t. Boy Daddy was having fun bouncing in the house when some kid who looked like Vargas from A Christmas Story said “Hey everyone look at the F*g*t with the bags on his feet.” Everyone laughed and Boy Daddy squished away never to go into a bouncy house again.

Now back to the Christmas Card. It would be hung in an area of great prominence. People would then come to the house to gaze at the picture. An old black dog with a baritone growl explained why “They will come Barney. They will most definitely come. Because it is money they have an beauty they want. They will come and they will look at the Christmas Card and memories of beautiful people in their life will wash over them. They will come Barney. They will most definitely come.”

And they came, to look at the beauty of the picture on the Christmas Card. And when the season ended it way carefully removed from the wall and placed in a shoe box with the other Calvey Christmas cards, and the box was put in a special place where it glowed for the rest of the year.

Someday maybe a dog will be on a Calvey Christmas card. Then I can rest at the Bridge in peace.

The end.

Well it seems Barney’s dream came true. Good for him, and good for all of us. His dream came true almost 90 times for us this Christmas as our house was filled with cards with pcitures of dogws on them. . So lets dream big this holiday season for the dogs who come after us. Everyone must have a Calvey Christmas card somewhere in their home to wish upon for a better future.

1 comment:

  1. Ok, those Calvey people... ewwwwwwwwww... but I will share a story my momma tells when she has had enough to drink. It is about the "perfect" girl in her grade school. A tall [my momma is barely 4'11" so the whole world is "tall"] statue of perfect milky white blondness named Bianca. Bianca was a poise and beauty school grad and she was insufferably beautifully obnoxious. Every single mother would invoke Bianca's name when scolding their daughter for not being... something. Perfection is what Bianca came to stand for. Her picture, a 9x12 glossy hung in the center of the class bulletin board, [taken in the best light, in the best clothes by a professional photog ] surrounded by the school pictures of the rest of the peons...smiling through gaps in the teeth, hair sticking up, and taken by the janitor who moonlighted as school photographer... BIANCA was what nobody could measure up to. At Christmas mass, when Bianca and her family made their entrance, people moved from the front pew so Bianca could be front and center.Bianca's mother was an adult version of Bianca. Her dad looked like an actor and her brother was painfully handsome and roomered to have slept with a number of older women, thus very desirable. Very select people got holiday cards from Bianca's family. But if you were lucky enough to be on that list, you got the family picture with a list of accomplishment for the year. Stuff like... Bianca now was able to do a double axle while carrying a full tray of martini which she mixed herself served on the glasses her father made in his glass blowing class and on the tray her mother etched in her silver design class... And those cards were shared with the less lucky ones [also you bragged you got one...] And the cards were put away and pulled out during crisis so the non compliant child could see concrete proof of attainable perfection and so whatever was left of their self esteem could be crushed.
    Momma was lucky enough to have a grandmother who was not impressed by Bianca. In fact she referred to Bianca and her family as the "Ones who fart Chanel no.5 That phrase would make momma laugh so hard she never, not once wanted to even sniff Chanel No. 5. But one Sunday afternoon, after Catechism class, when momma and Bianca were alone and waiting to be picked up... Bianca farted... a loud, nasty, horrid, wall paper peeling smelly.... fart which lingered long after Bianca left. When momma's grandma finally arrived to pick up momma, she wrinkled her nose and asked "What is that smell, what died around here?" And momma without batting an eye answered "Coco Chanel, apparently. Bianca farted"

    And after that... for momma Bianca and people like her lost all luster... and the code phrase has been... for 40+ yrs... Coco is dead.

    And that's our Calvey story. Thank you for sharing yours.


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