21 December 2006

The New Gunnsberg Miracle: A Christmas Story

Gunnsberg (founded 2005) as it currently appears on my sideboard.
Mount Fridgidaire is visible in the background.


As our uncle Gerald used to say, "Merry Christmas, old man! How's your cotton pickin' liver?" I didn't know exactly what he meant by that then, and I still don't know for sure now. Still, I understand the importance of visceral fortitude during the holidays, especially when it comes to things like aunt Margaret's rum balls. As it is with jumping off a bridge, one must first take at least thumb-gauge measurements to make sure that thirty-two feet per second squared moving vertically won't equal sixty four days in horizontal repose. So I repeat Gerald's greeting here as an invitation to take a dipstick to your innards before you joyously leap off the lip of your beloved holiday bottle of Thunderbird. How is your liver?

As of yesterday, the Gunn household experienced its first miracle of the Christmas season. I don't know if I told you before or not, but when I first erected my tiny porcelain Christmas village last year, Teresa rolled her eyes at it in disgust. It's chotchkes, she said, psuedo-Bavarian miniature kitsch, nothing but a dust magnet, and if I had a pellet gun - ! But manifold pleadings and cajoling and threats of insanity held her at bay, at least for the remainder of last Christmas season.

And then came this year when I re-erected Gunnsberg (which makes it New Gunnsberg, I guess) and she perceived - correctly - that my tiny village was now suffering from urban sprawl. Oh dear GAWD! she cried. Mary, Joseph and diaper-wearing Jesus, how did this happen?!

So I explained to her that last year, the day after Christmas, I was only crossing the street when time and space folded - folded, I tell you! - and suddenly I found myself at Tweedy and Popp Ace Hardware - barely six miles from here - and lo, gloriously low prices on last year's Christmas decorations didst shine 'round about the Seasonal Aisle, and I was sore afraid. I was sore afraid that if I did not avail myself of these deep, deep discounts on tiny, tiny houses that they would be snatched up by those less deserving - Filipino ladies with pellet guns, for instance. So I dug deep and secured not one, not two, but three more tiny porcelain houses, a covered bridge, and a freakishly out-of-scale horse and carriage. (I reasoned that the citizens of New Gunnsberg needed a means of ingress to and egress from Kitchenland and Mount Fridgidaire and, commensurate with that, a mode of transportation. I figured a giant with a horsecart was as good as any.)

So the triumvirate of Hardware Coots at the checkout counter eyed me suspiciously - me, a middle-aged man with a Jesus-load of tiny porcelain domiciles. I was not their kind, apparently. They clucked and cocked their heads and plugged their armpits with their thumbs. They asked one too many times for a price check. Apprently they wanted to make me stand still so they could get a real good look at Mister Dolly Houses. They were mostly wearing coveralls of various dirt-tones and splat-o-flage patterns, accessorized with - who knows why - day-glo orange deerslayer caps. I was in my usual North Face bourgeousie deluxe "steers & queers" model parka, convertible "tree-hugging faggot" pants, and Asics "they sell men's clothes were you got them, boy?" trail running shoes. Not to mention my half-horn-rimmed Giorgio Armani eyeglass frames with a very large "aim fist here" sign on the nose bridge. (Insert banjo chorus. -Ed.)

So the Head Coot says to me - real suspicious-like - he says, "Looks like you take a fancy to these little houses."

To which I replied, "Not so much, really."

So he says, "Why for not? It looks like you got you a load of 'em."

I said, "Yeah - because they drive my wife completely nuts!"

There was a moment of silence and then the Three Coot-A-Teers exploded into guffaws, slapping the counter, bending at the waist, and fanning themselves with their day-glo deerslayer caps. One even underscored his joy by throttling a scythe.

"That's a good one!" they hollered, "We gotta try that!" And with that I was on my way, my city-boy faggot ass miraculously un-kicked.

So yes, my purchase remained hidden in storage for the rest of the year until two days ago when Gunnsberg made its seasonal reappearance on the sideboard. Then my treachery was revealed. Teresa watched the rise of New Gunnsberg with arms crossed and as much scowl as she could muster, muttering threats and accusations whenever possible.

BUT! Just as Aaron and I arranged the last of the little fir trees and streetlights, plugged in the power strip and threw the switch, I caught a glimpse of Teresa's face in the golden glow pouring from the tiny windows. Her features softened. A smile crept across her lips. And then she uttered the unthinkable: "It's cute!" It was a Christmas miracle! The tiny, invisible citizens of New Gunnsberg had softened my wife's ice-cold coal-black heart, warmed her cockles with the Yuletide spirit, and insured their survival for another year. There would be no pellet gun assault from the Filipino infantry! Christmas was saved!

And that's why chickens wear hats. The End.

Cheers and best wishes for the holiday season to you and yours. And if this letter made you laugh once or twice, that too is a Christmas miracle.



Anonymous said...

Imagine being a tiny, tiny New Gunnsbergian suddenly awakened by a CO2-propelled rifle pellet crashing through your living room wall. Assuming a relative scale of 1:124, this would approximate the effect of a Brinks truck impacting your house at Mach 12. Go back to the hardware store and pick up a high-speed camera and strobe - I just got a real cool idea for a video...

Thaddeus Gunn said...

Perish the thought! If the tiny, tiny New Gunnsbergians were to hear that, they would vomit in fear. Good thing they can't read.

This just in: plats have been drawn up for several expansions over the next few years. Among the new developments will be:

East Gunnsberg
Gunnsville Station
Gunnster's Nob
Valley of the Gunns
East of East Gunnsberg
Gunn Beach
Marina del Gunn
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry Gunn (this is a Puritan settlement, actually)
-and finally-
New Gunnswick (a maritime province, which will give me dominion over the seas)
Gunnymahalagloonwoggin (a tiny Welsh town)

No, I haven't told my wife. Why?

Call Me Loretta said...

Does New Gunnsington (ha! new bergism!) have a pond so it's tiny, tiny citizens can frolic on the ice? If not, I suggest you immediately purchase a smallish shard of frosted glass and place it somewhere in your townlet. This will also necessitate your finding a itsy ice skaters. It'll be so precious your wife will be catapulted right back into pellet gun mode. Which, of course, is necessary if you're ever to purchase more real estate for your widening realm at the hardware store's breathtaking after-Christmas prices. Merry and happy and all that to you and yours.