Remember that little dog, Max, in the Grinch cartoon? Who tried SO HARD to do his job right, even wearing that awkward antler, pulling the bloated sleigh? With the Christmas season upon us, we all need a Max, right?
I have a Max. But I'm thinking about holding interviews for a new one.
Saturday evening, I told Hick that I'd be needing the Christmas wrapping stuff brought upstairs. I wrap in the living room, on the scarred coffee table, as soon as the boxes come in. Then Hick (my loyal Max) can carry the gifts down and put them under the tree.
It being Saturday, of course Hick was headed for the auction. He came downstairs and rummaged in the workshop briefly. I was pretty sure he was getting my wrapping stuff ready. That's where we keep it. I knew he'd come down just before leaving for the auction, so I didn't bother him with questions.
When I went upstairs to make my supper, I saw what Hick had brought up to the living room. A box and some wrapping paper. Silly me. I'd assumed it was
from this century!
One glance revealed that they were not. The name tags were from the era where you had to tape them on the gift! No self-sticking there. The bows, while perhaps usable if the sticky part still stuck, were obviously from a simpler time. And the tape...well, the tape...was yellowed! Then there was the matter of the wrapping paper.
Jeez! Was I wrapping a Peter Max poster for someone from the 70s? Or a bereavement gift around the holidays? I'm talking about those two big rolls. Not my style for Christmas with young adult and kid presents. I might possibly have bought that four-pack of more tasteful patterns when on sale after Christmas. But not the other two!
This was NOT what I had ordered from my faithful assistant. I went downstairs to look in the workshop. There, in the ceiling, was a stack of wrapping paper rolls. The ones I'd used last year. I couldn't reach them, of course. They were positioned above the end of the treadmill, with a stepladder against it. No way was Val climbing even two steps up. My balance has been off since the Hickovirus, and I stagger enough on level ground that I fear I might be given a breathalizer in a casino. I knew I wanted those rolls. Nothing to do but send a text to my workhorse Max.
"Not sure where you got that wrapping paper (cough, cough, AUCTION) but it's not something I bought, and also ugly. I see that mine is stashed in the ceiling where I can't reach it without falling off a ladder."
Can you believe that faithful Max did not reply? When he came home, however, he came down the steps and packed up my paper in a wastebasket, and carried it up.
Sunday morning, while Hick was at his Storage Unit Store, I had plans to
cook a pot of beans and ham, and wrap some gifts while they were
simmering. I got the beans going, and went to look at my suitable paper. Still no good name tags, though.
My loyal Max happened to call me right then. To inform me that he was leaving his Storage Unit Store, due to temps in the mid-40s and high winds, after having sold only a gun and a curio cabinet. Actually trading a gun and a curio cabinet for some cash and another gun! It was the perfect time for me to inquire about the Christmas wrapping supplies.
"I don't know where you dug these up! I haven't used stuff like that in years. I might be from my mom's house, even! Or at least from the days when Genius and The Pony were toddlers."
"That's what I found!"
"I don't have the name tags! I know some were left last year. You always put my stuff in a tub. It's marked CHRISTMAS. I know it! It sat by the piano bench until you took the tree down. You always put my scissors and pen and tape and name tags in it!"
"I LOOKED in that tub, Val."
"I saw three tubs marked CHRISTMAS in the workshop. I didn't have time to dig through them. So, you're telling me that I might as well not waste my time going back down there? Because you already looked?"
"I looked, Val."
Huh. I checked on the beans. Noticed that I'd forgotten to buy milk for the corn muffins, and got in the shower. Okay, there was a little bit of a rendezvous with HIPPY before the shower. By the time I got out, Hick was kicked back in his La-Z-Boy.
"AHH! You scared the crap out of me!"
"Well, you're the one who said you'd be at an auction. Maybe YOU scared the crap out of ME."
"They didn't have the auction. It's too cold to put up the yard decorations today. I might put up the tree later."
"I'm going to town for milk. And I'll go in the Dollar Store and get some name tags. That's why I didn't wrap any gifts yet."
"I'll go down and look again, Val."
I went with him, to supervise. We looked in three tubs. Found the stockings and the Christmas dishes that I use for Oreo Cake and snacks. No scissors or name tags or tape.
At least I had my better wrapping paper.
So far, Hick still has his unpaid job as my Max. He should be glad he doesn't have to worry about the whip, or a large antler.