Christmas at Grandma's

by Mike Stevens

    Ted Turnout was running on fumes. If he didnt find a gas station very soon hed be walking the rest of the way to his grandmothers house for the holidays. Hed taken the highway that ran through the big woods without filling up his gas tank first, and now, as darkness fell, he was about to run out of gas. Hed forgotten just how big these woods were. If he did run out of gas and had to start walking, he would freeze. It must be at least -20 degrees out. Why couldnt his grandmother move to Florida, like any other retired person with an ounce of sense--but no! He had better things to do with his time than freeze to death getting there, only to get a present of a homemade knitted scarf, for the 10th year in a row. He knew it was his grandmother, but come on, although if he did get one again this year, he could stitch them together and make a knitted sleeping bag. Then, he could keep it in the car for emergencies, like he was facing now. It sure looked cold out there. He looked down at his clothes, which consisted of a rock band tee-shirt, ripped-up jeans, and a flimsy windbreaker--he didnt think hed wind up in this predicament. Just then, the engine cut out before catching again. Ted felt a wave of panic course through him. Oh crap, he was running out of gas! He looked up the road in desperation and saw the most beautiful sight his eyes had ever seen--the lights of a gas station. Then his engine cut out completely. He was out of gas.

     As he coasted towards the station he saw some lights wink off. The station was closing--no way! The attendant would have to fill his car. He managed to coast to the gas pump, which happened to be full service, and saw the attendant scowling out toward his car, shaking his head no. Man, the guy looked hacked! Ted was sorry, but needed gas. He honked the horn and motioned for the hostile attendant. The attendant came storming over and said angrily,

     Sorry pal, but Im closed.

     Ted started to say he was completely out of gas but was interrupted by the attendant.

     Even if I were still open, which Im not, you pulled up to the full service pump, not the self service. If I were still open, which Im not, you expected me to pump your gas. In this weather? Its too damn cold out here, in case you hadnt noticed. What, do you have a broken leg?

     Man, why was the man so angry? Sorry, but this was the closest pump and I ran out of gas just now. I was lucky enough to be able to coast in here.

     The attendant said, Well, Im still closed.

     Ted replied pleadingly, Please! If youll fill up my tank you can skip all the rest.

     The attendant said, Im sorry, but no way--'Death Star Outlaw' is on my Share-Time tonight, and theres a cold six-pack with my name on it. Ive got a brand-new pack of cigarettes, and I bought a yummy T.V. dinner. I plan on sitting my tired old bones down in my recliner with a beer and my dinner and watch the movie. Then after dinner, grabbing another beer and lighting up another smooth-tasting, refreshing cigarette, kicking back in my recliner, and finish watching the movie.

     Ted couldnt believe the callousness of this guy. Please, if you wont fill the tank up, Ill have to walk.

     The attendant shook his head and said, No, Im sorry, but the answer is still 'no'. If I fill your tank, Ill have to fill the next car in too. Ill be here all night.

     Ted looked at the deserted highway and said, Look, Ill tell you what Ill do. If youll fill my tank, Ill pay you $20.00.

     The hard-headed attendant replied, $20.00? If you make it $50.00, Ill pump your gas.

     A disgusted Ted replied, Okay, $50.00

     The suddenly-friendly attendant said, Mister, you just sit back, while I do the pumping!

     Well, then, fill er up.

     He sat in his car, and watched the jerk start the pump, put the nozzle into the tank, start filling his tank, and light up a cigarette--what? Of all people, he should have known that smoking and pumping gas at the same time was extremely dangerous. Ted quickly rolled down his window and yelled,

     Whoa! You think lighting that cigarette while pumping gas is a good idea?

     The attendant quickly answered, Ah, Ive had years of experience, and never had any problem.

     A very-nervous Ted waited with trepidation until the tank was at last full. As soon as the nozzle was clear of the tank, Ted balled up a $100.00 bill and threw it towards the attendant, who stood near the gas pump, still smoking, and said,

     That ought to cover it, keep the change.

     The smoking gas station attendant caught it in mid-air, unrolled it, and started to say,

     Gee, thanks mister, your total only came to $85.00, including my fee. Thanks!, but even before he could finish Ted was flooring it out of the gas station. He wanted to get as far from the place as possible. The guy, whom Ted was watching in his rear-view mirror, was way too dange. As Ted watched, a giant ball of flame erupted, blowing everything, including the attendant, to smithereens!

Oh crap! Ted said to himself. He should go back to see if he could help, but what could he really do? The guy was blown so high, he was probably several human satellites circling the Earth. He should stay to tell the authorities what had just taken place. He knew he should go back, but he would be terribly late to his grandmothers place, and anyone whod ever been around his grandmother when someone was late knew what a monster she could be. Ted continued on through the woods to his grandmothers house.

******

     He spotted the twinkling lights and knew he was almost there. Damn! Ted was not exactly anxious to be in the bosom of his family, except the loving bosoms of his cousin Franks fine-looking new wife, Mary. What a set of jugs! As he wasnt married he needed some action. He told himself there was no harm in looking, especially since Mary loved to show off her pride and joys by wearing super-tight sweaters. All his male relatives practically got in fist-fights over sitting by her on the couch. Ted glanced down at his speedometer and saw he was doing well over 70mph, and her driveway was coming up.

     Holy crap! he yelled and slammed on his brakes. Mary was hot, but she wasnt hot enough to heal his many broken bones if his car went airborne and flew off a cliff or plowed into a big-ass tree. Luckily for him, his car made the corner of the driveway of his grandmothers place and after another 100 feet, he slid to a stop just outside of her front door. A huge cloud of dust drifted over the porch as Ted bounded up the stairs and knocked on the door. From how many cars were parked already, Ted figured he was the last to arrive. He was only a little bit late, and he hoped his grandmother wouldnt be too upset, but he knew better. His having to stop for gas, and the explosion, hadnt slowed him down too much. He felt terrible for not doing anything to help, but he had to get here. As soon as he spotted his approaching grandmothers stern face through the windows of the door, however, his heart sank. Boy, did she ever look hacked!

******

     Grandma May heard the approaching car, which could only be her reject grandson Ted arriving. Damn! She had been hoping he had forgotten, and just stayed home.

     Ted tried to think up a quick excuse because he knew his grandmother would be with him for being late, but before he could think of something, she flung the door open and stammered, Well, hello, Ted, and Happy Holidays!

     Ted couldnt believe she wasnt hacked, and blurted, Hello, Grandma, sorry Im a little late, but I had to stop for gas and as I was leaving the whole place exploded. But I didnt go back because I wanted to get here. He had thought better of a lie. After all, what could be a better excuse for being late than the truth?

     His grandmother said only, Oh, dont worry about it Ted, Im just glad you made it. You made an old womans holidays complete. Please, come in.

     Okay Grandma. Its so nice to be surrounded by my loving family again. In truth his family made him heave, but since it was only once a year he would have to endure it, somehow. He followed his grandmother into the warm house.

     She said happily, Look everyone, look whos here. Its little Teddy, all grown up.

     His Neanderthal cousin Frank was the first to greet him. Teddy, old boy, how the hell have you been? Look, Mary, its my cousin Ted.

     But then again, maybe he could endure it. What a fox like Mary ever saw in a geek like his cousin Frank hed never understand. She, and they, bounced up off of the couch where shed been sitting, and gave Ted a tight hug. Oh, lordy! Ted could feel them through the fabric of her sweater. He knew he had to sit down quickly before everyone could see just how glad he was to see themerrher.

     We saved you a seat on the couch by us, said Frank.

     Ted quickly sat down and stammered a flustered, Thanks, Frank.

     Mary flopped down beside him. Now, he would be having one hell of a holiday gathering, in spite of his family.

******

     Grandma May tried her best to smile. Ted was really here, and she had to find a way to endure him. He was so full of crap--a gas station exploded? Come on! Look at him, staring with mouth agape and a hard-on at Marys breasts. What a disgusting pig.

     Mary was babbling on and on, telling some inane story which she occasionally interrupted with spasms of laughter. Before he could act like he gave a rats ass about what Mary had to say, his grandmother said,

     Why dont we pass out the Christmas presents, now that Ted has blessed us with his company. Ted, you know the rules, the last person to arrive has to pass out the presents.

     Crap--Ted hadnt passed out the presents since he was a little kid. Back then it had made him feel so grown up. Now it only made him feel like a little kid, and besides, he didnt remember there ever being a rule such as that. But he got down on the floor by the Christmas tree and started crawling the presents over to each relative.

     Here you go, nephew, now that youve turned 6, I hope you get something nice. How degrading! Here he was, a 30 year old man, crawling on his hands and knees taking a gift over to his seated 6 year old nephew, while all the while having to watch his blissful grandmother beaming with joy at her entire family being here to spend the holiday season with her.

     Grandma May had found a great way to get even with Ted for even showing up. Make him pass out the gifts like a little kid. Look at him, down on his knees crawling like a dog. She sat back, gloating with pride at his discomfort.

     At last Ted had passed out all the damn presents and had crawled back to his seat on the couch, to open his lone gift, a knitted scarf from his grandmother. He knew it was a knitted scarf because every Christmas for the past 10 she always made him a knitted scarf. Apparently she had forgotten she had given him the exact same gift the year before. He always acted like he was surprised and pleased, even though he was neither, and gave his grandma a big hug. After all, it made her happy to see him happy, so he had to act happy. Then when he got home he threw the knitted scarf in a dresser drawer, where it joined several past Christmass worth of knitted scarves. So when he opened this years knitted scarf he dutifully exclaimed,

     Oh, Grandma, a knitted scarf. How thoughtful! How did you know this is what I wanted?

     Grandma May thought to herself, Great, now Ill have to endure one of his pathetic bear-hugs. Every Christmas hed give her a hug of appreciation. The dim-bulb couldnt even remember shed given him one last year, and for the past several. Oh well, at least it saved her from having to think of and purchase a gift for at least one person, anyway. All she had to do was spend a little bit of time knitting her lamo grandson a damn scarf. He was a complete moron and not having to think about his gift helped a lot. Since she disliked him shed just throw the knitted scarf in a box, wrap it up, and give it to him as her gift. He was lazy, dirty, and uneducated. The less time she wasted on him the better. Oh no, here came the bear-hug. She braced herself, closed here eyes, and listened to his rasping voice say,

     Thank you so much, Grandma, I love you so much.

     Man, how the boy did reek! She replied, Youre a dear boy. Im so glad you like my gift. Oh no, he was going to kiss her cheek. Actually, she could give a good shit whether he liked her gift. Didnt he have to get going?

     Ted reached deep down inside for all his fortitude, and bent down to kiss his grandmother on her make-up-encrusted cheek. He was now finished with acting like he was grateful for yet-another knitted scarf. He could now make up an excuse for why he had to get back home before the dinner was served.

     Well Grandma, Im sorry I have to go, but I left my new pet donkey inside because of the weather and he probably has to go potty by now. Id hate to get home and have a donkey mess to clean up, eh, ha, ha!

     His grandmother replied, Thats okay, my beloved grandson, I understand. Im just sorry you have to leave already.

     Grandma May knew he was lying through his teeth. His new pet donkey? Only her idiot moron of a grandson could think up something so utterly stupid, but at least he was leaving. She wanted to say, 'Dont let the door hit you on the ass on the way out,' but said only, Well all see you next year.

     As Ted got up to leave he gave Marys tits one more lingering, longing look, and walked out the door towards his car. They almost made him want to stay--all most.

The End

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