Ask Auntie Linda, Straight Advice from a Straight Shooter

Auntie LindaDear Auntie Linda, my fourteen sister told me she is in love with her soccer coach.  She has shown me texts and pictures from him.  She has sworn me to secrecy and asked me not to tell our mother.  I don’t want to tell her secret but I am afraid for her.  What do I do?  Sister

Dear Sister, this is not a secret that should be honored.  Your sister is a minor and this coach is committing a crime.  Tell your sister she has to tell your mother or you will.  Offer to go with her and be there for her.  Auntie Linda

Dear Auntie Linda, We moved way out in the country a couple of years ago   My family keeps cows and chickens.  All us kids have to help with chores and work in the garden.  I have to help my mom can food and make cheese and butter.  In summer my sister and I have to work in a stand selling vegetables out near the road.  My parents are building our house because they don’t want to go in debt.  We moved in before it was finished.  The bedrooms not painted yet and we don’t have hot water in the house.  We use a fireplace in winter and don’t have an air conditioner.   I am embarrassed about living like such a hick.  Most kids I go to school with have cars and live in nice houses.  I ride a bicycle.  Other kids de get to run around and have and I have to help my family.  I hate living this way.  I wish we could move back to town.  Country Bumpkin

Dear Country, Sounds like your parents are working hard to make a living and be self-sufficient.  I know it seems awful to you, but you are learning important skills.  It’s good to have fun and have great things, but it’s also good to pay your way.  Teenagers are usually unhappy about something anyway and this way you can focus on your parents instead of yourself.  If your parents are good parents and responsible, they are doing a good job.  I admire self-suffiency.  Auntie Linda

Top 10 Uses for Fruitcake.

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10. Use slices to balance that wobbly kitchen table.

9. Use instead of sand bags during El Nino.

8. Send to U.S. Air Force, let troops drop them.

7. Use as railroad ties.

6. Use as speed bumps to foil the neighborhood drag racers.

5. Collect ten and use them as bowling pins.

4. Use instead of cement shoes.

3. Save for next summer’s garage sale.

2. Use slices in next skeet-shooting competition.

1. Two words pin cushion.

How to Start Your Day With a Great Belly Laugh


Q: Why is Christmas just like your job? A: You do all the work and the fat guy with the suit gets all the credit.

Q: What does Miley Cyrus have at Christmas? A: Twerky.

Q: What did the stamp say to the Christmas card? A: Stick with me and we’ll go places.

Q: What do you call an elf who sings? A: A wrapper!

Q: Elves use what kind of money? A: Jingle bills!

Q: What does Santa say when Mrs. Claus asks for the weather forecast? A: “Rain, dear.”

Q: Whats the difference between the Christmas alphabet and the ordinary alphabet? A: The Christmas alphabet has Noel.

Q: Why the Christmas tree can’t stand up? A: It doesn’t have legs.

Q: Who delivers Christmas presents to good little sharks when they’re sleeping? A: Santa Jaws.

Q: If athletes get athletes foot, what do astronauts get? A: Missletoe.

Q: What do you call an obnoxious reindeer? A: RUDEolph.

Q: What is the best work union in the world? A: The rein deer union. A: Full pay, food, housing and only need to work one night a year.

Q: What did the reindeer say before launching into his comedy routine? A: This will sleigh you.

Q: Why did the reindeer wear sunglasses to the Christmas party? A: Because he didn’t want to be recognized.

For Christmas, I gave my kid a BB gun. He gave me a sweater with a bull’s-eye on the back.

There is a special place in hell for people that play Christmas music before Thanksgiving.

This holiday season, in lieu of gifts, I’ve decided to give everyone my opinion.

Is anyone else waiting until December 22nd to Christmas shop? Just in case the Mayans were right?

The Most Appreciated Cards of the Season


Fleas go home for Christmas, Willie Tharpe


Daddy wasn’t just a magnet for strange characters. He beat the bushes to flush them out. If that hadn’t worked, I believe he’d have up tacked up posters. Mother had no way of anticipating who he might drag in for supper, overnight, or until further notice. I never did understand why she didn’t murder Daddy. He must have slept sometime! Willie Tharpe was a holdover from Daddy’s childhood. Daddy came in late from work one evening a few days before Christmas about eight-thirty, after one of his rambles, as he so often did. Though he worked shift work, Mother could never anticipate his arrival. As the “Man of the House” his time was his own. Making the living was his only responsibility. It was up to Mother to handle the rest. That evening, Willie Tharpe creaked up behind him in an ancient truck with a shack on the back; not a camper, a shack. About fourteen dogs piled out of the truck windows and shack as he coasted to a stop, in a place of honor, right in front of our house. Eventually, Willie emerged, swatting dogs with his hat and cursing inarticutely, in the style favored by the toothless. Mother was appalled, knowing anyone Daddy dragged in this late, especially anyone from such an interesting position on the social scale, was likely to be a houseguest. This was especially concerning a day or two before Christmas, when we’d be having company. In an expansive mood, Daddy ushered in Willie Tharpe and as many of the dogs as could squeeze in before the door slammed on them. The dogs, unused to houses, ran around jumping on us, knocking over end tables, and peeing on the Christmas tree, till Daddy had us shoo them out. Daddy was clearly thrilled to be able to show off his home and family to Willie, an old and valued family friend. The house had looked pretty good till Willie’s dogs ransacked it, but it was a wreck now. Mother had “waited supper” for Daddy, since Daddy insisted we all eat as a family. We’d been starving for hours. We scurried to the table as Mother served up the reheated beans, potatoes, and gravy, just serving the fried chicken and biscuits cold. Though Willie’s toothless mumbling was impossible to understand, Daddy interpreted for us as Willie loaded his plate time after time, after first reaching for the liver and gizzard with his hand. The liver and gizzard were such favorites that we took turns at getting them, a matter of such import that Mother managed it herself. He ate with his knife, wiped his mouth on his sleeve, and spewed food as he mumbled. We stared in fascination. Mother never even noticed his terrible manners. After supper, he poured his coffee in his saucer, blew on it noisily, and drank from the saucer, smacking loudly after each slurp. It was repulsive. He burped without covering his mouth. When all the chicken was gone, he reached for the platter and scraped all the “scrambles” onto his plate. The “scrambles” were the crunchy bits left on the platter at the end of the meal, the prize Mother divided among us children. My mouth flew open to protest, only to catch Mother’s dirty look to “mind my manners.” A meal with Willie did more to reinforce the importance of manners than a hundred hours of instruction. Mother should have thanked him. When it came time for bed, Daddy explained Willie would be sleeping in Billy’s room. Billy could bunk in with Phyllis and me. Mother looked fierce, but didn’t say a word. She pursed her lips and left the room. In a minute she was back with Billy’s night clothes. “Where are the dogs going to sleep?” She nearly spat at Daddy. Daddy had always prided himself on never allowing dogs in the house until the mishap earlier that evening. “Oh, the dogs will sleep in Willie’s truck.” He was jovial, obviously not unaware of Mother’s malevolent mood and his longstanding rule on no dogs in the house. Willie looked surprised and pained. It was late December 22 and really cold. Willie muttered the first thing I’d understood that night. “I allus’ sleeps with them dawrgs. Thas’ the onliest thing that keeps an old man like me from freezing. We all pile in together. We sleeps good thataway.” Daddy was clearly torn between his principles and his old friend. “Willie, I ain’t never had dogs in the house and I can’t start now. The dogs can’t sleep in the house.” He was saved. Willie didn’t argue, just mumbled and went off to the back bedroom. Mother was still furious. While Daddy was at work the next day, Willie hung around by the kitchen heater, smoking his smelly hand rolled cigarettes. He was in Mother’s way all day, as she sputtered around baking and making her Christmas preparations. He smelled like his dogs, becoming more rancid smelling by the hour. The odor became more nauseating combined with the scent of cinnamon, candied fruit, orange slices, and vanilla. Mother periodically opened the doors and windows to air the kitchen. Her mood was black by the time Daddy came rolling in at three thirty. Uncharacteristically, he’d come straight home from work, probably concerned for Willie’s safety. He took Willie off gallivanting. For once, we didn’t have to wait supper. Mother’s mood improved with Willie out of the way. We made popcorn and sang Christmas Carols. Tomorrow was Christmas Eve! Santa would be coming! Mother sent us on to bed. The next thing I knew, Daddy was yelling, “Get some water! Get the kids out of the bedroom!” As we flew out of our bedroom, a wet, naked old man made his rickety way into the kitchen, followed by a swirling pack of dogs. Meanwhile, Daddy dragged smoking quilts out to the back yard. As the story unfolded, it seems Willie had been smoking his hand rolled cigarettes in the comfort of the nest of hounds he’d slipped in after the house was abed. He’d drifted off to sleep. Alerted of the burning covers by one of the dogs, he’d called out for help, getting Daddy in on the action. Not surprisingly, Willie moved on the next day. Wisely, Daddy didn’t protest. We enjoyed a lovely Christmas. It was a few days before Willie’s Christmas gift to us became apparent. The house was infested with fleas. Deprived of their host, they attacked us with abandon. Happy New Year!

to be continued