Storytime: Sky Rats, Ethel, Shia, Grace & A Voice!

September 03 2015

Hello friends,

My friends and I are storytellers all - so much so that we create origin stories for our Christmas trees and identities for our main courses (see Story 2). It's our way of remembering what's good, what's changed, and what's fun. I'm thankful for the story I get to live.

Story 1: Sky Rats
The day after my grandfather's memorial service, my mom, dad, and I went to my happy place: Santa Cruz, CA. We were sitting on a wharf, looking out over the ocean. The sky was incredibly clear, sea lions barked below us, and a surf competition was taking place a little ways off. We dug into our recently purchased colossal-sized box of taffy, peering out over the California-goodness. My dad uttered, "Man, I could sit here all afternoon." A deep, collective sigh of contentment. When, BLOOOOOPPPPPPP!!! A flock of seagulls sharted on all three of us. My dad and I looked at each other in shock, as my mom let out a wild laugh and yelped, "Blessed by the sky rats!" We all cracked up as I wiped bird poop off of my dad's head.

Story 2: Ethel Merman, Shia LeDuck, & Grace Kelly
We named our first Christmas tree Ethel Merman. She was tall and gawky, her top branch scraping our ceiling, her branches creeping over the armrest of our couch. In the spirit of a woman clinging desperately to her gilded glory days, she dressed in far too much tinsel. She took photos with all of our guests, sang "Everything's Coming Up Roses" with that jarring voice, and even had a boyfriend, Harry - a real boy! We escorted her to our snowy curb after having enough of her wild ways, but we weren't fully rid of her until October of the next year! Ethel, smh. At Thanksgiving, the duck we were cooking became "Shia LaDuck," after watching Rob Cantor's genius Shia Labeouf video somewhere between 1 and 20 times. We posed LaDuck in his brining pot as if he were in a jacuzzi, little wings over the rim, sipping rum, brandishing a knife. The next Christmas, we had a classier tree - having learned from our mistakes with Ethel - named Grace Kelly. We adorned her with bright lights, blue and silver balls (all the jokes here), and silver bows. She had the prince - no mistle-toed trysts for Grace - and left without a mess. (A thousand thanks to Charlotte, Val, Brie, and Liane - my co-writers in these stories and many more.)

Story 3: A Voice
My life has been pretty easy when compared to others. But everyone's got their stuff. I was abused as a kid by friends, dealt with anorexia and all the crap that comes with that, and had some serious co-dependency issues. In my last year of grad school, I was losing my mind trying to keep myself together. I took the day off - and still went to school, but not to class - and tried to get to the bottom of it all, when a voice spoke to me, "Don't you know I will never use or abuse you?" I began to weep - that's what I had needed to hear. I asked the voice who it was, and it replied, "Jesus."

I hope you enjoyed these. Have fun making and telling some of your own. We're all characters in someone's story. Whose are you in?

Boston, MA

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