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Living Below Your Means
Christmas at The Duck House...

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By DuckInMyShorts
December 27, 2002

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Wednesday morning, 6:30AM, 12/25/2002...or something like that.

The Cast:

Duckling1 (D1), (almost) five-year-old daughter of the Duck clan, is sugary sweet, cute, blond, blue-eyed, and most likely spoiled.
Duckling2 (D2), (almost) three-year-old son, is also very cute, but doesn't talk at his typical age level, has a limited vocabulary, but is still cute.
MrsDuck (MD), matriarch of The Duck clan, type-A positive behavior, grew up in a very broken home as a child, spoils the Ducklings rotten with all kinds of toys and stuff she never had a as a kid. (Once received a headless doll as her "only" toy one Christmas years ago...)
Duck (D), long-suffering "good ol' Dad", had long-time exposure to too much Hormel Spam and thrifty parents as a kid.

<...thump, thump,....THUMP! THUMP! THUMPT THUMP! THUMP!!!!>

D1: Daddy, Mommy, SANTA WAS HERE COME LOOKIT!!!!!!!
D: OOOF!
<D1 had just made a flying leap onto her parents' bed, landing squarely on Duck's stomach and jumping up and down...>
D1: HE WAS HERE! HE WAS HERE!
MD: Wha?
D: OOOOF! Hey, go jump on Mommy, wouldya?

<D1 runs out of the room, MrsDuck and Duck crawl out of bed, Duck continues to crawl on floor after the abdominal assault...>

D1: LET'S OPEN OUR PWESENTS!!!!
MD: Let's wait for Daddy to get <D2>.
D: And for me to get vertical...
D2: Daddy? Mommy? COW?

<Duck trudges upstairs to D2's room>

D: Merry Christmas <D2>!
D2: Cow?

<Duck changes D2's diaper, puts D2 down on floor>

D2: Twain on?

<D2 has several little Thomas the Tank Engine trains, a couple with little electric motors, but with a switch that is too tough for D2 to turn on and off by himself. So he grabs one of us to turn his trains on and off.>

<flick!...buzzzz...>

D2: Tankoo!

<D2 runs off to D1's bedroom to play with his trains.>

D: Well, he's up.
MD: Well bring him down here so we can open presents.
D1: PWESENTS! PWESENTS!

<D2 comes downstairs with a train in hand.>

D2: Twain off?

<click!>

D1: OH BOY! PWESENTS!

<rip rip rip rip rip rip rip rip rip rip rip!!!>

D1: MOMMY I LOVE THESE!
D: Here, <D2>, let's open presents, <D2>?
D2: Twain on?
D: No, let's open presents, here!!!

<D2 runs over to MD>

D2: Twain on?

<MD turns on train. <click!...bzzzzz....> D2 runs back upstairs.>

D1: MOMMY I LOVE YOU! DIS IS DA BEST PWESENT I EVER HAD!!
MD: Smile for the camera!
D: <D2>?? More presents? Come on down!
D2: Twain off?

<click!>

<Duck carries D2 back downstairs again...>

At this rate, D1 has opened at least 10 presents, D2 has yet to open one himself. To get him interested, we open 4 of them in front of him. One of which is a small stuffed lady bug. He likes ladybugs for some reason....

D2: Waddeebug?
D: Look a ladybug!
D1: I LOVE YOU DADDY!

<THUMP. D1 charges and leaps into Duck's lap, head squarely makes impact into Duck's ribcage.>

D: OOOOOOF!
D1: I WANNA HUG YOU DADDY!

<D1 gives Duck a headlock while Duck is trying to invoke some interest in another toy to D2.>

D: OOOOOOOF!
D2: Twain on?

<click!...bzzzzz....>

<D2 runs back upstairs to play with his trains.>

At this moment, D1 has completely ripped open all her presents, plus a few of her Mommy and Daddy's presents as well and is completely wrapped up in the moment.

D1: DIS WAS DA BEST CHWISTMAS EVER!

<thump, thump, thump...>

D2: Twain off?

<click!>

D: Here, <D2>, a NEW train!
D2: TWAIN?

<D2 sits patiently, for the first time this morning, as Duck unwraps a new train.>

D2: Twain on?

<click! ...bzzzz...>

Sounds exactly like the old train, except this one is James, not Thomas.

D1: PAKE A TICTURE! PAKE A TICTURE!!!
MD: Oh, 'take a picture'! Oh, okay, Honey, go get the camera.
D: Wha? Oh, okay...

<trudges into back bedroom closet...thump, CRASH! thump, thump...>

D: Where's the camera?
D1: DID SANTA GET ME ANYTHING ELSE?!?!?!
MD: In the back of the closet...

<thump! CRASH! thump! <eff!> OW! thump...>

Duck finds the camera towards the FRONT of the closet, brings it over to MrsDuck.

MD: Say CHEESE!
D1: CHEEEEESE!
D2: Twain off?
<click! ....bzzzz...>
D: Huh?
<FLASH!>

Great, now I'm half awake, my gut is killing me, and now I'm blind....

D2: Twain on?
<click!....bzzz...>

MD: Honey, something's wrong with the camera, can you look at it?
D: Uh...sure.

I stare at the camera, the LCD display shows a flashing zero, which means it THINKS it's unloaded or it's calculating the IQ of the dummy currently holding the camera. At this point, it usually means there's nothing that can be done but to unload the camera, regardless of what position the film is in.

I open up the back of the camera and yank about 2 feet of film out.

D: I hope there wasn't anything important on this roll.
MD: Our HALLOWEEN PICTURES were on it!!! You should have opened it up in a dark room.
D: Well if the room was dark, I wouldn't be able to see anything and I wouldn't be able to open it...
MD: Well, get another roll in.

<D2 is modeling her new bathroom, her new hat, her new sleeping bag, and everything else, the smile on her is about a mile wide and has the look that any toy company executive would want to see on a TV toy commercial...>

D2: Twain off?
<click!>
D1: Mommy, what's in my stocking?
MD: Oh look, Santa got you more stuff!
D1: YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!
<D1 runs around the living room once, then leaps into the back of Duck's legs, effectively performing what I think is known in professional football as CLIPPING.>
D: OOOOOOOF! <thud!>
<Duck buckles to the floor, wondering what happened to his kneecaps...>
D2: Twain on?
<click!....bzzzzz....>

Still the score is D1 with 20 opened presents and D2 with 2.

I open up another small stuffed ladybug toy, this one has a pull string that makes this toy vibrate along the floor, making this ladybug a little life-like.

D: Look <D2>, look what this ladybug does!
D2: Cow?

<Duck pulls string, toy ladybug skitters across floor..>

D2: EEEEK! WAAAAAA!

<D2 runs upstairs, scared of the toy ladybug.>

D: <D2>? Ladybug gone! All gone! No more ladybug!
D2: No mo?
D: No more, ladybug gone.
D2: <sniff! sniff!> Twain off?
<click!>
D1: SANTA GOT ME CANDY! MOMMY, CAN I HAVE CHOCKLIT FOR BREAKFAST?!?!
MD: No dear, we have to have 'breakfast' food, you can have that chocolate for later.
D1: Oh, okay.
D2: Twain on?
<click!....bzzzzz....>

Duck looks out the window and sees 5 inches of snow. Geez. The in-laws are coming over in just a few hours and I gotta clear that.

<Bzzzzzzzzz....WHACK!>

D2's new toy train just sailed over the balcony/landing of the second floor, nailing Duck on the head.

D2: Twain off?
D: HELL, YES!
<click!>
D2: HELL! COW! HELL! HELL!

D2 wanders into the kitchen where MrsDuck and D1 are preparing breakfast.

D2: HELL! COW! HELL!
MD: Huh?
D1: <D2>'s saying a naughty word again!
MD: What did you tell the boy this time?
D: Wha? Before or after his train hit me in the head?
D2: HELL! <EFF!> COW! Twain on?
D: No, train off now, eat breakfast. Want banana?
D2: NANA!

<D2 eats 3 bytes, runs out of kitchen. Comes back with toy train.>

D2: Twain on?
D: Oh...well, okay...
<click!...bzzzz...>

I've just about had enough, I'm tired, my stomch hurts, my ribs still hurt, my knees are still sore, and now I have a sharp pain in my head from the "flying toy train" incident of a few minutes ago.

D2: Twain off?
<click!>

Now I get to go outside and add uncomfortable cold to the mixture.

D2: Lap?

<D2 crawls onto Duck's lap and gives him a hug.>

I'll be okay, I just need a few minutes to recover. I'll have more years of excited ducklings running downstairs on Christmas morning, hopefully maybe not as physically dangerous as this morning's adventure.

D:Where's the Excedrin?
D2: Twain on?
<click!....bzzzz....>



Duck!
...survived Christmas 2002 and hope you survived yours!


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