Everyone Needs a Christmas Monkey

So. My sisters and I decided that a fun Christmas gift for my mom, and also for my Aunt Sissy, would be to get our picture made with Santa. Shut up. Yes, we are ages 26, 23 and 21. And yes, we're a little too well-fed to be hopping on old Santa's lap. But we thought it would make a fun picture.

Somehow, though, this evolved into my sister calling me excitedly yesterday, saying, "Did you know at Bellevue Mall, not only can you get your picture made with Santa, you can also get your picture made with a MONKEY DRESSED AS SANTA?" Obviously, the choice was clear.

I was a little nervous about this, for several reasons:

-I was kind of concerned for the monkey. Was he being mistreated, was this humiliating for him, would he be afraid of us, etc. Luckily, it was pretty obvious that this monkey (who, by the way, was named Ricky, which cracks me the hell up) loved his owner very much, and that the owner was very sweet and gentle towards Ricky.

-Also, monkeys have been known to throw poop. Ricky, however, was wearing a diaper with his Christmas finery, so we had that base covered.

-Who am I kidding, those were the only two reasons. Mostly my thoughts were just "MONKEYINSANTASUIT!" over and over again.

Okay then. When we sat down to take the picture, Ricky hopped into my lap, then reached over and adjusted a flyaway strand of Laura's hair. He then patted my hand reassuringly, as if to say, "Don't worry, lady. I would never throw poop at you."

And now we have what I hope will be a very special Christmas gift for my mother and aunt.

Ah, so. We have a kind of hectic weekend planned. Tonight, after I give mega-obsessive-compulsive instructions to my sister Mary Ruth about how to dogsit for Mitch (even though she's done it before? But I can't help it? I already feel guilty for leaving him for the weekend!), Seth and I will drive to Knoxville and arrive pretty late. We'll stay in Mary Ruth's dilapidated, crazy college house.

I have not yet visited this house, but the first thing she said after offerring to let me stay there was, "Just make sure that no homeless people have broken in to spend the Christmas break there. That happened to my friend up the street." Oh. Well, okay, sure.

Also, there are six girls living there (they've all gone home for Christmas, though), and ONE BATHROOM. One little shower stall, and one working toilet, yet they have a karaoke machine, an air hockey table (arcade regulation, dude), and DSL internet access. Kids these days.

Saturday morning, I'll wake up and drive on to Asheville, North Carolina, to hang out with my grad school friends for my old roommate Laura's 30th birthday. I can't wait. I'll stay there Saturday night, then drive home on Sunday.

emiloo at 10:08 a.m.