22 December 2011 – 10:05 AM – Eating breakfast in the living room in front of the aquarium
Rhiannon: Daddy, why do you let the cat drink out of the aquarium?
Me: Oh, I’ve given up on the water bowl and, besides, I’ve put the cat in charge of the fish inventory.
Rhiannon: Fish inventory?
Me: Of course! He keeps track of the births to murders ratio in an Excel file and lets me know when the murder rate is in excess of the birth rate.
Rhiannon: What then?
Me: Well, in order to harmonize the ratio, I will go down to the animalerie and get fresh victims for the arena… er… I mean new fish for the aquarium.
Rhiannon: So, some of these fish were born in the tank?
Me: Absolutely! You see the solid-white female molly and the two black-and-white male mollies? They are sister and brothers.
Rhiannon: Which ones are their parents?
Me: Oh, they were both murdered awhile ago now.
Rhiannon: Awww – what happened?
Me: Well, according to the cat, the mother had found out that the father had been making booty calls to the orange-and-black molly. Apparently, she has one hell of a reputation. Anyway, look! Their bastard love child is right in front of you there – that little baby orange-and-black thing. See?
Rhiannon: Aww, he’s so cute. So the mummy killed the daddy?
Me: Not exactly. Cat tells me that the mother took the father for a picnic up on Easter Island head with the intention of pushing him over the edge after they had hiked to the top.
Rhiannon: So, what happened?
Me: Before she could do it, the blue barb greased them both in a fit of pique after losing big on the horses.
Me: Cat swears it’s true! The blue barb was only mollified after he won the Christmas office hockey pool.
Rhiannon: Ugh, what happened to the two new guppies?
Me: They eloped to New Zealand and were murdered on the beach during their honeymoon.
Rhiannon: Oh! Oh! And blue-stripe! What happened to blue-stripe?! I loved that fish!
Me: Tragic car crash under suspicious circumstances. The “official version” from the cat is that the car veered off the road after being hit by an errant piece of space debris. I mean, come on – how far-fetched is that?!
Rhiannon: Daddy! Everything you are saying is insane!!! What really happened to blue-stripe? The cat ate her didn’t he?
Me [scratching my head]: I haven’t cracked the case yet as the cat has an airtight alibi. He was having a candlelit fish dinner with his girlfriend in the back alley and the waiters back up his story completely. So, the space junk story stands for the moment…
Rhiannon: Fish dinner?!
Me: I… Wait… Oh, shit… Gaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!
My mother: We love Miss Piggy, don’t we Derek?
Derek: Yes, you do, dear.
Rhiannon: I don’t like Miss Piggy. She’s annoying.
My mother: What? No she’s not! She’s elegant, sophisticated, self-assured and, just like moi, a much-needed matriarch! Isn’t that right, Derek?
Derek: Quite right, dear.
Rhiannon: She’s not talented enough to ever be a star or humble enough to ever deserve Kermy.
My mother: I… but…
Me: Quite right, Rhiannon. Miss Piggy’s pretty much the ungulate equivalent of trailer trash.
My mother: But… I…
Rhiannon: Nana, the audience just laughs at her not with her.
My mother: No!
Me: And what self-respecting frog would share his lily-pad with that fat narcissistic bitch, anyway?
My mother: Andrew!!!
Rhiannon: Well, he’s right for once, Nana. Even technically, how could Kermit make sweet love to Miss Piggy on a lily pad?
Me: Even if she slipped a date rape drug in his drink when he wasn’t looking?
My mother: Andrew!!!
Rhiannon: They’d sink like stones to the bottom of the pond before they ever had a chance to get it on.
My mother: Rhiannon!!!
Derek [darkly to my mother]: What I enjoy most about dinner out with your family is the intellectual calibre of the conversation.
Rhiannon: Now Cookie Monster, on the other hand, is just awesome, Daddy! Pure, un-distracted devotion to cookies rocks.
Me: True, and Cookie Monster doesn’t put up with any of Miss Piggy’s crap either. He just spews cookie crumbs all over her when she complains about Kermit engaging in threesomes with Bert and Ernie.
Me [pondering and rubbing my chin]: Still… I maintain that Grover rules… and Animal…
Rhiannon: Aren’t they both still sleeping with Tintin?
Me: Ah yes! And that’s the movie Nana and Derek are going to take you to see next week too!
My mother and Derek [simultaneously]: No!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Opening presents on Christmas morning
Me [gazing wistfully into my empty wallet]: Wow, nice haul from Santa this year, honey.
Rhiannon: Shut up, Daddy. Santa doesn’t exist.
Me: Of course he does! When he’s not busy globe-trotting and delivering gifts, he works at the UN in the Old Port and puts the staff of Café Dépôt through college in coffees and chicken wraps.
Rhiannon: You’re lying. Now put your wallet away. The money’s gone.
Me: Well, just who do you think demolished the milk and cookies you left out for him last night?
Rhiannon: You dumped the milk down the drain, tossed the cookies in the garbage, drank a beer and watched sports on TV.
Me: I never!!!
Rhiannon: Yah, you did. Then you passed out snoring.
Me: You’re turning into one cynical little kid, you know that Rhiannon? I distinctly heard Santa’s sleigh bells in the middle of the night. I distinctly heard him let himself in with the spare key I left out for him to deliver your presents. I even heard him – distinctly – admonish Blitzen for getting loaded on Christmas Eve and messing up the trajectory of the curvature of the earth.
Rhiannon: Thank you, Daddy.
Me: [defensively] Huh? For what?
Rhiannon: For being my Santa. I love you.
Me [defences down]: I love you too, sweetheart.