First of all, merry fucking Christmas. Ho-ho-ho. I know this is a good opportunity for families to spend some quality time together, but I’m not a fan of days like these. Probably because Nadia always invites her 50 ‘closest’ relatives over for Christmas dinner. No, they don’t all fit in our living room. They’re all over the fucking place. Have you ever tried making your way toward the bathroom through a hallway crammed with people who hate your guts? I did. For some reason, Nadia’s family was never really fond of me. If that’s because of my limited career opportunities or because of the time I burnt down her parent’s house, I guess I’ll never know.
Yesterday, on Christmas eve, Nadia’s family invaded our house again. What’s worse, they all arrived by taxi; driving through downtown Manhattan on Christmas eve is just a bitch. And taxi rides are expensive. Thus, they were determined to make the trip worth their while and I was left to cope with their everlasting grudges all night long. Luckily, I wasn’t alone in my quest to withstand their murderous glances; Cookie rang the doorbell fairly early in the evening. He was wearing a Santa Claus costume. Full white beard, big belly, big belt around his waste and a sack full with presents. Without a doubt, Cookie’s new job at Far From Finished Game Studios was working out rather well. He was drunk as hell.
The big sack turned out to contain bottles of high-quality whisky. Real single malt Scotch, freshly imported bottles of different brands, 12-14 years old. In his state of drunkenness beyond comparison, Cookie generously put down a few bottles on every table, cupboard or in any hand that would take them. Of course, they every bottle was gratefully accepted. Everything to forget about the prick who burned down Mother’s house the first year he was invited over for Christmas. I could not thank Cookie enough as he happily waggled across the house to distribute the bottles. After a while he had poured himself a drink and giggled like a 10-year old girl, telling the guests to wait with opening up the bottles. I grunted and let him pour me a drink too.
“You’re awfully happy”.
“You’re obviouzly not”, Cookie giggled.
“Every single guest here hates my guts. Of course I’m not happy”.
Cookie giggled even more. “You zhould prank ‘em”.
“Why would I do that?”
“Can’ey hate you even moore dan dey already do?”
I hated the point where Cookie turned into a philosophic when he was drunk. He was mostly right when he was.
“Well den”. He hiccupped.
“Got any ideas?” I asked.
“Maybe. How doez dat whisky taste?”
“It’s really good. Where’d you get this one?”
“Huge krizmaz bonus. Imported many bottlez”.
“It’s really good”. I took another sip and savoured the fine flavour.
“Enjoy. Iz de only bottle I brought tonight.” He hiccupped once again, giggled out loud and sipped his whisky.
“The only bo-“
Even before I could speak the words, Cookie gestured for silence and instantly got the full attention of everyone present. Nadia had joined us and I poured her a drink from our bottle. It was time for Cookie’s speech.
“Ladiez!” He held a meaningful pause, then giggled and raised his glass. “Ladiez”, he giggled some more. He turned Nadia and me and whispered something like ‘lez enjoy the zunzet outzide’. Nadia and me followed him to the door, where he suddenly turned to the guests again and raised his glass firmly and let out a shout, which was enthusiastically answered by the guests. The sign to open up the bottles had been given.
Outside, Cookie waggled in a circle and looked at the night sky. “Iz dark”, he mumbled in a disappointed tone of voice. I then decided to ask him about the bottles.
“What was in the other bottles?”
“Wut?” Cookie’s eyes rolled towards Nadia and me.
“The bottles! What was in the bottles? You said you only brought one bottle of Scotch!”
Cookie giggled. “I brought more, but drank zem all on ze way here”.
Nadia was confused. “But if you drank all the whisky, what is in the bottles my family members are drinking from right now?”
Cookie now laughed out loud. “Zekkond hand whisky.”
I looked at Nadia, who sighed and shrugged. “You two will never change. Merry Christmas, idiots”. The broad smile on mine and Cookie’s face didn’t need words to explain how we felt. This was the true Christmas spirit; having fun with your friends and family.
“Merry Christmas, babe”.
Editor’s note: A merry Christmas to all readers!
~ The writers, crew, editors and family.