*This is an article submitted to a 1999 Louisville
Sentinel contest to find out who had the wildest Christmas dinners. It won
As a joke, my brother Jay used to hang a pair of panty hose over his
fireplace before Christmas. He said all he wanted was for Santa to fill
What they say about Santa checking the list twice must be true because
every Christmas morning, although Jay's kids' stockings overflowed, his
poor pantyhose hung sadly empty.
One year I decided to make his dream come true. I put on sunglasses and
went in search of an inflatable love doll. They don't sell those things at
Wal-Mart. I had to go to an adult bookstore downtown.
If you've never been in an X-rated store, don't go, you'll only confuse
yourself. I was there an hour saying things like, 'What does this do?'
'You're kidding me!' 'Who would buy that?' Finally, I made it to the
inflatable doll section.
I wanted to buy a standard, uncomplicated doll that could also substitute
as a passenger in my truck so I could use the car pool lane during rush
Finding what I wanted was difficult. 'Love Dolls' come in many different
models. The top of the line, according to the side of the box, could do
things I'd only seen in a book on animal husbandry. I settled for 'Lovable
Louise.' She was at the bottom of the price scale.
To call Louise a 'doll' took a huge leap of imagination.
On Christmas Eve and with the help of an old bicycle pump, Louise came to
My sister-in-law was in on the plan and let me in during the wee morning
hours. Long after Santa had come and gone, I filled the dangling pantyhose
with Louise's pliant legs and bottom. I also ate some cookies and drank
what remained of a glass of milk on a nearby tray. I went home, and giggled
for a couple of hours.
The next morning my brother called to say that Santa had been to his house
and left a present that had made him VERY happy, but had left the dog
confused. She would bark, start to walk away, then come back and bark some
We all agreed that Louise should remain in her pantyhose so the rest of the
family could admire her when they came over for the traditional Christmas
My grandmother noticed Louise the moment she walked in the door. 'What the
hell is that?' she asked.
My brother quickly explained, 'It's a doll.'
'Who would play with something like that?' Granny snapped.
I kept my mouth shut.
'Where are her clothes?' Granny continued.
'Boy, that turkey sure smells nice, Gran,' Jay said, to steer her into the
But Granny was relentless. 'Why doesn't she have any teeth?'
Again, I could have answered, but why would I? It was Christmas and no one
wanted to ride in the back of the ambulance saying, 'Hang on Granny, hang
My grandfather, a delightful old man with poor eyesight, sidled up to me
and said, 'Hey, who's the naked gal by the fireplace?' I told him she was
A few minutes later I noticed Grandpa by the mantel, talking to Louise. Not
just talking, but actually flirting. It was then that we realized this
might be Grandpa's last Christmas at home.
The dinner went well. We made the usual small talk about who had died, who
was dying, and who should be killed, when suddenly Louise made a noise like
my father in the bathroom in the morning. Then she lurched from the mantel,
flew around the room twice, and fell in a heap in front of the sofa. The
cat screamed, I passed cranberry sauce through my nose, and Grandpa ran
across the room, fell to his knees, and began administering mouth-to-mouth
My brother fell back over his chair and wet his pants.
Granny threw down her napkin, stomped out of the room, and sat in the car.
It was indeed a Christmas to treasure and remember. Later in my brother's
garage, we conducted a thorough examination to decide the cause of Louise's
collapse. We discovered that Louise had suffered from a hot ember to the
back of her right thigh.
Fortunately, thanks to a wonder drug called duct tape, we restored her to
I can't wait until next Christmas.****