This fits in with my new book, My Pretentious Memoir. Christmas in about 1965. Everyone was coming to our house for Christmas and a fancy meal. My Aunt Mamie was coming and she had already written me out of her Will. I liked her, but she wanted to control me and that never went very well for anyone. So early in the morning I hopped in my 1958 Ford station wagon and went off to visit a bunch of friends. Each friend’s parents had the traditional eggnog out for guests…with alcohol in it. The last stop before home was at my buddy, Tom Jacobs house…with great eggnog provided. By the time I got back home, I was hammered…on Christmas…age 18.

We sat down for our Christmas meal. Mother Mac, my grand mother, led the prayer. I bowed my head. At the end of the prayer, my head remained bowed…on my plate…out cold. That did not play well with anyone else at the dinner. Aunt Mamie was horrified. I believe it was at that dinner that I introduced my family to my request of “Pass the fucking potatoes.”

I continued to delight my family that afternoon. I had enough nap to sober up. Didn’t really want to stick around the house and let Aunt Mamie tell me who all the commies were in our government then…so I headed down to check out the surf. It was the biggest I had ever seen. My buddy, Eric Wolff, was also on the cliff at the Palos Verdes Cove. He and I watched for a while and decided to try to paddle out. There was no one out. It was a suicide mission out there.

Years later I learned that my folks had figured out that I was going surfing in those conditions, found my car at the Cove and watched helplessly on the cliff waiting for me to be killed, so they could alert the authorities as to where they might recover my body. Spoiled their Christmas for about the third time that day.

That was my last Christmas at home with the family. Dad suggested, on the day that I graduated from high school, that I move out on my own…insisted actually. I did.

I obviously survived the giant surf at the Cove that day. So did Eric. I almost managed to get killed in front of relatives in major league surf on another Christmas Day, but will leave that for a future post. In the meantime, Merry Christmas to all. Be thankful each day that I was not your kid. And I remain thankful that my family loved me despite my many flaws. At least things were never dull at our place. Aloha.