Submitted into Contest #126 in response to: Start or end your story with one or more characters shouting “Happy new year!”... view prompt


Christmas Romance Funny

Becky, after sleeping upon the couch, had now emerged from her stupefied slumber. As she slowly entered our bedroom, her inquisitive voice had unavoidably awakened me: 

   “Oh, Christopher, are you asleep?”

   “Yes, I am, Becky, as a matter of fact, I’m sound asleep. But I bet you’re only asking me this because you don’t want to wake me up, right?”

   “Yes, Chris, that’s right, and since you’re ‘sound asleep,’ you won’t mind if I help myself to some more wine, okay?”

   “No, not okay, Becky. Actually, you couldn’t be anymore wrong.”

   “What? I thought you were sound asleep… Anyway, what time is it?”

   “It’s around half past midnight, but are you really going to drink some more wine, Becky, or are you coming to bed?”

   “I’m only joking with you, Chris, of course I’m coming to bed, slide over. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that there’s a car listed in the newspaper, which I think tomorrow morning you may want to look at.”

   “Oh yeah, what kind of car is it?”

   “It’s an old Mercury Cougar.”

   “Do you know how much they want for it?”

   “They’re asking for only four hundred dollars.”

   “ ‘Only four hundred dollars’? Damn, Becky, I wonder what’s wrong with it?”

   “The add reads, ‘Runs Well.’ ”

   “Really? That sounds a bit too good to be true. But, I suppose it’s worth checking out.”

   “Yes, it’s definitely ‘worth checking out,’ Chris. So then, we’ll go there tomorrow morning, alright?”

   “Yeah alright. So then, the first thing I’ll do tomorrow morning is call in sick at work, afterward we’ll go check out the car, and then after that, Becky, you’ll check out AA, okay?”

   “No, Chris, not okay. I don’t have a drinking problem, I don’t drink every day.”

   “If you don’t have a drinking problem then you wouldn’t have totaled my car.”

   “If you would have fixed the breaks on my car when you said you were going to, and not have procrastinated for two weeks before finally getting around to doing it, then I wouldn’t of had to borrow your old broken down car in the first place.”

   “Yeah but, then instead of you borrowing my car and totaling it, you would have totaled your own car.”

   “Possibly, Chris, possibly. But then, that would have actually been much worse, because my car is only three years old, and your car was like well over twenty years old.”

   “Whatever, Becky, whatever, let’s just drop it now, okay? So um, well, anyhow, so goodnight, dear, and um, sleep well.”

   The next morning, after calling in sick at work, we were off to look at the so-called ‘old Mercury Cougar.’

   When we arrived, a shabby looking fellow, who appeared to be in his late thirties, while dressed in a filthy dirty, white polyester jumpsuit, was standing out in front of an old dilapidated trailer, which was parked next to the car of our inquiry. I eagerly addressed our intentions:

   “Hi, I’m Christopher, and this is my girlfriend, Becky. We’re here to look at the car.”

   The man’s response sounded somewhat unsynchronized:

   “What it look, I said what it look like?”

   “We’re here to look at the car.”

   “I knows, you just done told me so. Ain’t she a beaut’? My name is Lester, but since I often, I said but since I often be a wearing polyester jumpsuits, my friends done calls me Lester Polyester. Ah-hee-hee-hoo-hoo… Shoot, would yuh all like a warm beer? Most people doesn’t be a likin’ their beer warm, but I does. Perhaps it be a required taste?”

   “A what?” I didn’t correct him. “I’m pleased to meet you. Can I take it for a ride?”

   “Shazam, now ain’t, I said now ain’t dat what you’s here for? Ah-hee-hee-hoo-hoo…”

   “Yeah, it’s positively what I’m here for alright, Lester, but only if it’s okay with you?”

   “It sure, I said it sure is okay with me, but you gots to drive, my license perspired.”

   “Um, maybe you mean to say that your license expired?” surmised Becky.

   “Huh? What I means is, I be a drivin’ on the provoked list, ‘cause I done gots my third DWI. So, now yuh knows why I gots to be a sellin’ dis here car. I only wish that instead of going out alone that night, I should have brought a friend along as the desecrated driver. And when I was in court, instead of shootin’ off my big mout’, I should have kept quiet and said nothin’. I should, I said I should have pleaded the fifth commandment.”

   “What?” I asked. “Uh, yeah, but, um, no need to concern yourself with the driving, Lester, I prefer to drive the car myself anyway. That’s why I’m here, to feel how it runs.”

   “She run good, and she look, I said and she look good, too. Why, I just sodomized her early dis morning. Ah-hee-hee-hoo-hoo…”

   “You did what?!” “Becky, did you hear what he just said?”

   “Yes, Chris, I heard him, but would you stop looking at the car’s tailpipe. What I believe he meant to say, was that he had simonized the car early this morning, okay?”

   Without hesitation we then piled into the old Mercury Cougar, me in the driver’s seat, Becky in the passenger’s seat, and Lester in the back. As luck would have it, the car ran excellently. When we returned, I asked Lester if I were to leave him a fifty-dollar deposit, would he hold the car for a week, when I would then have the balance. He agreed:

   “So who should I make the check out to?” I asked.

   “Well, Lester is actually my last name, while my first name is actually Moe. So what yuh, I said so what yuh does is, you makes the check out to a Mr. Moe Lester. Anyhow, I’m glad to see we all agrees that the car run good. I guess that makes it anonymous, huh? Shoot, then I reckon this here check done constipates our transaction, makin’ it official.”

   Once again neither Becky nor I corrected him. The next two days, Thursday and Friday, Becky had again lent me her car so that I could go to work. Unexpectedly, early that Friday evening, as soon as I arrived home from work, Becky immediately hit me with a loaded question:

   “Well, Chris, tomorrow’s Christmas, and as you can see, this year I didn’t light a menorah. So, are you going to spend the day with me, or with your family?”

   “I, um...” (I had completely forgotten tomorrow was Christmas) “Now of course I’m going to spend the day with you, dear. Why would you even ask me that? As you know, both of my parents live in Monte Rio, California.”

   “Well, Merry Christmas, Chris. I just hope you appreciate what a caring and devoted girlfriend you have. Even though I’m Jewish, here I am, happy to be celebrating Christmas with you tomorrow. There’s just one little thing I need to ask you, though. Would you mind going out now and buying us a Christmas tree, please?”

   “Yeah, sure thing, dear, I’d be happy to. But, do you want a live one, or a fake one?”

   “A live one, Chris, and as you can see, I already bought some decorations and a stand.”

   “Oh, okay, good thinking, Becky, but, uh, where do I go to buy us a tree?”

   “They’re selling them in the vacant lot right next to the mall. I’m not positive, but I think they’re somewhere around fifteen to twenty dollars.”

   All I had was twenty dollars in my wallet. However, I didn’t want Becky knowing just how broke I was, nor did I want to appear cheap. With this in mind, I simply agreed.

   “There’s some twine in my car’s trunk for you to tie the tree to the roof with, Chris.”

   Before stopping off to buy us a Christmas tree, I figured I’d go to the mall and buy Becky a Christmas present, therefore I took my checkbook along with me. I was planning on paying a utility bill with the little money I had in my checking account, otherwise instead of only leaving a deposit, I would have paid off the balance on the used car I just bought. Yet, to me, Becky’s happiness was far more important than almost anything.

   With good intentions, but completely clueless as to what to get her, I entered the mall. After approximately ten minutes of walking around, I stumbled across a jewelry store. I entered, browsed about a bit, and since many items were on sale, I deciding on purchasing a fourteen-carat gold link bracelet, which they gift-wrapped. After paying by check, I soon hopped back into Becky’s car and drove over to the Christmas tree outlet. Within another five or so minutes I arrived:

   “Excuse me, sir,” I addressed the salesman, “I’d like to look at a small tree.”

   “How small you want it?” He replied.

   “Um, I’m not sure. How small you got ‘em?”

   “We got trees ranging in sizes anywhere from tree foot to eight foot.”

   “Sorry, but, what’s a tree foot?”

   “Uh, tree foots go for twelve bucks, four bucks a foot.”

   “Um, yeah, but, uh, just how big is a tree foot?”

   “What do you mean, ‘just how big is a tree foot?’ A tree foot is tree foot! What are you wacky or somethin’, kid?”

   “No, not at all, sir, and that’s a very rude thing to say to a customer.”

   “Listen, kid, you’re wastin’ my time. Are you gonna buy somethin’, or what?”        

   “Yeah, I want to buy a tree foot that’s five foot?”

   “You wanna buy a what?!”

   “I want to buy a five foot, tree foot, alright?”

   “Hey, kid,” the salesman now wearing a puzzled expression upon his face, “what duh Hell’s a ‘five foot, tree foot’?”

   “That’s what I want to know?”

   “Okay now, kid, either you get duh Hell out a here, or I’m gonna trow you out a here!”

   “What? What’d I do? I just want to buy a tree, that’s all.”

   “Listen, kid, I’m gonna count to ten. If you ain’t out a here by den, why, I’m gonna shove dis freakin’ tree right up your ass! You got it, huh? Okay, so now, uh, one…”

   “Wait, wait! I want to buy.”


   “A five foot tree.”


   “For twenty bucks.”


   “Hey, wait a second, sir, what happened to four?”


   Not wanting to disappoint Becky, I whipped out my wallet, and equally as quickly I whipped out my twenty-dollar bill.

   “Five! No, I mean six…”

   “Here, here you go, big guy, here’s twenty bucks for a five foot tree, okay?”

   The guy completely ignored my offer.

   “Sev… goddamn it, you made me lose count. Now where was I? Oh yeah, six…”

   At this point I didn’t know what to do. Should I run, or should I stay there and call this guy’s bluff? Although, judging by the look on his face, the tone of his voice, and his character in general, I concluded that I was only deluding myself in my hope that he was bluffing.


   “Okay, big guy, I’m out of here.”


   Just as I was about to start running, I spotted a familiar face heading in my direction.


   Walking towards us from halfway across the lot, to my surprise, approached Officer Baker, the cop who had arrested Becky, giving her a DWI:

   Officer Baker shouted, “Hey, do either of you two work here?”

   “Te…” “Yeah, I work here. What can I do yuh for?”

   “How much for a six foot tree?” Officer Baker steadily drew closer as he spoke.

   “Twenty-four bucks, four bucks a foot.”

   “Well, look at what the wind blew in. Why if it ain’t my ol’ pal, Christopher.”

   “Hi yuh, Officer Baker.”

   The police officer greeted me with his extended right hand, which I instantly shook:

   “I see you, too, Chris, are a wait-to-the-last-minute kind of shopper, huh?”

   “Uh, yeah, Officer Baker, I guess I am. Well, actually if my girlfriend, Becky, who unfortunately you now know, hadn’t reminded me that tomorrow’s Christmas, I might have forgotten all about it.”

   “Ha-ha-ha… My wife had to remind me, too. What size tree are you getting, Chris?”

   “I was just about to give the salesman here,” pointing to the salesman with my chin, “twenty dollars for a five foot tree.”

   I then nervously handed the tough-guy salesman my last twenty dollars, which he replied:

   “Duh five foot trees are in duh second row, over dare on your right. Help yourself, kid.”

   Without another moment’s hesitation, I said goodbye to Officer Baker, walked over and grabbed myself a six-foot tree. I figured I was entitled to steal myself at least another foot of tree for all the aggravation I endured. After carrying it over to Becky’s car, I tied it onto the roof with the flimsy twine she had stashed in her trunk. To reduce the chances of the tree sliding off the roof, I drove back to our apartment with my icy cold left arm sticking out of the car window, holding down tightly onto the tree. I parked Becky’s car in my usual spot, in front of our apartment, opposite the rear parking lot. Once inside, Becky and I joyfully assembled and decorated our Christmas tree.

   When we awoke the next morning, Christmas had arrived. An excited Becky then asked me to take a look outside our rear bedroom window, which I immediately obliged.

   And there it was, in all its glory, captivating me upon just one glance. Secretly parked in the rear parking lot, proudly reigned the old, but new to me, Mercury Cougar.

   “Merry Christmas, Chris.”

   “Becky, when did? How did you? Um, I don’t get it.”

   “As soon as you left here yesterday to go buy the tree, I phoned Lester and asked him if I were to pay the balance in cash, would he deliver the car. Well, as you can see, he agreed. His brother, who looked even weirder than he, followed Lester here on a bright red motor-scooter. You should of seen how ridiculous they looked, the two of them ridding away on their red motor-scooter. Ah-ha-ha… Anyway, now it’s an official deal and your title’s in our top right dresser drawer.”

   “Holy Jeeze. Wow, I can’t thank you enough, honey, and now here’s your present.”

   I handed Becky the gift-wrapped box with her bracelet inside, which she quickly unwrapped:

   “Why it’s beautiful, Chris. Thank you.”

   “Here, let me put it on your wrist.”

   Becky held out her left arm while I fastened one end of the bracelet to the other end’s clasp. She then smiled while giving me a great big hug and a kiss, to which I replied:

   “Merry Christmas, dear, and a Happy New Year.” 

December 29, 2021 00:25

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Mike Panasitti
14:57 Aug 20, 2022

Joseph, you have a genius for dialogue that is full of idiosyncratic and quirky speech. It makes me laugh every time I read your stories. If I were one of the judges, I would always be on the lookout for your submissions. Take care and keep at it!


Joe Malgeri
23:12 Aug 20, 2022

Wow, Mike, what an extremely complimentary thing to say. I thank you so very much, and I wish you were one of the judges.


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Daria Artemova
18:12 Aug 18, 2022

Lovely and lively, with a refreshing Xmas zest. Mr. PolyEester is so funny))


Joe Malgeri
20:43 Aug 18, 2022

I thank you so very much, Daria.


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Coffee McCann
04:18 Jan 31, 2022

I loved the tree foot! Great story and thanks for the laughs! -coffee


Joe Malgeri
18:38 Jan 31, 2022

Thanks much, Coffee.


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Shaivi S.
20:12 Jan 03, 2022

Wow, Joseph! "MERRY CHRISTMAS, AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR" is actually one of the only stories on this platform that's made me laugh! I'm betting it took some thought into adding all these quirky details. If you don't mind, could you check out one of my stories, "Silver Sunflowers," and provide some feedback in the comments? And because I love a good conversation on my favorite stories, please provide one of your pieces of writing you would like me to read and review as well! Thanks! 🌻


Joe Malgeri
00:13 Jan 10, 2022

Thanks so very much, Shaivi.


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John Hanna
20:03 Dec 29, 2021

Very amusing! It must have taken quite a lot of thought to crank out those butchered sentences, and you did it with two characters. I will watch for more of your work.


Joe Malgeri
20:19 Dec 29, 2021

Thanks, John.


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Jessie Hartness
02:44 Dec 29, 2021

This was such a sweet, quirky story. The characters were so original, and Mr. Lester’s way with words made me chuckle. Well done!


Joe Malgeri
03:32 Dec 29, 2021

Thank you so very much, Jessie.


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