Christmas Funny

For the town’s annual Santa Claus parade there was each year a strange new entry in the parade. For many adults and even some kids it was the highlight of the event. What would it be this year?  No one but the planner and the maker of the entry knew what weird and wonderful piece would grace the parade in any given year. There has been some big mistakes. The nine cats dressed as reindeer (with tied on antlers, and one with a very shiny nose added) pulling a sleigh around a flatbed trailer came to pretty much everyone’s mind when the subject of such mistakes came up as a topic of conversation the day before the parade. The challenge that year had been to ‘create strange reindeer.’

This year there was some foreknowledge of what it would be, although there was no idea who would be the one that put together the entry, or how it would be presented. It would be the winner of the biggest cookie contest. Size was the main component of the judging, but the way in which the cookies were displayed was also important. The various competitors had to not only show the judges the size of their cookies. They also had to take a picture of how the cookies would be displayed if their entry would be the winner. It had to be creative..

There were a few rules and limitations concerning the making of the cookies. Number one was that they had to be edible. At the end of the parade, the family members first and then the rest of the crowd could break pieces off of the cookies, using a big hammer supplied by a local hardware store, and then eat them. This would keep the contestants from sneaking cement or some similar indigestible substance into the big cookies just to make it easier to have ones of great size.

When the contest was first announced in November, it was thought by most who actually did some thinking on the subject that the winner would be one of the town’s pizzerias, or a bakery that regularly sold some pretty big cakes. No one with an ordinary oven was thought to have any chance at all. At a bar where bets were usually made concerning the local racetrack, there were three options available upon which gambling patrons could bet. These were made known on a blackboard upon which was written the choices, and check marks put up for how many people supported it. One choice, the most popular one, was a pizzeria. The second place choice was a bakery, any bakery would do. There was a third choice ‘others’. There were very few check marks there, and those made only by one family, that neither owned nor ran a pizzeria or a bakery. 

The money put forward for the betting was kept in a safe by the owner of the bar, who issued betting receipts. The figure of the amount wagered had risen to the thousands.

The Third Choice

The family that bet on the third choice, the Murphys, were a new family in town. It was known that they planned to compete in the contest, so were betting on themselves to win.  Questions were asked about members of the family. What did they do for living? Did anyone know enough about them to provide any useful information concerning their ability to bake big cookies? 

It was discovered that the father and mother, and her brother that lived with them were ex-army and had now been retired for some years. Their two sons and one daughter worked at a large plastics factory in town, involved in the molding process.

They lived in a 1950s built house with a rather large garage at the back, with small windows on each side. No car had been parked in that garage for quite a few years. The people who had lived in the place before them had owned several  dogs, and had put up a fence that blocked the driveway as well as surrounding the backyard. In that way none of the dogs could escape. They were not good at responding to the ‘come here’ command, no matter how loudly it was uttered.

Come mid-December there were stories that odd noises were coming from the ‘Murphy garage’, as it was now known. And those who walked on the pathway to the south of the property late at night, returning from the bar where the bets were made, swore that there were lights flashing from inside the garage. Their neighbours on the other side were asked and said they had seen the same thing. Something funny was going on in the Murphy garage.

The Day of the Santa Claus Parade.

It was the day of the Santa Claus parade. The people who ran the show were quite close-lipped about who had won the biggest cookie contest. They simply said when asked, “You will be in for a big surprise. You never saw such cookies.”

Then the parade started, and the cookies appeared. They were huge, at least six feet in diameter.. There were two of them, and they were used as wheels, with a metal pole as an axle connecting them. To make the cookie-wheels move forward, there were another two poles with horseshoes on the end that would go around the axle. In that way the mother and the father, dressed in army gear, could roll the cookies down main street. One son and the daughter carried flame throwers that they fired periodically up in the air. The fire chief had granted permission the day before. Fortunately, he hadn’t made any bets on who would be the winner. It soon became known that the family had used the flame throwers to bake the cookies. This was what had provided the flashes seen by the inquisitive at night.  The cookie dough had been put inside two large plastic circles a foot and a half deep that the boys and daughter had made after hours at work in the plastic factory, and drove home at night in the back of a pick-up with blankets over the bed of the truck. The flame throwers had been used to cook the cookies first on one side, and then, when that side was considered done, the cookies were flipped over carefully to be bathed in flame on the other side. It was rather clever. 

After the parade was over, and people were eating pieces of the surprisingly tasty cookies, and conversing with the Murphys, there were requests made for more cookies of that type to be used on several occasions, such as children’s birthday parties, and even one wedding.

December 05, 2020 18:38

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