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Faithful husband, soccer dad, basset owner, and former cowboy
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  • Tuesday, December 23, 2003


    ...and introducing Twitchy, the malevolent bunny-rabbit.

    Well, it's time for another installment from I'm A Breeder, Not A Raiser.

    In this episode, which is 32% more sickening sweet than a Gnat anecdote from that big potty-mouth James Lileks, Mommy Meghan and children Molly, Phoebe, Violet, and son Paris (who is not going to grow up gay...he's not!) await the arrival of Daddy who is coming home from a hard days work as well as afternoon spent playing wheelbarrow with his mistress....

    "Violet is bleeding!"

    The voice streaks down through the air, straight to the maternal ear, where it fizzles out like a match dropped in eggnog. I can tell from the pitch that it's nothing too terrible, but I head up the stairs to check, just in case.

    Behind me, Molly and Phoebe are lying underneath the Christmas tree gazing at ornaments and lights and saying beatnicky things such as, "Sparkles," and "Red ones," and "Wow." Twitchy hops around on the carpet beside their outstretched legs.

    First off we will notice that Meghan is allowing her son Paris (wink wink!) to brutalize his sister upstairs while she is busy making herself an eggnog-Prozac smoothie in the kitchen. (I know she doesn't say that, but it's in the subtext. Trust me on this one...). But we are immediately distracted from this sibling child abuse by the sudden appearance of "Twitchy" whom we have to assume is the morbid and quiet Gurdon who spends his time leafing through Guns & Ammo, playing GTA Vice City, and drawing diagrams of the hallways and classrooms of Pleasantville Elementary. Who is this mysterious dark-clad child and why does Meghan shut him out?

    We then find that Molly, now on the cusp of her Sylvia Plath stage, has taken up writing:

    Molly smiles at me demurely, and holds out her notebook for me to see. Lately she has taken to writing the opening passages of novels:

    "Christmas was going to be tight this year, Hyacinth knew. She and Peter had had one of their secret counsels in the Fort. The Fort was a big empty low-ceilinged cupboard, which the children used as their fort. They had found some old boxes in the attic containing Christmas lights, and yes, their mother had said that they could take one boxful, and only one.

    Besides, she didn't think that they were going to have such a big tree this year anyway, and did you feel like baking brownies or Christmas cookies, then, darlings? Hyacinth was worried."

    Molly work shows that she is obviously worried about the economic status of the family what with her father leaving at 5am each morning to get to the employment center before all of the jobs as a day laborer are taken which is the only way to feed his both voracious brood as well as his wife's growing Oxycontin habit. Molly is also beginning to confront her budding sexuality and attraction to her fey brother Paris by tellingly naming her fictional "brother", Peter. Dick being far too crude for the delicate sensibilities of young girl who has named her alter-ego: Hyacinth.

    Meanwhile Daddy comes home and, reeking of sex, cheap perfume, and Hooters Extra Spicy Hot Wings, attempts to distract his wife and family from the telltale signs of his infidelity and shame:

    "Have a smelly sock," says my husband, lying back on the floor and putting his foot in Paris's face.

    Paris chortles wildly. "Ha-ha-ha! Listen, if they're not smelly it's okay, but if they're really smelly it's against the rules."

    Thus the seeds of a foot fetish are planted, as if Paris doesn't have enough trouble waiting for him in middle school.

    Suddenly the family notices that Twitchy is nowhere to be found. Could he be in the gun cabinet again which previously led to the "incident" involving the neighbors cat, once called Mr. Wiggles but now referred to by the children as "Ol' Mr. One Eye"?

    "Oh no!" Molly remembers suddenly, "Where's Twitchy?"

    "He was by the Christmas tree "

    "Twitchy Alert!" Paris bellows. The children tumble downstairs, loudly speculating whether the rabbit has nibbled the Christmas lights, or chewed a leg of the piano, or left droppings under the tree, "instead of presents! Ew!"

    We find Twitchy sitting calmly underneath the piano, having committed no obvious household crimes. He hops away as the children drop down on to the floor, and wriggle to get their heads underneath the Christmas tree. A Yuletide hush falls over the room.

    I don't know about you, but I was sure relieved to find that Twitchy was merely a free-range house-pooping rabbit with only two days to live before he gets his new name: dinner.

    And so all is well in the Gurdon household where dysfunction, loathing and existential horror are all hidden away in brightly-wrapped boxes tied with the ribbons of shame and repression.

    Now isn't that a nice Christmas story?


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