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Life Arts    H4'ed 12/3/18

Uncle Paul and the Lion, a Story

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Make America Great Again Ugly Christmas Sweater Christmas cookie
Make America Great Again Ugly Christmas Sweater Christmas cookie
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"My Uncle Paul or Walter, depending on whether you were born before Woodstock or not -- his name was Paul Walter Stuckey. He hated Walter so all of his siblings, cousins and all called him Walter just to piss him off. Uncle Paul spent a year in seminary until he got caught in drunken coitus with the girlfriend of one of the priests on the faculty. He had assumed that the celibacy thing would protect him. It didn't, they got him for being drunk, fabricating a story that he had stolen the entire supply of sacramental wine. He was a rounder and scofflaw and a prankster but he really had wanted to be a priest.

He became a kind of a folk shaman, a foul mouthed lay clergyman. He'd show up just about every year with a new girlfriend. He preferred what he called "proudly lascivious fallen, but not too far, angels." He'd bring three or four fruit cakes because he knew everyone hated them. He'd take the dried fruit overpopulated cakes later to a homeless shelter -- I guess it was his way of having us all contribute. His drink of choice was tequila and tonic. By the end of the family Christmas evening he'd be putting tequila in his eggnog and playfully fondling his date when he thought no one was looking. Me and Peter waited all day for this moment. We'd hide in plain sight, clandestinely peeking over a cookie or cup of eggnog. Peter was always real good at mimicking the way his various girlfriends would giggle.

We spent my Uncle Paul's last Christmas at my Aunt Bill's house. Aunt Bill had a funny name for a girl. However she was anything but funny. The reason for her naming is another story. She married late in life to a fellow who found religion to be a safe outlet for his sociopathic tendencies. Aunt Bill drank copiously of his angry, self-righteous Kool-Aid. She became cheerless and proudly judgmental. Their only son became a missionary in New Guinea and never returned home. It was rumored that he had gone native. My Mom ironically observed, "He was always a really smart kid."

Uncle Paul arrived at Aunt Bill's house without a lady friend. He wasn't hauling his usual unwanted fruit cakes or tequila. He ignored our salutations of the season and made a determined beeline to the den where Aunt Bill's husky, homily worn voice could be heard. She saw him coming, cut-short whatever lesson or aspersion she was casting and started to make some sincerity starved attempt at welcoming him. Uncle Paul strode right up to her, pulled a card from the pocket of his jacket and threw it on the floor at her feet.

"Bill, I try to love you, I truly do but you have finally crossed a line. That fellow Jesus -- you know "The Reason for the Season," he was a carpenter, a Jew, maybe the first true friend. Remember that story of him providing all of that food to all of those hungry folks?"

At Aunt Bill's feet was a Christmas card with a painting of President Trump kneeling in a gold bedecked manger amongst Caucasian wise men, looking down on a little white Jesus. The gold script on the front of the card read: "Making America Great Again This Season, Merry Christmas."

Aunt Bill leaned over and picked up the card, the card she had sent out to friends and family far and wide. She quietly asked Uncle Paul to leave. She then turned and congratulated her neighbor on his red Christmas cap. It was a MAGA cap with a felt Santa cap sewed to the top. The neighbor beamed, tapping his prized Christmas gift; a glock 10mm auto, tastefully hidden under his red sports coat in a hand tooled shoulder holster that he had won at his church's annual Christmas bazaar..." From "Uncle Paul and the Lion" by Franklin Cincinnatus

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Kevin is an Artist, Writer, Carpenter and Gallerist in Texas.

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