Monday, April 20, 2015

From: Keenan Wynn

Prompt #11: "Tell a stranger about a beloved family tradition."

My family has never been a family that has upheld strong traditions that weren't simply morally based ways of life. We don't take annual fishing trips, make holiday cards, or have a summer home hidden away in a Tuscan field. That's "Tuscan" like the lovely place near Florence, not "tuscan" like the tusken raiders of Tatooine. Those are spelled differently, so that joke doesn't work well through text. Plus, is Tuscany IN Florence? Near it? Are they the same thing. I should have studied up on my geography before I made that joke I guess. My Earthly Geography not my Star Wars geography. I'm spot on in that aspect. Although, is it geography if you are placing an entire planet? ... You know what? I'm off track.

The point is, my family has small traditions, all of which are both enjoyable and flexible. If they don't happen, we have Plan B: Improvise. There is one tradition, though, that began perhaps a decade ago that we have become so accustomed to, we don't really even bring it up. There are several Christmas traditions that most every Christmas-celebrating family does. We put up a tree, we bake christmas treats, and we try to attend at least one christmas event such as an ice sculpture show or a christmas movie. Of course, there are gifts, too. We do ours slightly differently, though. We shop for them like normal people, or at least our best imitation of what we approximate as normal, we wrap them in seasonal paper, and we might even place a bow on a few of them. The unique part comes in the tags on each of the gifts.

See, something about the Reedy family, is that in our blood runs a deep love for riddles. We like to solve things, but more than that, we like to be puzzled by things. Figuring things out is just... the best feeling. We may seem angry, depressed, even spiraling into certain insanity while puzzled, but in our hearts it brings us joy. So along with the usual lifting, shaking, and attempted x-ray vision on our gifts, we add an element to tease the receiver of the gift.

On the "To:" line, we usually write the recipient's name, although occasionally change it if we want to involve everyone in the confusion. Most of the time, though, the "From" line is where the riddle is. We find a character related to the gift, and say it's from them. I know what you may be thinking. "That's easy". Yes, that would be easy if we weren't so darn good at finding characters so obscure, so very tangentially related to the gift that, to be frank, it would be impressive if you even knew who the character even was. In fact, let's test this out. Everybody turn your googles off.

To: You
From: The Fifth Beatle

I'll give you a moment to think. Scroll down when ready.

See, Billy Preston is who I'd have expected you to go with, and you'd probably think that the gift would then be something related to his career, most likely the album "Let it Be" in which he is credited as an accompanist to the Beatles. But wait, this gift isn't shaped like any sort of musical album, be it CD, Vinyl, or even Microcassettes for that new Microcassette player that David Lightman got you!

No, instead I got you an exact replica of the car behind George on the album cover of Abbey Road, which honestly, is a much better gift than a single album, and definitely better than a microcassette player, so I also showed up someone else in the family in this weird fantasy of mine.

Anyway, that's how the game is played, and the only limit on gifts is your own personal budget! And maybe help from mom, who likes to slip us money! So that means I'd never buy you that car. Maybe a hot-wheels version. But then I'd be torn between saying it's from "The Fifth Beatle" or "Ocho".

Thanks for reading!