The Bakers’ 2008

Laurie’s holding a book of stamps with an impatient look on her face, and it’s been over an hour since I polished off that 2ndbowl of chili, so let’s get this thing going because I’m on borrowed time. 2008 started like any other year: a bottle of Wild Turkey and a little pan flute action in the CD player to get me in the proper state of mind.   Let’s just say that about 10 minutes into the year the Zamfir CD started skipping and I pretty much knew that ’08 was going to be another crapfest. I was so ticked off that I told the kids to get straight to bed and if they hadn’t finished their hooch yet then maybe they’d remember to drink a little faster in 2009.Laurie became very ill in late January and we were all worried that she might not pull through. She had a deathly cough and suffered the chills for several days. I tried to be patient, but when she was still bed-ridden after 4 days, well, my shirts don’t iron themselves you know. Plus the kids were really starting to get hungry and someone mentioned that they needed a bath. I tried to tell Laurie that she was being lazy and weak but she still wouldn’t snap out of it. We finally went to see a doctor and he turned out to be the biggest quack we could have found. I asked him to run tests for all of the obvious candidates, such as rickets, lyme, emphysema, beriberi, syphilis and trench mouth. He flat-out refused and claimed that she had a mild flu. He even got all high & mighty when I suggested we try some leeches, so I packed everyone up in the car and drove to the Mayo Clinic. They also claimed that she had a very mild flu, but their waiting room had cable TV so they at least seemed somewhat legit. She got some Tylenol and was better in a few days – none too soon because my closet was just about bare.

The fact that you’re reading this letter means that you already know about the turmoil we had in April. The picture tube on my 32” Sony went out and our household pretty much ground to a halt. It literally broke my heart when I had to tell Emily and Meredith that they weren’t going to be able to watch Desperate Housewives anymore, and you can imagine Alex’s reaction when he found out that he was going to have to buy Soap Digest if we wanted to stay current with The Bold & The Beautiful. I sent out requests to all of you asking for some donations to help us get a new TV but none of you bothered to respond. They say that you find out who your real friends are when your chips are down, and we found that our only real ‘friend’ turned out to be a neighbor down the street who already owed me $3 for some yard waste stickers I had loaned him last August. Our fundraising thermometer with all of our entertainment options is shown at the right – maybe you can find it in your heart to throw a bone our way after you’ve finished driving your Rolls Royce and sipping your Dom Perignon.

Not much to say about the kids other than there’s still a lot to be disappointed about. Alex is in karate classes and he still can’t do that crane kick thing. He makes a big deal about the fact that he broke a board in class, but if I sneak up behind him and kick him really hard in the back he almost never blocks it in time. I’m getting a little tired of explaining to DCFS that those bruises don’t exist because he’s abused – they exist because he sucks at tang soo do. Emily likes to draw and paint, but she must create 4-5 pictures every day and my drawings are still better than hers even though I only create art once every few weeks. I guess you can’t teach someone how to be talented. Meredith is almost impossible to engage in a meaningful conversation and as a result has earned herself a reputation as the person nobody wants to be stuck alone with. What a drag.

We had a little problem with the police department in October. Our neighbors decided to have a haunted house for Halloween and the kids in the neighborhood were really excited about it. We thought we’d get in on the action and do something really creepy at our house, and Laurie suggested that we try


to lure some child predators to our house like on Dateline NBC’s ‘To Catch a Predator’. I thought it was a really good and original idea since we’d have a lot of shady characters wandering up & down the block, and what could be creepier on Halloween? Some of our neighbors (the ones with limited imagination) got really upset and called the police – I ended up to my eyeballs in red tape at the station and pretty much missed all of the trick-or-treating. Maybe at the next city council meeting someone can remind me to ask if some of my tax dollars next year can be budgeted to buy my neighborhood a little bit of Halloween spirit.

I got to end the year with a family portrait that somehow ended up on our Christmas cards.  Apparently the photographer didn’t realize I was joking when he asked what kind of picture we wanted and I replied that I wanted something that made me look like a malnourished fag who shops for all of his shirts at the local Big & Tall shop. We can’t all have our clothes tailored and our photos air-brushed like you, but that’s okay. Zamfir wears his shirts loose too and he probably doesn’t have any friends, so we Bakers are keeping our chins up and looking forward to what had better be an improved new year.

P.S.: we’re still taking donations so please send your contributions as soon as possible. Your money makes it look like you have love in your heart even when you really don’t.

Merry Christmas to You and Yours from Us and Ours!!!

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