Goldonna (Goldie) Baudelaire Henderson Litchfield Boudreaux entered into eternal rest in the middle of December; she stepped out of time and into eternity and was the cause of this year’s Christmas chaos. Goldie was 94 years old and didn’t give a rat’s ass what time of year it was. She had decided that being dead was preferable to spending another miserable holiday in that nursing home; and if God had a problem with that, then he could just give her back her youth and let her walk away from the offensive boredom of old age. God didn’t respond; Goldie had given him plenty of chances; so she just decided that it was time to stop breathing; and she did. God was in the loo.
A phone call had come at breakfast, as her son, Saul, and his grown twin children (and their two children) were sitting down to the morning meal served up by their maid Semolina at their home in the Broadmoor section of New Orleans. It was a big house, at least until the twins had simultaneously divorced their loser spouses and brought their children to roost with “Daddy” and his third wife, Madison, the Mad Woman. Goldie’s grandkids (the twins) insisted on talking to Paw Paw Boudreaux on the phone about the unfortunate event, tying up the line, and causing Semolina to get the two children, Emma and Aiden, off late to preschool which was located in Algiers, across the river. The Christmas pageant was coming up soon; Emma was playing Joseph and Aiden was playing Mary.
Goldie’s daughter in law, that delicate flower, missed her hair appointment by a delay at getting her expensively-imported car serviced after it had refused to start due to a malfunctioning “dumafragit” or “frigatroid” or some such silly thing that the mechanics had diagnosed. This caused her to have to take Saul’s SUV after he had picked her up from that “awful smelly garage.” She dropped him off at his job where the boss chastised him for being late and asked him for the hundredth time when he was going to fire the salesman with the lowest number of sales in the department. He promptly and enthusiastically sacked the bum.
The underperforming salesman, Sal, was in his fifties with three small children and a manic depressive wife who was named Gruoch after Lady Macbeth by her agoraphobic, but literate parents.
Sal chose to break the news of his dismissal until dinnertime, half drunk. The kids were fighting as usual and Gruoch, to garner some degree of silence and peace, had reached across the table and whacked Sal Junior on the head with the wooden spoon that she was serving nutria jambalaya with; Junior took this opportunity to kick his younger sister under the table, and when little five year old Wendy screamed, it gave Junior an opportunity to pinch the baby in the highchair who was feisty enough to throw her dinner bowl at him, missing of course. The bowl crashed to the floor where the dog promptly volunteered to help clean up. Sal got up and stormed out of the house, Junior (the brat and bully) threw his chair to the floor, announced that he hated everyone and stalked off to his room. His mother sat on the kitchen floor and sobbed.
Meanwhile, Semolina was late getting dinner because it had been raining and the car that she drove had faulty windshield wipers; the twins were watching “Wheel of Fortune“ and Goldie’s son was drunk and dialing his mistress, locked in the guest bathroom.
Sal drove down to his favorite French Quarter watering hole, speeding and narrowly avoiding being a serious casualty of a collision involving a beer truck, a young driver on an iphone and a texting bicyclist who was riding against traffic on St. Charles Avenue.
The driver of the beer truck, Sammy, whose girlfriend, Tiffany, had just dumped him for her personal trainer, double-parked on the streetcar tracks and, cursing the holidays, confronted the pair of miscreants responsible. Horns started honking the traffic backed up; the streetcar drivers started yelling and tourists hid behind each other; mounted police arrived and then, as they say, all hell broke loose.
The driver of the streetcar that was being blocked slipped on some freshly manufactured police manure and yelled something obscene at the officer who immediately called for backup, as an Iranian taxi driver with a bursting bladder and a cab full of Commanders Palace 10 cent martini drinkers took to the street yelling for everyone to shut the @#&*! #$$ up and move along. Somewhere in the distance, a dog barked. The meter maids fled en masse to Hattiesburg and formed a religious order; a black Santa who was tired of being profiled, hooked up with a Lucky Dog salesman who was down on his luck and the public servant who was glad to give people a hard time abandoned his post and went home and turned on the soaps to take his mind off his weight, complexion and love life. The melee spread across town and around the world like a rash.
Meantime, God came out of the rest room and took a look at the closed circuit television screens that kept an eye on the planet before reseating himself at the card table with his archangels Gabriel, Michael, Raphael and Lucifer, who turned to him and enquired: “So, this homo sapiens thing that you’ve been playing with…how’s that workin’ out for ya?”
God leaned back in his chair, lit up a Lucky Strike and pondered the term “mucking up a wet dream.” He then put on his poker face and turned his steel blue eyes on Lucifer and said, “Happy Holidays to you too; now shut up and deal.”