As the holidays approach, I find myself staring out the window at the blanket of white snow covering my back yard, thinking about the good times. Like Christmas 1989, the year the toaster caught on fire and my mother put it out (rather ingeniously) by throwing it out the window, onto a blanket of snow covering that back yard. The toaster remained out there the rest of the winter, a charred reminder of its incompatibility with bacon.
I think of Christmases 1991, 1992, and 1993, when my brother gave me giant-sized Mr. Big chocolate bars as presents. It was pretty funny the second year. In 1996, I got a job as a courier. That Christmas, my brother proudly presented his gift to me, a small and strangely soft package wrapped in newspaper, upon which he had scrawled, “For your truck.” It was a rectangular-shaped, single-serving apple pie in a transparent plastic wrapper. I did, indeed, save it for in the truck and, for about five minutes, it eased the pain.
And so, as we steel ourselves for yet another round of family get-togethers and ever bolder toaster experiments, I offer up my newest and, I believe, only holiday story, “Apocalypse, As Viewed from the Family Room.” Granted, this one takes place at Thanksgiving, but Christmas is very much lurking in the background, threatening all with Christmassy inevitability. It appears over at the fantastic joyland.ca, where you’ll find an abundance of awesome short fiction. Which, should a distributor machine apple pie be waiting for you under the tree, might be the best gift of all this year.