The awards keep coming! Yesterday, it was the Versatile Blogger Award, and today it’s the Bad Uncle Award. The irony is that I won it by trying to be a good uncle…
With the holidays approaching, I know that my sister has her hands full with her two kids, Ernestine and Paulo,* so I figured I’d give her a hand. Ernestine, who is in the second year of her terrible twos, has been especially rambunctious since her brother Paulo was born this past summer. (Or spring. I forget the exact details.)
But the point is that Ernestine has been doing some very bad things lately, like stealing cars and tagging people’s garages with graffiti. At the same time, Ernestine still believes in Santa Claus — and she really, really wants a pony for Christmas. To get her to behave, my sister placed an Elf on the Shelf on the shelf in Ernestine’s bedroom. Taking this strategy a step further, I called my sister’s house and asked to speak to my niece.
“Why?” my sister said, as I’d never expressed an interest in speaking to Ernestine before.
“Trust me,” I said. “I’m going to pretend to be Santa Claus. It’ll be great.”
“Okay,” my sister said, barely concealing her skepticism.
“Hello?” Ernestine said when she picked up the phone.
“Ho! Ho! Ho!” I said in my holliest, jolliest voice. “Is this Ernestine?”
“Yes,” Ernestine said.
“Do you know who this is?”
“Santa?” Ernestine said.
“Ho! Ho! Ho!” I said. “That’s right! It’s Santa Claus! I’m just calling to say that I was going to bring you a pony this year, but your Elf on the Shelf tells me you’ve been a bad little girl, so I had to put you on the naughty list. There’s always next year, I suppose, but this year, it just isn’t happening. I’m sure you understand. Ho! Ho! Ho! Goodbye.”
I’d barely hung up the phone when my sister called back — and she was angry.
“What did you say to her?” my sister demanded.
“Nothing,” I said. “I mean, I told her I was Santa Claus.”
“I know that,” my sister shouted over Ernestine’s tears. “Why is she crying?”
“I told her she wasn’t getting a pony,” I said. “Is that wrong? Is she getting a pony? Because from what I’ve seen, she doesn’t deserve a pony.”
“No,” my sister said. “She’s not getting a pony.”
Upon hearing her mother vehemently confirm Santa’s prediction, Ernestine went into hysterics.
“So what’s the problem?” I asked.
But my sister had already hung up on me.
Which means I’ll have to come up with a really good Krampus costume to work my way back into her good graces in time for Christmas.
*Names have been changed to protect the innocent. And to protect Ernestine.