The First Line

It was especially warm for Christmas Day. Billy B. woke up early and decided to make some Maxwell Houses Coffee for his breakfast. It had snowed about 12 inches last week and the temperature had been below zero for several days. The snow was so deep that Billy B. could not get his Camry out of the driveway but he could extricate his new Subaru Forester through the snowy depths. It had been bone chilling cold and treacherous to drive on the roads…and now it seemed like summer time in the south. It was 80 degrees on Christmas morning. Pauly and Danny were happy with the warm and actually hot weather…and Steve and Susie, being a bit older than Billy B. and his friends, knew that an 80 degree Christmas in Chicago was extremely unusual…

George and Helen proposed a barbecue for the holiday due to the summer like temperatures. Billy B’s parents, Neva and Jefferson, were all in for an unusual celebration of Christmas 1963. Chet was on his way over and Parker had called Billy to ask if she could come over and watch him open his Christmas presents. Billy B. could not help but notice that the ‘Leave It to Beaver’ street that he lived at had a strange sepia color… There was a knock at the door and when Billy opened the door, uncle Lester was smiling and presented Neva with a bag of Lottaburgers. He had just consumed his two hamburger breakfast at the local burger emporium and he was ready to join the Bump family for a Christmas celebration. Billy’s dad, Jefferson, swore and said, ‘It is as hot as Hell on Christmas!’ Billy B. considered the prescient words. Chet arrived and announced that he had received a life size animated figure of the Actor Fess Parker’s rendition of the television character…Daniel Boone. He went on to say that Daniel Boone referred to him by name and that he seemed to know him. There was Parker at the front door. Parker said that her mom and dad were asleep and that she could not awaken them… She noted that her Christmas Tree seemed to be on fire and could not be extinguished. She had received a Barbie and Ken doll and they had apparently taken over her home and had asked her to leave the premises. Just before she had left to go to Billy B’s house, Ken had pulled up in a Jaguar and Barbie had ran out of the house to get into the sport’s car. Something about this 1963 Christmas did not seem normal.

Chet remarked that they were traveling in time and space once again. They were apparently in an alternate universe or ‘Hell’ as the christian doctrine speaks of…and everything was Topsy Turvy. Action figures had taken on life of their own and the winter temperature for Christmas Day had become erratic and the hope for their future was contained in a Black Hole…

‘Come and get it,’ said Helen…as George turned the Ribeye Steaks. ‘The beer and Coca Cola is ice cold…and the Steaks are red-hot….intoned George!’ It was 110 degrees now…it was Christmas Day in Chicago…and there was a figure in the shadows that was watching the festivities….

Well, the mysterious figure was none other than uncle Lester. Billy B. began to shake as if he had the chills that he had experienced with a skin infection that he had undergone for sometime last year. ‘Wake up Billy…wake up,’ said Lester. ‘You were having quite a nightmare,’ he went on to say. ‘What is the date today,’ Billy B. asked. ‘Why it is March 2nd,’ Lester replied. Billy discovered that it was neither Christmas nor Halloween…and he was still 6 years old…and that he did not own a Toyota Camry nor a Subaru, Forester…and that he had not heard of either type of automobile. He did know his dad’s Harley Davidson motorcycle and the joys of riding between his mom and dad on the exciting machine. He also vowed to not eat before bed…as the dreams were bizarre….

Billy walked into the kitchen…and there was Daniel Boone making waffles…

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