Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Tanory Tantrum's 2011 Christmas Letter

Dearest friends and family,

I hope this letter finds you well.  2011 was a great year for us Tanorys, as all years are that begin with a midnight groping.

January was action packed!  For starters, I created a new blog, Stutter Step, which is mostly about my mad basketball skillz and only partly about my stuttering.  I also started experimenting with different styles of haircuts, and ended up with what is commonly referred to as "The Beavis."


I also discovered that Blue Jean Jammies do not have a zipper or buttons in which to hold my junk in the proverbial trunk, and therefore you should NOT wear them out in a public setting, such as a grocery store.  Sorry about that, Aisle 5.

February is notable for two major events in my life:  I started taking piano lessons at Baton Rouge Music Studio, and I finally saw a movie called Rancho Deluxe which my granddad claims is the worst movie ever made.  I also became an Academy Award winner when David Seidler accepted the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for the King's Speech, since he said that he shares the award with all of the other stutterers in the world.

Booyah!

March brought along Betty's birthday as well as Mardi Gras, which is Betty's lunar birthday.  We dressed up for Mardi Gras like we always do, and this year we chose a New Orleans theme:  A Confederacy of Dunces.  I dressed up as Ignatius J. Reilly, one of New Orleans's most beloved and cherished characters, but was only recognized by a single Japanese tourist.  The rest of the family dressed up as Lucky Dogs and condiments, and generally got way more attention.  As they should have!


In March I also starred in a commercial for a local car dealership.  So what if it was only shown on the Richard's Honda Facebook page?  It still counts!  Speaking of Facebook, in March I started changing my birthday on Facebook to be the current date every day, and received hundreds of "Happy Birthday" messages twenty days in a row from the same people.  I couldn't decide if I was happy or sad about that, so I changed it back to my real birthday, which is whatever date it is that you're reading this.

April brought about the demise of my blog (again), my daughter's third birthday, and a trip to Disney.


Disney truly was the happiest place on Earth, until Betty and Peter almost got eaten by a giant shark.  They narrowly escaped by singing the It's a Small World song repeatedly, until the shark started singing it as well, at which point they swam out.  That song is so addicting!


In April I also discovered that, if you're running out of space in your house, you can ship all of your clothes to the dry cleaners and they'll store them for free - after you pay for them to be cleaned, that is.  I'm now accepting dry cleaning coupons, because I have another 20 square feet of vacuum-sealed clothes bags that need to get out of my closet and into a dry cleaner's storage, stat!

May was pretty amazing.  My son turned one, which is incredible enough... but then he ate his entire birthday cake, which was the most amazing thing I've ever personally witnessed!  Keep in mind, it's not like he just ate most of it, or a lot of it - he ate the entire thing!  It was a Cake Apocalypse!


It was about as awesome as when the Navy Seals killed Bin Laden in a secret raid.  And definitely more awesome than when I dressed up as a "Hot Nurse" for charity, and melted everyone's eyeballs in the process.


That picture made me start taking better care of myself, so I guess something good came out of it.

I was late for my family reunion in June because I had a massive hangover after attending a show by Mageez, my cousins' band.  But that was OK, because later that month I went to my wife's family reunion in Atlanta, and got to go zip-lining.


My family, Betty's family... it's all the same, right?  The main difference between our two families is that everyone in her family has two distinct eyebrows, whereas everyone in mine shares a single eyebrow.

By the way kids, learn from my mistakes and make sure that you wear underwear when you go zip-lining.

If "anything happened" in July then I missed it, except for when I created a method of using thermal imaging cameras to detect if a person is in fact Hot or Not.  I also invented the Blip Cone, which is a combination of a dip cone and a Blizzard from DQ.  I expect royalty checks, DQ!

August brought about the end of the NFL lockout and thus the start of the Fantasy Football season.  That kept me thoroughly occupied until my cousin Michael knocked me out of the playoffs in December.  My constant thinking about Fantasy Football also meant that I had less brain cells to think about the blog, so I quickly ran out of ideas and started writing poetry in a database language called SQL until I finally came to my senses and wrote about fun stuff, such as creating our own Claw game at the house.


Thankfully, September rolled around, so it was finally cool enough to go take a trip to City Park in New Orleans.  My kids loved the life-sized elves...


And I liked the life-sized fairytale ta-tas!


And if I didn't have enough to think and write about, that quickly changed when Betty left me and the kids by ourselves for an entire weekend while she went to Houston for a bachelorette party.  It was the first time that I'd been alone with both kids for an extended amount of time, and I'm proud to say that we didn't have to call Poison Control once!  And in terms of our social life, Betty and I watched all 74 episodes of ABC Family's Greek on NetFlix and relived our glory days in LSU's Greek system.

October brought around Harvest season, and Betty thought it'd be a good time for me to plant something so that we could harvest it next year.  So I conned my buddy Brannon into helping me build a garden in the back yard.


And of course by "helping me" I mean that he did all the work.  Brannon and I also started the Couch to 5K program again only to stop running four weeks later (thankfully, since my knees hurt too much to run anymore!).  The same week we quit running, we read about a 39-week preggers woman who ran a marathon.  We would have felt like women, had feeling like a woman not meant that we could run a marathon while pregnant.  Instead, we just felt like two out of shape old dudes.  But as a consolation prize, we also got a behind-the-scenes tour of how the 13th Gate makes you crap yourself every Halloween. 

Brannon's family also came Trick or Treating with us for Halloween!  Peter was Pooh Bear, Annie was Piglet, Betty was Eeyore and I was a guy-in-Tigger-boxer-shorts-over-his-jeans.


In November, my two beautiful children showed off some newfound skillz:  my daughter displayed her acting chops by appearing in the Baton Rouge General Foundation 2011 Thank You Video, and my son Peter showed off his ability to absorb food into his bloodstream via his skin while enjoying a great Thanksgiving meal at my parents' house.


In international news, the Arab Spring continued, Kim Kardashian divorced her husband of 72 days of marriage and Justin Bieber took a paternity test because an attention whore (who was NOT Kim Kardashian) claimed that Bieber was the father of her baby.  My brother-in-law Danny and I went to see Stephen King in New Orleans, which was really cool, until a possessed bat bit a dog who then tried to bite me.  Long story.

December also brought about my real birthday - but thanks to all my friends on Facebook, we've been celebrating since March.  Thanks for the year-round birthday wishes!

Also in December, Betty and I went to our friend Emily's wedding in Charleston, and we loved the wedding and also loved Charleston.  No, I mean we really, really loved Charleston.  How much did we love Charleston?  Well, let's just say that if Charleston has a baby 9 months from now, I may have to take a paternity test.  We'll name our new city-baby Charles Tanory Land.


We've tried to keep our kids in line this December by deploying Clyde, our Elf on a Shelf.  But my daughter Annie is too smart to fall for it.  She said that Clyde was "just a toy" and didn't see why she couldn't sleep with him at her bedside.  She's smart just like her momma - because I would have totally fallen for the Elf on a Shelf until I was in my mid-20's.  In fact, Clyde might be watching me now, so I have to be good... Santa might be watching!

Merry Christmas, everybody!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Charleston, Part Two: The Wedding

My wife and mom both told me that they liked my previous blog post about Charleston, but considering that the whole point of our trip was to attend our good friend Emily's wedding, they were disappointed that there were no pictures of the actual wedding ceremony or reception.

I mean, come on!  What did they expect?  They know I'm a dude, right?

Betty was particularly upset that I chose to use this picture in that blog as well:


But honestly, she should have been happy that I didn't use this one:


So since I want to keep both Betty and my mom happy, and since I don't want to post any more incriminating pictures of my beautiful wife, I'm going to attempt to provide details of the wedding in the manliest way possible.  And by that I mean, well... I don't know what that means.  Just go along with it.

Charleston Redux!

So like I said before, our good friend Emily got married in Charleston.  She's a radiologist, so she's basically got superhuman brainwaves.  Emily married Thomas, who is a pilot in the military.  If that's not cool enough for you, he's from Kentucky but cheers for LSU football.

Thomas, we love you.

To prove that Betty and I attended the wedding and that I was at least sober for a few minutes, here's a picture with me, Betty and Emily.  I hope this appeases the ladies in my life.


The wedding ceremony and reception were held at a place in downtown Charleston called McCrady's.  The actual ceremony was short and sweet, which is my favorite kind.  (Betty says that I still have to go to church on Sundays after a wedding, but I can usually get out of it if the wedding had a mass.)  It was a sit-down reception with the fantastic food from McCrady's.  I got fish and Betty got steak, and then I ate all of my fish and all of Betty's steak while she was chatting with the other people at our table.  Our table rocked, by the way!


Betty was a bridesmaid, and she and the other bridesmaids had a lot of fun together.  I got to know some of the bridesmaids as well, and let me tell you, they could have had their own "Bridesmaids" movie, if you know what I mean.  These girls are hilarious!


The wedding cake was a combination of cake and miniature cupcakes.  This is a great idea for the next wedding that one of my friends and/or acquaintances wants to invite me to.  It allowed everyone to get a taste of something without waiting for the cake to be cut, and it was fun getting to try all of the different flavors of cupcakes while we thought nobody else was looking.


As for me and my pink/purplish tie that I bought on the night of the wedding, we stuck with our favorite wedding drink:  Tom Collins!  (He's Shirley Temple's cousin.)


They didn't put grenadine in my Tom Collins which made it a manly drink for once.  I need to remember to tell the bartenders at the other weddings that I intend to crash to leave out the grenadine.  I had way too many Tom Collinses that night, but didn't figure that out until the morning.

After the wedding we hit up a place called "NV" (like, "Envy", or maybe "Nevada") in downtown Charleston.  We had a great time.  NV has an elephant statue in the middle of the top floor, so I convinced one of the other wedding attendees to ride it.


Then I took a picture of her and put it up on my blog.  Sorry about that!

Thanks again, Emily and Thomas, for inviting us to your wedding!  We love you both and wish you the best!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Happy Birthday to... Me?

Monday was my birthday, so imagine how thrilled I was to get this heartwarming email from my dad:

Happy B Day Todd

34 years young.

I love you.

Pop
Yeah, so... Todd is my brother, and his birthday is in a week and a half.

This is why I have middle child syndrome.

In all honesty, I thought it was hilarious!  My dad was just trying to be the first one to wish me a Merry Birthmas and to beat my mom to the punch, but he got a little excited and got the wrong son.  It's cool.  At least he remembered that it was one of our birthdays.  And who knows, maybe when he's old and senile, Todd and I can trick him into giving us each two birthday presents.

Don't worry, Dad.  I still love you.  But I'll love you more if you "accidentally" give me Todd's birthday and Christmas presents in addition to my own.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Tanorys Invade Charleston

Betty and I went to Charleston for a wedding, and we had a blast.  For starters, the city is beautiful:  it looked and felt just like New Orleans, but without the garbage and transvestite strippers.  It was like we were in a parallel universe!

They even have their own French Quarter!  (But again, without the transvestite strippers, so how good could it really be?)


The second thing that we loved about Charleston is that the people there are incredibly friendly.  They're probably the nicest people that I've ever met.  We hear a lot of people who travel down to our part of Louisiana tell us how nice we are, but I can assure you that we're not nearly as nice as those South Carolinians.  They were even nice about me Tiger Baiting them mercilessly the entire time that I was there.

Geaux Tigahs!

So about Chuckstown (as I call it) being clean:  We got there on a Thursday morning and immediately noticed that the streets were immaculate.  There wasn't a single piece of garbage anywhere.  It was like the citizens of Charleston took pride in their city or something.  Seriously, I think there's more garbage on my street than in the entire city of Charleston.

Well, we did find one piece of garbage - and old Coke bottle - but technically it was on our hotel room's balcony, so I guess that still counts towards there being no garbage on the ground.  I added this bottle's top number to my "MyCokeRewards" account for 3 points.  Jackpot!


We stayed at the Harbor View Inn, which - true to its name - had a great view of the harbor.  It also had a great view of a cool fountain out by the docks.


Charleston is nicknamed the "Holy City" because it has so many churches.  The top floor of our hotel had a little patio area that had a great view of the city.  You can see a handful of church towers in the background of this next picture.


The city also has some great food.  We spent about six hours on Thursday at an oyster bar called Pearlz (yes, with a Z), where we met up with all of our friends.  The girls chatted while the guys watched the Steelers cream the Browns on the telly.  I sang the theme song to "American Dreamz" the whole time I was there ("American Dreamz... Dreams - with a Z!") in honor of Pearlz's Z.  The waitress probably wanted us to leave about five hours prior to when we actually did, but since she was from Charleston, she was way too polite to say anything.

You know us Louisiana folk... we'll stay until you kick us out.

Charleston also has some good pizza.  We ate at a place called Monza and it was delicious.  Here's me with a "Count Louis" pizza, in honor of Louisiana.


And while we never ate at the ice cream parlor right by our hotel, we did enjoy looking at the statue of the ice cream cone that looked like it had two massive knockers:


So what is there to do in Charleston except for eating, looking at fountains and Tiger Baiting the natives?  Glad you asked!

Charleston is steeped in history, and I tried my best to see and do everything while Betty was busy doing bridesmaid-ish type things.  My friend Michael and I went to the "Old Slave Mart", where we paid $7 each to read a bunch of stuff on the walls of a building.  At no point did we ever see any slaves, nor could I sell my services as an indentured servant - which just goes to show you how times have changed, considering that South Carolina was the first state to seceded from the Union during the Civil War times due to the Yankees wanting to stop the slave trade.  The Old Slave Mart did a good job of showing how slavery was a facet of everyday life back in those days - from the bankers who bankrolled plantation owners to the clerks who would draw up documents to buy and sell slaves.

What else is there to do in Chuckstown?  Well, you could take your little honey on a carriage ride.  I took mine on a Palmetto carriage tour, but there were several companies doing them.  We got a price quote at several places and found that $19 was the going rate.


And don't worry about the horse poop... the horses wear diapers.


Yes, I really took a picture of that.  Several pictures, actually, but that was the best one.  I also took video of one of the horses peeing.  If you're interested, give me a holla.

You can also go exploring the shops at one of several markets, or if you're like me, go take pictures with all the art displays.


Or you can visit the Powder Magazine, which is where Charleston used to keep all its ammo.  Charleston used to be fenced in, and the Powder Magazine had ammo, guns, and a really sweet gift shop.  The guy at the Powder Magazine even let me play with one of the old guns.


Don't worry, no Southerners were hurt during the making of that picture.

While in Charleston, you can also visit Fort Sumter.  Fort Sumter is on an island - a man-made island, actually - and is where the first battle of the Civil War took place.  After South Carolina seceded from the Union, Union soldiers infiltrated Fort Sumter in the dead of night.  Once the people of South Carolina found out, they were pissed - because, you know, it was theirs now and not the Union's - and proceeded to shell Fort Sumter for 34 hours.  And since the first shots rung out on about 4:30 in the morning and woke everyone in Charleston up, the people of Charleston just hung out on their porches and watched.

And now, for about $17 at 11:30 am and 2 pm, you can take this boat out to Fort Sumter!


Hey, it's only $10 more than the Old Slave Mart!  The ride out there is 30 minutes, and you stay for about an hour.  So a 2 hour trip for $17, plus you get a history lesson - not too shabby.  Just bring a coat because it's windy.

In case you've never seen it, this is what Fort Sumter looks like from the outside:


And this is what it looks like on the inside:


And this is what it looks like when you rub your crotch up against one of its historic and immaculately preserved canons:


They said to not touch anything while we were in there, so you'll notice that there's about a half an inch worth of space between my dong and the canon.  You're welcome, Charleston!

Speaking of canons, they had several canons there and you could look at them - and even inside them - if you were so inclined.  For example, they had a 15-inch Rodman, which has possibly the best name of any canon ever made.


And, you know, for us white guys they had the 10-inch mortars.  Nothing to be ashamed of, fellas.


My friend Michael and I wanted to take a closer look inside the canons, but I was too scared, so Michael did it for us.


I'll be honest, I was pretty surprised at how awesome Fort Sumter was.  Imagine this:  back in 1861, they had an elevator lift for people in wheelchairs...


and even had those cool handicap-accessible doors that open when you push a button outside the men's room!


No wonder the South Carolinians didn't want the Union to get this place!  It must have been like a futuristic city back in those days!

The only time anybody in the entire state of South Carolina has gotten upset with anyone in the last 50 years is when I took a picture of my own picture that someone else had taken and photoshopped of me outside of Fort Sumter.  I apologize to whoever's livelihood depended on me buying this picture... but you know, I could have just photoshopped myself onto a picture of Fort Sumter myself for free.


By the way, Fort Sumter is named after General Thomas Sumter, who fought so viciously against British soldiers that they nicknamed him the "Carolina Gamecock" - which is also the mascot of South Carolina's sports teams.

OK, this blog post is getting long, so I'll try to wrap up the rest of our trip in a million words or less:

One night we went to a bar called the Roof Top.  It was literally at the top of a building and had access to the roof - but we were too cold to go onto the actual roof top.  This building has an elevator with only two buttons - to floors One and Four.  Yes, I know, I took a lot of weird pictures.


The night of the rehearsal dinner, I was in charge of rounding up party-goers for the second bus going to the dinner.  But since I didn't know most of the people who would be attending, Betty made me this sign, which I would thrust in front of anyone in a 30-foot vicinity and ask if they were going to the Zerwas / Ritchie Wedding.  Most of them weren't, but I almost convinced a handful of strangers to come with us.


The rehearsal dinner was at a BBQ place, which was a ton of a fun.  The food was good, the band was rockin', and the bride's sister sang all of the words to "Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls" by TLC, including the rap part.  I did a dance in an afro but none of my friends saw me.  But the most amazing part of the night, besides the fact that we were celebrating the joining of two of our friends' lives, was a poster of a guy named Luke Cunningham, who apparently has a solo album called Heart Pressure.  He's probably really great, but we couldn't stop laughing at a picture of him leaning back on a lounge chair at a pool with a tie and vest on.


The night of the wedding I realized that I had forgotten my tie.  I did not fly across the country to attend a wedding for a doctor and a pilot (with a bunch of other doctors and pilots present) without a tie, so I walked to the nearest tie-dispensing store and bought one.  I've never bought a tie for myself before, and really never look at them in the store since I hate wearing ties and therefore had no idea what a tie costs, but was shocked when the "tie table" had ties ranging from $89 to $129.

Seriously, guys!  What are we doing paying so much for something that we all hate wearing!  Ties should not be that expensive!

Instead of buying one of those, I told the guy that I wanted the cheapest one he had, and he sold me a pinkish / purplish tie for $28.  Which worked out well, because everyone thought it was an LSU tie.


So... did we have fun at the wedding?  You take a look at this picture and tell me if we had fun at this wedding or not.


Boom!

We caught a ride home from the airport with our friends Michael and Jen, and Michael's car had a flat tire.  I took a picture of it, because, you know, it wouldn't be the worst thing that I'd taken a picture of this trip.  (Did you click on the horse poop link?  That's a picture of actual horse poop from our trip!)


We changed it in the manliest way  possible, which was by fending off all offers of help from good Samaritans and instead doing it ourselves... which of course meant that we were putting our lives into our hands because I can barely hang a picture up on the wall much less change a tire.  But we managed to get home safe and sound somehow.

Thank you, Charlestonians, for being so welcoming and friendly to us Louisianians!  We'll gladly welcome you here anytime.  And if you happen to go down to New Orleans and visit Bourbon Street, just be careful - some of those naked chicks in the street may actually be transvestite strippers!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

The Huffington Post

I love reading the Huffington Post.  Sure, it skews towards the liberal side of things, and yes, it mostly just links to other news sites and I have no idea why someone paid over $300 million for it.  But I still love it... mostly for its idiosyncrasies.

For starters, I can also always count on the Huffington Post to provide me with my daily fix of porn, all while reading a respectable news site... because someone is always naked on the Huffington Post.  In fact, when I first open up my Huffington Post iPhone app, I ask myself, "Who's Naked on the Huffington Post today, Bob?"

Today has a few articles dealing with nudity, for your viewing pleasure:

Scout Willis Poses in Assless Chaps (NSFW, unless you work in an assless chaps factory)
Lindsey Lohan's Playboy Cover Leaked Online
Selena Gomez, Justin Beiber on the Beach

By the way, why doesn't showing Selena Gomez and/or Justin Beiber half naked count as some sort of child porn or something?  Leave the kids alone already!

The next thing that I was originally annoyed about, but now find funny, is that any mildly interesting news on the Huffington Post is always declared to be HUGE in all caps. Or if an actor predictably wants to direct a film, it's always a "major career move!!!"  I can't find any recent examples, but if you read the Huffington Post then you know what I'm talking about.

The Huffington Post has an obsession with Ryan Gosling.  I've never watched anything with the guy in it, but apparently he's talented, as the Ryan Gosling to actual news ratio is like 6 to 1.  They also really love Rihanna - not as much as Ryan Gosling, of course, except for when there are nude photos of her.

And finally, the Huffington post loves Paul Krugman.  If you don't know who he is then you obviously don't read either the Huffington Post or the New York Times.  I don't actually read the Paul Krugman articles, but I assume that they're either very insightful and poignant, or filled with nudity and/or Ryan Gosling references.

Keep on keeping on, Huffington Post!  I love you!  Seriously!  I get all of my news from you now, so please don't post things that make me go to another site.  Stop all that silliness and just give me my news in one place and preferably with the photo slideshows that I love.  Oh, all right, you can throw in one or two more Ryan Gosling articles as long as you even it out with a couple more naked Rihanna articles.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Screw the Government

I don't know if it's because I live in the South, or because of all of the Tea Party talk, the Occupy Wall Street protests or the election coverage, but I've suddenly got a new motto:

Screw the Government!

And by "screw" I mean "Make Sweet, Sweet Love to the Government!"

That's right, I'm randy for some political theater!  Bring on the Judicial Branch!

Why do I like the Judicial Branch so much?  Well, let me ask you a question:  have you ever wondered what's under those judges robes?  I bet it's just socks and a smile.  It kind of makes me want to go assault and/or batter someone just to get in front of a judge.  Of course I'm kidding!  I would much rather trespass and rob someone's house than beat them up.

I kid!  I kid!  Of course that's not funny and is totally irresponsible of me to say that.  I deeply apologize to all of you.

Because, you know, it really is disturbing to think that I like the Judicial Branch the best.  Everyone knows that all those judges do anyway is just interpret the law.  Psh!  Come on!  That's nothing!  What about the people who put all of their time and energy into making the laws so vague and prone to being interpreted in various ways in the first place - the Legislative Branch!

That's right, where would we be without Congress?  Well, without Vitter (R - LA), a certain brothel on Canal Street would be in dire financial shape.  But I mean, in general?

Think about how many American lobbying jobs would be lost if we didn't have a pliable, malleable Congress to lobby!  Our Congress keeps our unemployment rate below 10%.  USA!  USA!  USA!

Of course, it's not the Legislative Branch gets all the credit for coming up with ludicrous laws that the be-robed Judicial Branch then has to decipher.  No, because the President - who heads up the Executive Branch - can veto those laws if they're not crazy enough.

Personally, I like the Executive Branch the least.  At least with the Legislative Branch you can occasionally watch people get into a fistfight - even if it's just a foreign nation's legislators.  But with a single President... well, there's really not much there except long speeches that interrupt your football games, robo-calls from presidential campaigns, and the potential to affect the country for decades down the line due to domestic and foreign policy.

Boring!

But, the President does have a big white house.  And have you ever seen the Washington Monument?  In the immortal words of Austin Powers, "Does that make you horny, baby?!?"

I know it has that effect on me.  Which is why my new motto is "Screw the Government!"  I hope that humping state- and/or federally-owned  buildings is not illegal because I'm in the mood for love... of my country!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Elf on a Shelf

We recently got the Elf on a Shelf, which we've heard is super fun and also extremely effective at keeping your children on their best behavior during the holiday season.  If you don't know what the Elf on a Shelf is, it's basically a toy elf that you put in different places each morning so that your kids think it's moving around and watching them, reporting their every move to Santa.  There's a book that goes along with it that explains why the elf can't talk to the kids, why the kids shouldn't touch it, etc.  It's really cute.

Unfortunately, my daughter, Annie, is too smart for her own good.  She's having none of it.

When it was time for bed, Annie asked if she could bring the elf - whom she named Clyde - to bed with her.  She's already got around 50 books in her bed as well as 20 stuffed animals, so she just assumed that she could bring Clyde to bed with her, too.  But if she did that then we couldn't put Clyde in a new and exciting place for her to find in the morning.  So when we told her no, at which point she screamed and cried.

"WHY!?!?!" she screamed.  It was really sad.  "OH WHY???"

We hugged her and tried to console her.  "Clyde has to go back to Santa's workshop tonight, baby," we told her.  "He has to tell Santa what a good girl you've been."

That would make any three and a half year-old happy, right?

Her response:  "But he's just a toy!"

Touche'!

We've placed Clyde on our mantle for Annie to find in the morning.  She will either laugh and think it's hilarious... she'll be noncommittal, because after all, he's "just a toy"... or she'll rage and froth like the Tasmanian devil, practically climb up the wall and/or throw things at Clyde to knock him down, and then try to take him to school with her.

And who knows, Betty and I might even get a stern fussin' from her about not playing with her toy.  We might even make Santa's naughty list this year!