INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. - All my life I have adored the elders, that is to say, those cultured and contented uncles & aunts two decades my senior who have endured life's booms and busts, and are steadfast in their cheerfulness and optimism. And now that I am fast approaching their elevated status, I adore them all the more.During this year's holiday dinner we were discussing the debilitating effect the movie Texas Chainsaw Massacre will have on our Christian society in its debuts on January 4th, when suddenly Uncle Bo (88) reached beneath his chair and surprised us with what looked like a small rainbow or a miniature arch that a football team would run through to enter a stadium for a bowl game. "And what the hell is that?" asked Uncle Joe (89) while we all stared at Uncle Bo."This is my Mayan Sleeping Tent. It's quite elementary, actually, though nobody ever thought to patent it - until now.""Yeah? So what in God's green acre is it good for?" asked Uncle Joe."What's it good for? Joe, this little dynamo will allow you to sleep through the night, every night, while enjoying the sweetest of all possible dreams.""What is it, Gramps?" asked an impatient imp."My little Mayan Sleeper has two feet that you tuck between your mattresses, then you toss your bedding over the top, and voila! You've created a space for your feet to enjoy complete and unfettered freedom.""Bo, that's like taking a pill for a Christmas dinner, for Pete's sake. I like the weight of blankets on my feet. I'd venture to say I couldn't sleep without covers on my feet. Besides, what do Mayans have to do with this apparatus, anyway?""Marketing, Joe, marketing. Joe, you're a creature of habit. I'll let you have my prototype here for $20 and if you don't sleep through the night tonight I'll give you your 20 back tomorrow.""So who's going to be the judge?" asked Uncle Joe. "If I'm asleep, how am I going to know if it's due to your Mayan Doo-Dah or if I'm just having a particularly good night's rest?"At this point, Uncle Joe's wife, Aunt Flo (84) raised her formidable index finger and said in no uncertain terms, "Joe, give me the $20 and I'll be the judge. You pitch Bo's Mayan-thingy over our feet tonight and if I have a good night's sleep I'll give the twenty to Bo tomorrow. But if I hear one more word about this infernal contraption over Christmas dinner I'm going to brain the two of you's and the both of you's can sleep your infernal sleep in the hereafter!"A sweet silence fell over the table while Uncle Joe handed Aunt Flo a twenty dollar bill. Uncle Bo slipped his Mayan Sleeper under the table and the party fell back into a tableau about the debilitating effect January 4th's debut of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre will have on our Christian society.I just worship those old folks, and only hope I can divert family conversation as adroitly and effortlessly as they do when I'm seated at that lofty helm - providing I'm allowed the opportunity.- Learn more about McAvoy Layne at www.ghostoftwain.org.
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