(Originally posted Tuesday, December 23, 2008 )
Muncie, Indiana (API) — Eighty-eight-year old Muncie resident Maybell Serlock’s Christmas cards to relatives this year were nothing but a string of grievances going back to 1976 and farther, reported Serlock’s grandchildren. Serlock began her cards this year with “Happy holidays from grandma,” but the tone of the cards then quickly descended into recrimination and guilting.
“I hope everyone had a great 2008,” wrote Serlock. “Mine was hard as you know. Joey, my son-in-law, still hasn’t paid me back for damages to my car when he was taking me to buy groceries. My granddaughter Clem hasn’t come to see me for two years. And supposedly I have a new great-grand-baby, but I cannot confirm this because I have not seen this child and feel it would be irresponsible to report on things I know nothing about.”
From there, the tone of the card degenerated into an angry invective against long-dead great-great-grandmother Hattie, who supposedly tried to cheat Serlock out of some land in 1943.
“Luckily I still have my property, even though, as we all know, Hattie tried to have me removed from my own land by a peace officer after a quarrel. Later, when she was angry at me, she hit my windshield with a rock that left a large crack that I couldn’t get fixed for two years. Because of that I couldn’t see through it the best I could, and got into a fender bender that still causes me back pain. May she rest in peace.”
Serlock said that her two dogs Shep and Angel are both doing fine, even though “they are Great Danes and have knocked me down a few times. Thankfully, the EMTs at LifeSource Outpatients were responsive, a lot more so than the surly brood of children that escaped from my uterus.”
Among the highlights of Serlock’s year were the salmonella poisoning at Uncle Stan’s picnic and the cold she got from cousin Risa’s children.
“You know, at my age, a cold can kill you, something I’m sure Risa well knows this holiday season. I hope the kids feel good and that they aren’t buzzing with killer influenza too much.”
The card trailed off with a “happy new yearrrususussusu…..”
“Grandma is always keeping us up to date on her year,” said her eldest grandchild, Pete Lorraine, 18. “Like last year at Christmas when she said she really looked forward to seeing the squirrel at her mailbox … on account of the fact it was the only thing to look forward to, seeing as I never wrote to her.”
Lorraine said he had just bought his grandmother a snazzy new black wrap he’d bought on a trip to New York.
“But come to think of it, I’m going to give that to my aunt and buy Grandma a box of powdered doughnuts.”
Serlock, of course, can’t eat doughnuts for multiple health reasons.
“That ought to fix her,” cackled Lorraine and his siblings.
Dinner at Serlock’s house is set to commence at 6 p.m. on Dec. 25, to be followed shortly thereafter by what is likely to be a bitter, acrimonious fight.