Sometime in the 80’s:
I would consider my Father to be on the serious side, though with a surprising sense of humor. Surprising because most people don’t see it until after they have known him for a while. He is a college professor, and continues to educate himself on many things and has become well versed in history and many other things. I have very seldom seen him without a book in hand. He was always fun loving with us, wrestling, tickling, making up corny limericks, and oh the faces he could pull!
We gathered around the freshly cut tree as Dad strung the lights and Mom gave direction and how they should go. Christmas music played festively in the background and the house was full of squeals, giggles, and laughter. The boxes of ornaments were brought out with care and Dad unwrapped each ornament from is protective paper towel, yellowed with age. Shouts and cheers were given as though old friends were being met after a long absence and one by one we took turns hanging on them on the tree. Eventually we came, as always is the case, to some forlorn ornaments that had no hooks. We all started looking around for the box of hooks, knowing that we would be in desperate need for it. Finally, in a last ditch frustrated attempt, my father calls out, “Mother, where are all the hookers?”
We stood in a shocked silence with mouths gaping open.
“The what?” Mother asked somewhat confused.
“The hooks, the hooks. I mean the hooks,” he hastily replied as a chorus of 5 unruly giggles echoed through the room and my mother broke down in laughter. Dad finally gave in and joined us knowing the damage was already done.
From that historical day on we have always had to search for those hookers to hang the ornaments, much to Father’s chagrin.
It was my first Christmas as married woman to my very charming hubby, Paul. I was just barely starting to get beautifully round with our first child. I was taking Paul home for his first Christmas at my home and my first Christmas home in two years. We had decided, however, to decorate our apartment and get a tree since it was our first time to celebrate in our little apartment. The empty tree stood in the corner and I directed Paul as he strung the festive lights. Then came the ornaments. There were few, but were tenderly and lovingly wrapped in paper towels. As I pulled the first one out, I realized that there were no hooks. I knew Paul had bought some, and I could not find them anywhere, so finally I looked up at him and asked, “Dear, where did you put the hookers?”
“The what?” Paul gave me an incredulous look as what I had said sunk in. Here was his newlywed wife asking him about hookers. She must have gone completely off her rocker.
“Oh dear,” I said laughing. “The hooks, I really meant the hooks,” I fumbled my cheeks flaming as I explained the hilarious moment years and years ago and how it has stuck around ever since. Oh what a hearty laugh he gave, and that year when we were home for Christmas, he was sure to bring it up as we helped decorate Mom’s tree as a good son-in-law should. 🙂
I managed this year to refrain from any mention of hookers while decorating the tree, well, at least while the children were present anyway. 🙂 The house was decorated and Dorothy had brought “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” home from the school library. It didn’t take much to cajole Papa into sitting down to read the story. He was a vision with three little girls sitting upon his lap and Jacob climbing on his legs. I listened from a nearby chair as he did all the voices and read in his great booming Grinch voice, “And all the hoes in Whoville….”
“All the what?” I cried trying to hold back fits of laughter.
“All the….” and Paul dissolved into laughed realizing his Freudian slip. I teased a long time into the night about that one and it hasn’t died off yet. Poor Paul, he is such a good sport to let me give him such a bad time, of course I know that he would do the same for me if the tables were reversed. 🙂
Our poor children have absolutely no chance. They are warped for life.