I’ve been doing family skits as a Christmas newsletter since 2002, when the girls were ages 2 and 5. It’s just a yearly peek inside the Salerni house, and here’s the most recent:
A SLICE OF SALERNI LIFE 2011 (The Tenth Edition)
The Doctor: (cue dramatic music) There’s one thing you never put in a trap—if you’re smart, if you value your continued existence, if you have any plans about seeing tomorrow—there’s one thing you never EVER put in a trap … ME.
Dianne: Turn off the TV and come to dinner! (Sorcia scrambles over to the table, feet slipping cartoon style on the hardwood floor.) Not you! You’ve already eaten a slab of raw chicken big enough to have been Foghorn Leghorn.
Bob: So, I hear DINNER is the topic of this year’s newsletter. Didn’t you already do that?
Dianne: Seven years ago, yes. But a lot’s changed since then.
Gina: What’s this speck on my chicken?
Dianne: Well, not Gina. Gina hasn’t changed a bit.
Bob: It’s a flavor particle. Eat it.
Gina: What KIND of flavor particle?
Dianne: Parsley. Now eat it. The girls have really grown up since I wrote that skit in 2004.
Gabbey: BRRRWAAAAAP! (lets out a spectacular burp)
Gina: (admiringly) Nice!
Dianne: Although I still think they might never be fit for boys to take out to eat on a date.
Gabbey: You should be grateful I know better than to do that in public.
Dianne: They’ve got Doctor Who on the TV instead of Kim Possible. That’s a plus.
Bob: I kind of miss Dr. Drakken, actually, but Doctor Who can be fun, too – especially since Gabbey doesn’t sob at the sight of Daleks anymore.
Gabbey: Give me a break, Dad. I was FOUR.
Dianne: You were ten.
Gabbey: (bends head over dinner and mutters) Daleks are scary.
Gina: OH NO! The juice from my chicken is touching my broccoli. Aaaaaahhhh! (Stuffs napkin under plate to tilt it. The juice runs back toward the chicken.)
Bob: Life was simpler back in 2004 – now we’re hard pressed just to keep up with band and orchestra concerts, play practice, Thanksgiving Day parades, Robotics …
Dianne: Ah, but if you took a bike ride with Gina back then, she was strapped into a seat on your bike. Now she’s matching your pace on 10 mile bike rides through White Clay Creek Park.
Bob: It’s true I don’t miss the toddler/pre-school days much. We couldn’t have taken them ziplining on Catalina Island. And we certainly wouldn’t have dared bring them along to meet a film producer for dinner in Hollywood …
Gabbey: CHA-A-ANGE PLA-CES! (Gina and Gabbey grab their plates and dash around to new seats at the table. Dianne and Bob hang onto their plates and refuse to move.)
Dianne: We’ve got the Alice in Wonderland play to thank for that. I should be grateful that was well after the Hollywood visit.
Bob: And they’re pretty good natured when we drag them along on your book research – to coal mines and abandoned cemeteries.
Dianne: True. Gabbey even got out of the car last time we visited the caged graves.
Gabbey: Yes, I looked at your creepy graves! You know, while you’re making fun of us in the Christmas skit, you might want to remember that seven years from NOW, we won’t be here eating dinner with you. We’ll be away in college.
Gina: Yeah. You’ll be sitting here alone and sad without your lovely daughters.
Bob: (looks at Dianne) I’m thinking champagne … on a Caribbean island.
Dianne: Before-dinner cocktails on a cruise ship, somewhere between Italy and Greece.
Gabbey: Except you’ll have two of us in college, so you’ll be POOR.
Dianne: She’s right. It’ll be TV dinners in front of Doctor Who for us, Bob.
Gina: (pushes green specks aside on her plate) I’m not eating these suspicious flavor particles. Can’t be too careful. Gabbey’s been reading your poison book again, Mom.
Gabbey: So, I like to poison people. Fictionally. Sue me.
Dianne: Darling daughters, both of them.
Bob: Wouldn’t trade ‘em.