A Christmas Tale

Published: 1998-12-01

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It was probably my eighth Christmas and we were still living in the little house behind a regular house in South Los Angeles. I slept on the sofa there until I was ten in what we called the “front room,” and to get to the bathroom I would have had to go outside across the porch so at night when I had to pee I would call my father and he would get out of bed and bring the bedpan and I would stand on the edge of the sofa with my left hand on his right shoulder and pee in the pan.

That Christmas eve when I called for father and he came in he said: “Son, don’t look at the tree.” The Christmas tree was in the comer, a few feet away. I looked over and saw a whole platoon of lead soldiers lined up beneath it marching across the floor. It was wonderful seeing them there and when I turned to get a better look I peed a swath across my father’s belly from left to right—or, from my father’s perspective, right to left.

“Goddammit, Son,” my father said, “I told you not to look.” I was not a rebellious boy and when Father expressed his disapproval I turned back, away from the tree, and peed a swath across his belly from right to left, or, from his perspective, left to right.

“Goddammit,” my father said, “I want you to stop wetting on me.”

“All right. Daddy, ”I said. And I never wet on him again.”

I know—I know. It’s not Dickens. But I wish you a merry Christmas just as Dickens would if he were here, and I sincerely hope you have a fine New Year.


Additional information about this document
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Author(s): Bradley R. Smith
Title: A Christmas Tale
Sources: Smith's Report, no. 60, December 1998, p. 8
Published: 1998-12-01
First posted on CODOH: Oct. 28, 2015, 6:42 a.m.
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