JoJo’s Grand Holiday Event Special

*some language throughout

Hi you’ve reached Angela. Please leave a message after the – 

BEEP.  

12:17 p.m. 

Angie, mi hija?? It’s your fuddy-duddy abuelita JoJo. Just calling to say, que pasa?  

I’m feeling pretty good today. Took a couple of pain pills to assist that. I mean, I’m not runnin’ around on roller-skates or painting my toenails or anything, but I did wake up alive so praise the Lord for that. It’s twelve something here and I know you’re probably busy twiddlin’ around Texas, but I just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas of Eve. Ho Ho Ho! Anyways, sitting on the porch with a cigarette and a crappy cup of coffee waiting on some Christmas magic to happen. This is my last quest of the year, to find a little fucking festivity for the head honcho’s birthday, praise the Lord. Ah, I probably shouldn’t say fucking in the same sentence as the Lord. Fudgin’ festivity, I mean. Since turnin’ to Jesus I been trying to grey out the colour in my vocabulary, but you know, that was thirty years ago and at this point I figure if I catch myself, Hallelujah, if I don’t—fuck it. 

Anyways, got a full packet of cigarettes and twelve hours left in the day for a Christmas miracle to strike your grandma in this God forsaken Sayyowwwthhh Caraaliiiiinaaaa. Let me tell you something, only in hell is it okay for it to be eighty-seven degrees on the damn Christmas of Eve. This state is an abomination. Makes Texas look good. I don’t know what crawled up my ass and gave me the idea to move here. You know your grandma though, always on wheels. I’ll call you again later while my minutes is free since it’s Saturday and all to make sure you’re kept updated with JoJo’s grand holiday event special. Stay tuned. Don’t forget to tell your mom thank you for all she does for you and your brother. God bless that woman. You both have it too good. I always told her she’d turn you into a bunch of spoiled brats. 

Merry Christmas. Call you back. 

2:32 p.m. 

Angie? It’s your abuelita JoJo again. Just sitting at the table with the freezer open and two fans on full speed up my skirt, so sorry if I’m yelling, I just can’t hear a damn thing. I know you said we’d talk after you and the kids got home from Dave’s parents in Houston, but I wanted to let you know that I got a Christmas package from your Tio David and Tia Amelie. They do that, you know. Send me packages all the way from San Antonio since no one else on that side of the family gives a hoot about your JoJo. 

Anyways, enough with the bleeding heart. So, I heard a knock at the door and thought Hallelujah! A Christmas package! Finally, some fuck- I mean fudgin’, festivity to celebrate the good Lord’s birthday. There’s nothing your JoJo likes better than gettin’ shit in the mail. I mean, shoot. Not shit. So, I’m sitting there ripping off the stupid strings and bows thinking to myself why the hell they always gotta wrap things up like they’re deliverin’ the goddamn bomb of Hiroshima? About twenty minutes later I get to the goods… and you know what they sent me all the way from the San Antonio? 

A packet of some fancy English muffins and a jar of jelly. 

And I think, what the fudge am I gonna do with all these fudgin’ muffins?

So, I go to my neighbour Phillip which I rarely do ‘cause he’s a man and you know all they want are premarital relations and I’m saving myself for a real Mexican ranchero. I told him, Look, I’ve been waiting on some Christmas festivity to happen and I get this package in the mail with all these fudgin’ muffins and a jar of jelly. I can’t eat all these fudgin’ muffins, so I need you to take some. And he said, Yeah, we don’t wanna waste no food because all them children in Africa be starvin’. And you know what I think about that hogwash. I said, Look, ain’t no children in Africa gonna be saved if I eat or don’t eat the rest of these muffins. But it’s a shoot Christmas present and I don’t wanna be looking at ‘em sitting in the fridge all the way into the New Year. And you know what the useless man did? He took the jelly. Now I got nothin’ to eat the damn things with. So, JoJo’s quest for Christmas magic continues. Got about three quarters of a packet of cigarettes and ten hours left in the day for the fudgin’ festivity to start. 

I’ll call ya back. Remember to thank the Lord for being born. We’d all be in hell if he didn’t. 

4:47 p.m.

Angie? Mi hija? Sorry to call ya back again but I’ve got part three of JoJo’s holiday adventure to share. Mrs. Vanilla Cupcake stopped by again. You know Twinkle Toes next door whose been fartin’ Christmas cheer since the middle of fuckin’- I mean fudgin’, October. I didn’t go to no charm school, but my idea of a good neighbour is they’ll come once for a cup of sugar, maybe twice to see if your mail got mixed up, and worst-case scenario again if the block’s burning down. Then they should leave you hell enough alone. 

Anyways, I’ve taken half a pain pill and am near passed out on the couch when I hear her tap, tap, tap, Oh, Jewel! Open up! Someone’s here to spread Christmas cheer for all to hear! I thought I could maybe play dead and she’d go away but then I remembered her snoopin’ at me through the blinds while I was chatting with Phillip next door, so I thought, fudge. What’s this woman about anyways? I’m in my underwear, no bra, tits out and a t-shirt; had to get up, crack open the door, and I am not kiddin’ you, the crazy woman started singing at me.

Dashing through the snow! In a one-horse open sleigh! Over the hills we go! Laughing all the way, ha ha ha! 

I know I’ve been praying for Christmas cheer Angie, but you know how I feel about happy singing people. God bless ‘em but they can go to hell. You know those pain pills zone me out and I’ve got that ringing in my ears, so it sounds like there’s eight of her. And you know who the one in hell was? Me, mi hija, me. 

So, I opened up the door in all my glory, and I tried to tell her Look, I appreciate your hobby of friendliness, but this isn’t Mr. Roger’s neighbourhood. In fact, he’s dead now. And at the moment, I’m all zoned out on pain pills with enough chirping from the damn birds in the morning. So, the least neighbourly thing you can do right now is start chirping at me in the middle of the afternoon. Now, unless you got some Christmas tamales – 

But Angie, I wasn’t as zoned out as I thought I was because there was eight of her. Eight mini versions. Mini vanilla cupcake one, two, three… the whole damn Twinkle Toe family. They looked at me like I grew eight arms, stepped out with Santa’s head in one hand and the heads of all his reindeer in the rest. And this crazy woman and her elves go from chirping to screeching and oh my gawwwwd. Who gives that much of a flying fuck- I mean, flying pie in the sky to get that sensitive over a little honesty? Man, I need a cigarette. I’ve got half a pack and only seven hours left in the day. I don’t have time for this drama. 

Anyways, I know we just got off the phone in regard to the other Christmas package you sent. Hasn’t come yet. I’m tellin’ you that mailman is stealing stuff. I don’t trust him for a second. Call me back.

6:38 p.m. 

Angie?? It’s your JoJo again. Just calling to let you know that earlier, as I was sitting at the table feeling sorry for myself, I pulled out the Bible to inspire a little holiday positivity; and the good Lord lead me to Psalms 104:18, “The high mountains are for the wild goats; the rocks are a refuge for the rock badgers”. Now what does it mean? Heck if I know. But I was hungry, and I told myself, Jewel I’ll be damned if you’re gonna sit here feeling sorry for yourself all day. Now you’re gonna be positive, be thankful for that shoot Christmas present and eat the damn muffins. So, I thanked God for the revelation and decided I was gonna have a Christmas feast. A shoot one. But I had to appreciate what I had, or I’d be struck down for party pooping on His birthday. 

Anyways, so I washed a couple plates, put a muffin on one, two on another, made it look like I had options or courses or somethin’, opened the fridge and saw I had some orange juice. Hallelujah, I said, some fresh orange juice for JoJo! I got so excited I went to shake it to mix up the pulp, you know? 

But Angie, your fuddy-duddy JoJo forgot the lid. 

And I got orange juice all over the muffins, all over the ceiling, all over my cigarettes, all over my jammies, all over the walls… and I said, awh shit. Anyways, you know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna find whatever heathen place is open this holy unfortunate day and go get a good cheeseburger. Haven’t had a good cheeseburger since I left Texas. I’ve also only got five hours left in the day, zero Christmas magic thus far, and you know what’s worse? Not only are the rest of my cigarettes ruined, but your JoJo is too flat ass broke to buy any more. 

I’ll call you later. Helicopter some cigarettes over. Say it’s an emergency.  

12:38 a.m. 

Angie? Que pasa? Sorry, I missed your call. I’ve had quite an eventful evening, I’ll tell you. And yes, I understand you can’t helicopter over cigarettes. Stupid rule, but whatever. Anyways, back to part five of JoJo’s holiday adventure. We’ll start with the orange juice. Well, Angie the orange juice wasn’t the only one who lost its lid. Apparently, I wasn’t just shittin’ and shootin’ under my breath during that catastrophic event. I was shriekin’ and hollerin’ like one of them wild banshees. So, when I went to walk out the door, smelling like the fudgin’ sunshine state, Phillip was standing out there about to bust in! He told me, Jewel what in tarnation are you yellin’ on about? I almost loaded up my gun! And I told him, I said, Well, thanks for being a gentleman and all but you see, I can’t even eat the muffins now ‘cause the damn orange juice. I can’t even smoke my last few cigarettes ‘cause the damn orange juice; and so, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve gotta go find me a damn cheeseburger. And I went. 

But then, now Angie you won’t believe this, I came back home with my cheeseburger and the crazy man was still sitting on my front porch waiting for me to come back! He told me, so I don’t know if you got plans with anyone or nothin’, but I figured with us both being alone on the holidays, our families being out of state and all, we might as well spend it together. And what I’m about to tell you next will just blow you away. You remember my jar of jelly he took? Well he made me sugar cookies, cut ‘em out into little Christmas trees, and dolloped the jam right in the centre of ‘em; like those tiny stained-glass windows from church! And at first, I was suspicious thinkin’ maybe he’s just after a little froufrou Santa Baby tutu action, you know, being a man and all. But then, and I am not kidding you, he gave me, a brand-new packet of cigarettes which he handed to me saying, I also figured you might need another one of these since the orange juice got your old ones. And I said, Hallelujah! Finally, some real Christmas magic for JoJo! You know how much I love a good cigarette after a good cheeseburger. 

So, I’m thanking him, thanking the Lord, because no one’s goin’ to hell for smoking cigarettes if the good Lord provided them in the first place. Anyways, we sat down and started chatting. And he’s asking me all these questions about myself and what I think about things; and honestly, I didn’t even mind ‘cause I’ve got lots of things to say anyways. And Angie, I tell you, I had the nicest evening with that man. We talked for so long I smoked my whole pack! He looked worried at that, but I laughed, and I told him, I said, Phillip I’m like one of them cockroaches. I survived childhood on the Mexican border, a mother straight outta hell, four dirtbag ex-husbands, thirteen cross country moves to run away from ‘em all, a life of sin during the psychedelic sixties; I mean, I didn’t even become a Christian till I was thirty-eight – so if cigarettes were the thing trying to kill me, they would’ve given up a long time ago. He thought that was pretty funny. I mean you would’ve thought I was comedian of the year.  

He just left a while ago and it’s got me thinking, although he’s not a Mexican ranchero or anything, he does make some damn good cookies. And I don’t know, I think… no one’s ever brought me emergency cigarettes. I mean not even you and the helicopter. And no one’s ever made me stained glass Christmas tree cookies before. He’s a real nice guy. Walks a way straighter line than I gave him credit for; like one of them Boy Scouts or Peter Pan or somethin’. Maybe he’s my new husbandry prospect? I mean it ain’t often a woman my age gets a grown man bringing her cookies. Especially Christmas cookies, and without expecting any holiday hanky-panky in return. Ha! Who am I kidding? But who knows? The Lord works in mysterious ways. 

Anyways, just wanted to let you know that your abuelita JoJo finally got her Christmas Eve magic. I’ll call you tomorrow to let you know if your Christmas package shows up. That is, if the mailman didn’t steal it. And just a suggestion, but you should also talk to a person of customer service to reconsider their policy on helicoptering over those emergency cigarettes. I know you said those services don’t exist, but I don’t know about that. This Christmas magic has got me feeling pretty optimistic!

Merry Christmas, mi hija. Talk to you tomorrow. 

*Based on the real voicemails from the real Grandma JoJo.

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