January 6, 2022

Fortified by Rum

A belated Season’s Greetings to all our readers.

TR here, reporting that our marvelous New Year’s celebrations have just subsided, the last of the guests having finally found flights home. Unlike previous years, it was nearly a full house: Mom and Pop came, all the way from, well, you probably don’t know quite where, but you’d have a sense of it if you’ve read the book, p. 80. It wasn’t certain Pop would show up, him grumbling about vaccinations and all, but Mom prevailed, as usual, a few months earlier. “Martin Softly,” she told me she said back in the spring, “you either get the shot or get shot.” He took one look at her and knew he couldn’t procrastinate any longer; just marched right out to the car and got in the passenger seat and waited. She came along in ten minutes, got out her keys, backed the car out of the driveway, and drove to their nearby drug store. He had the booster a whole month before their trip.

Khaki hosted this year, and her new place was “festively attired.” That’s how Mallory put it. Formerly arrived late but he got there, and orJean walked in with, of all people, Dewey Sisal. Khaki’s parents begged off; too much travel for their taste, even though they haven’t been on one of Violet’s cruises in a couple of years. Zesto actually brought the girl friend, and he wore the most expensive looking evening suit I have ever seen—right out of the Edwardian Era—complete with tails, a white pique waistcoat, moonstone studs, and a matching bow tie. He made quite the show of stripping off the pearl kid dress gloves as he entered. A few others were with us also, but they decline to be named. We hoped we could cajole GOGS and the Missus, but, no surprise, he was pledged, he said, to six official functions.

The big surprise was Colin Mardsworth, who happened to be in town anyway and so graced us for the first time ever. He led us in singing the traditional songs and offering the traditional toasts, all of them, I assure you, accompanied by Mallory’s superb eggnog, fortified by rum. Zesto introduced us to a little ditty he wrote for the occasion, which he called “Omicron, My Omicron.” (Yes, everyone was vaccinated, and we took the chance to be maskless indoors.) It’s good to have a night off, at least once a year, no calls, no Zoom, no TV, no email, no text messages, just friends. You should try it, maybe next year.


  1. Robert Katz January 8, 2022 at 6:24 am

    Thank you, muchly (and Muchly too, if he’s listening), and a happy new year to you as well. May Thistlethwaite and Gabbledooly shine their bright lights upon you, with all the marvels of the new year, and, if you want more, may the joys of 2023 also open its arms in premature warm embrace. With kind regards and greetings of this and all seasons, admiringly, Robert Katz

  2. Jo Shifrin January 9, 2022 at 4:51 pm

    I’m so glad that your mom prevailed and convinced your father to get vaccinated! And I am thrilled that you were all able to gather and had a lovely time at New Years’. I hope none of you became ill afterward. If Mallory is willing, I would love her eggnog recipe. I usually buy my husband a quart of eggnog from the store for the holidays, but I don’t like it much. Maybe with Mallory’s recipe, I could enjoy it along with my hubby. Happy Happy 2022, wishing you TR and your gang, a healthy and happy year. Regards, SonomaJo

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