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A rash decision leads to the greatest discovery of all time

Every once in a great while, a person makes a rash decision while perusing the aisles at the video store. Last Saturday, I was that person.

The purpose of the trip was merely to return several films that I had rented Christmas Day. My wonderful girlfriend, Jamie, was out of town, spending the holiday with her family in Presque Isle, Maine. Alert readers already know that there are usually two reasons I avoid traveling to Maine: 1.) spending many (12) hours in an automobile and 2.) weight gain.

This year, however, I opted out because I wanted to celebrate the season with my family. Christmas at my folks' house revolves around several key themes:

•Coffee.

•Waiting for my sister, Kat, to arrive.

•Coffee.

•Listening to my sister's orders as she hands out gifts to open.

•More coffee.

•Awaiting further instruction from my sister.

Not that my sister is a dictator or anything - she just happens to be in her element on days of celebration (i.e. Christmas, Easter, Halloween, birthdays, etc.). Nobody ever opens two gifts in a row, and if someone opens a larger gift, the next person is sure to open one of equal size and scope.

This year was quick and easy. Luckily for me and my bank account, we all agreed to make it a light Christmas, gift-wise.

I'm getting off topic here, but before I get back to the video store thing, I'll share the two highlights of Christmas with the family.

1.) Watching the film "Tropic Thunder" as a family. Hey, it's not "It's a Wonderful Life" or "A Christmas Story," but who cares? In my Dad's words, "This is a Christmas tradition I could get used to."

2.) Re-gifting a toy lobster for the family dog, Roxy. She was almost fooled the first time, and all other attempts were fruitless. My mom would pull the lobster out of the gift bag, and Roxy would hang her head and lie down. Needless to say, we ventured out to Lake Placid on Friday to get her a second gift.

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