Life on Santa Claus Lane
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by Darrell Bain
Description: Here is a collection of wild and zany, hilariously funny stories about the life and adventures of a couple who have lived for over twenty years at a real address on Santa Claus Lane and--what else?--own a Christmas tree farm in--where else?--Texas! Darrell is a lazy, inefficient and ten-thumbed farmer who would rather write or do most anything except farm, even though he's the one who got them into it. Betty is his hard-working, efficient and competent wife. Darrell loves her dearly, and it's a wonder she has stayed with him, considering all the misadventures, escapades and hair-brained schemes he gets himself and his long-suffering wife into. These stories range from ravenous Bed & Breakfast guests who eat them out of house and home, the attack of the killer kittens, couch testing, wreath-making for dummies and many, many more, related in a style all Darrell's own. If you can get through this book without laughing until your ribs are sore, you are a rare exception and haven't got a funny bone in your body.
eBook Publisher: Twilight Times Books, 2001
eBookwise Release Date: January 2005
17 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [287 KB]
Reading time: 196-275 min.
"Life On Santa Claus Lane by Darrell Bain is Sensational. I've never laughed or smiled so much reviewing a story. Darrell's true adventures will remind you of some of your fondest memories growing up or time shared with loved ones. If you're looking to give the gift of laughter this holiday season, this is one book you can't pass up."--Kim Genoa, Kim's Reviews
"I have read a few humor books and have never laughed as much as I did with this one. Don't be fooled by thinking that this is just another guy trying to tell a funny story, this goes beyond that. The author definitely succeeds here. When you need a good laugh, chuckle or smile, grab this book, it will definitely provide one for you."--Tracy Eastgate, Under The Covers Reviews.
"Darrell Bain has an excellent humor book called Life On Santa Claus Lane ... I must warn people against it though, it can be embarrassing. I was editing it while in the waiting room at my Chiropractor's Office and got to a particularly funny part, and everyone was staring at me like I was insane! Apparently not only had I cracked up audibly, but I had tears streaming down my face!"--Sandy Cummins, Writers Exchange.
"Warm, witty and delightful! Like sitting around the kitchen table swapping stories with family. Darrell Bain has all the makings of an old-time storyteller. Seeing the absolute twisted humor in everyday life on the farm. His wife, Betty, must be a saint! ... Few books have the ability to attach themselves so easily to your heart as those that tell of 'real-life' views on the everyday. And when you add a touch of whimsy, a retired 'mechanically challenged' husband and a computer, the result can be no less than a hilarious compilation of stories ... A gracious host, Bain beckons us to come visit their Christmas Tree farm, on a real road called 'Santa Claus Lane.'"--Pamela Johnson, Word Museum.
PART ONE: The Early Years
The crooked-shooting, pistol-packing, unhandy man and his hoe-armed, chicken-raising, snake-battling wife
Betty and I were in our early forties when we married. We were working at a hospital when we met, or rather when I first spotted her nursing a patient that I was getting ready to draw blood from. Right then I knew I had to meet her, and it being the season, I set a mistletoe trap at the entrance to my laboratory. She fell right into the trap. Or perhaps she knew it was there all the time and I was the one who got trapped. Whatever, we wound up kissing for the first time under the mistletoe and were married a year after our first date. We have lived happily ever after. Even moving to the country three years later didn't spoil things. That's really when the fun began. And perhaps that mistletoe meeting was a harbinger of our future on a Christmas tree farm.
We have a friend in the same business as ours by the name of Skip, growing Christmas trees for customers to come out and cut. He decided on getting into the business about the same time we did. He went about setting up his farm in a methodical, well-planned, well-researched way; with goals set, farm layout written up, money to be invested itemized, equipment to be bought listed, projected profits by year calculated and so on. He got the idea of farming by passing a Christmas tree farm while out for a drive with his wife, wondering how to occupy his time now that he was retired at a relatively young age.
"Heck, I can do that," he said. As you might guess, he is very successful.
We, on the other hand, read an article in the Houston Chronicle about Christmas tree farming in Texas, an industry just getting off the ground back then. Our planning consisted of, "Let's go order some seedlings and grow Christmas trees and get rich!"
Without a lick of planning, only a hazy idea of what we were doing and with more energy than sense, we planted a few thousand seedlings to go with our cows and began our new life. Christmas tree seedlings take a while to grow, so in the meantime, we began adjusting to our new life in the country, and to our new home. And that's when we began to get an inkling that strange and funny things happen on Santa Claus Lane. When the aliens land, I figure they will come down right smack in the middle of our driveway.
*** There's a Varmint in the House!
In the city, about the only animal one runs across is an occasional dog or cat. Ah, but the countryside is different. Very different, as we learned. Especially on Santa Claus Lane. There are varmints everywhere here--in the most unlikely places.
We had no problems with our house for the first 365 days we lived in it. Not a one. Now for anyone who doesn't suspect where this story is going, 365 days equals one year, which is how long the warranty on our house lasted.
On the 366th day, Betty began complaining to me. "Honey, we have a leak in the kitchen."
Fortunately, although not very much mechanically inclined or talented, I knew what to do about a leak. "Call the plumber," I said.
"You're the man, you call the plumber," Betty answered.
(Betty grew up in the old school as you can tell from that remark).
I called. The plumber promised to come out the next day.
Next day. No plumber.
I called. The plumber promised to come out the next day.
Next day. No plumber.
I called…repeat several more times.
"I want that leak fixed!" Betty told me in no uncertain terms one night in the bedroom. Orders from bedrooms are serious business. It doesn't take a man long to get a message that's put in that particular way.
Lacking a plumber, I decided to tackle the job myself. After all, somewhere in my library of a couple of thousand books there must be something about fixing a simple leak under a kitchen sink. But first I decided to locate it.
I crawled under the kitchen sink, no mean feat in a space cramped with drain pipes, coils of copper tubing, wooden bracings and odds and ends and bottles and jars and cans of things Betty keeps in that space, most of which I didn't recognize except for a jar of vinegar that I promptly tipped over and broke, thereby delaying the job for several more days until the fumes abated. (Men, take note: keep a convenient jar of vinegar anywhere you don't want to have to work, especially during football season).
The vinegar only postponed the job that once since Betty didn't replace it, a smart move on her part. Eventually I had to crawl under the sink again--and by this time I could sympathize with Betty's concern. My knees and hands got wet. I did discover where the leak was coming from, though: behind the wall.
Copyright © 2001 by Darrell Bain