Boozy New Years = New Tree

Dear Olivia,

A dog sniffing a laptop and trying to type.
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon

The last few days have been, well, just weird. Boneless and bizarre! I thought Christmas was strange, but this “New Year” idea is even stranger!

So last week everyone stayed up past midnight watching celebrations on television. There was extra food, which was awesome, but there were extra noises, which were NOT awesome.

People were outside shooting off fireworks and guns! I was scared out of my mind!!! You know the guy next door who keeps a rowboat in his backyard? The guy that your mom says has a drinking problem? He set his tree on fire! Personally, I don’t think he has a problem; he seems to drink a lot very quickly, like a pro!  He could give lessons!

He set off fireworks AND shot a gun into the air at the same time! I’m not sure how it happened, but suddenly this poor old tree went up in flames, bare branches and all! A bunch of people came into the yard running and shouting, but your neighbor just climbed into his boat and laughed.

He raised his bottle in the air; your mom said he was toasting the stars, whatever that means. Then he just kept taking swigs from his bottle and laughing while he watched the fire department come and spray water on the tree.  Talk about professionals! They did it a lot better than I could ever do.

I know you probably freaked out a little when your mom panicked and grabbed you and your siblings and threw clothes & stuff into a bag, but she had a point. We might have had to leave our house or worse, our food! Fortunately, no one was hurt, except the tree.

Your neighbor yelled a lot when the police came and put him in handcuffs. He kept saying that since no one got hurt it was no big deal, but I think the police thought otherwise. They told his wife she would need to come to the station for a while. She did NOT look happy about this.

He came back the next morning, did you see? Apparently, the neighbors have a dog! I never met him, but they must have one because your neighbor’s wife kept yelling that he was “in the doghouse now!”

So, who is this dog? Why haven’t I met him? Are the neighbors going to replace that tree? It was one of my favorite leg-lifter places, so I’d hate to see it go.

For what it’s worth, happy New Year. Let’s go somewhere else next time? Please?


Love,
Jamie

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