"Hey, dad, it's (Kid) and I'm coming to visit for Christmas," she said as soon as I picked up the phone.
"Get the (expletive) out of here," I responded, again ensuring no nominations for father of the year for 22 years in a row.
Now I can't wait to see Kid. But I generally haven't celebrated Christmas in a long time. At my previous newspapers, which were all dailies, I often covered the cops shift and wrote a Christmas feature so other folks could be with their families because Kid visited at some other point.
Someone must remind me of the pageantry of the holiday, which I'll inevitably skip and go with a couple bottles Ballatore, a cheap sparkling that manages to satisfy.
We immediately started planning the menu -- I have to make her favorite chili and egg salad sandwiches. I suggested we cook together a dish I taught her when she was 10 years old that I dubbed "Chicken ala (Kid)." Basically it's chicken scallopini. But named for Kid.
The two of us will play much pool. About 10 years ago, I taught her how to be a pool hustler. There was a free pool table in a hotel during our trips from out east to home in Chippewa Falls. "Free" is my second favorite phrase and we played and played.
On Kid's last visit, we played some pool at the Moccasin Bar, where she beat a number of burly dudes who thought they'd teach that little girl something. When I finally had a chance to play her, I won. She's so used to winning, she said, "I can't believe you beat me." Remember, I said, "I'm the one who taught you."
If you have time, check out one of her newest performances from her sketch comedy group, Bounce Haus Comedy: Jane Sullivan, Sleuth - YouTube
Peace unto Ukraine and chili, egg salad and billiards unto you my brothers and sisters.