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The Life and Times

of Car Johnson

Chapter 1

The air smelled like cheese. Not a really Christmasy scent, but nothing was traditional at Uncle Frank’s place. The red and green beer bottles hanging from the ceiling by bright pieces of tinsel, the paper-mâché hula girls with Santa hats and the Christmas fondu and spicy shrimp balls all made for a disturbingly festive atmosphere. After a few Christmas beers, it was positively lovely.

I pulled two beers down from their tinsel hangers, one for me and one for my inner child. I pulled two more down. My inner child’s a roaring drunk. I stumbled through a winding path of oversized Star Wars figurines dressed up in a nativity scene. I set one of the bottles next to the miniature Darth Vader Frank had used for the baby Jesus. I guess a black caped villain with a bad case of asthma is similar to the Lord. Uncle Frank seems to think so.

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