“You’re Under Arrest for Christmas!”


My little nephew, whom I call Bacon, got a police uniform for Christmas. Now he says he’s a police officer. Apparently, this is a good thing, because he’d been a fireman for months, and my sister-in-law was getting tired of it.

So when we all got together for Christmas, Bacon strutted around in his police uniform, proudly declaring, “I’m a cop! You did a bad thing, so you get a ticket!” Then he’d give you a piece of sunflower stationary with a couple tally marks doodled on it.

I wound up with, like, five tickets for being a tickle-monster.

Later on, when his dad was in the bathroom, I pulled Bacon aside.

“You need to give Daddy a ticket,” I said.

Bacon got excited. “Yeah!” He said. “Why?”

So I whispered in his ear and told him exactly why.

When my brother got out of the bathroom, Bacon presented him with a ticket. “You did a bad thing, Daddy!”

“What did I do?” he said.

“You hit Uncle Stephen with a gun!” Bacon said. Which, you know, he totally did. Back when he was six years old. And I’ve never let him forget it.

I started laughing. Bryan started laughing. Bacon started laughing, too, although he had no idea why.

See, that’s the nice thing about staying close to your family: you have your whole life to come up with inside jokes.

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