To be honest I can't say that I was looking forward to the holidays. For starters the Mothership, or in this case the Fathership, was arriving from its home planet to collect the life forms and take them for Christmas, leaving the withered old crone and me with not much reason to celebrate. Waffle had been acting out and misbehaving and I was in a deep depression due to the impending demise of InvestiKate. I would have placed a death notice in honour of my beloved column but I couldn't even afford to do that.
Add to that an eight-hour power outage on Christmas Eve, when the mercury topped 30 and news that a whole crown pumpkin was going for the average price of $15 and life just didn't seem worth living.
After an unsuccessful attempt to rid myself of the life forms with the aid of voodoo dolls, the kids and I had spent a weekend building gallows, as you do, but unfortunately I had omitted to buy any rope. Hoping for a good deal, even in death, I jumped online in search of a rope deal too good to refuse and decided I might as well check my mail at the same time.
Now I'm not sure it was the death threats I had sent, madness brought on by the humidity or Waffle's relentless picketing of the Chronicle office but I opened an email that would change the course of my life forever.
To cut a long story short it appears that the powers that be had finally realised that not only did my column need to continue, the very survival of the paper depended on it. They were begging me to return and offering a ridiculous amount of money for me to do so. With an adoring public counting on me to brighten their week, I felt obliged to meet with management in the hope a deal could be brokered. A car was sent for Waffle and me and the negotiations began.
Naturally I started out asking for everything but the kitchen sink, lulling them into a false sense of security by creating the illusion that an acceptance of their lesser counter offer would appear to be a back down on my part. I had them right where I wanted them, poor deluded fools.
I was playing hard ball. I demanded $1500 per column, treats for Waffle, unlimited pumpkin and customary water rights. Their counter offer was none of those things and after making them sweat for a good 17 seconds, I accepted. Operation INVEST IN KATE had paid off in spades and like it or not you are now stuck with me and my weekly rants. Mwuahahaha, my plan for world domination is well and truly back on track!
All of a sudden the Christmas I was dreading was fast becoming the best one ever. I would be life form free, Waffle was feeling validated and I could proudly tell anyone who would listen that I was a paid columnist. The only literal dampener on the day was the bloody humidity. But for the first time in a long time I had a real reason to celebrate and celebrate I did. The whole night is a bit of a blur but I do have a vague recollection of snogging Waffle under the mistletoe, though no actual sightings have been confirmed.
I can say for certain that we have yet to enjoy our traditional Christmas roast. The withered one and I will await, with dread, the return of the life forms before we sit down to a belated festive feast, complete with plenty of pumpkin and all the trimmings.
Santa Paws did however pay a visit to Waffle, his Christmas Boot was filled with bones, tennis balls and a flea and ear mite treatment. He was over the moon with excitement.
I will still look for other employment though. Waffle's rehab will not be cheap and like my fellow columnist, Eva whatshername, I'd like to be able to make mention of my cleaner someday, when I can afford to have one. Maybe I sold myself short. But I figure it's better to be cheap than worthless, hmm, maybe not. Perhaps I can investiKate that next week, as I make my triumphant return.
Or maybe in light of the New Year I can give my old column a fresh new look. Strengthen and quake proof it and come back better than ever. Perhaps a new name and direction. Whatever crazy ideas I come back with, I just feel truly blessed to be coming back at all.
2012 surely had its share of ups and downs, there were hard times and misfortunes for many. Here's hoping that 2013 will be better and brighter for us all.
I'd like to wish you all everything that you wish for yourselves, may you find many reasons to smile loudly and share the love. Catch you next week peeps.