The Boggs Family Humor Academy has chosen two-year old Josiah Thomas Boggs for the funniest moment in 2012. This is his first award. But, as the Boggs Family Humor Academy President and Christmas Candy Cane Snob, I have seen enough antics of this first-born son of Bradley & Krystle Boggs to predict he will be a formidable force for funniness for many years to come.
Traditions are important around our house at Christmastime. The true meaning of Christmas, of course, is front and center. But also some celebratory fun. My 8-ft. tall inflatable Santa Mickey Mouse, his sweetie, 6-ft. tall inflatable Minnie Mouse, my displayed collection of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer toys, our Christmas tree loaded with all kinds of Hallmark ornaments (from Boba Fett to Indiana Jones to Elvis to G.I. Joe to Chicago Bear Walter Payton to the Tasmanian Devil), my USMC Santa Sleigh, my dress blues nutcracker, and my surf bathroom musical toilet now playing The Beach Boys’ “Mele Kalikimaka” (“Merry Christmas in Hawaiian talk-a”) all add to the festivities.
Yes, traditions are important, especially on Christmas Eve. At least 20 years ago, I began writing a Christmas letter to each of our four kids. In these letters, I quickly recap the year I had with each one, express to each my love for them, affirm them for how they are living their lives, and give them my blessing in writing. These are words I longed to hear but never heard from my absent father. I now write letters to each of my kids and their families. They usually have a theme. This year’s theme was from Proverbs, “A merry heart does good, like medicine…”
In my 2012 letters I expressed my desire to be with my kids and grandkids as much as I can in 2013 and to laugh together still more. On Christmas Eve, I read the letters to everyone. To commemorate the theme, I gave each one a big red clown nose along with their letter. Reading these letters is a huge highlight of my year.
Another of our less-serious treasured Christmas Eve traditions is the awarding of a prize for the funniest moment of the year. With eight grandchildren involved, the competition is often stiff. Over the last few years, we have had some classics.
The rules are simple. For the first few years of the award, I had to witness the event personally. Recently though, I have accepted nominations and experienced a subtle amount of parental lobbying. It is after all very sought-after special recognition. The winning entry this year is the first time I received a video recording of the action. Perfect!
As I prepare for the awarding of the prize each Christmas Eve, I review the contenders. I also make sure my Chuckle Buddy Monkey has fresh batteries. This crazy ape, once activated by his motion sensor, laughs aloud maniacally as he literally rolls around on the floor. He is the symbol for our funny moment award.
Once I have chosen the winner, I prepare the award, a coveted certificate of hilarity signed by the Boggs Family Paterfamilias, Humor Academy President and Sole Voting Member, yours truly. Granted, the winners are sometimes quite unaware they are creating a potentially humorous 1st place prize. That is, however, not necessary to win.
Last year’s chuckle champion, Jared Adam Boggs, now age three, son of Jonathan and Torrie, had such a strong funny moment that I almost re-entered him with the same event for this year. I can do that since I make the rules. The contestants felt I was slanted a bit toward Jared’s entry because it involved Birchie (short for Bertrand), a small well-worn stuffed donkey I gave Jared when he was a newborn baby. Jared and this now-Velveteen-Rabbit-like plush donkey are virtually inseparable.
Last year’s winning moment involved Jared’s sincere concern over the muteness of his favorite pal. As he sat at his kitchen table, Jared began a decidedly one-sided conversation with Birchie. After some unanswered pleasantries, Jared, by then perplexed, asked him point blank, “Birchie, why you not talk to me?” This was followed, after some thought, by “Daddy, why Birchie not talk to me?”
For this year, there were two main contenders…Josiah Thomas Boggs, and his cousin, a previous winner of the award, the six-year old and quite precocious Grace Amelia-Rae Cressman. You may remember her from my blog titled “Katch Phrase Kiddo.” Gracie is hard to beat.
I was present for Grace’s solid entry in this year’s giggle derby. In my blog, “Jiminy Cricket, Rest In Peace,” I described the international cricket-eating event with my grandson (and Grace’s brother) Austin “Austintatious” Cressman early in 2012. Grace chose not to join us in eating a cricket at that time.
A few months later, I was visiting Grace, Austin, Bryce, Valerie and Tim at their home in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. I was doing one of my favorite things to do…sit and talk with Gracie. In the course of the conversation, I observed her eating something not appearing in any known food group. She engaged in rhinotillexis and then, apparently satisfied with her quarry, moved smoothly into mucophagy. I saw Grace use her finger to carefully retrieve a little piece of organic matter, called dried mucus, known in some circles as a booger, from her nose. She studied it a moment, and then commenced to consume it. Now, as you might guess, with four children and eight grandchildren, mucophagy is far too commonplace to warrant a humor reward. But in this case, it did raise a question.
Wait. Lest you think I failed as her grandfather by refusing to step in and prevent such an ignoble tragedy, I remind you I was reasonably sure this booger hors d’oerve of Grace’s was non-toxic. As such, according to my Grandad Manual, it required only my observation and appreciation, not prevention. Yes, I will let the kiddos play with boats in the toilet, too, but I draw the line at drinking from it. See, I do have standards.
“Grace, you eat boogers…why won’t you eat a cricket?” I asked, careful not to judge her snack choice.
She thought for a moment, and then answered with absolute matter-of-factness, “Because boogers are on my Awesome List.” When I regained my composure, I asked a follow-up. “Grace, what else is on your Awesome List?”
“Well, my mom is on my Awesome List,” Grace replied.
I knew Valerie would be encouraged by this news that she appears on her daughter’s “Awesome List” alongside boogers, and I made a mental note that I had found my FMW (Funniest Moment Winner”).
That was until two-year old Josiah from Kansas City weighed in. Josiah Thomas Boggs is a very interesting little fellow. A verbal and automotive prodigy, Josiah can take you on a tour of the grocery store parking lot and name most car manufacturers by the logo on the vehicle. Nope, I’m not kidding. He knows Honda, Ford, VW (and its other name, Volkswagen), “Soob-ah-wu,” Toyota, and others. Josiah is also knowledgeable on types of vehicles, including construction rigs and “all-tee-wane vehicles.” He is now adding “Mustang GT” to his repertoire. A young man after my own heart, Josiah’s car-computing gray matter is not what won him the prize. It, along with his words, “Grandad is young and handsome” did serve to endear the little rascal to me even more.
It seems Josiah had observed his father, Brad preparing to go jogging a time or two. After watching the routine, Josiah developed his own regimen, improvising on what he saw his dad do. Here is Josiah’s warm-up routine, unprompted and unedited. Be sure to listen closely.
Hear the grunts while Josiah stretched his legs? Brad assures me he does not grunt or growl or make any other manly noises at himself in the mirror (any more) while engaging in physical activity and has no idea why Josiah added that to his own exercising. Nor, I’m told, does dad Brad go jogging barefooted and in his skivvie drawers. And while we are at best unsure of the role of Josiah’s ribbon, cousin Austin offered his interpretation… “that ribbon is Josiah’s sweat towel.” Josiah requires that thing during every workout session.
I had to accept the award for Josiah since he was spending Christmas in New Mexico with his mom Krystle’s family this year and was unable to be there in person. He is a worthy winner and a very bright source of joy for his Grandad. It was a fine funny, indeed, Josiah!
But for now, I must go. It’s the time of year to capture bargains on the only brand of Red-and-Whites I will allow in my house, on my tree, and ground up on my candy cane cookies…Bob’s Candy Canes (we candy cane snobs refer to these treats as “Red-and-Whites.” Actually, I think I’m the only candy cane snob who calls them that…hmmm, I guess I might be the only candy cane snob, too). I really do prefer them…their careful combination of peppermint and sugar…a culinary delight that will freshen your breath, too. Thank you, Bob McCormack, wherever you are.
Happy New Year! Thank you for reading my words. I do highly appreciate that. May your 2013 be filled with unbridled laughter and all your candy canes be Bob’s!