‘Home For Christmas’ by Jeffrey Shaffer

Home For Christmas by Jeffrey Shaffer, 1988

The magic trick:

Taking the normal and making it gently odd

Everything is normal here. Our hero is back at his family’s house for Christmas. There are familiar faces around every corner and the smells of food in the air. Well, most everything is normal. Look a little closer and things are a little off. It’s not deranged and scary. Just wacky enough to be amusing. And that’s quite a trick on Shaffer’s part.

The selection:

In the den, Uncle Elmore lies motionless beneath a single, glistening, two-hundred-pound Comice pear, the pride of this year’s Harry & David catalogue. His efforts to incorporate the impressive specimen into the centerpiece of our dining-room table are part of his own personal ritual called Raising the Fruit.

“Hiya, sport!” he calls out cheerily. “Don’t come in – I can handle this baby, once my second wind kicks in.”

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