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Doctrine in dialogue format
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
"I'm being careful Mother. It's just that my hands are so full...."
"Never mind the excuses. Just get in there and set the table. The sooner we eat, the sooner we can open the presents, and the sooner I can get back to my television programs. So come on, get a move on it!"
"Hortense, dear, you should relax and take advantage of this special day of the year. Christmas is a time for...."
"Don't lecture me Beauregard. I know what Christmas is. It's a time to be jolly. But I don't see anything jolly about having a bunch of dirty dishes in a sink or having to dispose of a pile of wrapping paper. So come on, let's get to it."
"Mother, do I have to spend Christmas here? I mean, the Philistines invited me to have Christmas with them, and I'd really like to be with Suzie today...."
"You'll do nothing of the sort young man. You'll have Christmas with your family and like it. Do you hear me? This is a day for families to be together and show their love for one another. It's not for gallivanting all over the neighborhood with the lower class. Get that cake in the house like I told you, and put the plates on the table. Why do we have to go through this every year? Doesn't anybody listen to me?"
"Yes dear, we hear you. And of course you're right as usual. Charlie, do as your mother tells you. You'll have to stay here and have Christmas dinner with us. You can see your little lady friend another time."
"All right, I suppose. But still...."
"I went to all the trouble to arrange for this prepared meal, working my fingers to the bone to find just the right Christmas presents you two could buy me, and what appreciation do I get for my trouble. None. That's what I get. A mother's work is never appreciated, not around here it isn't. Now let's get in there and eat. I'm tired of having to argue with you two."
"Yes dear, just as you say."
"Exquisite nothing. They put too much honey on the ham. I told them I wanted just a touch of honey, but they saturated the beast. I have a good mind to....."
"I like the ham just the way it is Mother. Maybe if you..."
"What do you know about it Charles. When I want your opinion I'll ask for it."
"Yes Mother. As you say."
"Alright, that's over with, now, hand me one of those presents from under the tree. Charles, fetch me the one with the blue bow on it. That's the one I'm most interested in. That's it, bring it here, and be careful with it."
"This one? Ok, here it is Mother."
"Good, now I'll..... Beauregard, can't you do anything right? I said I wanted an aqua vase, aq- ua, aq- ua. This one is blue. Can't you tell aqua from blue? Are you color blind? Take this thing back and get me what I asked for. Do I have to do everything myself?"
"Sorry dear, that was as close to the color you wanted as I could find. I'll try to do better next time."
"You'd better if you know what's good for you. Charles, that's your present there, the one on the right with red paper. Open it."
"Yes Mother. Oh, it's a neck tie with pictures of snow men on it. It's very cute. Thank you Mother. That was very thoughtful of you."
"Yes, I thought so. Be sure to wear it to church this Sunday. I want to see what everyone has to say about it."
"Hortense, I was looking at all the food we have left over. We really bought far more than we could ever use. I was wondering if we might take some to the Plebe family across the tracks. They might be short on food considering...."
"I'll not hear another word Beauregard. You know how I feel about those Plebes. I'm not about to encourage them. Besides, if you give a dog a bone it'll want the entire side of beef. I'd rather see the food thrown in the trash than to give it to the undeserving beggars and slobs on the streets."
"Yes dear. I suppose you're r
ight, but still...."
"Of course I'm right. I.... Charles, there's someone at the door. Go see who it is and chase them away. The nerve of inconsiderate people interrupting us when we're having a festive family activity. Some people just have no consideration at all."
"Alright Charles, what did they want? Did you tell them to go away and leave us alone?"
"No Mother, I didn't."
"Well, you should have. Who was it and what did they want?"
"It was Mrs Plebe, Mother...."
"That Plebe woman? What did she want? I suppose she was begging for our leftovers."
"No Mother. She wasn't asking for anything. She....."
"Yes? Get on with it. What did the miserable woman want?"
"She wanted you to have this. It's a large basket of home made cookies she baked just for you."
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