Friday, December 25, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: 12 Days of Decatur (GA)

I am excited to have collaborated with Hubby on this one. The concept for the piece as well as many of the specifics were his ideas. We live in Decatur, Georgia, which is a suburb of Atlanta but has its own unique identity. If you'd like to read more great flash fiction, search the #fridayflash hashtag on Twitter.

The Decatur 12 Days of Christmas
by Hubby and Cecilia

Finding the perfect gift is never easy. For overachieving Decaturites who want to go all the way with the Twelve Days of Christmas (from the holiday itself through Epiphany on January 6), it can be a particular challenge. Consequently, we offer our suggestions for residents of this special place “where Berkeley and Mayberry coexist.”

Day 1: Partridge in a Pear Tree.
Partridges are not native Georgia, neither are any of their pheasant cousins. There are places that import pheasants strictly for hunting purposes, but this behavior would probably be frowned on. Frozen pheasant is available at the Dekalb Farmers’ Market, but consider the carbon footprint as well as the effort to defrost and cook the pheasant. A free-range, organic alternative would be preferable.

We know pear trees will grow in the area. These should be organic and planted as soon as the conditions are right according to Walter Reeves. This will allow the gift to be sustainable and will help to foster a sense of community as people help themselves to the fruit when it’s ripe. Under no circumstances should they be Bartlett Pears. Your true love won't be your true love come May when they bloom out and smell like dead fish.

A brief note regarding Days Two through Four, Six, and Seven: Check with your local ordinances about keeping wild animals in residential areas. Also, to ensure that the turtledoves, French hens, calling birds, geese-a-laying, and swans-a-swimming are adequately cared for and properly fed, please be sure to visit the Decatur library for materials and photocopy only what you will need. You can also consult books on pond construction for the swans and aviary building for the rest of them. Again, check your local ordinances and with the register of Historic Places to ensure that you are not inadvertently lowering your or your neighbors’ property values with these “enhancements.”

Day 2: Two Turtle Doves
Turtle doves are also not native, although mourning doves are. Pigeons, though related and easy to find, are a really bad idea.

Day 3: Three French Hens
We know hens are allowed, even encouraged. You should probably substitute native hens (carbon footprint). Under no circumstances should they be called "freedom" hens.

Day 4: Four calling birds
Consider noise ordinances, but use real birds. Installing a loud fake bird noise system atop your house is tacky (and they sound like monkeys anyway).

Day Five: Be sure to purchase those Five Golden Rings locally and double-check to make sure that the gold was not acquired from a mine that promotes exploitation of the natives or miners.

Day 6: Six Geese-a-Laying
Do not steal geese from Avondale Lake. Livestock theft is a felony in Georgia (O.C.G.A. § 16-8-20).

Day 7: Seven Swans-a-Swimming
Go with the pond construction here. Be careful – swans are mean, especially when breeding. Nothing ruins true love like being chased by a large bird with a sharp beak.

Day 8: Eight Maids-a-Milking
It’s not legal to have cattle in Dekalb county, so milk cows, although consistent with the latest trends in D.I.Y. dairy production, are probably not allowed in Decatur. Instead, consider sharing in a CSA that provides organic milk.

Day 9: Nine Ladies Dancing
Okay, you could probably throw in the token Decatur lesbian reference here, and now you should be ashamed for going there. Support the Atlanta Ballet or any of our local dancing groups instead.

Day 10: Ten Lords-a-Leaping
Similar to 9 if your first thought was that it would be easier to find such lords in Midtown. Baton Bob does not count and would probably not enhance that “true love” experience you’re going for.

Days 11 and 12: Eleven Pipers Piping and Twelve Drummers Drumming
Again, consider noise ordinances. Pipe and drum bands are loud. You could promise to take your true love to the Stone Mountain Highland Games in October instead.

We hope that these help you with your creative gift-giving during these twelve days from Christmas to Epiphany and will keep you involved with our wonderful community throughout the coming year!

Merry Christmas to residents of Decatur and beyond! Hubby and I hope that this season bring you joy, love, and good wine and food to share!


J. M. Strother said...

Merry Christmas, Cecilia. This was a hoot. Nice job. Give my congrats to your hubby for the assist. :)

Tony Noland said...

And so, the sweet sentiment of the 12 Days of Christmas meets the buzzsaw of local ordinances...

Merry Christmas!

Weezel said...

Fun to read and perfect for the holidays! Bravo!

livloveslit said...

This is a hoot, I mean, if the ordinances allow for hooting. Thankfully red is a holiday color, because there's an awful lot of red tape there!

Your flash was very funny and creative. I loved it. Happy holidays to you and Hubby. ~ Olivia

Michelle said...

Hey, that was fun!
Hope your Christmas was great