Holmes Family Newsletter Vol 5 No 8

The Happy Hairball

(something we keep coughing up)
Volume 5, Number 8 December 20, 1993
Publisher: This guy —>>
Editor: Same guy
Distributor: Brave little delivery boys and girls worldwide
Address: Nashville, TN 37215

A Thanksgiving Feast

(an appropriate headline following the above title, eh?)

It was a huge gathering. Three generations of the [redacted] and [redacted] families showed up at the [redacted] Ranch in Tracy, California for a Thanksgiving dinner. According to Jeannie, the host, it was “probably the biggest group of people we've ever had for Thanksgiving in this house.”

Everyone got a chance to ride one of the three horses at the ranch. Not everyone took that chance. But, hey, at least the opportunity was there.

John barbecued a turkey—a live one, right there in front of everyone! “It was delicious,” said Lucy, who of course was the one who actually captured and skinned the bird as it attempted to cross the property. You know how she is.

Doug was attacked by one of Lucy's professionally-trained attack dogs. Lucy said the dog was just playing. Witnesses, however, distinctly remember hearing Lucy say “Sic him!” (See interview, next page.) Greg and June stole Tiffany's dog.

Jeannie telephoned Don, Diane and Bill in Tennessee, just so everyone could talk to them. “We were expecting you to call us,” Jeannie explained. “But, since you didn't, we called you.”

“Yeah, I noticed,” said Bill. “And I really wish you'd stop calling. Who are you, anyway?”

The scent of Cedar

TRACY, CA — After a full day of stuffing their faces and riding horses, Greg, June and kids packed up their minivan for the long drive back to Santa Ana. About an hour south of the [redacted]'s, Aileen, Brian and Andy — the aforementioned “kids” — announced that there was a strange dog in the car. It was a young female German Shepherd, and her tag said her name was “Cedar.”

The kids had spotted Cedar as soon as they got in the car, of course. However, it wasn't until after they had discussed it amongst themselves and exhausted all possible explanations as to how the dog got there that they decided to let their parents in on their little secret.

Upon being asked where he thought the dog might have come from, Greg said: “Dog? What dog?” June's reply to the same question was: “I don't know. Hasn't she been in the car ever since we left Santa Ana?”

“I'm pretty sure she hasn't,” said Greg.

“Well then what was all that howling on the way up here?”

“That was the kids.”

And so, since no one could figure out how or why Cedar was in the car, they decided to keep her. And they all lived happily ever after.

Credence has puppies

LIVINGSTON, CA — As predicted in our previous issue, Lucy's dog Credence did have that litter of puppies. Three boys and two girls. And you know what that means. Now we have to name the little mugwumps.

This is Nightshadow Kennels' sixth, or “F,” litter. You know the rules. All names have to start with the letter “F.” It will be difficult coming up with names that can be printed in a Family Newsletter, but we'll try.

So far, Lucy's only come up with one name: Freak of Nature. Here's what we've come up with: Frank; Fontelroy; Fondaloolupdud; Foul-Mouthed Bastard [hey, we said it would be difficult]; Frequent Flyer; Freakazoid; Future Boy; Frankly-My-Dear-I-Don't-Give-A-Flying-[censored]; and Fahrvergnügen. Fahrvergnügen, of course, will most likely not be used since that's the nickname Lucy uses for her German Shepherds.

Jeannie Crashes Car!

TRACY, CA — In an obvious attempt to get herself in the newsletter, Jeannie has gone and crashed her car. Tiffany was in the passenger seat, and that's the side of the car that was hit when an uninsured motorist running a red light broad-sided them. Luckily, no one was hurt.

Jeannie and Tiffany promptly checked in with the chiropractor, Dr. Calloway, Diane's mentor, in Brentwood. Preliminary tests indicated of course that both Jeannie and Tiffany are certifiably insane. However, they are “just fine” physically. And that's the important thing.

Bill wrestles alligator!

NASHVILLE, TN — Yeah, sure. They don't even have alligators in Tennessee. If they did, of course, Bill would be wrestling them on a regular basis.

Don & Diane buy guns

NASHVILLE, TN — Don and Diane have resorted to guns to keep their cats in line. “Well, they kept scratching the furniture,” Diane explained. “So, naturally, we bought a couple of squirt guns.”


[A horrible thing happened this past Thanksgiving. Doug was attacked by a dog. That's not the horrible thing, though. The horrible thing was that the party ran out of Colombian coffee and … Oh, excuse me. It seems the dog attack was the horrible thing. Let's hear from an eye witness.]

  • Witness: Most of the Thanksgiving crowd at the [redacted] Ranch were outside with the horses; either riding them, falling off, or trying to catch them. Lucy's dog Credence was going crazy over the horses. So, in an effort to keep the dog's mind off the horses, Lucy started playing ball with her.
  • Hairball: Good thinking.
  • Witness: Thank … er, I mean, yes I suppose it was. Anyway, Lucy and her dog were having a wonderful time. It was a sunny day, birds were chirping, laughter was in the air. It was truly beautiful. If you listened carefully you could hear the world singing in perfect harmony.
  • Hairball: [blank stare]
  • Witness: But that's neither here nor there. Anyway, Lucy was playing ball with Credence when, suddenly, Doug came out of nowhere!
  • Hairball: And he tried to take their picture?
  • Witness: Yes! How did you know?
  • Hairball: That's what we pay him for.
  • Witness: Ah. Well, after Doug tried to take their picture, he tried to take their ball!
  • Hairball: Oh my god! That's clearly against company policy.
  • Witness: You have a company policy?
  • Hairball: Sure. It's around here somewhere. It's an insurance policy, but still … . Want me to find it?
  • Witness: No. So, anyway, Credence had the ball between her paws and was chewing on it, right?, when Doug tried to steal it! He stood over her and tried to flick the ball away with his feet, soccer-style.
  • Hairball: Doug used to play soccer, you know. Was voted Most Offensive Player on his high school team one year, in fact.
  • Witness: Fascinating. Would you stop interrupting?
  • Hairball: Sorry.
  • Witness: Are you listening?
  • Hairball: Yes, I'm listening.
  • Witness: Are you sure you're listening?
  • Hairball: I'm listening, I'm listening!
  • Witness: Okay. So, Doug tried to flick the ball away with his feet. Credence leaped up and barked in his face. Then she leaped up again and bit him on the arm — just nipped him, actually — like she does to Lucy all the time. She was just playing. Rough. But just playing.
  • Hairball: Sounds pretty scary to me. How do you know she was just playing?
  • Witness: Well, if she wasn't she would've mangled Doug's arm pretty good. She's professionally trained, you know. As it was, she didn't even draw blood.
  • Hairball: What?! No blood! You promised blood! Why are we interviewing you then?
  • Witness: Well, excuse me! I can go get Credence and have her bite you for real, if you want.
  • Hairball: You can go get Credence? Wait a minute! You're no “witness.” You're Lucy!
  • Witness: Am not!
  • Hairball: Are too!
  • Witness: Am not, am not!

[And so ends another newsletter interview. Doug, by the way, is fine. He has filed a lawsuit against this newsletter, however. According to the suit, the newsletter sent him out on a “dangerous assignment without proper protection.” He doesn't stand a chance of winning the lawsuit, though. Everyone knows, or should know, that these days a man should always wear protection. It's not up to us to tell him.]


  • Renee, December 28
  • Jeannie, December 31
  • Michael, January 18

[Yes, we know we mentioned Jeannies's birthday in the previous newsletter. It's just that her birthday is so very important, you see, and we felt the need to mention it again. Yeah, that's it. And for those of you wondering who “Renee” is, she's a friend of the editor. And since we reprinted part of her letter in “Letters to the Editor,” we figured we should also mention her birthday.]

Letters to the Editor

“That was a good newsletter. Do people subscribe to it and you send it out to them, or what?” — Renee, Los Angeles

[I guess you could say people “subscribe” to it. They're on our mailing list, anyway. But, you know how most people pay for the things they subscribe to? Well, the only money we've ever gotten was from people wanting to be taken off the mailing list.]

“Hey, it was a great newsletter! I can see you searched high and low for material — even to the point of reading insurance forms! Actually, that was one of the more newsworthy articles. Of course, the “Cat Missing” story was also good. I can see that you shrewdly set yourself up for a tabloid-style story about what the cat was doing that caused it to sleep for 36 hours straight. — Greg, Santa Ana

[Quite frankly, Greg (assuming that's your real name), we're insulted by your implication that we would stoop to 'tabloid-style' journalism! We like to think we employ only the finest journalism techniques. Sure, we could speculate, but we just don't do that sort of thing here!]

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Holmes Family Newsletter Vol 5 No 7

The Rotten Apple
“Journalism with visible holes”

Vol. 5 No. 7, December 1, 1993

Mike Rolls Car!

LIVINGSTON, CA – Remember we told you about Mike's new car in the previous issue? Well, he “totalled” it a couple of days after we sent that issue out. We're pretty sure he did it just to make us look bad.

How it happened was, he was on his way home late one night — just a few miles from the house — when a dog jumped out in front of the car. Mike reacted instinctively and swerved to avoid it. The brakes locked up, the car skidded out of control and rolled over a couple of times. It ended up upside down in an empty field. He was lucky not to have plowed into a tree in one of the almond orchards that populate most of that area. Since he was wearing his seatbelt, Mike walked away without a scratch.

“He was driving too fast!” says Lucy.

“I like to live on the edge,” says Mike.

We would like to say we're happy he was not hurt. But, since we're reporters, we actually would have been happier if he had at least been cut or bruised slightly, since that would have made for a more exciting news story. [Just kidding! You people have no sense of humor!]

Cat Missing!

NASHVILLE, TN – Diane had taken off for a brief vacation with her folks in New Hampshire, and Don and Bill were left to take care of the cats. It turned out to be too great a task.

When it came time to account for all the cats later that evening, one of the cats, DOS, (remember him from the last newsletter?) was missing. The last time anyone had seen him was that morning before Diane left for the airport.

Don took a flashlight and scoured the neighborhood in search of the little cat. No luck. The next day while Don was at work, Bill took his turn searching the neighborhood. Same result.

Finally, in despair, Don phoned Diane to tell her the bad news: DOS was gone. Bill had already given up on the cat.

“I figured he was dead,” Bill told us later. But, just a few minutes after hanging up the phone with Diane, Don continued the search inside the house, hoping DOS might somehow answer his calls. Don was in his bedroom calling DOS's name, not really expecting any results, when he heard something that sounded like a meow. Don called again. And again, a meow. Eventually, he tracked down the source of the meow. And guess what? Don had discovered little DOS!

Where was he? Believe it or not, he was in one of Diane's dresser drawers (DOS, not Don), and had been there the entire time! Little DOS had been asleep in the dresser for 36 hours! No food, no water, no potty! DOS was found!

Of course, Bill was upset. “I still think he's dead,” said Bill.

Rocky Escapes!

TRACY, CA – “Rocky,” Tiffany's horse, has figured out how to open his corral gate! He got out recently and broke into the neighbor's house and ate all their food! He then went on a rampage all over the neighborhood until the cops had to be called! It was terrible! You believe us, don't you?

Don buys new car

NASHVILLE, TN – Well, it's not so much a new car as it is new to him. It's a yellowish/tan 1983 Subaru wagon. And we hope he has better luck with it than Mike had with his Mazda.