Our first year in Austin, the Faceless Saint and I were beyond broke, in that way that you are broke your first year out of college and one of you is in grad school and the other is working a shitty job at a Crate and Barrel knock-off in the mall.
It was our first real Christmas together. There were no plans to go home, partly because we were beyond broke and partly because Austin is so very far away from everywhere else that isn't Texas.
We got our first tree and huddled together in our wee little rathole that always smelled of natural gas because the pilot light on the hot water heater never ever stayed lit. And we made waffles.
The reason for the waffles is simple. That aforementioned shitty job that I had had gotten significantly shittier during the run-up to Christmas. It wasn't the holiday retail crowds -- those are kinda fun. It was the fact that my paychecks had started bouncing. Merry Christmas indeed.
So all of the assembled employees -- a certain Violently Executed Blog-man was one as well -- started to take out our pay in merch. Like, say, wafflemakers.
And because of such crime, a tradition was born. Each Christmas since, which we have spent together, we have made waffles. That first wafflemaker is no longer with us, sadly. Nor is the Crate and Barrell knock-off in the mall. I quit the day the tax assessors padlocked the front doors. Last I heard the owners were being sued by the actual Crate and Barrel for trademark infringement.
This year, the waffles were gluten-free. Let's just say that the recipe needs some dialing in. It would be polite to call them "leaden."
Still, the kids liked 'em.
On that note, we are out for a spell. See you in the new year.