NONE OF THAT P.C. GARBAGE FOR ME!  I still say Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kindly Kwanzaa, or Far-Out Festivus!  I am such a rebel!  Hey, do you think elves listen to “wrap music” when they’re mailing gifts?  I used to think that Santa was Polish, because I kept hearing about the North Pole.  I love the holiday season, but I have one bad memory.  I was an ugly child.  My parents used to hang me up and kiss the mistletoe!  The best present I ever got was a subscription to National Geographic Magazine.  (You guys know where I’m coming from!)

Speaking of presents…..  I received a lovely compliment from Mr. Larry Wood, a prominent land development and construction consultant here in Austin.  Larry lived next door to the great mystery writer, Mickey Spillane, and they spent a lot of time together back in Myrtle Beach, S.C.  (Spillane wrote the “Mike Hammer Series.”)  After reading DEVIL’S COVE, my third mystery, Larry told me that I was just as good a writer as Mickey Spillane, if not better!  Wow, what a nice thing to say!  (I just hope I sell as many books!)

My second “present” of the week came from Max and Barbara Talbott, my dear friends who hosted a spectacular holiday dinner at the Austin Club.  The food, company, and conversation were top notch.  The club is housed in the old Millett Opera House, which was built in 1878, and is still a beauty.  Many famous people have performed there, including John L. Sullivan, John Phillip Sousa, Lily Langtry, and the most famous of all, me!  (My comedy routine was cut short by a slice of coconut cake.)

And since we’re on the subject of great evenings…..  Our birthday dinner honoring the Princess of Portugal (last Sunday) was a huge success.  Nobody got in a fight and nobody got arrested.  There was only one argument about “Duck Dynasty.”  Which reminds me,  I never order duck in a restaurant.  (I always get stuck with “the bill!”)

Well, believe it or not, I’m off to play Santa Claus.  I will be making the rounds in my neighborhood, delivering free copies of THE GRACELAND GANG and THE PIRATE PATH.  (The books are free, but I charge twenty dollars for an autograph!)  Just kidding.  In closing, I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, and I truly hope that you and yours have a wonderful day.  As Tiny Tim said, “God Bless Us All!”  Amen.

Ho-Ho-Ho and love to all…..

Doc Yanoff



‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

Hold on a minute….. it was late, so why would a mouse be up?  And what was the little guy stirring up?  (Besides trouble!)  Was our rodent friend making hot chocolate?  (Or maybe “Choclate Mouse?”)  Hmmm.  Very suspicious.  I could understand if a cat was up late.  Cats love Christmas.  (Think Santa “Claws.”)  Never mind, “scratch” that joke.  I thought I “nailed” my opening, but somethings amiss.  (or a mister)   I can’t put my “finger” on it, but I think I’m making too many puns.  (But you have to admit, I’m so “cuticle!”)

Did you know that this wonderful poem was written by Clement Clarke Moore?  (Of the law firm Moore & Moore)  Mr. Moore came from a very prominent family.  (His father was Benjamin Moore, the Bishop of New York who was famous for swearing at, I mean, swearing in George Washington at his first inauguration.)  Just an interesting little piece of holiday trivia.

I’ve had a fun filled week.  I placed 4th in the huge “Third Base Poker Extravaganza” held last Monday.  (No, I didn’t cheat again.)  On Thursday, I went to the movies and saw the new film called “LINCOLN.”   I was a little disappointed, because I thought it was going to be about Nebraska.  (Who would make a movie about Nebraska?)  Anyway, it was about the bearded President who served in the White House during the War of Northern Aggression.  (As my sweet Granny used to say!)  As we all know, the Civil War began with the Dred Scott Decision.  (Scott was a runaway slave who was filled with Dred about returning to the plantation.)  So…. fast forward to 1863, and Mr. Lincoln issues the “Emaciation Proclamation,” which freed all of the very thin slaves.  (A “weighty” decision, I might add!)  The film was vaguely interesting.  Did you know that Abe Lincoln was our first Jewish president?  (No kidding, I heard that he was shot in the temple!)  Ah, the mystery of history!

Anyway, I love Christmas, even though it was somewhat traumatic for me as a child.  (I was so ugly that my parents hung me up and kissed the mistletoe!)  One night, I saw my mommy kissing Santa Claus.  (Of course, now that I think about it, it might have been that Lincoln guy!)  I do remember a beard.  Speaking of James Beard, did you know that the most popular Christmas dinner is turkey?  Second is baked ham.  We had both in my family, but the Yanoffs were famous for being, I mean, serving fruit cakes.  (Who thought of putting candy rocks in a cake?)  This holiday season will be a gourmet delight for me….  Last night, the gracious and lovely Jaime Rubenstein (and her skinny husband, Gary) hosted a wonderful Chanukah party at their beautiful new home in Lakeway.  Great fun, great food, great company!    We also had a “white elephant” gift exchange, which was rather humorous.   (Some crazy lady brought a hand made basket woven from old straw remnants!)

Speaking of crazy ladies…..   (OR SHALL I SAY, LADIES THAT I AM CRAZY ABOUT!)  …… Mrs. Barbara Talbott will be hosting her annual Christmas Eve Food, Bourbon, and Poker Winter Solstice & Pre-Cruise Festival on Monday evening, and I can’t wait!  Last year we had food fit for a king.  Actually, she brought in Burger King, but it was very tasty.  (I got a large order of fries!)  This year she will be conjuring up (is that the right word?) a special treat…..  Flash Fried Fruit Cake Fritters.  (Yummy)

On a serious note, Barbara’s husband, Max, lost his Dad recently.  I have posted a link on a previous post, so if you want to learn what a real American hero is all about, check it out.  (I posted part of the obituary)  If you missed it, Mr. James Talbot, 88, passed away on 12/12/12!   A special date for a very special man.  Mr. Talbott served with incredible distinction during World War II (with his twin brother!) and was awarded (from the U.S. Army) not only THE BRONZE STAR but also the COMBAT INFANTRY BADGE and several other awards.  As they say, they just don’t make men like him anymore.  Thanks for keeping us free!

FOR MY ELVIS FANS……   Please note that on this day, in 1954, young Elvis was stopped for speeding in Shreveport, Louisiana.  (Who would want to speed through lovely Shreveport?)   The big guy was driving home for Christmas, and he only had a few bucks in his pocket.  That was the problem.  The officer wanted to know why Elvis was walking round with deer in his pockets.  Hey, do you think they were reindeer?  Anyway, Elvis got off with a warning and made it home in time to buy his Mama and Daddy a nice gift.  I think he bought them Rhode Island.  Other than that, nothing much happened on this date.  By the way, I think the parents went back to the mall and returned Rhode Island.  (Wrong size.  Too small.)

Well, my dear family, friends, and fans, it is time to consume my pre-Christmas breakfast buffet.  That being the case, I shall wish each and every one of you a joyous holiday and a very Merry Christmas!  In the words of Tiny Tim (The one from Charles Dickens) “Hey, can I borrow a couple of pounds?  I’m a little short.”     One last question….  if Tiny Tim had a cold, do you think we would “Cratchit?”

“God bless us, every one!”    (The REAL quote!)

Doc Yanoff