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  • It was Christmas,1963. Sister Jane, the youngest of five, had received a brand new Polaroid Instamatic camera. First she took a picture of the tree and the whole family waited with great anticipation as the black film turned into a perfect replica of the brightly lit tree. Then, the parents had the kids stand in front of the tree, smiling on cue, for a family portrait. Afterwards, Jane's brothers, Bill and Mike, winked at each other across the room. A plan was hatching.

    As soon as things had settled down, with Mother and Father and Grandmother content in their Christmas reverie in the living room, the boys snagged the Polaroid camera from Janie and whisked it off to their bedroom. There the crime was committed.

    Returning to the living room, they proudly displayed the black instant picture on the mantlepiece and the whole family gathered around to watch it develop.

    "What is that?" Grandmother wondered. The flesh tones were coming into focus, but it was still hard to make out. Everyone took a step closer to the mantle. "Maybe it's a face," said Mother, "give it time to develop." Her tone of voice belied a certain amount of justifiable anxiety. Bill and Mike were barely able to contain themselves.

    And then it became crystal clear to all in the room that the picture on the mantle was that of Bill's bare ass. Everyone took a huge step back, as if they had been slapped. Everyone but the boys, who were stifling laughter. Sister Jane burst into tears.

    "Well boys, congratulations! You ruined Christmas," Father growled. This was the reward the boys had been waiting for. They laughed so hard they cried, and despite the declared ruination of the day, Bill and Mike had themselves a very merry Christmas, indeed.

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