FOURTEEN - Dead Parrots and Fruit Cake

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Still Christmas Day...but later on...

The Irving family lives in an old farmhouse on the other side of the island. It has wide plank pine floors and paned windows and a laundry chute on the top floor that echos when you stick your head inside it and yell. I know this because Ivy and I practiced. We took turns, and then we yelled all the words from a Monty Python skit (the dead parrot one) at the same time. I can't believe I have met a girl who not only likes Monty Python, but can quote pretty much everything from all the movies. She can even do a perfect British accent. It was hilarious, both of us yelling, "That parrot has ceased to be!" and, "Hullo! Polly!" and, "He's not dead. You've stunned him!"

Ivy talks a lot, which makes it easy to hang out, because I don't have to try and think up interesting things to say. She does all the work. Mrs. Irving talks a lot, too. But Mr. Irving doesn't really say much. He probably doesn't get the opportunity very often. Still, it didn't appear that he minded. He seems quite content to just sit at the head of the table and eat his candied yams and stare out the window at the falling snow with a faraway look in his eyes.

And while Dad and I didn't get our festive nachos, we did enjoy a really good dinner and I found out that pretty girls don't always ignore guys like me. Who knew? And the cool thing is, Ivy doesn't even really know she's pretty, I don't think. Also, she has some sort of gross habits that a person wouldn't normally associate with a pretty girl. For example, she cleans her fingernails with a kitchen knife. She did it when we were all clearing the table and Mrs. Irving looked embarrassed and said, "IVY! The cutlery? I don't think so!" But Ivy just said, "What? We're going to wash the dishes anyway, and I've got fruit cake stuck under my thumbnail." Which seemed perfectly logical to me.

I think I like Ivy Irving. A lot.

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