It’s cold most January nights in the dull yet comfortable suburb of Placebo, New Jersey. The only excitement the town ever sees(or needs) is when Young Frankie Blue Eyes dresses up as Santa and sings Christmas songs from Thanksgiving to Christmas each year at Benchwarmer’s Barstool. Sybil pays zero attention to the entertainment happening across the room on this, my first and likely to be only, visit to meet Sybil’s still-growing family.
Little Bill is the youngest of five and he’s turning two next week. Sylvia, Cellestine, Walker and Ricky are all ten and a half months apart so all five kids range from around age two to age five. Sybil chooses a different uniform for them to wear for each outing. Tonight they resemble mini-croupiers in their black vests, shiny shoes and greased hair. Each of these offspring seems to embody a different particular personality trait of Sybil’s.
Walker is selfless. He asks for the least of all the kids and seems to need the least assistance. Unfortunately, if ever Walker is out of commission due to being sick or something, there will be an added edge to the sibling group dynamic. When I asked what his favorite Christmas song was, he said, “This one!” Surprised, I laughed. “Really?” I was guessing he would have said that anyway but you never for sure with a three year old crowd pleaser like Walky. Frankie Blue had introduced his rendition “O Come All Ye Faithful” in a proud Jersey accent, “Ayedeste Feeedelis, ladies and gents!”