You’re not related to these men, you should be so lucky.
So you think your family reunions are miserable?
I’m referring to those occasions that include grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, creatures who claim to be cousins, but who you could swear are really albino trolls, in-laws, out-laws, felons, significant others, insignificant others, the cast of that creepy movie The Others.
Do you have that one guy who doesn’t seem to belong with any particular family, but always shows up around the holidays. He wears an eye-patch, has a peg leg, and refers to everyone as Matey.
Does the mere act of thinking about your family make you sweat profusely and vomit a little in your mouth?
Does your calendar have the date of your family reunion circled with the word, Armageddon, written across it in blood?
Do you equate spending the day with the extended family with that disturbing dentist/torture scene from Marathon Man?
When you’re with your family, do you wish you could trade places with Dustin Hoffman’s character?
Did you get all the way to the closing credits of The Hills Have Eyes before you realized it wasn’t a home movie?
Do you read Oliver Twist and think: lucky bastard?
Does having your family around you, have the same effect on your brain as a sweaty 300 lb construction worker, pounding on your skull with a jack hammer, while he lustily puffs cigar smoke in your face and curses at you in Portuguese?
Do you have an uncle whose motto is: you can never use too much lighter fluid, unless you’ve plenty of gasoline?
Whenever he leaves a place, do things seem to be on fire that weren’t before he got there?
Is he one of the things that is on fire?
Do you have an uncle who shows up in full blood soaked camouflage, wreaking of a masking scent made from deer semen?
The disturbing part: he hasn’t even been hunting, he just like the way it looks.
Does the emergency room of your local hospital put extra people on duty the day of your family reunion, to deal with the sudden influx of contusions, broken bones, severe burns, food poisoning, alcohol poisoning, bite wounds–some animal, some human, some unidentifiable, and one that appears to be from a bigfoot–stab wounds, gunshot wounds, arrow wounds, one particularly gruesome wound seemingly caused by a medieval mace, and several cases of acute mental distress?
Do you get tetanus and rabies shots before the reunion, not as a precaution, but because you just know.
On your way to the family reunion, do you stop at a convenience store and casually browse, in the futile hope that masked robbers will burst into the store and rob it. You hope the robbery will go sideways and devolve into a protracted hostage situation that stretches into the night? (Or at least until about 6pm, the approximate time your family reunion ends.)
Alas, you have ill fortune, the store is robbed, but the robbers are highly proficient and a hostage situation never materializes. You are shot in the leg, but you know that that’s not an acceptable reason for missing the family reunion, a gunshot wound was bound to happen at some point in the day anyway.
Even when you do have what any rational human being would consider an acceptable reason for missing the family reunion, you still get the following phone call from your aunt and the family enforcer, Barsinister Hag.
Note: She claims her name isn’t Barsinister Hag, but by the sheer nature of her being, it must be.
Barsinister Hag: why you weren’t at the family reunion?
You: I had bayonet wound in the face.
Barsinister Hag: Is that all? You could have stopped by to say hello to your grandmother.
You: It was bleeding quite a lot.
Barsinister Hag: Everybody else made time.
You: I lost a pretty big chunk of my brain, and quite a few memories.
Barsinister Hag: You seem to remember me just fine, how do you explain that?
You: Fate is cruel and hateful.
Barsinister Hag: You’ll pay for this betrayal.
You: Even more than the time I said you had chunky thighs, and you had a hobo attack me with a hammer?
She angrily hangs up and the next day you are attacked by a hobo with an ax.
Is your family worse than that?
No. Stick it in my face, this has to be convincing.