It’s that point of the big family reunion when your uncle Ronnie gives the pre-meal blessing.
In your family the blessing isn’t as much about thanking God for the bounty you’re about to receive or about thanking Him for the opportunity for your family to assemble and enjoy each other’s company. It’s more of a passive-aggressive diatribe of accusation and chastisement.
The blessing often ends with someone fleeing in tears. Twice it has ended in stabbings and once there was a bludgeoning.
as we gather here today, we ask that you have mercy on those family members who have failed us over this past year…so bitterly failed us. We’re not asking for a lot of mercy, but for an appropriate amount of mercy. I mean, the guilty do need to be punished–in certain cases, severely punished.
We ask that you bless those family members who have pleased us over the past year. Cousin Erikka whose Haiku writing has reached a whole new level this year. Uncle Gabe-you know, the firefighter- who heroically saved the Henderson’s family dog when their house caught on fire. Of course the Henderson’s all perished while Uncle Gabe was saving their dog, but I’m sure that’s how they would have wanted it. I’m sure they’re all with you now. Well, maybe not Bill Henderson, he was kind of jerk. His wife was no prize either…they’re all dead anyway.
I know you’re blessing my family because we’re as close to human perfection as you can get. Nice job on creating us by the way.
We ask that you watch over little Cousin Milt as he has begun dating the neighbor girl. You know the homely one with the droopy eye and questionable morals. Her name’s Becky or Bertha or something like that. Well you know, she’s sitting next to him right now. I see trouble coming out of that relationship, and possibly something illegitimate.
We ask that you help poor Rodney who was so tragically shot in the leg today due to the heartless inaction of a certain family member whose name I won’t deign to mention.
And finally there is poor Cousin Roscoe, who as we speak is being deloused. It was that same family member who is to blame for the long legal battle ahead of poor Cousin Roscoe. If only this family member could be trusted to get the marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate bars.
I won’t say that family member’s name. I’m just going to glare at that family member for ten to fifteen seconds in a condemning way. I could see some boils, or maybe a bout of leprosy coming the way of this particular family member–it’s your call.
“That last bit was about you,” Uncle Monty tells you.
“I get that,” you tell him.
“Because of that thing that happened earlier.”
“I understand,” you confirm.
“If you do get boils, I have some suave that might help…I not going to tell you what’s in it, but I made it myself.”
“Fantastic,” you say.
It’s going to be a very long day.