More Dinner Conversation (A Family Reunion Part 19)

“Have you tried my famous seven layer salad?” Beatrice Klosner asks you.

Beatrice is engaged to your cousin Bradley. She is willingly joining your family despite your repeated warnings and the voluminous amount of evidence at her disposal.

“Everybody has tried your famous seven layer salad–you push it like a crack dealer.”

“I just want make sure everyone is happy.”

“These people? The group of people that are assembled here? You want make sure this menagerie of dysfunction and horror is happy?”

“Of course.”

“Do you plan on sacrificing a small animal or kicking a puppy; because you’re way off track on what you think makes these people happy.”

“Oh, they are so not that bad.”

“It has mushrooms,” Aunt Pamela interrupts.

“I make it with mushrooms,” Beatrice explains.

“It’s not supposed to have mushrooms,” Aunt Pamela continues.

“It really isn’t,” Cousin Martha confirms.

“You can make it with mushrooms if you want,” Beatrice defends herself.

“May I ask you a question, Niece Martha?”

“Yes you may, Aunt Pamela.”

“What does seven added to one equal, Niece Martha?”

“I do believe that equals eight, Aunt Pamela.”

“A bunch of geniuses we have in this family,” you say under your breath.

“That’s right, Niece Martha, it equals eight…eight layers”

“I leave out the celery, so it still comes to seven layers,” Beatrice says.

“So you leave out the celery and you add mushrooms,” Aunt Pamela exclaims with mock astonishment, “That is not a seven layer salad in my book. Is it Niece Martha?”

“It most certainly is not, Aunt Pamela.”

“That’s how I make it,” Beatrice maintains.

Aunt Pamela and Cousin Martha just stare at Beatrice with disbelief and not a small amount of disdain.

“And these are people you want to make happy?” You ask Beatrice. “Run, Beatrice. Run as fast as you can away from these people.”

“Just don’t run into a tree,” Cousin Bucky adds.

“Unlike that stupid girl who ran into the tree, your Grandmother says I fit in perfectly with the family,” Beatrice tells you as she beams.

“She does have the delusion and misplaced sense of pride required for membership in this family,” Cousin Bucky points out.

“Your grandmother told me I’m already one of you.”

“That’s what Jim Jones said to his people as he handed them a glass of Kool-Aid,” you tell her.

“I don’t like the Monkees,” Beatrice tells you, “their music is too bubblegum pop. I like Nickleback–they’re deep.”

“I’m not sure where to begin with this. I think you’re thinking of Davy Jones who was a member of the Monkees.”

“No. Davy Jones was that squid-faced character from the Lord of the Rings movies.”

“Okay, Davy Jones was a mythical figure that sailors believed presided over the evil spirits of the deep. He was portrayed as a squid-faced character in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.”

“No,” Beatrice says with confidence, “the Davy Jones character was in the Orlando Bloom movies.”

“Yes,” you say with exasperation, “Orlando Bloom was in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.”

“Okay fine,” Beatrice capitulates. “Davy Jones, the squid-faced character, was in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.”

“Thank you,” you say feeling a sense of relief.

“So Davy Jones wasn’t in the Monkees,” Beatrice says defiantly.

You sigh in capitulation. “You’re going to fit in perfectly in this family.”

“Do you know who won’t be running away from this family any time soon?” Uncle Finster says to you. “Rodney–someone let him get shot in the leg today.”

It’s going to be a long day.





The Dinner Conversation (A Family Reunion Part 18)

Everybody is now gathered under the pavilion and the truly enjoyable part of the big family reunion has begun: the dinner conversation.

It’s an annual event that never fails to shock, entertain, enlighten, and occasionally provide testimony that can be used in criminal proceedings.

In 1998 a casual conversation between Uncle Monty and Great Uncle Teddy resulted in several indictments and the closing down of a large black market operation dealing in the trafficking of endangered animal meat. Since then video recording of anything at the big family reunion is no longer allowed.

(Good news: Great Uncle Teddy should be out of prison in time for the big family reunion of 2018.)

The dinner conversation even brings joy and laughter on occasion. It’s generally joy at other’s misfortune and laughter at their expense, but you take what you can get.

One year the topic of whether or not the term inbred is pejorative led to a robust conversation. Then somebody looked up the word pejorative and there was two stabbings and an eye gouging.

Dinner conversation:

“I’m entirely pissed off,” Cousin Milton tells Uncle Ronnie.

“How was I to know Bertha, or Becky, or whatever her name is, was going to react that way?”

“Her name is Gwen.”

“I thought you told me Bertha.”

“No. I told you Gwen.

“It sounded like you said Bertha.”

“How could Gwen possibly sound like Bertha?”

“Maybe you didn’t properly enunciate.”

“I didn’t properly enunciate between the names Gwen and Bertha? Are you serious?”

“You probably just forgot her name when you talking to Uncle Ronnie,” Cousin Erikka interjects with typically bitchy attitude.

“You think I forgot my girlfriends name?”

“You’re not very smart,” Cousin Erikka whispers to Cousin Milton.

Cousin Milton looks at Cousin Erikka without saying a word, knowing if he says what he wants to say, he will regret it. He wouldn’t regret it because he’s afraid he might offend, he would regret it because Cousin Erikka’s mom, Aunt Zelda, might turn him into a toad.

“It my name Bertha?” Gwen asks as she looks around in a daze.

“Your name is Gwen,” Cousin Milton tells her as tries to comfort her.

“It sounded like you just said Bertha,” Gwen replies.

“She’s not very smart either, maybe the two of you are perfect for each other,” Cousin Erikka says.

Gwen turns to the person next to her and sticks out her hand in greeting. “Hi, my name’s Becky how are you?”

“That’s it,” Cousin Milton says as he leaps to his feet, “I’m taking her to the hospital to get checked out.”

“While you’re there you should have them take a look at that droopy eye,” Uncle Ronnie suggests.

Cousin Milton glares at Uncle Ronnie–he is entirely pissed off.

Cousin Milton helps Gwen to her feet. “Let’s go Bertha…I mean Becky…I mean Gwen!”

“It’s difficult to tell which one had the brain damage,” Cousin Erikka snipes.

Elsewhere under the pavilion:

“It looks like Cousin Milton is taking Bertha, or Becky, or whatever her name is to the hospital,” Cousin Peggy observes. “She probably needs a cat scan.”

“That’s the way it is in this family isn’t it?” You tell Cousin Peggy. “You come to this family all wide-eyed and innocent. You discover what a horror show it is. You try to get away, but you don’t get far. You wind up with some level of brain damage. In the end you have to have your head examined. If people would get their heads examined first, it would prevent a lot of pain.”

Coming up: more dinner conversation.