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.
“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.