Odd – Craig’s Family
Cousin Craig has never met a drink he has not spilled on me. He mortified me when I took him skating in his youth to the classy Houston Gallery Skating Arena, where he mauled another skater by skating over him multiple times and in his youth poured hot caramel over my hand. But when he writes, “Squirrel finds nut…film at 11:00pm”, quotes e.e. Cummings, and has a plethora of softball girls fighting for his devotion…ya know he is a bit of squirrel but ya gotta love him for it.
Craig Writes: It’s not Odd; It’s my Family. . .
10. My sister, Carla once bought me a tape recorder for Christmas. That’s not the odd part. It was the old style, Radio Shack, runs on C batteries kind I like. This also is not too odd, although it is a bit odd. The odd thing is that I opened my next present, which was also from my sister, and discovered a tape player. The old style kind. The one that runs on C batteries. I guess she thought if one tape recorder for Christmas was Merry…two were Merrier.
9. My mother eschews all family traditions. We never had a family tradition for long, before she would banish it. There was, however, the Christmas box. Each year we would go to sleep, eager for the morning to come. We’d race into the living room and wait impatiently for my mostly asleep parents, and then tear into the gifts. We weren’t looking at the gifts, so much as the boxes. You see, our ONE tradition was that we used the same boxes every year, and there was one special box that became our tradition. “Who got the Christmas box?” we’d ask, looking into each other’s piles of wrappings, and we’d make sure to find and save the family treasure for another year. One year I came home for Christmas, and mentioned to my Mother that I thought she would surely give me, her favorite son, the magical Christmas box this year. “Oh,” she said, “I threw that out.” Did I mention she hates tradition?
8. Once upon a time I had a job that provided me with a certain level of excess funds that I was too young and too stupid to stockpile. Instead, each year I would go out of my way to find a TRULY bizarre gift for my sister, Carla. She would give me “Nunchucks,” (a little sling with tiny plastic nuns to throw) and I would give her 10,000 Spree candies. Each candy flavor separated by color and placed into mason jars. And inside each mason jar, impossible to identify without biting into it, was ONE CHEWY SPREE CANDY. My sister loves me!
7. My brother, Kelly, is a bit of an antisocial type, by which I mean that he is to antisocial what the grand canyon is to a hole. I was not surprised at his recent interest in weapons, still sporting a lump on my forehead from a sword fight that we had with a couple of putters when I was 8 or so. I was surprised on Christmas morning when my brother opened my mother’s gift. It was a real, honest-to-God mace: the spiky ball on the chain at the end of a stick thing that they used to crush skulls in medieval times. Nothing says, “Peace on Earth and goodwill toward men” like a medieval mace, does it?
6. My cousin has always been the most thoughtful and generous of people (ME, Katybeth!). She would never hurt a fly, and in fact, loves pets so much that she has turned her pet-spoiling habit into a profession. I remember one Christmas when she was in an especially charitable mood. She felt my Aunt’s Doberman needed some additional protection against the cold. Acting on her own, with absolutely no help from anyone else, she leapt into action. Out of the closet and onto the fierce, black Doberman went a bright pink, rabbit fur coat. While the dog was in no danger of becoming sick from the cold Houston weather, she did nearly die of shame.
5. Maybe the oddest gift thus far exchanged in my family has been a beaver hat. A large, furry hat, shaped like a beaver’s head, makes even the sternest wearer look silly. You could tell the passengers of the Titanic, “The boat’s going down and there aren’t enough lifeboats!” in that hat, and get a laugh.
4. Mister Squirty was a family friend. He lived on the campus of a local community college, and he enjoyed showering local joggers with a refreshing stream of liquid. Mister Squirty’s gift was relief to the hot, delivered from his hose. Mr.Squirty was a stolen fire extinguisher.
3. My mother wanted a bike. “I need a bike! I want a bike!” she said, so what could we do? We searched high and low for the right bike. “Do you have anything for a septuagenarian?” we asked the 16-year-old salesperson. After some searching and deliberation, we found the bike and it was perfect. A nice basket, a little horn, and my mother was ready to ride. Finally the day came. We ushered her out to the bike and cheered when she climbed aboard, making sure she put on her safety helmet. “YAY!” we yelled as she got up to speed and took off down the street and then rode back at a nice pace, and into the garage went the bike, safe and secure. And there it sits. Maybe we’ll get her a motorcycle for her 80th.
2. My family has many fine qualities. What I mean is that I could have received any of a plethora of fine qualities. A sharp wit, a quick tongue, a handsome face, or even a lanky frame could have been my inheritance. Instead, I got my father’s ass. If we measured this gift by sheer size I would be truly lucky, because it is a big ass. Huge. Not just wide, but deep. When I stand facing a wall you can place a large vase, an ashtray, and a jar of mints on the shelf of my ass, and still have room for a set of six coasters. And that’s on a skinny day. It’s for this reason I decided not to procreate. The curse must be ended!
1. I may not have the facts right, but that has rarely even slowed me down, much less stopped me. Now is the moment I feel I must share with you this particular family secret. There is something going on with my grandfather’s teeth. The disturbing part, I mean the MORE disturbing part, is that my grandfather has passed away, but his kids, my mother, aunt, and uncles, take great pleasure in passing his false teeth from one to another. Among the weirdest of things in a truly weird family, the teeth are often found upon arriving home from a visit, smiling (I imagine) up from the bottom of a suitcase. Rest in peace Grandfather, although your teeth never will.
Cousin, sorry for the typos. I took typewriting in 10th grade, but it’s faded over the years. I hope this is funny . . . or maybe just ODDLY humorous.
Thanks Craig! You are truly entertaining…I hope the rest of the family thinks so too!
Odd Loves Company,