Saturday, August 25, 2018


If you just sit around and observe your family members, you can easily build an argument that all of them are nutcases. I’m not saying they are nutcases. But there are certain things they do that clearly point in that direction.

So, let’s say you live at home with your mother, father, brother, and sister. You observe them, and you think, “Look at that dad character. He’s been arguing all day with Verizon over a $5 fee. He’s the same guy who makes $130 an hour working as an anger management therapist—but he’s more than willing to spend his free time waging a three hour war over $5 in phone charges. And for some reason, his argument keeps on mentioning Alexander Graham Bell and Watson holding two paper cups and a string. That’s my father. And then there’s that mom person. She’s making way too much potato salad. She has two jars of Hellman’s out and active, and she’s in the process of making several gallons of this food known as potato salad. I guess she’s doing that just in case an impromptu 50 person picnic breaks out in our backyard, and every person is armed with a massive craving for potatoes and mayonnaise. That’s how my mother does things. And then there’s my brother—the guy who’s developed a slight Cuban accent, because he watches the movie Scarface three times a day. He works at TJ Maxx, but he acts like he deals in yayo. And then there’s my sister. She’s got about 500 different creams in the bathroom, spanning every brand and every category of product there is. Aveeno, Elta MD, Erno Laszlo, Pure Biology, NYX, Neutrogena; controlling lotion, skin supplement sleep mask, marble treatment repair balm, exfoliating skin serum cleansing oil, detoxifying monopolizing foaming moisturizer, antioxidizing hypothesizing non-foaming remoisturizer. How could one woman possibly require that much maintenance? The Empire State Building doesn’t need that much maintenance.”

In your day-today life, you learn about your parents and siblings. And then you got your other relatives. You learn about them mainly on one day every year. The learning opportunities are very abundant on that day. There’s a deluxe cornucopia of learning opportunities. The opportunities for learning about your family are fantastically cornocopiant on the fourth Thursday of November, a.k.a. Thanksgiving.  You really pick up a lot of good info about your family on that day. Because of three elements. 1—alcohol, 2—tryptophan, and 3—Thanksgivingholidayness. People drink the first element, they eat the second one, and they inhale the third one. Those three elements combine to really alter people’s state of consciousness, thereby generating absurdly low levels of viscosity, and amazingly high levels of looseness and unfilteration.

Do you want to know what Uncle Bernie thinks of Uncle Stu? Just go ahead and ask him on Thanksgiving. Just say, “Uncle Bernie. I want to know your opinion of Uncle Stu.” And then Uncle Bernie will reply, “Let me tell you something about that jackscallion rat bastard you call Uncle Stu. Every time I get divorced, this Uncle Stu character immediately tries to sleep with my new ex-wife.” 

Those are some of the illuminating and emphatic statements delivered to you by Uncle Bernie on Thanksgiving. Then an hour later, another person with low viscosity starts discussing a different theme with you. I mean, you’re having a fairly casual and benign conversation with your second cousin’s husband—some guy you hardly even know—and just out of nowhere, he starts telling you his detailed plan of how...

The rest of this article can be found in the book What I Think of Various Places and People by Rodney Ohebsion