as your own flesh and blood.
I realised that a very long time ago, but last night it hit me again while I stood in the kitchen and listened to my dear old Mother Irrelephant relate some more of the Family Grievance. She had even brought the giant "Family Grievance" tome, which meant it was pretty serious and needed recording for prosperity.
Keep in mind that dear Mother Irrelephant is also quite off her rocker, but I guess she has good reason--she had to raise both myself and my brother, Placebo. Yes, I know it's a peculiar name, but I had nothing to do with it. I think she was aiming for "Placido" but that was taken.
Mother Irrelephant last night was on about my dear Uncle Preposition, who has, in the past ooh decade or so gone completely off. Poor thing was trying to wrestle a pineapple two falls out of three yesterday, and was losing miserably. She wanted me to call and settle his nerves, because it was me who was unlucky enough to find my elder brother Woodenleg Jones dead, after he tried to devour a pineapple whole, ass first. But, I was too busy with my own personal griefs to be calling anyone yesterday evening, trying to offer fruit-specific therapy.
My great Aunt BienFang #2 was also up in arms about this and that. Seems they've gone and tapped her phones again, and some polite young men in dark, well-pressed suits and shiny shoes came and unplugged all her major appliances and trampled her petunia beds, to boot. She insists it's got something to do with the chemtrails, but I keep insisting to her that if she'd pay her electricity bill with something other than rolls of nickles the local power company would stop sending it's enforcers around.
It being tax season, my Uncle Hildebrandt Von Kierkenwaald the accountant will be busy. Descending into old age gracefully is Von Kerkenwaald, as he insists we call him, doddering into work each day with his abaccus in hand and his battered black Stetson Model 14 fedora pushed back on his head. He's a bit of a stick in the mud, and refuses to admit the existence of gasoline-powered vehicles. He had a permit to take his carriage and horse to work every day, but it was revoked when he got into a road-rage incident with a little blue-haired quadraplegic lady at the grocery store about handicapped parking rights (his horse Beucephalus has a marked tendency to twitch, and Uncle Von Kierkenwaald thinks that entitles him to handispots.) So now he walks the 147 miles to work (one way) every day. He starts out for work the day before, about 2 in the morning, carefully avoiding the hyenas and leopards that prowl the backwoods of Louisiana, and armed only with a stick sharpened and honed in a coal fire and his antique black fedora (circa 1604) he gamely fights and camps his way into work. Poor old guy, I always feel bad seeing him leave, because noone in the family can bring ourselves to tell him that the accounting office he works at has been closed for two decades now.
And there's my cousin Monstrous Outre' Gringo, who rebuilds old clay effigies. Apparently there's quite a market for it, because he stays very busy, pottering around in his little shop, apron covered in clay dust, restoring and rebuilding old statuary. He's a nice guy, but he's a bit clumsy and prone to slipping, so I worry. Him and his dog Greenware hang out in that dusty old shop every day, 7 days a week, 18 or more hours a day, trying to avoid his wife Porcelain and their thirty-two kids, each one named for a great dishmaker. There's so much resentment boiling in him that I just know one day he's gonna snap and kiln someone.
The list goes on an on--my great cousin Buchenwald, who is not so great at all and thinks that he can control the weather by means of his mind and a lot of very expensive electronics, and my cousin Whirling Monkeys who once wore the same dress for three years seven months fourteen days and three and a half hours to beat a Guiness World Record, but then found out that the Guiness World Record involved drinking twelve pints in eight seconds and was held by a rather skillful Irishman named McSweeny who has never worn a dress at all, so all her hopes and dreams were crushed. And my half brother once removed, Ezekiel Saw A Wheel, who wanted so desperately to be an astronaut until he found out that they have to wear catheters in space suits, so he decided instead to be a lion-tamer. All those decades toiling at the Jet Propulsion Laboratories and NASA wasted, and now he never wears his short-sleeved white dress shirt and black tie, and he traded his thick black horn-rimmed glasses in on some contact lenses and he let his crew-cut grow out, but now he has a lovely whip and a chair and a top hat that has "Lion Tamer" on it in huge green day-glow letters. I think I'm probably most jealous of him because of that hat.
So honestly, it simply amazes me sometime that I came out so normal. Really normal.
I have to go feed the kitties now.