Sounds Like Someone Needs A Little-Voice Transplant

, , , , , , | Related | June 16, 2020

I come from a large family, and we don’t get together very often. A table-full of us are gathered at a nephew’s wedding.

[Brother #4], who is not present, as it happens, is famous — notorious, actually — in our extended clan for being an adrenaline junkie with poor decision-making skills.

Seriously — about twenty years ago, as a result of a miscalculation on a bungee jump, he was featured on an episode of the Discovery Channel show called “Real Life Medical Miracles.” For his fortieth birthday, he told his wife he wanted to try cage boxing.

One of us is telling a long and complicated story about him, three dogs, and a skunk, and a niece is shaking her head in disbelief.

Me: “It’s true. You know that little voice that we all have in the back of our brains? The one that tells you not to do dumb stuff like stick a fork in the wall socket?”

Niece: “Are you saying Uncle [Brother #4] doesn’t listen to his little voice?”

Me: “I’m saying his little voice was dropped on its head as a child.”

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Not Just Grandma Is A Hack

, , , , | Related | April 12, 2019

(I am about 13 in this story. My family and I are at a family reunion. My grandparents, who recently moved to Oregon, will also be there. I went to a cybersecurity week camp a month ago.)

Step-Grandma: “So, what did you do this summer, [My Name]?”

Me: “Mostly stayed at home, but I did go to a cybersecurity week camp a month ago.”

Step-Grandma: “What did you do at the camp?”

Me: “We coded a site, went to the aquarium, and learned about cyber-principles, some basics of hacking, and how to do it legally.”

Step-Grandma: “Good! Now you can hack the Russians back!”

Me: “…”

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Baby-Talk Is Very Adult

, , , | Related | January 17, 2019

(I’m the youngest in my generation of the family, and everyone else of my age group has gotten married. I have a small line of relationships that didn’t work out, for one reason or another. At this point, I’m single again after a two-year relationship.)

Aunt: “You know, [Cousin]’s wife is pregnant already. When are you going to have a kid?”

Me: “Uh… I’m single and still smarting from that, so, no thanks. I also kind of need a boyfriend for that, anyway.”

Aunt: “Oh, honey, you don’t need a boyfriend. Just find a random guy and…”

(I give her a look of pure appalled disgust.)

Me: “…I’m not going to do that.”

Aunt: “Honestly, honey, you’re going to be left behind. Everyone else has settled down to have a family. You’re the only one who hasn’t.”

Me: “You KNOW why I haven’t.”

(I’ve been very responsible about this decision, and have taken proper precautions, as I haven’t wanted to bring a new human being into the mix of college, college debt, and job hunting.)

Aunt: “So when ARE you going to be an adult and start a family?”

Me: *fed up* “When I d*** well want to!”

(I have no idea why she thinks that having a baby is the only thing that will make me an ‘adult.’)

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Making Light Of The Lighter Fluid Flavor

, , , , , | Related | January 2, 2019

At a family gathering celebrating Independence Day, my uncles were tasked with the preparation of the hot dogs, burgers, and sausages. As the meats cooked, my uncles grew increasingly impatient and intoxicated and began attempting to speed up the cooking process.

Their solutions included adding more charcoal, more lighter fluid — while the food was cooking — moving the grill into more direct sunlight, and ultimately attaching a vacuum to the grill in an effort to increase the airflow.

Their efforts produced a lot of smoke that drifted through open windows into my grandparents’ house, where my ill grandmother was spending the party. Naturally, she came to the kitchen window to yell at my uncles and complain about the smoke. My dad found himself enlisted by his brothers to help cook the meats, a role he carried out with a constant bemused look and sarcastic commentary.

After the standard duration meats take to cook on a grill, the food was served. It was sufficiently burned with an adequate taste of lighter fluid. I had a salad that was prepared on the other side of the backyard, far away from the grill.

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The Man From Uncle

, , , | Related | July 28, 2018

(My mother’s side of the family is having our first big reunion in years. In many East Asian cultures, you don’t call older relatives by name; there are specific titles for specific relationships.)

Cousin: *talking about mum’s older brother* “Because I’m half white and all American, I didn’t realise Tua Ku’s name wasn’t Tua Ku until I was, like, eighteen…”

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