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Use Your Words, Especially When There Are Knives Involved!

, , , , , , , | Related | September 22, 2021

I’m at a large family reunion at a cabin owned by some extended family. Obviously, not everyone there knows everyone else well, since the relationships go back to my great-grandparents’ generation.

[Cousin #1], her brother [Cousin #2], and I are in the kitchen. [Cousin #1] has deputized her brother and me to squeeze limes and chop garlic; she herself is working steadily through a large pile of avocados, taking the pits out by slicing a knife into them and twisting them. 

One of my aunts from another branch of the family, who doesn’t know my cousins, is a notorious busybody. She can never resist telling everyone exactly what she thinks without asking herself if that’s a good idea. She comes in, sees the situation, and makes a beeline right for us just as [Cousin #1] is moving the knife toward an avocado pit.

[Aunt] grabs [Cousin #1] suddenly and jerks her arm.

Aunt: “Stop!”

Cousin #1: “Aaaagh!”

She drops the knife — luckily onto the counter — and grabs at her left hand; I see blood. She whirls on [Aunt]. [Cousin #1] is about five-foot-nothing and has a bit of a babyface, but she has an extremely loud voice.

Cousin #1: “Jesus Christ, what the f***?!”

It’s the first time I’ve seen [Aunt] speechless even for a second.

Cousin #1: “What is wrong with you?! Do not sneak up like that! I could have cut my g**d*** fingers off, you idiot!”

Aunt: “I was trying to tell you not to cut the avocados like that. You could have hurt yourself!”

Cousin #1: “So, you decided to grab me from behind while I was moving a knife?! Yeah, that’s really safe! Whatever happened to ‘excuse me,’ huh? Get out of my way. I need a bandaid — if I don’t need stitches. [Cousin #2], finish the guacamole. And you, dumba**, out of my kitchen!”

She storms past us towards the bathroom. [Aunt], of course, doesn’t leave.

Aunt: “There’s no reason to be rude! I was just trying to help.”

Cousin #2: “That was pretty mild for [Cousin #1].”

Me: “Yeah, I think she only used the F word once. And she doesn’t need your help. She’s a professional chef; she knows what she’s doing.”

Aunt: “I would never let one of my children do that.”

Cousin #2: “She’s not a child; she’s twenty-eight.”

Realizing she wasn’t going to get any sympathy from either of us, [Aunt] finally left. I later found out that she tracked down my cousins’ father and complained to him about his daughter’s behaviour… and then learned where exactly [Cousin #1] had learned not to suffer fools as he bellowed at [Aunt] that it was her fault his precious jewel got hurt. 

I don’t know if [Aunt] has learned to stop butting in all over the place, but she may have learned to choose her targets better.