Did God invent extended families to embarrass us?
The author is talking about Van Thieu Rudd, the cringe-inducing nephew of Kevin Rudd, but his observation pertains to many of us. How did these get into my family? How did I get there?
Forget the old world relatives with the heavy accents: they can't help it, they were born abroad, and not in some interesting place either. They came from some hellhole in the former Soviet Union--Minsk, Pinsk, who cares? The smartest thing they ever did was get on a boat and come here. That, and survive when they got here, of course.
It's the younger people I can't understand. My cousin Sam, for instance, who lived in his parents' house (they had moved out and given it to him) with a number of cats. Sam did not believe in altering animals; it wasn't natural. It was his theory that they deserved to have fun just like we did. This led to the cat census increasing exponentially after a while.
Sam had many degrees, including a PhD and a law degree. But the only job he liked was driving a taxi. Since Sam rarely worked, he was hard pressed to buy cat chow, let alone human food. But the cats survived and thrived. Sam, on the other hand, died.
My brother is another case in point. Why did he decide to wear a crash helmet when ever he got into the car? And what possessed him to buy, let alone wear, a shiny red track suit? This brother is short and stout and would we well advised not to wear anything red. Why did he decide that natural gas was played out and try to install an oil tank in my mother's backyard? (She wouldn't let him.) Why does he devote every waking hour to a crackpot scheme to harness sea solar power, whatever that is?
And why did he need to teach his eldest child and only son to memorize the bones in the foot at the age of four? If he wanted the kid to be a podiatrist, it didn't work.
Speaking of the aforementioned eldest son, why does he want to go live in Syria and perfect his Arabic? Well, he doesn't look Jewish. That's a blessing, I suppose.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007