Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Shiny New Year

Every year for quite some time I have tried to figure out what resolution I want to make for the New Year. Things usually end up the same every year. The eleventh hour begins to wane and I still haven’t decided what ‘thing’ I will fail at this year. Finally as the clock ticks down to midnight I get all flustered and decide reversing global warming is just too much work and decide that I will, again, decide to quit smoking.

OF course this resolution is broken at 12:01 am as I and the rest of the social pariahs huddle outside in the blowing snow using our lighters as a campfire to help stave off the cold (Note – women or metrosexuals wearing any type of fur or faux fur should not partake in warming themselves by the Zippo fire as, unbeknownst to some of us, fur burns-fast-and smells very very bad when it does).

New Years Eve is Christmas for adults. We get to wish for things we want and we get to shake off remnants, doubts and failures from the current year as it draws to a close.

What a great opportunity to mend fences on friendships that need to be repaired. The biggest problem we as a ‘civilized’ group need to contend with is that none or very few of us ever want to admit we were wrong or maybe we said something at a weak moment or we made a decision that was uninformed and hasty. This is the time of year when anyone can walk up to a former friend and say, ‘I’m sorry I kept ogling your wife’s cleavage and told all the guys I would kill you for the chance to play motorboat with her breasts.’ How difficult is it? If you get popped in the noodle, well maybe, just maybe he was never really your friend (or he has issues to which you are unaware regarding breasts, apologies or motorboating). In any case you have taken the high road, admitted you were in the wrong for what you said and have closure.

High hopes and wonderful expectations seem to emanate from most of us at this time of year. Fueled by the Christmas spirit and a longing to fulfill potential we all have but never give a chance to blossom we dare to dream about the possibilities of the quickly approaching new year.

On the one night of the year where we are all allowed to dream you can see people drift off into the ether and wish for a better future. We all usually start of with small wishes. ‘ I wish I could lose 15 pounds.’ Or, ‘I hope my husband gets run over by a bus.’ These are things that are possible with some exercise or a subtle push off the curb. Later on after some social lubricant we hit the Generosity Phase of the evening. This usually lasts for about an hour and by the time it is done every homeless person, orphan and stray cat has been accounted for with our well wishing, open hearts and intoxicated minds.

My personal favourite ‘phase’ is the Babbling Drunk Phase – to which I am very good at. This involves saving the planet, the baby seals, the homeless people and orphans, stray cats AND dogs and somehow acquiring superhero powers. Last year I am pretty sure I took over the province of Quebec, raised free range homeless people, taught dogs how to do calculus and could create vodka from anything by just concentrating really hard (I am the Dean Martin of Super heroes). I woke up with a headache and did not have the opportunity to kick the separatists out of Quebec.

Pipe Bomb Wishes;
1) I wish that on the morning of January 1st, everyone woke up and had common sense. No longer would we have to guess where or when people would be making a turn because their turn signal would let us know. Traffic would be less chaotic because people in the left hand lane would be passing cars in the right hand lane and then moving over to the right hand lane when it was safe to do so. We would know when this was going to happen because they would be using their turn signals. Life would be great because there would no longer be dolts congregating in front of doorways, escalators or hallways talking about whatever mundane things dolts talk about.
2) Accountability. No longer would we have to listen to newscasts about drunks slamming into buses and suing the owner of the bar. We wouldn’t have to have rules about wearing bicycle helmets because some politician’s drunk friend cracked his noggin while riding his three wheeled bike. Lying would be lying and we wouldn’t need a Grand Jury to convene to decipher what a lie really is just to bail out some bush league politician with the moral fiber of Hitler. Aside from putting a lot of lawyers out on the streets I think we would all have a better life if we admitted we were wrong once in a while and move away from frivolous lawsuits blaming other people for all of our misfortunes. If I have my way this year all the lawyers will be allowed to roam free in Quebec with the free range homeless people.
3) Children would all have mute buttons that work with any remote control or better yet, all we would have to say is ‘Stifle’ and pazow – no crying, no incoherent babbling and no back talk.
4) Universal Bullshit Detector on every person on the planet. I would never be able to write anything again but think of all the advantages of hearing – “This words coming out of this person’s mouth are bullshit- anything this person says is suspect and he should be treated with extreme prejudice – Have a nice non bull shitty day” every time some quack, lunatic or fanatical fiend tries to convince of something that isn’t real. This could get annoying if you are watching CNN but it is the price we have to pay to not have our lives disturbed, distorted or disrupted by people who make their living by annoying the crap out of the rest of us.
5) Elimination of the dreaded “STARE” or what I like to call –‘The Stink EYE!’ Every married man knows what this is and fears it more than the possibility of having his testicles yanked off by a herd of rabid mules. The ‘Stare’ does not obey the Laws of Physics. I could be three hundred miles away and I will suddenly get ‘the fear’. My neck will begin to get hot, my heart will beat much faster and my throat will get dry. Women know when something is being said about them- anywhere in the world. My wife has woken me up from a dead sound sleep and told me she knew what I was dreaming about and that if I continue dreaming about it she would be forced to turn the lights on so she could deploy the STARE on me. It’s very hard to get back to sleep when you have ‘the Fear.’
Hunter S. Thompson used to write about ‘the fear.’ The abridged interpretation could be described as – the weasels were closing in and it was near time to pay for the drug induced mayhem he and his cohorts had caused.
‘The fear’ to me consists of wondering why I have broken out in a cold sweat, how long I will be sleeping on the couch and what the hell I did or said. ‘The fear’ is akin to lowering your voice and looking around you before you tell an off colour joke. It’s the tiny voice in the back of your head that says, ‘don’t do it, don’t say it and don’t even think it- think of the consequences man!’ but you still do it anyway. Whenever you get ‘the fear,’ chances are, wherever you are that you will be getting ‘the Stare’ at any moment. Any man who says he is not afraid of the ‘Stare’ is lying or gay. There is no defence from the ‘Stare’ but I heard jewellery can lessen the effects.

As the countdown to the New Year has begun I have still not decided what altruistic endeavour I will fail at miserably this year. There are just so many ways to prove how I excel at mediocrity that making a decision about this potentially life altering resolution has me all kerfuffled. Screw it. I am just going to quit smoking – again.

May 2009 be your greatest year ever and not suck hind teat like 2008.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Big Day

I have come to the conclusion that Christmas time used to be a lot of fun. I still enjoy Christmas, but now it is simply because I get a few days to sleep for 14-hour stretches and not feel guilty about it.

I have been running it over in my head and, every time I do, the historical steady decline in fun always comes out in phases.

I attach the following for your information and amusement.

1)What the Hell is going on?
Through the use of archive photographs and the recollections of relatives who used to be drunks but are now just mildly senile, I was able to construct what Christmas may have been like when I was 2- or 3 years old.

The Mall
Who is this fat SOB with the white beard? How dare you pick me up and jostle me around like I was a $2 whore. I have just peed on your leg, and I think I just soiled myself, to boot.

Christmas Morning
Dragged from the comfort and security of my bed and favourite blanket, at 5:30am, I am dragged downstairs by my brothers in what could only be described as a picture perfect Italian Army Retreat: Asses and Elbows.

To my amazement, someone has left boxes and pretty paper around a tree. I thoroughly enjoyed making a fort out of boxes and eating the colourful paper.

The remainder of the day is spent fighting over toys and, being poked and prodded by old people. and I still don’t know who the fat man in the red suit is.

2)I think the Fat Man is OK!
Between the ages of 4 and 6 years old, I remember Christmas. Not vividly, but enough to know that this Fat Man was is alright in my book. I was still a little leaery of him, as you one could tell if you they saw the picture of me and the Fat Man. The look of ‘I really like you, but keep your distance’ danced from my eyes, with tinges of fear and loathing jumbled in for effect.

This age seems to coincide with raised voices and getting into trouble for launching Nerf products at grandma while she worked on her 6th rum and coke of the morning. Back in the early Seventies, little was understood about the a correlation between sugar intake and hyper activity. We weren’t over stimulated, we were ‘acting crazy’ and the candy canes and chocolate and sweets were not the culprits.

3)What Do You Mean?
My bubble was burst when I was 6 years old. My older brothers knew, but tried to shield me from the truth. However there is always that one kid in the neighbourhood who has to share the pain with everybody once he discovers that the Jolly Old Saint Nick likely isn’t real.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to pretend that you believe in Santa Clause when you are 6 years old. You have been lied to by the very people who tell you not to lie, and the one guy, the most known person on the planet turns out to be a myth. The one thing we could all stand together to and believe in is taken away. That ‘kid’ I mentioned earlier almost always has red hair and bad teeth. This is the reason I dislike bad -toothed red -headed people to this day.

4)Thanks for the Socks!
Christmas turns into a day to receive socks you’ll never wear, books you won’t read, and visits to relatives you’ve never liked. All I ever wanted to do during Christmas during the time span of 12-19 years old was be with my friends.
Being with my friends was what made Christmas fun. Shooting out Christmas lights with a pellet gun was what Christmas meant to me. It was the time of the bastard!

5)First Girlfriend Gift
Around the that same time, most of us gave a really bad gift to the girl we were dating at the time. I don’t remember the piece of crap gift I gave, but at the time, it was the ‘most coolest’ gift ever. Mine was likely some perfume that could be used to anesthetise farm animals. For all I know it could have been hockey cards. To this day, I still give crappy gifts. I gave my wife a softball and kitchen tongs last years. Luckily, I had my shoes on at the time, and was able to make a hasty retreat. because I could hear her as I fled that I would need the tongs to remove the softball from a certain bodily orifice, and something about me being really stupid.

6)The Party Years
Nineteen years old, and up until marriage we had some damn good parties. Friends and a lot of booze were what Christmas meant to me. These were also the years that my parents would wake me up at 6am on Christmas morning -after letting me sleep for about half an hour - to revel in the Christmas spirit with family and friends. Even a hot shower and after -shave overdose couldn’t mask the odour of beer, rye and cigarettes oozing from every pore on my body. Good times.

7) Sharing Christmas
Once I got married, Christmas time changesd again. My wife’s family lives a good distance away so it is not reasonable for us to travel from my family to her family on Christmas day, so we have Christmas with my family one year and Christmas with her family on other years.

There is some culture shock going from your own style of family Christmas to another style or the traditions of another family’s Christmas.
The lights on the tree are different, the food is different, and the conversation is different.
One thing is consistent through most families I have spent time with at Christmas though – we all have one relative, be it a brother or sister, mother or father or so on that is absolutely insane and believes Christmas is ‘their’ day. They try to control the entire debacle of events that makes Christmas real, and manage to annoy almost everyone. Most families use alcohol to block this person out. I find earplugs work really well, too.

Oh, the sheer joy of driving nine hours through sleet and snow, deer and bears, and things I can only call ‘strange’ at this time.

Don’t get me wrong. Spending quality time with my wife and her family isn’t that painful, but sometimes I’ll catch myself daydreaming about the possibility getting lost on some Godforsaken road in the U.P. and being dragged from my truck by Sasquatch or a Yeti or possibly some hybrid of the two, and used for a Christmas Eve snack. Even if it is only to help the scientific community prove that Sasquatch exists when, the following spring when they find one of my unmistakeably tacky Acapulco shirts in an unidentifiable mound of what will later be called Sasquatch leavings (‘Yeti Poop’ to the lay person). This is the dream that keeps me going during this time of year.

We arrive at my wife’s parents’ house (or as I like to call them: my ‘anti-parents’),. where I am subjected to questions I can’t answer and conversations about people I don’t know. I never knew how much I enjoyed standing outside and smoking in the skin freezing cold until a few years ago. Quiet, oh blessed quiet, with the trees creaking and swaying under the extra weight of pure white snow. The light foot steps of deer close by and unknown growls coming from the darkened tree line about 150 feet from where I stand. When I return to the house, I attempt to sneak into the bedroom for what I consider the greatest gift ever: sleep. I am halted in my tracks by a four-year-old speaking a language that sounds like PortuSpanglish. He’s holding a plastic golf club and wearing some manner of space helmet. I still do not know to this day what ‘thwing ad dolf balfs’ means. Sweat runs from my forehead until I throw out use this old chestnut ‘ Hey Buddy, your mom just called you – go see what she wants.’ His plastic golf club turns into a jet pack as he zooms away to find his mom. I slowly make my way to the bedroom where I don’t bother to take my shoes off and just slide into bed. Oh blessed angels on high, I have found my Graceland. I get to nap for about eight minutes, until I am awoken by the door creaking open, giggles, and the sound of an goddam imaginary jet pack. I peel back the covers to see three runny noses, two toothy grins, and something that resembles gums with a can opener wedged inside of it. ‘Wwad due wue duing unca bwookth?’ Up and at ‘em.

A certain aspect of Christmas that always makes me smile is the look on kids’ faces when they open gifts on Christmas Day. This is quickly undone when the kids start to talk, whine or cry. Hiding in the basement with the dog generally remedies this.

Christmas morning comes, and we are shocked into consciousness by ear splitting shrieks of small children. By the time I have put pants on and walked out to the living room the shrieking has been replaced by crying. [Note to all adults: – Children to do not see ‘value’. Children see the number of presents they got and the number of presents their brother or sister got. It’s a numbers game to them, and if they don’t get at least the same number it becomes a pouting game. Have no fear – kids are dumb. To even up the numbers, give them cheap Chinese -made gifts that contain lead paint. IF you are one of those people who think lead paint is ‘bad’ because it could ‘kill’ your child, give them socks or goofy looking mittens. I like to give my nephews sweaters that will guarantee a playground ass whooping!]

Play by Play
The kids are out of the gate. Five-year-old Billy is down the stairs and tearing his stocking off the wall. It’s like the rug rat parade here in the living room as the kids have descended upon the tree like locusts – tearing and pushing and grabbing anything with wrapping paper. The boys have elected to try the ‘soft gifts get hidden behind/under or under the couch’ play, but Grandma is not having any of it. The fathers and uncles have begun drinking, and why not- it is 6:30 in the morning. Ooohhh a Transformer box to the head gets a flag on the play, while mom checks little Cindy for gaping head wounds. Cindy is ok and running toward her brother with her ‘My Little Pony’ carrying case … and he is down and crying. His ancestors felt that hit. Good news – Billy has lost his first tooth. It is stuck in the wood flooring. Fathers and brothers and Grampa are now rooting thru the medicine cabinet in a desperate attempt to find anything that will take the edge off. John opts for the Estrogen pills- his boobs will be sore in the morning because of that bonehead play. In a vicious display of Kiddy Christmas antics, all of the children have opened up the adults’ gifts – what a ballsey play by the children – we are awaiting a ruling from the judges- “Fair Play” and the kids go wild.
Then, just as quickly as it started, suddenly all the gifts are gone. The dust and wrapping paper slowly settle to the living room floor. We seem to be missing a one -year -old and the dog. Kick, trip, fall, swear, cry, and Grampa is down holding his hip. Little Addison has been found and we think that the dog has been eaten in what can only be described as a Christmas Version of 'Lord of the Flies'.

Keep yourself tuned to this channel in two years for ‘Kiddy Christmas Carnage.’

As chaotic as it sounds, and all things being equal – my wife’s family is only slightly more Christmas Psychotic than my own.

In Summary
I don’t know why Christmas is special, but it is, and I am glad for that. It’s a time to look back and realize all the things I should have done and all the things I shouldn’t have done and realize that next year, maybe, I could be less of a jackass. Maybe then, my family would let me sleep in.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tis' the Season

Tis’ the Season

The season is upon us and I for one am making a stand. I will not be observing ‘winter break’ this year. I will be observing “Christmas.” I will take pride in saying, ‘Mohammed, I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas!’ ‘Saul Goldsteinberg- have a Merry Christmas!” Do you know what else? I am not going to be insulted if they say ‘Enjoy Ramadan!’ or ‘Happy Hanukkah!’ I am not even going to get upset if I am wished a Blessed Kwanza.

I know this is ‘radical’ outside of the box, non politically acceptable behaviour, but I am going to give it a whirl this year, try it on, take it for a ride and see what happens.

Pariahs, fiends and other untalented unhappy lunatics do not want us to have a Christmas, let alone a Merry Christmas. I am pretty sure that we are not allowed to have ‘Happy Holidays’ – ‘Seasons Greetings’ or the ‘Best of the Season’ either. Ebeneezar Scrooge was a prick but at least he called it Christmas and gave Cratchett a half day off to celebrate with Sick Boy.

Who doesn’t enjoy Christmas? Eating too much? Drinking too much? Peeing on the Christmas tree in front of Auntie Ethel. Who doesn’t enjoy that? As we all gather around the browning shrubbery we paid a lot of money for and for some reason smells like urine, who can say they don’t or never have enjoyed Christmas?

I think we may need a front, or a name to show people we are serious about keeping Christmas, well, Christmas! Something that tells the anti-Christmas whiners we are serious. PPOFS –People Pissed Off For Santa, or POOFS (If you believe Santa is a eggnog swilling homo). GUSOGUD – Give Us Santa or Give Us Death. Possibly something like AWMFC – Axe Wielding Maniacs For Christmas – maybe that will let whoever is trying to stop Christmas know that we are serious.

The Big Question

Who are these people who don’t want us to say Christmas? Aside from the first words to roll off my tongue and is actually an insult to rectums everywhere, all I can say is –“I do not know!” They seem to be – ‘those people’ – sometimes it is –‘you know “them”’, but, who really are ‘they’? And how do we get rid of ‘them’?

I have heard that we all need to be sensitive to ‘them’ and ‘their’ needs but I can honestly say that I have never seen ‘them’ and due to that I am positive that I don’t know what ‘their’ needs are. Perhaps all ‘they’ need is Christmas hug and to be invited to our homes to stare blissfully upon our Christmas trees while urinating on them in front of Auntie Ethel. Christmas is a magical time and entertaining time with my family.

If any of ‘them’ read this please contact me via email with a picture so I can say that I know who ‘they’ are. I’d like to put a face with Klanging sound the shovel makes in my dream as I bash you over the head with it

I have been forced to saddle up to a lot of social mores. For instance, wearing pants in public places and not stealing candy from children. I can toe the line, see the line, make a bee line, but now I am drawing the line. I am saying “Christmas” this year and I don’t care who I offend. I may even learn to say it in several languages just to piss people off – you know- ‘them’.

To all my friends and soon to be former friends – Feliz Navidad,, Joyeux Noël, God jul, Feliz Natal, عيد ميلاد مجيد, Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Is it just me or do other people’s kids bother you? Not always. Just when the kid(s) seem to need a kick in the short pants that never seems to arrive.

I am not, in anyway, condoning violence or child abuse, in public, or within earshot of the general public. I do think that a smack on the bum to get a young kids attention is completely reasonable and no-one should be able to tell you it isn’t. Again, I am not talking about stoving in a kids head because he forgot to wipe his feet before he lites the house on fire.

My unsolicited advice has come from years of being child free and having the opportunity to have to sit and listen to parents talk about their kids.

I have had the great fortune to observe parents and kids of all ages interact as a ‘family’ unit and I have discovered the following;
1) Most kids are insane
2) Most parents are insane.
3) Any parent who tries to reason with a 2 year old child should have their head stoved in with a club.
4) Most people, especially those people without children do not really care to hear about your children for several reasons;
1) Your child is insane
2) You are insane
3) If I could I would stove in your head with a club rather than have to listen to you talk about your child for one nanosecond longer.

Things Parents Should Know –An Outsiders Opinion

1) Chances are your child is not ‘special’ or extraordinarily smart. Unless your 5 year old has cured cancer and ended world hunger they will be classified as an average child. There is an old saying parents would do well to remember, ‘You may be special to your mother and your father, but you are 5/8ths of bugger all to me!’ (feel free to change ‘bugger all’ to anything you wish).
2) Outsiders are generally being courteous to you by not telling you how rotten your kids really are. Here is a hint, outsiders may not be comfortable knocking the tar out of your mouthy little brat simply because it will put a strain on your dinner conversation later that evening. Who would want that to happen when we all look so forward to hearing about how smart and wonderful your little monster is during every course of what will inevitably one of the longest, most boring meals we will have to sit through because you (the parent(s)) find it impossible to talk about anything else. There have been times when I have wanted a waiter to flambe’ me rather than the dessert fruit just so I had an excuse to leave. Several times I have faked a heart attack just to have an excuse to leave (and get a free ride in an ambulance).
3) Outsiders, especially those without children, do not find it amazing that your child ‘learned’ to walk at 12 months or that your child was fully potty trained at 18 years old. We or more amazed that there was no government intervention that would ban or stop a lunatic such as you from procreating.
4) I know for myself that spending time around children is about as enjoyable as a root canal. I personally do not enjoy spending time with children, unless they are capable of retrieving beer and making a Mojito. I look at children and all I see is germs, snot, tears and attitude. If I ever have to hear, ‘That’s not the way my mom does it!’ from some little snot monster I will only feel obliged to retort in some fitting manner such as, a) ‘if your mother believed in birth control we wouldn’t be having this conversation’ b) Just because your mother does it wrong is no reason to try and make me do it wrong. c) Add your own witty retort.

I long for days where children were only expected to be seen and not heard. Where the opinion of a child was as useful as painful gas cramps in a crowded elevator. You know the good ole days where parents were not friends with their children and children spent their days in fear of their parents. Where sending a whiny little pisher to bed without dinner was not a felony and the words, ‘because I said so!’ was a completely legitimate reason. Oh I long for the days when “enough!” said properly could make a small child poop in their pants. I yearn for the days when a noisy child in a restaurant was an embarrassment to the parents rather than the annoyance to other diners it has become. I remember fondly being escorted out of a few restaurants by my ear or shirt tails and placed in the car in the parking lot and told not to move a muscle. I remember having my hand slapped away from whatever magical and wonderful food I knew I wanted as kid sitting in the grocery cart and learning, painfully slow, that No meant no. My desire is to instil in the kids of today, the same fear I had of my parents. I want today’s kids to understand what ‘swift and blinding’ punishment for their actions is. I long for days where lying was the biggest sin a child could commit and talking back to your parents and teachers was a hanging offence. Teachers and coaches were always right and our parents rarely if ever took our side.

If it were put to a vote today, I would vote yes to allowing teachers’ beat the bejeezus out of our youth at school. Children have the rights to shut the hell up and do as they are told. That should be universally adopted as the only rights children have.

I still call older family friends ‘Mister or Misses So and So’ until they tell me it is ok to call them by their first names. Today 5 year olds call senior citizens by their first names without earning that right. Where is the respect? Along the lines of basic manners I have to say that kids today are generally clueless and I have on several occasions almost vomited sitting at a dinner table watching lack of manners in action. Remember that ‘kids’ table at large family gatherings? That was the proving ground for manners (or until great grandma Eunice passed away and made room for one more at the ‘grown up table). Once you mastered chewing with your mouth closed, and asking politely for something rather than leaping across the table to get it, you stood a chance of moving up to the big show.

I always have a small chuckle when people tell me I should have had kids. They say things like. “who’s going to take care of you when you are older?” and “ and you don’t know what you are missing by not having a child!” First, I am hopeful that the money I have saved by not having children will afford me the life I want and need when I retire – which I will do considerably before you can simply because I do not have children sponging off of me until they are, oh, say 35 years old and as incompetent as the next retard breast fed, never punished, don’t know how to work or take criticism without pouting loser of the same era. Secondly, if you have children, you can’t say anything other than –‘boy having kids is the greatest!’ It is a trap. Rest assured most father’s of whiny little kids, under the influence of 1 or 2 beers would admit that having kids has sucked out their remaining will to live. You have to say you love your kids. You don’t have a choice. Don’t try to sucker us into making the same mistake you did.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Family Get Togethers

Family Get Togethers
I find the best way to enjoy a family get together is to not be there. Barring the ability to not be able show up, the next best solution is alcohol and plenty of it.
No-one enjoys spending time with their family. Anyone who says they do enjoy spending time with their family has obviously not spent enough money on therapy and is certainly in denial about how messed up their childhood really was.
It is never good to be the first to show up. The position of favourite child was filled long ago and not by you! Just because mom didn’t sleep for 4 months because YOU were a colicky baby is a horrible excuse but, you are not the favourite and should reserve this special position for the sibling who had the ability to lie the best to your mother as a child. Your father will not get involved in this ‘favourite child’ debate as his life was over the moment the first child was born and the fact that he would still rather drown you in a gunny sack than acknowledge you are alive tells us clearly that dear old dad’s only real friend is Jim Beam.
This being said, you should arrive late and block in the vehicle of the sibling who has parked in a manner that would allow him /or her to leave quickly and easily right after dessert. If blocking their car in won’t work, simply slash a tire or tear the starter out their car.
Hors d'oeuvres
This is a fiendish test by your mother to find out who is kissing backside to get elevated in the will. There are several ways to respond to this test.
If you are the favourite son or daughter it is of the utmost importance to pretend as though the hors d'oeuvres being served are the culmination of the world’s greatest chefs finest attempt at placing heaven on your taste buds. This is a bold faced lie – and your mother knows it – but she will not call you on it as she does not want to reveal the effort she put into this trap. And since her favourite has brown nosed their way thru her first obstacle course- she will be content in knowing that the old age home she is put in will not likely have leather restraints and huggy jackets in it.
If you are the odd person out in your family – the one mom would throw out of the nest- the black sheep – it is up to you to maintain some sense of dissension in the family. Gagging and pretending to almost vomit will do quite well. Comments such as, ‘ it’s supposed to be goose liver, not goose shit pate!’ or ‘I would rather eat skunk butt than take another bite of this!’ Not only will this confuse people but it will also show that you are honest. You may be able to leave before dinner also –which can be seen as a bonus for your honesty.

Idle Chit Chat
Sitting around the living room with your family will allow you to discover what a bunch of liars you are related to.
Listening to your brother share his knowledge of the stock market and all of his windfalls from his shrewd business dealings will make you want to beat him with a tack hammer. The pure satisfaction of knowing you can go to his place of employment and kick the mop he uses out from under him should give you the mental satisfaction you crave. Also hold dear the fact that he is 8 months behind in his child support and has told you he is worried about the rash that developed after he spent the night with Giselle, the Haitian ‘exotic dancer’.
We should all bear in mind that when our parents talk it is perfectly acceptable to fall back on the skills we learned in high school, such as sleeping with your eyes open. Parents want to share their wealth of worldly experiences and who doesn’t like being told that whatever they do is not nearly as difficult or rewarding as the time their parents did the same thing. It is useful to have your young niece or nephew around to sit near you or on you so they can block the view of your parents as you sleep while they reminisce about cow tipping and driving drunk.
The Meal
Gathering around the dining room table, at the spot marked with your name on the god awful looking glass swans your mother paid too much for is the perfect time to let everyone know what you think of the seating arrangements. Rearrange the name tags in random order- this should elicit the desired effect of finding out who really cannot tolerate certain people and sometimes why. It is best to place your sister in law or wife adjacent to the loudest or stinkiest member of your family. If you enjoy your sex life at home I suggest you prey upon the sister in law. Once everyone is seated it will fall upon the grandchildren to say grace in some god awful language that takes ten minutes and ends with them thanking God for unicorns and puppy dogs. After you wake up from your ‘grace’ induced coma, feel free to criticize your father on his carving techniques. It is generally better to sit at the far end of the table if you are inclined to do this as the old boy may still have one mad dash left in him. Temper this situation knowing that you will be sitting closer to your mother which never bodes well for you since you married a brown eyed European Catholic girl.
Peace can be found during dinner as your family stuffs their faces and ignores the rest of the family-the way things should be. The meal will be really good since mom does not want you tell anyone that she is not a good cook. This should make up for the poison hors d’ oeuvres if you have any functioning taste buds left.
When the meal is finished feel free to suggest that your sister in laws should be obligated to clear the table. They will thank you for allowing them a five minute reprieve from your lunatic family and they will also enjoy the opportunity to chip or break your mother’s fine China. You will be thanked for your kindness by having hot coffee and some manner of blueberry torte spilled on your lap. You are welcome to remove your pants and lick the delicious dessert off your chinos. Your family will expect this behaviour from you so feel free to wear an interesting pair of underwear or show your bohemian side by not wearing any underwear at all. The look of disappointment from your father will help him reinforce his regret of ever having children.

The Escape
Promptly after the last gulp of coffee has been downed your brother will kick his youngest child in the shin under cover of the tablecloth causing the lawn ape to sob uncontrollably. This is his cue to get up and leave. Luckily you have blocked his car in the driveway – so, begrudgingly you must leave also. Act disappointed that you have to leave. A well placed motor vehicle can save you from a slide show or vacation videos of your mother and fathers trip to a Des Moines knitting supply store.
Almost There
While you, your wife, your brothers and sisters, there spouses and their children fight each other to put their shoes and coats on in a wild melee of flailing arms and knees to the groin, your mother will suggest that you all take some leftovers home with you. This is the last of the evenings trickery from your mother. If you hurriedly accept the offer you infer that your spouse is a horrible cook (which they probably are), if you don’t accept you may break your mother’s cold jaded heart (and therefore definitely be out of the will). Patience is the key here. Look up slowly, rotate your face towards your spouse. The puzzled and bewildered look in your eyes will let them know that you care about their feelings. If, upon gazing at your spouse you do not turn to stone, burst into flames or know and accept that you will hitching a ride to the basement couch hotel, you may at this point slowly turn to your mother and say, ‘I guess I could take a little bit of leftovers.’ Your father’s gaze will let you know what is acceptable for taking and what is to be left for him. He may reinforce his position by waving around his will and the pencil he has used to temporarily place you back in his will.
Chaos in the Driveway
Seeing as this family dinner has vacuumed away ten years of your life you should feel no regret in pushing, screaming and trampling all who get in your way as you run to the sanctity of your car. Your wife may be a little upset that you threw her down in an attempt to slow down the stampeding mass of siblings but she will understand your plan when her car door is open and you are already travelling at 25 mph in reverse trying to get out of the driveway. With any luck the velocity of the car and the open door should knock your wife into the car. If this doesn’t work you will have to slam on the brakes so the open door will help them slow down enough to be ricochet inside of the car. Leave no bush or tree unscathed in your escape. Mowing down flora and fauna will give your father an excuse to not be in the house with your mother. You may feel bad for trampling your 6 year old niece or nephew but you have done them a favour by teaching them that life is cruel.

Slow Your Heart Rate Down
Once at home, copious amounts of alcohol may be required to slow your heart down. Indulge yourself. Your next family meal is 2 months away. Training won’t begin for three weeks.

Party Etiquette

Party Etiquette

1) Never be the first person to arrive at a party. Arriving first makes you look socially needy and will make the host think you are there first so you can steal all the good soap and proper washcloths out of there bathroom before anyone else can.
2) Your arrival at the party should only take place after you and a few of your real friends get good and liquored up and find that you have run out of alcohol and other party enhancers such as marijuana, cocaine, meth, acid and hallucinogenic toads.
3) Enter the hosts party as if you were old Navy buddies and nothing could come between you. Throw your jacket on the floor and kick your dirty shoes off. This will let everybody know you are there to party and your lack of social graces will let everyone know you are fun and prefer to get right down to the business of partying.
4) If you are attending a dinner party it may fall onto you to say grace before the meal. A quick toast to the wife of the host is appropriate. Something along the lines of, ‘Here’s to Veronica. I can’t believe she has stuck with Arty for as long as she has. She is a patient woman, waiting for Arty to graduate from rehab all those times and understanding him missing his flight home from Bangkok twice because he fell asleep at that transvestites house and had his wallet stolen both times. To Veronica!’ This should make the meal interesting and conversation should be no problem.
5) Referring to a meal served at a party as “God Awful” is in poor taste. Keep quiet about the horrible food and just subtly place all the food on your plate into your napkin and later, after the meal, flush it down the toilet. The ensuing pandemonium caused by the toilet overflowing due to a cotton napkin stuffed with pureed artichoke hearts, soggy carrots, over cooked Yorkshire pudding and a slab of petrified roast beef will lift everyone’s spirits after such a disappointing meal.
6) While attending a party feel free to try all of the host’s various alcohols. That is really why they invited you. Simply remember that an ice bucket can double as a funny hat and a vomit receptacle. Don’t feel bad about getting sick. It was likely caused by the lousy meal.
7) A proper party is one where the hostess begins with Brahms’s playing lightly on the stereo when you arrive and cocktails and appetizers are served on tiny doilies. A proper party gets into full swing when the stereo is hijacked and forced to play ear splitting heavy metal and party anthems while people run around in their underwear screaming, ‘I hated you in school and I still do you son of a bitch!’ ‘remember the Alamo’ and ‘where are my pants?’
8) Now that a proper party has begun feel free to root around the host’s medicine cabinet for prescription drugs that may enhance your party going experience. Men may want to try Tylenol 3’s and Viagra to help with other possible activities that evening, be it with their significant other or some random farm animal en route to the emergency room or home. The Tylenol 3’s may help with headache caused by the lousy food. Women might want to experiment with Pamprin, Oxycocet and other prescription anti biotics found in the medicine cabinet- this may help with the burning feeling you may experience when you wake up in a room full of strangers, naked and in some form of yoga position.
9) It is imperative that you do not disturb the sanctity of the host’s bedroom. It is a horrendous intrusion into their privacy to poke around through there personal belongings. The moment of laughter caused by your drunk friend wearing a lamp shade, running around with a toy that looks like a Billy club and vibrates while he screams “may the force be with me!” or “Is this how you chipped your teeth Veronica?” is terribly impolite and potentially dangerous as the lamp shade may obstruct his view and present quite a tripping hazard around people with full glasses of Scotch.
10) Knowing when to leave a party is an important social grace. Leaving to early smacks of ‘Well this shindig sucked – I’m outta here!’ To show the proper appreciation to your host’s hospitality it is very important that you do not leave until their bar has been completely emptied and turned into kindling; the refrigerator appears as if a bomb went off inside of it, every ficus tree has been urinated upon, the cat is missing and the dog is drunk and heaving on the Persian rug. There are certain ‘cues’ as to when a party has run it’s course – the local constabulary escorts you downtown regardless of the fact that you are naked except for the mistletoe hanging over your groin. The host of the party appears from upstairs wearing his pajamas and carrying a baseball bat. The hostess of the party appears carrying cat-o-nine tails, a leather paddle, thigh high boots and some sort of black rope lingerie and simply says ‘have you ever seen Deliverance? – bitch!’ Play it by ear – you will see these ‘cues’ no matter how subtle they are.
11) When leaving a party or celebration it is of the utmost importance to say ‘Thank you and Goodbye.’ A simple verbal ‘thank you’, a handshake or a peck on the cheek of a female hostess will suffice. Slapping a female hostesses bum and slurring ‘See ya later toots’ or using her breasts as bongos and screaming ‘Who else is horny?’ is totally unacceptable behaviour.
12) Acknowledgement. In polite society it is very important to show gratitude towards others for hosting dinners, parties, ritual sacrifices or orgies. A simple thank you card with a quick personal note will do nicely. Whether or not you had a good time at any event is irrelevant and thank you cards saying ‘Thanks for the Salmonella Poisoning’ or ‘Thanks for the Herpes’ are not a fitting way to say Thank you. You mustn’t focus on any specific detail of the event or you will likely offend the Event Host. Cards or letters that read, ‘Thanks for hosting an orgy. I never realized how flabby you and your wife are!’ or ‘Thank you for having me to your Swingers Party – Something’s can’t be ‘unseen’ even after I clawed my eyes out!’ are not nice ways to say thank you. ‘Thanks for Dinner Invitation – You must be Glad your wife has huge breasts because she can’t cook worth a damn.’ is not the proper way to thank your hosts. Be polite at all costs and pretend to be sincere.