My Family Reunion Trauma

Last month I mentioned that I recently traveled to an extended family reunion, and while the fact that this reunion took place in Florida probably says all that needs to be said about my family, I thought I would share some reflections on the experience with you nonetheless.

First, allow me to provide you with a little insight into how we get down at my family gatherings because these events feature a little something called Kirkland-brand Bourbon.

Now, for those of you unfamiliar with this particular abomination, that is essentially bourbon that has been brewed in a Costco parking lot.

And it does beg the question: Should the company that brings you plastic cutlery, antifungal foot cream and canned roast beef also bring you Kentucky-style bourbon? Probably not. That is sort of the equivalent of a breakfast cereal marketed by Vagisil. Because you can guess what those cereal pieces would be shaped like, and you can guess what they would taste like, too—I’m guessing salmon.

The point is that Kirkland-brand bourbon is how you tell the world that you’ve given up on life and it pairs best with a divorce and all your failed hopes and dreams, which is probably why it is such a hit with my family.

Also, I’m not sure if you have any of these in your family, but I have one particular cousin who was born and raised in Marin county, north of San Francisco, who did not partake of most of the outdoor cookout offerings due to his “gluten allergies.”

This year’s reunion pales in comparison to that of several years past when we “celebrated” in the “town” of Gilroy, California.

For those of you unfamiliar with the town of Gilroy, it is a little out-of-the-way place south of San Jose, California, where literacy is code for liberal conspiracy, which is to say that libraries are not terribly popular there, but you know what is popular? Truck nuts.

Yes, truck nuts, which for those of you unfamiliar with these priceless gems of Americana, perhaps because you posses a triple-digit IQ, these are the plastic testicles that you hang beneath the rear axle of your pickup truck because how else are you supposed to tell the world that you love America and that God hates gay people?

It’s my understanding that they distribute truck nuts at the DMV in Gilroy upon receiving one’s license, and in many cases they constitute a suitable substitute for a GED when applying for a job at the local Waffle House.

But Gilroy’s most notable claim to fame is that it holds the title as the world’s largest per capita consumer of Sunny Delight. And really, who needs fresh squeezed orange juice when you can have the beverage equivalent of taking a nine-year-old to a shooting range? Because after half a sip of Sunny Delight you will feel as though you were unexpectedly shot in the face, and even if you don’t necessarily feel that way, taking a 45-caliber round to your left orbital socket is still way better than voluntarily consuming the beverage of choice for people who failed out of the University of Phoenix.

And those are the same people who believe that proper childcare requires cracking the window of your Dodge Avenger while you shop at Walmart which, while also very popular in many parts of Florida, still does not entitle you to treat the backseat of your car like a 7-Eleven microwave and your child like a $3 breakfast burrito.

Speaking of Walmart, my current living and employment situation has brought to my attention that there are too many obese women in tank tops waiting in line at WalMart to buy one-gallon jugs of Hawaiian Punch, which I didn’t even know they still made. But apparently they still do, and I have a suggestion: so long as you’re going to keep producing Hawaiian Punch, rather than fortify it with Vitamin C why not fortify it with depo provera?

Because in case you weren’t aware, one of the check-out lane impulse items at my local Walmart is Simulac. You know, just in case you were too busy stocking up on purchases of Skoal and Little Debbie snack cakes and neglected to recall the starving infant waiting for you back home—this Walmart has got you covered.

And one last thing about my neighborhood WalMart—I did not know that you could get stretch marks on your shoulders, but apparently you can, which is one more reason that Walmart should consider discontinuing its sale of tank tops. Because selling tank tops to Walmart shoppers is not unlike giving Jerry Sandusky a gift certificate to Chuckie Cheese—it’s only going to end badly with a lot of trauma and violations of innocence. In this case my innocence, as I haven’t been able to successfully lubricate since witnessing those stretch marks on the shoulders of the customer in front of me.

And those shoulders magically reappeared at my family reunion, where my aunt and her granddaughter mixed up pitchers of white Russians using Simulac, Kahlua, and Popov vodka.

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