Outta the country and into more country
Past Dyesburg into Ripley
Where the ghost of childhood haunts me
“What’s goin on Tennessee? And welcome back to 101.1 FM J.C Radio, your direct connection to the One and Only, The Man Above, the Man in Black! Now wasn’t he on the path?! That’s right yall, Johnny Cash! You’re in the Ring of Fire! I’m your host Joseph Arimathea! Stay tuned we’ll be taking questions next.”
Now that was weird, jack thought. In a growing day of increasingly strange occurrences Jack had not expected to find this one the hardest to believe, not by far…
Well you know how it goes with relatives; they’re family just as long as they stay OUT of your life. Very out thank you very much, as out possibly as that cliff on the far side of the world where here there be dragons, or accessorily your great aunt Jill, who hasn’t spit fire since you were born but definitely contains enough charcoal in her eyeballs to melt your nuts with her endless renditions of self righteous, good God fearing Christian rants on sinz and sinnaz.
Just because the old dragon can’t spit flames out her nostrils, and she probably could if she took the care to pluck them, doesn’t mean she ain’t a dangerous, mean, ol’bitch to be around on her better days. Who would have ever thought that “I’ll wash your blasphemous mouth out with soap!” was a thing to be taken literally anyway?
Yup, relatives, family. Your “extended” family. Most people have a hard enough time getting on with their ol’folks, and they’re the ones who fucked you into life, birthed you, burped you, bathed you, beat you into school, bailed you out of jail, and generally kept you fed, fat and fucked up. Who the hell wants to deal with more than that?! So you have a hard enough time dealing with your ‘rents, whom you owe some measure of respect for at least some of the aforementioned if you were lucky, but then you gotta listen to some dumb ol’farts who been feedin you baby noises and nasty food every time you were unlucky enough to visit them, gave you some shitty toys for Christmas when you could have been cozy in the city watching the Sesame Street Christmas Special instead of being stuck somewhere between Richmond and Tulsa singing your 600th psalm and you were only six, and had already figured out in spite of many claims to the contrary that No Christmas was Not about Jesus, Yes it Is about toys, cake and candy, and that somewhere on the map there definitely be dragons, and if not your great aunt Jill, whose progeny was stuck somewhere in the gray areas between inbreeding and plain stupid.
Now maybe if they could spit fire, fly, inspire terror in the hearts of the wicked or any combination of the three, there would be some reason to visit them, but lacking that why the fuck come all the way out there, when they could just as easily (and much more comfortably) make it up here, where big giant lights and Christmas Carols were all you needed to feel festive and loving. Just because I sing the damn song doesn’t mean I actually want to be roasting chestnuts on an open fire, unless its propane based, on my balcony overlooking the Park with the TV on loud enough to NOT miss the Christmas special.
One should seriously give some thought to the meaning of the “extended” in family. If it was Family, it would just be “plain” family. Feel the need to qualify? Gee I wonder why? Given that they have semi parental rights over you, that you must watch your mouth and be-have for them as if they had ever done a damn thing for you. You’re the guest, doesn’t that count for something? You’re the one getting the disbelieving stares from your country cousin’s country friends and the horny winks from their bare footed girl friends so why did you have to shut up for them on top of things?! It’s not “extended” for no reason, you have to “grant” an extension it doesn’t come automatically, and it can just as easily be withdrawn. But: “Jack how dare you?! Apologize immediately to your aunt Jill!” That’s Great Aunt Jill Ma, and we all know you hate the bitch.
Relatives, if only they could stay as far as they could thank you very much…