Thursday, August 19, 2010

Family Conversations

While I was home for the funeral, I was continuously amused and amazed by the veritable treasure trove of sparkling dialog being bandied about my ever so witty family. It was like a David Sedaris sketch or something. So I wrote some of the conversations down. I hope my family doesn't bust my @$$ for posting the things they said in unguarded moments. But if they have any bones to pick, they know how to get in touch with me. Also, SOME names have been changed to protect the evil, guilty a-holes out there who may or may not be reading my blog (but who are definitely not welcome to).

My parents just built a new garage. It's monstrous, but very nice. I overheard my dad talking to my sister who is an interior decorator about hanging some art on the walls. My mom doesn't want him to hang anything in there lest he get out of control and the place turns into a massive cork-board of bad scribble designs done by children.

The setting is my mom's kitchen/family room area. As per usual, my mom was sitting on the couch reading while everyone else was sitting at the counter or milling about and raiding the fridge and pantry for unhealthy snacks.

Dad: “If I hang them, they’ll look good.”

Mom (lifting an eyebrow, but never taking her eyes from what she's reading): “If you hang them, they won’t. Let Kelly do it.”

Kelly (gesturing to the pear illustrations above the counter): “I hung these, they look good. I can hang anything.”

Stoker: “What are we talking about?”

Cassi: “A hanging. We’re going to lynch BLEEP.”

Kelly (sounding exasperated): “We got a long way to go to do that.”

BLEEP is a demon haunting my sister Kelly. And by demon I mean a living male who insists on making her life a living hell.

Me: “So what were you talking about hanging?”

Kelly (distractedly): "I don’t know."

Cassi: “Terry wants to hang his Audi pictures in the garage and Mom doesn’t want him to.”

Mom: "If he does it, it’ll look like a pig sty.”

Much later.

Dad (showing off some surprisingly decent vintage-looking Audi illustrations): “This is what she says will desecrate the garage.”

Kelly: "Oh, I don’t think they’ll desecrate it.”

Dad: “She says they will.”

Kelly: “They’ll look good in there.”

Me: “Let me see them. Oh, those are great. I love those. Those are great.”

Kelly: “I think they’ll actually look really good.”

A bit later. In response to a face Cassi made at me for no reason at all:

Nikki: “You look like the guy in pit of despair.”

Cassi: “Who’s the guy in the pit of despair? What’s the pit of despair?”

Kelly: “The pit of despair. The Princess Bride. I didn’t know there was anyone in there, though.”

Stoker, upon walking past the living room/dining room:

Stoker: “Holy crap.”

Nikki: “What? The mess in there?”

Cassi: “Like a tornado?”

Nikki: “The twins, they’re a tornado.”

My sister has some twins and yes, they're like two of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. Actually, I think you could say they're like a super-power, and with them, the other two horsemen become obsolete. We must not let them fall into the wrong hands!

Dani brought up one of my short stories, "Life Feeds" (I highly recommend it!!!!), that I sent to her husband to verify certain things for me.

Dani: “I need to read that.”

Me: “What?”

Dani: “The chapter you sent Jason.”

Me: “Oh, you don’t have to read that. Besides, it’s a whole story, not a chapter.”

Dani: “Oh.”

Me (realizing it was a golden opportunity): “Oh Dani, you don’t want to read that, it’s got people in it doing baaaaad things.”

Me, to Stoker (loud enough for Dani to overhear): “I’m saying that to make her want to read it, heh heh heh.”

Cassi: *Laughter* *repeats my clever reverse psychology attempt*

Well, there you are. Looking back, it was a lot more funny and clever when I was writing it down. I think maybe I was drunk on the endorphins of being around my family after not seeing them for almost a year. It was also interesting to pay attention to how they interact and how dialog works in real life. There's a lot that's not said, and all the baggage of personal and familial history. So maybe that's part of it.

I think it's also funny to have people enter a conversation they haven't been around for, like when Stoker came into the room and asked what the family was talking about and my sister Cassi ran with it and said we were talking about something we weren't talking about (hanging BLEEP). But it was hilarious! Ah well, she's always doing that—cracking clever and timely jokes.

Hmmm. Weeeeeelllllll, I guess you had to be there.

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