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6:33 a.m. - 2001-11-23

OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS TO UNCLE BOB'S HOUSE WE GO TO EAT EVERYTHING IN SIGHT AND GET ON HIS EVERY LAST NERVE

I woke up screaming this morning.

I was having a nightmare that my in-laws had still not left the house and they were telling more stories.

My God. I'll take Frankenstein, Dracula and Hannibal Lechter chasing me for eight hours over dreams about my in-laws. I've got my nightmare perspectives in order.

Here's the awful breakdown of yesterday...

Everyone was supposed to be here at 5, to eat at 5:30.

David, his greasy wife and their three greasy children got here at 3.

Two hours early.

Susie and I had just put in "Planes, Trains and Automobiles", as it's our Thanksgiving tradition to watch it because it's about the only Thanksgiving-themed movie we both like.

Are there any other Thanksgiving-themed movies??

Anyway, they all come in, plop down on our sofa and rest their greasy heads on the freshly cleaned fabrics. The sofa soaked up the grease like a Bounty paper towel.

Naturally, they had all seen "Planes". Still...they felt the need to laugh UPROARIOUSLY at every scene.

I just don't get it. I chuckle at the movie. I've seen it several times and it's a comedy classic. But these people SCREAM with laughter at some of the dumbest scenes. It makes me just want to slowly get up, go to the bedroom, get my gun, load it up and have target practice on each of their foreheads.

...If I only owned a gun.

I wonder if the prison guards would let me update this diary every day if I ever killed all my in-laws? Man...wouldn't THOSE be some stories?

"I only got buttfucked TWICE last night. I guess my looks must be fading..."

So anyway, the movie ends and my greasy-haired sister-in-law bursts into tears. I'm talking SOBBING. She apologizes and says that the ending is just so sweet and it makes her sentimental.

I'm thinking we need to get her on some sort of medication. I offer my Avandia because it's all I've got in the house. She declines.

My mother-in-law calls at 4:45 to let us know she just got out of the shower and is going to get dressed and they'll be over a little late.

I get a mental picture of my naked and dripping mother-in-law and my cheeks fill up with vomit.

So they finally arrive at 6:45.

Mother-in-law. $6,000-owing brother-in-law......

......and Pepe.

For those of you who are either new, or forgotten...Pepe is a guy from Cuba who came to this country illegally. For some reason that nobody is willing to discuss, he spent seven years in a prison in Louisiana. It is suspected that he partook in a prison riot down there, but he ain't talking. Or maybe he is, it's just that his English is horrible. My dog speaks better English than Pepe. After his prison stay, he was sent to Miami to live in a halfway house for three years due to a drug problem. Apparently, the halfway house had an internet connection, because that's how he met my mother-in-law...over the internet. For all I know, there may be a diary out there called "Uncle Pepe's House o' Drug-Addicted Prison Chuckles" and she was a fan. I really don't know. When Pepe had completed his stay at the Halfway House, my mother and brother-in-laws drove down to pick Pepe up, sight unseen, to come live with them.

I was expecting a suave, smooth-talking Ricky Ricardo-like character.

...I got one pissed off Samuel L. Jackson-looking mofo. If Samuel L. Jackson was so black that he was borderline blue.

He comes in the house and Grandma is introducing him to Andrew and Susie. She introduces him to me and I wanted to say "This ex-con drug addict wasn't invited. Leave before I snap your neck like a twig."

Except I have the feeling this guy knows about 900 ways to snap my neck. And that's probably with his feet.

He told me he had read my columns and was a fan.

Hey bud! Have a seat! Let's talk about me some more!!

I was wary of the guy the whole time. It was kinda funny when my dog Maggie came in the house and barked at him. I don't think he meant to say it, but in broken English he said "Jesus Christ! Goddammit!"

...I think Pepe's scared of dogs.

So we ate. I had about four forkfuls of food since I hate Thanksgiving dinner. Grandma wanted to know why I didn't eat much and I explained that I was on a diet.

"You're on a diet? Why?" she asked.

Now...I KNEW Susie had told her I had diabetes. I was sitting there when she told her this on the phone.

She was shocked to hear I had diabetes.

The woman only listens to her own voice and screw everyone else's.

After dinner, my parents called to wish us a Happy T-giving. I talked to Mom and she was a bit upset that we hadn't come up there for T-giving. I told her I was sorry, but didn't even think of it. She said she had heard from my sister about our Christmas plans with 18...now 19 (don't forget Pepe ... he's family now!) people in the house every day for 10 days.

"That must be rough," she said.

"You don't EVEN know," I said.

"Why don't you and Andrew come up here for a few days while they're all there?" she suggested.

That sounded great. Hell...that sounded MAGNIFICENT!

I told her I'd think about it. Personally, I couldn't see Susie going for that. I'd be asking her to give up her baby for three days. Plus, Susie has NEVER let me travel without her except for a few business trips. But if I'm going to see my parents...SHE'S coming to see my parents too.

So I hang up with them, go back out in the den and start telling everyone that I need for them to be quiet because "Survivor" is about to start.

Since they hadn't left yet (it had been almost 20 minutes since my fat assed brother-in-law finally polished everything off), I explained that this is my favorite show and tonight was going to be a particularly good episode.

They all said they'd be quiet.

The show started.

They NEVER SAID they'd quit talking. Just that they'd be QUIET.

Of course...Grandma doesn't know the meaning of "quiet". She's bellowing that she wants some kid...any kid ... to come sit on her lap.

At a sound level of 110 decibels.

And since Grandma doesn't have to shut up, nobody else should have to either.

So they're all babbling away before the opening commercials are over.

I strain to hear the television and finally give up, telling Susie, "I'm going in the bedroom to watch this."

I DON'T think I was missed.

I came back out after the show and they're all like "We missed you, Uncle Bob!"

Hey...fuck off with a knife, people. Had you shut your fucking traps for about 60 minutes, I woulda stayed out here with your tobacco-soaked greasy asses.

"CSI" starts. I don't watch the show.

But apparently, they all do.

Intently.

So for 60 minutes, they're deadly silent. Except for Grandma who wants to keep telling her boring-assed stories about when they were all kids at a pace slower than fresh ketchup.

I was in hell. I was tired, I was bursting to tell Susie of my plans to take Andy for a few days to South Carolina while her family takes over our house and wanted everyone to fucking leave NOW.

They left at 9 when Susie demanded to watch "ER", which is something none of them watch. They wanted to watch the second hour of "CSI". Tough shit. You came here and ate $90 worth of our food. You made pigs of yourselves and had your inevitable eating contests (which my fat-assed, $6,000-owing, biggest-loser-in-the-free-world brother-in-law won yet again. I don't even know why they have these contests anymore...he's a shoo-in with that fucking gut of his). Now get the hell out of our house.

They left.

It took me all of 30 seconds before I told Susie of my plans to go to S.C.

Naturally, she started crying, thinking this was some sort of conspiracy against her.

She hates going to my parents house and it always makes me uncomfortable because there's friction between her and my mom. Always has been ever since she got into heated arguments with my Mom before we were even married.

Now Susie wants to go too.

What about her family?

Sorry. They can stay at our house while we're gone.

Ummmmmmmm....no.

I told her there was NO WAY they were going to be left alone in our house. Those boys will tear up every electronic gadget I have in this house. And the oldest one, who's now a father, will steal anything he can. I told Susie two years ago that he was NEVER allowed in our house after he got in some trouble back in Texas.

Yeah.

You see how long THAT lasted.

Soooo...the next month is going to be an uncomfortable one for me as I try to get her to stay here with her family and watch my stuff while I escape to keep my sanity.

As always...

I'll keep you posted.

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