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09:45:52 - 2000-07-06

FISH AND VISITORS BOTH BEGIN TO STINK AFTER THREE DAYS

Y'know...it just now dawned on me that you guys may be getting sick of reading about my in-laws and want something new to read about.

Tough shit.

People in hell want ice water.

So ... yesterday started out okay. I got up at my normal 6 a.m., got my diary caught up and was surfing the web...la deee dahhhh...hmmmm hmmmm hmmmmm...scooby dooby doooooo.....

"WHATCHA DOING UNCLE BOB?!?!?"

HOLY SHIT!! I nearly jumped out of my chair as my sister-in-law, the one with a voice like a foghorn had snuck up without me seeing her approach first.

"Nothing," I said, rather ruffled. "Surfing the web."

"ARE YOU LOOKING AT PORN SITES," she joked.

Good God woman...hold it down. People in Canada are trying to sleep.

I can take my sis-in-law the first day.

By the second day, that voice that has spent the last 18 years yelling at children takes its toll on me.

Believe it or not kids...I'm a quiet guy. In a social situation, I'll chat. But at home, with just the wife, I revel in the silence, as does she.

Each year, when we give up the sanctuary of our home to Susie's family, I end up wanting to kill somebody.

And...at that moment...I wanted to kill my obnoxiously loud sis in law.

By noon, she had gotten her kids up.

"WHO WANTS BREAKFAST," she bellowed.

Hell...I was ready for dinner. The three boys lazily stumbled to the dinner table and ate their bowls of cereal without saying a word. Finally, the oldest spoke up.

"Can we play Play Station, Uncle Bob?"

Jesus, Mary and Joseph...my Play Station has gotten more mileage out of it the last 48 hours than it has the past two years. These monkeys LIVE on that Play Station.

Amazingly...the whining has been kept to a minimum, since they all know what happens when the "IT'S MY TURN!!" bitching starts. Uncle Bob unplugs the unit in one fell swoop and the Play Station is at the top of his closet for the rest of the day.

"Don't you guys wanna read a book, or go for a walk, or play outside?" I asked.

"No," the youngest said. "We want to play Play Station."

THAT'S what's wrong with today's youth. Well...that and their habit of smoking as much crack rock as they can buy with the money stolen out of their mother's purses ...

So they played Play Station for two hours before Mom announces THEY'RE ALL GOING TO GRANDMA'S HOUSE.

NONE of them wanna go to Grandma's house. Grandma's house smells like cheap cigarettes and is HOT in there, because Grandma's air conditioning is on the fritz and she's too poor to fix it. Plus, all she has to drink is watered-down moose diarrhea.

Whereas, it's a cool 72 degrees in Uncle Bob's house, he has a Play Station, ice cold name-brand soft drinks and some very attractive knees for humping, if they get sexually frustrated.

(NOTE: There has been NO Uncle Bob knee-humping during this visit...of which I'm not only relieved, but proud of them. Maybe the left hook to the testicles during their last visit really DID work...)

So...by 3 p.m., the house was silent. The kids all shuttled off to Grandma's Inferno and my Sis-in-law bellowing elsewhere.

And what do I do???

I take 100 CDs up to the new used record store in town and try to get some cash for them.

Amazingly ... the store wants every one of the CDs.

I say "Amazingly"...first off, the manager is an old friend of mine.

Second...the owner REALLY wants to do some advertising with my paper, but wants it in tradeout...he doesn't pay for his advertising, and I get a discount in his store. So he's willing to work with me on these crappy CDs.

He tells me I can either have $150 cash or $300 in trade for the CDs.

I'm no fool...I took the cash.

Heh, I kid...actually, I took the trade. I got 4 DVDs ("The Blair Witch Project", "The Exorcist-Special Edition", "The Sixth Sense" and "Drop Dead Gorgeous"...I was in a terrifying mood yesterday) and STILL have over $200 in credit at the store toward anything in the store.

Too cool. I can't THINK of the amount of times I've sat here and thought..."Gee...I sure do wish I could walk into a record store and get whatever the hell I wanted with no questions asked and no police involved."

....Now I can...

Plus...I agreed to let them sponsor my entertainment column each week, so they're getting their advertising.

And I'm getting a 25% discount any time I want.

Problem is...I already have a sponsor...Blockbuster/Wherehouse Music. But...I don't really care for those people anymore. The guy that decided to sponsor me left the company years ago, and ever since, the employees have resented me because I got an employee discount, but never worked there.

Soooo...I've decided to cut Blockbuster loose, but not tell them. I doubt they'd miss the sponsorship anyway.

So I get home, put in "The Sixth Sense" and ....

DING DONG!!!

A house full of fucking in-laws again.

Because my wife is pregnant, she's decided that we all can't eat at Grandma's house ever again, because Grandma's house is like a fucking sauna, except the only one naked and wrapped in a towel is Larry, my Loser Brother-in-law.

So...once again...15 people in my house that is normally a quiet 2 people. My niece plops down in my computer chair and starts watching "The Sixth Sense" as the opening credits roll.

That's okay. I didn't wanna watch it anyway. I have no idea how it got in the DVD player.

We had tacos. As you may remember...the family LOVES to have taco eating contests.

My nephew Matt ate 12 tacos.

...Lightweight.

Larry took it easy and decided not to be a glutton, and only ate 14 tacos, winning the Taco-Eating-Crown for 2000.

....Something tells me this fucking loser goes to work today, bragging about this taco-eating shit to all his other computer analysts who have fucking LIVES and WIVES and just smile uncomfortably at him before they slowly try to distance themselves socially from him for the 1,112th day in a row.

I had "Smooth Jazz" playing on the stereo while we ate. Nice background music.

...That is completely drowned out by my Sis-in-law.

"DOESANYBODYNEEDANOTHERTACO??DOESANYBODYNEEDANOTHERTACO???"

The fucking windows were shaking every time she talked.

I sat on the couch after eating my two tacos and just watched the family in weary bemusement.

I noticed two things about my in-laws.

(A) Every member of this family feels the need to talk and be heard. So they all try to be louder than everyone else so that their story can be heard.

(B) NOT A SINGLE ONE of them have a goddamned story worth hearing.

You haven't lived until you hear 14 people all trying to be heard over each other trying to quote what they heard on their respective morning radio shows that morning with NOBODY listening to the other person.

The Smooth Jazz lasted about five minutes before my brother in law David wanted to watch "Norm" while everyone ate.

Norm McDonald???

No.

Norm from "Cheers"??

No. Norm.

As it turns out...some guy named Norm has a fix-it show on HGTV. My brother in law, being the rocket scientist that he is, has no fucking clue what the real name of the show is, or what channel it's on.

We finally decipher his cryptic message to mean Norm the fix-it-guy so I good naturedly switch the TV to HGTV.

Norm's not on.

My brother in law threatens to write the network over this outrage.

Seriously. He's pissed as he eats his Tupperware bowl full of taco fillings.

I thought I was going to have an aneurysm brought on by the stupidity surrounding me.

Everyone conveniently eats and runs, which was actually cool by me. In fact...it was going to be just me, my wife and my obnoxiously loud sis in law staying at my house last night. All the kids were going to sleep at David and Blanca's House of Garbage and Terror(TM).

Scratch that. The two oldest boys decided they wanted to stay at my house and ....what else...PLAY PLAY STATION.

So...I sat and watched them play games until 11:30, when they decided to watch a movie, since it wasn't 4 a.m. yet.

Mom screamed PICK A MOVIE OUT OF UNCLE BOB'S COLLECTION.

They decided on "Pulp Fiction". Appropriate viewing for any 15 and 13 year old.

Mom wants to watch it with them and asks me about the film and why it's rated R.

"There's a TON of cussing in it," I tell her. "Some violence. Very little sex."

"WELL, I GUESS THEY CAN WATCH IT," she yelled.

I watched a few minutes of it with the family. When it got to the part where Samuel L. Jackson is debating the art of "eating pussy" with John Travolta, I grinned, clicked my heels and announced I was going to bed as the boys, their loud mother and Susie all squirmed in their respective chairs, each VERY uncomfortable that the others were in the room.

What a way to cap off the day.

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