Tuesday, March 23, 2004

I promise to do better. No, really.

Back from work hiatus.

Sorry I've been slow to update. Right now, I'm trying to Google up one of the worst of my relatives-by-marriage, to make someone feel better about their own legally-binding, punch-in-the-crotch we call Life.

I can't find a thing, but I will. This guy I'm looking for was some criminal-type back during prohibition in Mississippi's Gold Coast. I saw a picture of him once. My mom showed me as evidence probably because I thought she was making the whole thing up. I swear I think it was in the encyclopaedia.

This man had an ex-wife who married into my mom's family. Married her dad's brother, and the woman brought more than just a couple of sons with her.

One son accidentally shot himself in the back a few times, dying an untimely death.

The next son was supposedly the pick of the litter: a real decent guy with real decent potential -- a musician who played the guitar so well that he stopped smoking weed and began teaching at the ivy-leaguesque local college. Then, he suddenly dropped dead with an honest brain tumor without any lead or foul play in it.

The last of the bunch was a girl, I remember her most. She was the daughter of one of the dead sons. Where was her mother? Let's pretend she was lost away in a convent somewhere in Lourdes instead of being a catalog-ordered sociopath bride from an all-girl reform school in the Delta.

Back to this daughter I remember... I'll start small, it seems appropriate. I'd encounter her in the hottest, stickiest summer months when they** all came to visit my grandparent's house on a Saturday afternoon. I always spent most of my supervised summer at my grandparents' house since my parents both worked. It was a great place to be. Until the likes of she-thug showed up. Her face always had "That Look" on it. She looked just like a mad possum.* It was half-smile, half-scowl. Get a couple of orange popsicles in her and she'd start swinging. She hit me in the shoulder harder than anyone has ever hit me, barring Fat Kim (I suppose the nickname is the reason she hit me, ya think?). And when I asked her why she hit me, she said it was because she wanted to, that's why.

So you see, this is how I know these things. I began a primitive background check then and there: on where she came from, why she was entitled to any of my popsicles, and why her stepfather gave her a pet raccoon to brag about.*** Long story on the raccoon, I'm sure. Or not. Hey, clearly she came from a long yet thinning line of gamblers.

Oh yeah, so back to her grandfather, the very beginning of this whole thing to begin with -- he was a gambling rum-runner involved in an unfortunate accident himself. The authorities found him drowned at the bottom of the Pearl River. With rocks in his stomach.

Back me up on any of the details if you're reading, Mom.

I could go on and on about these people for a good, long while. Now some of you might understand why my memory is like a de-classified file with lots of black omission and deletion marks, but I do remember some of it. This man's ex-wife married my great uncle who was an ex-merchant marine, why not, and she was a Jehovah's Witness. Why even mention that? Because I remember hearing about this gigantic family disturbance she caused one year because, for religious reasons, she would not stand up when they played the National Anthem at the annual rodeo.**** Of course, none of them talked directly about for years. And I'm beginning to understand why.

If you're feeling a little confused, I understand. I feel a little lightheaded myself.

Good stuff though, huh? Oh, if only I had more time to get really in-depth, not in that stomach rock kind of way, though. Maybe one day. If only my mom would tell me more. Oh well.

Back to work.

* Yee haw.

** All except for the Jehovah's Witness. We never asked if visiting was against her religion. We just all secretly hoped it was.

*** Which by the way, she punched it in the stomach in front of me. Yes, really.

**** Yee-haw, yippee-ki-yi-yay.

But before you go, thanks to the miracle of eBay and Scott, you too can enjoy your very own ball of Blint, for a limited time, prices and participation may vary.

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