Treasured times with the family

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Posted 3/28/17 (Tue)

What A Joke
By John Bayer

Certain animal species exhibit a behavior known as “savaging” where the mother will attack, often fatally, her own children. This behavior can be seen in domestic pigs where the mother will even eat her own young.
I bring this up because the Bayers had a family reunion this weekend. I needed to remind myself that as painful as my family interactions can get, at least none of them have ever tried to eat me.
I love my family, but too much time together can be stressful. That’s why there’s so much drinking and smoking at family reunions. (Or maybe that’s just my family.)
I don’t smoke and I’ve never been much of a drinker, so I to turn to my own vice: food. You know that old saying about drinking, “It’s five o’clock somewhere.” For me, the saying is, “It’s Taco Tuesday somewhere.”
After my third time up at the buffet, I decided if I ever want to fit into an airplane seat again, I had better find other ways to get through family time.
I recommend hanging out with the little kids. Parents’ main goal at family events is to avoid their children as much as possible. If you spend time with the kids, their parents will: 1) think you’re great for watching their little tax deductions, and 2) avoid you too. It’s a win-win.
Eventually though, a kid will do something embarrassing like pass gas. Because you’re standing next to the kid, your Uncle Charlie will remind you and everyone else about that t-ball game in first grade when you completely soiled yourself at first base.
We’re a family of huggers. Now I don’t mind hugging the three family members I actually like; but unfortunately, I’m expected to hug everyone, even my cousin’s daughter’s new boyfriend. It’s weird. Next family reunion I’m bringing a ventriloquist dummy. I suspect that people will be less likely to try and hug me with my hand up a wooden puppet’s backside.
People will want to talk about the dummy, but I will kill any potential conversation with, “He doesn’t let me talk about it.” 
I won’t actually try to do any ventriloquism. And I will make certain that the dummy is in every single one of the 4,217 pictures my aunt takes to commemorate the occasion.
If I play this thing right, I figure they’ll stop inviting me to family events altogether. Win-win.