Happy Spelunkiversary to Me!
Happy New Year, peeps.
A Christmas Tale, Part 1
Most of my life revolves around food, and this past week was no different. In fact, I ate five, count 'em FIVE, holiday meals. On Christmas Eve, Kam and I met with his father's side of the family for the annual Christmas Eve Chinese food extravaganza, aka MEAL 1. Whilst getting dressed for the night's festivities, Kam had a metrosexual moment (or two or seven), in which he could not decide what to wear. He settled upon this charming number, which I think quite subtly and tastefully screams, WHITE TRASH IN THE HOUSE.
Although I was very much looking forward to enjoying the experience of chowing down some delicious and nutritious deep-fried MSG, my plans were abruptly thwarted by the family's annoying tradition of bringing DART GUNS to the fucking restaurant and impaling anyone who is even thinking of taking a bite of mu shu with a suction dart right in the jugular. This year, Kam's uncle not only handed out the offending weapons, but gave us each an entire CRIME FIGHTING KIT, complete with handcuffs, sheriff's badges, and NIGHT STICKS (or, as the old fogies were wont to call them, "billy clubs"). FUCKING NIGHT STICKS, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! I was stoked. Until I found out that the night sticks were made by such shoddy craftmanship that the plastic collapsed inward if brought within 30 feet of a heavy mouth breather. So I switched my attention to the handcuffs- I could totally do some serious damage with a pair of plastic handcuffs, no doubt! Until I realized that these handcuffs were the diameter of my fucking pinky finger and would only be useful in the event that a delinquent infant should attempt to snatch one too many fortune cookies from the bowl explicitly labeled TAKE ONE. So that left me armed with only my dart gun, which I was not very efficient at firing because I had difficulty cocking it [insert lewd and inappropriate joke here] and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, SINCE WHEN DID THEY START PUTTING SAFETIES ON PLASTIC DART GUNS? By the time I'd figured out how to work the damn thing, all of Kam's reprobate cousins had stolen my darts and I was left defenseless against their guerrilla tactics. Apparently no one in that family likes me, because it seemed that all of them were simultaneously aiming directly at my FACE. Particularly Kam's two appallingly hyper cousins, named Major and Trial. But wait, THAT'S not the funny part. The funny part is that their father is a very well known lawyer, recognized for his success with many MAJOR TRIALS. Go ahead, you can vomit. I know I did. That is, after I finally figured out that the kid's name was TRIAL and not TROU; which just goes to show ya that even Texans sometimes can't understand what other Texans are saying because they are THAT FUCKING COUNTRY, YA'LL.
The only member of the dinner party considered "off limits" to any and all dart gun antics was the grandmother of those two heathens, Huge and Lawsuit. This lady was like older than Barbara Bush, and she looked like the impact of a neon rubber dart might just knock whatever wind was left in her feeble lungs right out of them. After a few beers however, Kam's little brother, who was seated right next to me, took aim with his gun and shot old Meemaw right in her old lady mug. Upon doing so, he immediately started looking around- LOOKING AT ME- as if I were the offending shooter. He then ducked below the table, under the guise of looking for wayward darts, and proceeded to laugh his ass off. Ducking under there with him, I asked, "Did you just shoot the GRANDMA?" Between gasps of laughter, all I could hear him say was, "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry," over and over. The granny looked completely bewildered for the rest of the evening and I'm pretty sure that if she wasn't brain damaged before, she probably is now.
And what dinner could be complete without one of Kam's uncles busting out his REAL shotgun, conveniently kept in the back of his truck. But this wasn't just ANY shotgun, people. Oh, no. This shotgun was adorned with an airbrushed Texas flag. I've never seen anything more AWESOME in my entire life, including that one time I saw a dead body lying on the sidewalk of Westheimer.
Afterwards, Kam, his siblings and I made our way over to their parents' house, where their mother was just STARTING to decorate the tree, at 10:00 pm on Christmas Eve. If you knew his mother at all, you would so NOT be surprised by that. Nor would you be surprised by the fact that the theme she chose for decorating this years' tree was "Pagan Barbie". That's right, this was the mother of all Christmas trees. You only WISH that your Christmas tree was this awesome, or that your family was this drunk.
He's no angel.
Not finding any infants in need of restraint, we found another use for the pedi-cuffs.
After the wine was all gone, Kam's mom decided to open the bottle of expensive champagne she was saving for Christmas day. She gave the bottle to her strapping eldest son (that would be Kam) and asked that he open it without shooting the cork through her kitchen window. After giving us all a lengthy lecture on how only AMATEURS shoot the cork because it not only results in the loss of carbonation but flavor as well, he proceeded to pop the cork eight feet in the air and spray champagne ALL OVER his mom's art table, soaking all of the tiny little flowers she had painstakingly cut from hundreds of magazines in order to decoupage onto a lamp. Watch out, expert sparkling wine connoisseur coming through!
He's always displayed a striking resemblance to Corky from Life Goes On. Coincidence? I think not...
This concludes part one of Christmas 2005. I'm afraid if I combine the entire weekend's events, you'll stop reading before we even get to Christmas morning. Or perhaps you've already stopped reading, in which case, go fuck your mother.
As for the rest of you, stay tuned; part two coming soon!
MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!
From Spoonleg and Oscar (who says, "Somebody please call PETA.")
Holidays With The Spoons: Booze, Blood and Bonding.
Ever since I was a child, Christmas has been my absolute favorite time of the year. The sights, the smells, the weather, the food, the fun, the presents and, as I've aged a bit, the booze. It all comes together to create this very magical milieu that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I wander around for weeks in this sugar-induced mental fog (which, as I've aged a bit, has evolved into a booze-induced mental fog), requiring me to hum along to tunes which have been sung by the likes of Clay Aiken, Mariah Carey, Harry Connick Jr. and 98 Degrees, the prospect of which would otherwise cause me to promptly kill myself. But not during Christmas time, oh no. This time of year it is completely appropriate to drink so much hot chocolate that the roof of my mouth is permanently scarred, despite the fact that Houston weather is holding pretty steady in the mid-70's right about now. I also have to confess that I am a total sucker for those cheesy holiday made-for-TV movies, you know the ones. There's an adult, and they don't believe in Santa because once when they were very young they didn't receive the Palomino pony they had asked for, so at the age of 37 they still hold a serious grudge against the old guy, and some poor, orphaned, toothless child charmingly restores that adult's belief in Jolly Old Saint Nick and everyone lives happily ever after. Or how about the one where the single, middle-aged mom who hasn't believed in Santa since she was 7 years old falls in love with and gets engaged to the heir to the Santa Claus throne, and when she finds out her future in-laws are the one and only Clauses, she's torn between the man she loves and his psycho, present-wielding, elf-enslaving father. I totally wanted to see that one, and when I saw the commercial I almost ordered cable JUST SO I COULD WATCH IT, OH MY GOD I WONDER WHAT'S GONNA HAPPEN? I'm so not kidding, people. Anything starring Tim Allen or Arnold Schwarzenegger is quality Christmas programming in my book.
But my enchantment with the season is often mediated by the fact that my family is totally deranged. I know, you're saying, "PLEASE, what family isn't?" Well let me tell you, after you hear a few of my stories, you'll be checking your mom out of that state mental institution because, compared to my mom, she's probably pretty fucking lucid.
I have a very small family, it's just the five of us who live in Texas. My mom's parents and sibling live in Arizona, and my dad's mom and siblings reside in Pennsylvania. We haven't seen my mom's family in probably about 10 years, and we met our paternal grandmother for the first time in our lives two Christmases ago. We don't know even one of our Aunts, Uncles or cousins. This might seem strange to you, but it's just the way our family dynamics work. Both of my parents have a rocky history with their own parents and siblings, so it was not unusual for us to go many, many years without even speaking their names out loud. Since we moved to Texas in the early 90's, it has been just the five of us, and we tend to like it that way. However, I think one of the drawbacks of having a small, close-knit family is that you can't really escape the craziness of one another when gathered together for the holidays.
A typical holiday with my family involves lots of alcohol, obscenities, fighting, and blood. Hell, that's a typical Sunday evening with my family, if I'm being honest. It starts with the alcohol, usually around 10 am, so the parents are already nice and toasty by the time I arrive. My brother and I usually seek immediate refuge with one another, driven into the kitchen by our shared desire to both escape the lunacy and also to start drinking heavily in order to numb the pain that will inevitably follow. Typically, my dad stocks up on an econo-sized gallon jug of Patron; the kind of tequila smooth enough to slide down the throat of a 15-year-old with nary a gag or wince. Hey, I didn't START him drinking, but once I realized he was already doing it anyway, I figured I might as well get a drinking buddy out of the deal. I also think it's highly hilarious that after two or three shots, my little brother seems to have difficulty (well, more difficulty than usual) keeping his britches up and his opinions to himself. After we've sufficiently clouded the reality of an entire day spent with our family to a tolerable haze, we join the rest of the crew for food and fun. Some people have Christmas traditions such as saying grace before dinner, or holding hands and swaying together to the tune of some sanctified biblical hymn. In my family, it's a tradition that we can never get through a holiday meal without someone crying. And I don't mean shedding a tear or two; I mean uncontrollably sobbing into their green bean casserole while the rest of us sit nearby in uncomfortable silence. Sometimes we laugh at them, but usually, 9 times out of 10, we go with the uncomfortable silence. The offending crier, 9 times out of 10, is usually SpoonMom, although SpoonBro, SpoonSis and Yours Truly have also been known to make a cameo as the featured crier. Come on now, don't laugh. I don't make fun of your lame Christmas traditions.
Inevitably, my mom will get to the stage in her drunkenness when she laughs for hours on end at everything. It is during this phase that we take every opportunity available to make fun of her and what a crazy old coot she really is. This is the only time we are able to do so because, should anyone accidentally speak a contemptuous word against my mother either directly before or after this phase, the results will be catastrophic. But during this magical phase of drunkenness, she will laugh at anything and everything we say, so plenty of name-calling ensues at her expense. She never remembers it the next day, anyway.
Then comes the phase when, out of the blue and entirely unprovoked, my mom repeatedly asks each of us, "Why do you think I'm such a bad mother?" Despite our constant reassurance that NO ONE SAID YOU'RE A BAD MOTHER, she always dissolves into a puddle of tears. Then she starts asking entirely insane questions like, "Who is crazier, me or dad?" "Who is meaner, me or dad?" "Who will you take care of when we're old and crippled, me or dad?" and our all time favorite, "Who's a better mom, me or dad?" Unfortunately for her, the answers to these questions are never to her liking and always result in more tears. We are all highly entertained.
Then my dad's brain and liver start metabolizing the alcohol, and suddenly all of his hateful, bigoted, redneck, cranky old man personality traits come to life. We like baiting our dad by asking him about his opinions on things that he vehemently hates such as illegal immigrants, fat people, the president, children who make too much noise when they breathe or walk and Japanese cars. Mentioning any of the above will trigger a string of expletives and socially inappropriate verbiage to spew from his mouth, leaving us all in stitches. Some our best holiday video footage comes from this phase of our Christmas celebration.
Inevitably, things will eventually turn violent. I remember a few years back when my brother and I were play fighting in the kitchen, throwing and blocking little punches and kicks without the actual intent of hurting one another. When our parents saw what was going on, my dad shouted from the living room, "SHEA, QUIT BEING SUCH A GOD DAMNED PUSSY AND HIT HER BACK! ARE YOU JUST GONNA LET HER KICK YOUR ASS LIKE THAT?" My brother replied, "Dad, we're only playing. Besides, mom taught me not to hit girls!" (Funny how this had never stopped him before). My highly intoxicated mother then came staggering into the kitchen and slurred, "Here boy, let me teach you how to fight like a man. You put up your dukes like THIS, and then you swing your fist like THIS!" As my mom swung her wavering fist in his general direction, my brother moved his face ever-so-slightly and ended up getting clocked right in the pie hole. They both stood there in shocked silence for awhile, his lip slowly trickling blood, and then my mom burst into laughter. My brother of course became highly upset that his own mother had just given him a bloodied, fat lip and was LAUGHING about it, so he ran to the bathroom to survey the damage and probably to cry a little bit. My sister then began assaulting my mom with the one phrase that's a sure fire way to have her crying for hours, "WHY ARE YOU SUCH A HORRIBLE MOTHER? YOU HIT YOUR OWN SON IN THE MOUTH AND THEN LAUGH ABOUT IT? GOD, I SHOULD CALL CPS ON YOU, YOU'RE SO ABUSIVE AND CRUEL!" My mom spent the next twenty minutes laughing and crying at the same time, unsure of which emotion should predominate, until she threw up and passed out on the sofa.
As you can see, Christmas with the Spoonfamily is a delightfully magical time of year, filled with lots of love, bonding and affection. I mean, I really can't figure out why the rest of our extended family doesn't want to travel to Texas to share the Christmas spirit with us, can you? Hopefully this Christmas will be violence- and blood-free, as we have already had our fair share for the year. Witness the scene at our Thanksgiving dinner table:
When my dad stood up to leave the table, the rest of the family suddenly lost their appetite. We never did find the tip of his finger...
So Much Lube, So Little Time.
Go to sleep. You're really starting to get on my nerves. I already spelunked through the cavernous depths of your ass and cleaned up the subsequent mess, what more do you want from me? I can't handle much more. I'm one diaper away from losing my fucking mind. Have you no mercy? Just do me this one favor... if your ass explodes again before my shift is over, please don't fingerpaint with it. That's all I ask.
Top Ten Signs that Winter has Officially Arrived in Houston
9. My car scared the shit out of me today by emitting a loud *DING* when it started up, which is MINI-speak for, "HOLY SHIT, THE TEMPERATURE HAS DROPPED BELOW FREEZING, EVERYBODY PANIC!" I like this little feature of my car, but have only experienced it TWICE before.
8. Fat, ugly white people wearing FUBU track suits. 'Nuff said.
7. Today's top local news story was about a dude who was seen jogging in a t-shirt and shorts early this morning. I kid you not, they showed no less than 15 minutes of video footage of this poor soul, the camera men chasing after him as he was jogging along, minding his own fucking business. This segment was peppered with such keen journalistic observations as, "That guy is crazy!" and "He must really be serious about his jogging!" and "I'll bet he's cold!"
6. This holiday season, it's not enough to decorate your vehicle with a mere wreath or strand of tinsel. In Texas, you must have actual blinking, colored, singing, animated holiday accessories which are distracting enough to take attention away from the fact that you can't drive for shit.
5. Even non-homeless people can be seen trudging down the sidewalk wearing king sized comforters draped over their shoulders.
4. Despite the fact that I've been drinking hot chocolate almost daily for an entire month now, today was the first day I was able to do so without breaking a sweat.
3. The cloud of dust and smell of burning hair emanating from my vents is a pretty good indication that my heater hasn't seen much use in the past decade. In fact, I think this is the first time I've had to turn it on... ever.
2. My cat has taken up permanent residence under the covers on my bed. If I happen to need that particular space on the bed for my own purposes, he will begrudgingly shove over to make room, but not before pressing his cold, wet nose against every square inch of exposed skin that he can find.
1. I left the house today donning a week's worth of unwashed hair and no bra... and no one was the wiser. Thank God for hats and sweatshirts is all I'm sayin'.