12.09.2006

The German Grandma

I tried creating a post about my trip to the Dakotas, including vivid decriptions of the cast of characters, but have since realized that it would become such a lengthy and potentially boring blog post that I should just chop it up into sections.

The first person I would like to discuss is the one that had me in stitches the entire week- Snaps' German Grandma. First of all, the way this little lady speaks is in and of itself totally hilarious. I suppose I've never heard a real German accent, and especially not on such a cute little white haired lady in floral knit sweaters. The German Grandma is literally the cutest thing you've ever seen; she is El Capitan of the Pirate Ship Cute, and her swashbuckling first mate is a kitten playing with a ball of yarn. Their flag is adorned with flop-eared rabbits their crew is a bunch of men who cry at sensitive moments, because really, is there anything cuter than THAT?

The Grandma was constantly trying to give us food; she literally would ask us if we were hungry mere minutes after we had eaten. She tried force-feeding us candy bars, turkey, bread, pickles, olives, cookies, eggs and worst of all, PICKLED WATERMELON. I tried the stuff at 'Leen's urging and OH. MY. GOD. If I ever swallowed an entire bottle of cayenne pepper and then ate my own regurgitated vomit, IT WOULD TASTE LIKE PICKLED WATERMELON. AFTER witnessing my violent reaction to tasting the stuff, the Grandma then felt the need to belatedly warn me that she had fermented it in scalding hot spices scraped from the asshole of Satan. So what does she do next? She goes down to the basement to get ANOTHER jar of pickled death and tells me to try THAT. As if she were offering me something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT than what had mere seconds ago given my esophagus third degree burns and left my tongue charred and numb. I hate to say it, but even the supreme cuteness of Brad Pitt crying as his blind brother becomes ensnared in a barbed wire trap in Legends of the Fall could not compell me to eat another slice of pickled watermelon.

In many respects, the Grandma was like any other grandma you'll meet. She's doting and chatty and sometimes confused and loves to feed people. But the best part about the Grandma is the little slips and mistakes she'd make, always with the most oblivious sincerity.

First of all- and Snaps had prewarned me about this- Grandma has a tendency to confuse the names of Snaps' little brother and their much older, much retardeder cousin. Their names are nothing alike, they look nothing alike, and there is, of course, the obvious difference of one being mentally handicapped and the other just being... stoned. (Okay so maybe there's not much of a difference there). I have to admit that I was super psyched to witness this event, because apparently it enrages poor SnapBro each and every time. Sure enough, the mistake was made within 24 hours of our arrival to the house, and Snap and I exploded into laughter, to the bewilderment of Grandma. Once she realized her mistake, she corrected herself and then stated, "Ach, I don't know why I always do that!" I'm pretty sure I continued the trend by calling SnapBro by the wrong name on many drunken occasions over the next few days. Snaps exacerbated it on Thanksgiving by calling her brother by their cousin's name and then asking, "Do you know where the pop is?" And when SnapBro got up to find some pop for his darling big sister, she called after him, "No, not POT. POP. I need some POP."

On the first day we arrived at the Grandma's house, one of the first things she mentioned was Snaps' new beau. She asked if I had met him, and I responded yes, that I found him quite acceptable. The Grandma expressed her pleasure at the budding romance with the following statement: "Yah, in the past every time she had a new boyfriend, we would have to ask, 'Is he a black one, or a white one?' and I was soooo happy when she finally said, 'white'. I think it's so good she finally came back to the white. That's the way it should be." The funniest part about this is that the Grandma said this with the utmost sincerity. She literally had NO IDEA that what she had just said was so completely offensive that a less tolerant person than myself would have totally body slammed her cracker ass into a brick wall.

One of the most comedic traits of the Grandma was her refusal to acknowledge Snaps' dog as a female. No matter what we said, or how many times we mentioned that Jessa is in fact a GIRL DOG with a GIRL'S NAME, Grandma insisted on referring to the dog as merely "him".

(Upon Snaps and I preparing to leave for the evening): "Me and him are gonna stay home and I'm gonna feed him some bread and we are gonna watch that show about the hospital on the T.V."
(Upon presenting Jessa with a hand-knit PINK AND PURPLE afghan): "Look, I made this for him!"
(Upon realizing Jessa's doggy butthole was directly in her face): "Ach, he's taking my picture!"
(Upon stepping on Jessa's foot while washing dishes): "Did I make him a boo-boo?"

The hilarity of most of the Grandma's statements came from their complete and utter randomness. Oftentimes, the things she said were in no way related to the discussion at hand, which simply made them that much more comical. When Snaps, 'Leen and I were discussing our impending trip to the Hutterite colony, Grandma pondered aloud, "I sometimes think those women don't wear panties under those long skirts. No one would ever know if they didn't! There used to be one that lived across the street and I'd peep out the window while she was working in the yard and I would wait for the wind to blow her skirt up so I could see if she was wearing any panties!"

When the Grandma and 'Leen were discussing recent divorces in the community, the Grandma noted, "Well, she used to go to these meetings during the week, and at these meetings she met that man, and she and him were having their own meetings, and she snuggled up to him and that's why the husband divorced her."

And when we were discussing couples that maintain separate beds and separate bedrooms, the Grandma enlightened us with her eternal wisdom, "I knew a couple that did that once. They had separate beds but sometimes they would still visit eachother in the middle of the night."

Upon viewing Snaps' raunchy Christmas card photo she gasped, lamenting, "You're not wearing any panties!"
Snaps replied, "Yes I am, grandma!"
"Ach, well, you must be wearing those little stringy ones. I saw some of them in the laundry and I tried to fold them for you, but there wasn't any material to fold! Only string!"

When it was all said and done, I realized that I LOVE this Grandma. She had us laughing hysterically for hours on end, and she didn't even know it. Not to mention, she gave me some kick ass hand knitted doilies that I fully intend on using to wrap and store my pickled watermelon.

Comments:
I personally think old white people (over say, 80) should get a pass on politically incorrect racial opinions, cheerio. After all, they have not gotten with the times.

... Anecdotally, I was doing a newspaper reporting internship in Florida in 2004. I was looking for a story and saw an ad in the newspaper for someone selling 10,000 old vinyl records. I thought this collection might be a good story idea. So, I went to visit the owner.

When I get there, the garage door of this modest house is open and there are thousands of records shelved, categorized, and lining the walls. As the owner, an 85-year-old snowbird, shows me through the collection, he named off the categories: Sinatra, classics, '50s, '60s, "Col ...". He skipped a section. As I looked up more carefully at it, the label said, "Colored." Apparently, the old man was sensitive to the fact that it was no longer politically correct to say colored, especially in the presence of a Black newspaper reporter.

Anyway, I talked to him for about 20 minutes. Then he went to get his wife so I our photoj. could get a couples feature shot in the garage. She came out, took one look at me and said, "I didn't know the (Paper I was interning for) had any colored reporters." The old man's wrinkled face went slightly red (I guess when you get to a certain age, even deep embarrassment cannot get you fully flush). She looked bewildered. I simply smiled, knowing her mind was stuck in another era.

There is a certain beauty in the wisdom of the past and the ignorance of today that old people exhibit. One has to appreciate it, even if it seems racist, lol. ... Sorry to write a blog as a comment to your blog.

On another racial note, there are Black people in the Dakotas? Really?
 
Loved the Grandma stories!!!! :-)
 
Good thing my grandma thinks the internet is a body part that's connected to the sphincter. Otherwise, she'd probably crochet you to death and then rub pickled watermelon on your open wounds. On your butt. From a finger.
 
I thought MY grandma was great!! SnapGrandma is a quite the pickled watermelon!! Sounds fun.

Now, show me your string panties, Snap!!
 
LOL. She sounds great. loved the pickled watermelon description... plus the comments about snaps' undies or lack of...
 
aaahhhhh, good times with grandma. =)
 
She embodies all things grandmotherly-totally inappropriate, more than slightly racist, severely nosey, and a food forcer.

You americans are weird=pickled watermelon? VILE!
 
"Ach, he's taking my picture!" This made me shit myself. Spoonie, come clean me up.
 
You, with the slack-blogging, snap out of it, or no stalking for you!
 
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Spicy hot pickled watermelon??? WTF??? Here in the South we have pickled watermelon rind; it's sweet and tastes absolutely divine! If I knew the recipe I'd send it to you.
 
(Upon realizing Jessa's doggy butthole was directly in her face): "Ach, he's taking my picture!"

Gold, pure gold. My cheeks (on my face) hurt.
 
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