Big Sky Country

October 7, 2008 at 1:14 AM | Posted in Journal | Leave a comment
  We went down to the country Saturday for my brother’s annual big roast/family reunion.  He calls it his pig roast, which it is.  Members of the family that are invited try to turn it into a family reunion.  Hell, if enough of them meet up at the Eagle’s lodge for beer they call it a family reunion.
  We planned to bring some dishes.  Detroit made her tuna casserole–God only knows why–and I made my famous deviled eggs.  I was also going to bring my special hot wings, but I didn’t, and here’s the story:

  I arranged with Dina, the manager of Domino’s, to buy a bag of wings from the store at cost.  Cheaper that way, and these wings are large, and pre-cooked.  We were getting our stuff together Saturday morning and starting to run late as usual, so the plan was to go by Domino’s, cook the wings, and then take them with.
  I already had my special wing sauce, and we stopped by the dollar store for some disposable aluminum pans, and then drove to Domino’s.  It’s about 1130, which is early for Domino’s since they open at 1100.  I need to get in here, get my thing done in about 20 minutes and hit the road so we aren’t too late.
  When I get there, however, Stan seems to be busy.  He asks me to wait a few minutes so he can take care of this order.  Actually it’s a couple of orders, and he got there late and that’s why he’s behind, I find out from John, the driver.
  I say fine, and then start to get my stuff ready out of his way, so when it’s time, I can do it.  He has about a dozen pies to make and he’s working on them slowly, methodically.  I offer to help, several times.  He declines, then asks me to just not "do that" right here, with the stuff I was preparing.  I was at a table, not in his way, but it disrupted his concentration and his ability to do only one thing at a time.
  So I moved it to the back, then came back up front.  He is still slowly working on these pizzas.  I have places to be.  "Seriously, Stan–let me help.  We can knock these out in no time."  He is polite but firm.  He doesn’t want any help.  He doesn’t want any distractions.  He doesn’t want to change his behavior in any way, shape, or form.
  I walk into the back and make a decision.  I gather my shit up, and walk out.  But as I go, I yelled at Stan.  I yelled at him.  "This is bullshit, Stan!  I to be somewhere!  I don’t have all day, and you don’t want any help!  You want to do it all by yourself!  Slowly!  Fine!"  Or some such bullshit, but that was the gist of it.  Then I walked out.  Detroit and my daughter were outside under the pavilion, having a grand old time.  I said, "Let’s go!"  We got in the car, and I didn’t say anything for a while. 
  Eventually I loosened up, and we had a good time at the pig roast.  My daughter got around and talked to alot of people, and met some relatives, and that was good.  I got to see a few I hadn’t seen in a while. 

  Cousin Jamie is either married again or living with someone.  I guess married; her father in law has brain damage and is a danger to himself, and her, and others, and a menace to society in general.  Other than the fact that he’s 82, she would fear being sexually assaulted by him, but luckily for her–in her words–"His wiener doesn’t work any more."
  I talked with cousin David probably more and longer than I have ever talked to him before.  He is the oldest of our generation, I believe.  He knows alot of trivia and bullshit, and remembers alot of dates.  He remembers all of us being born.
  Talked to my nephew Scott, also.  They made the trip from the Quad Cities, and his wife Kim is pregnant.  Scott’s sister Shelly had her boyfriend there, so we got to meet him.  Not what I expected, although they never are.
  A few absent faces, like Gina and Bob, and Gloria and her husband, Greg and Stacy, and Li’l Greg.  Others, too, but those are the ones I remember.
  It wasn’t precisely a family reunion, it was also a little more.  There was the group of tables with our family, another group of tables with my brother’s friends, another group of his people from church that seemed bewildered and skittish of everyone else.  And there was also a large group that was Carl’s wife’s family.  The Smith’s.
  Maybe the Smith’s hadn’t had a reunion for a while, so when they gathered, they wanted to have some pictures of the group of them.  This is always a good idea.  The people began to gather by the pond, perhaps twenty or more.  It seemed like a good idea, so I joined them.  I stood in the back because I’m tall, just smiling and nodding and being generally inconspicuous, which I owe all to my training as a spy.
  I had my cover story all ready.  I was "Bob Smith, of the Kansas City Smiths."  It took quite a while to gather everyone, and there were perhaps four or five people taking pictures.  We got organized, posed and smiled, said "cheese," and waited while the photos were taken.  Lots of laughing and bonding, it was a good time.  Afterwards, a lady standing next to me and put her hand out and said, "Hi.  You know, I don’t know if I know you–?"
  I shook her hand and answered, "Oh, I’m just a joiner."
  My hope is that, if I don’t get photo-shopped out of the photos, then 20 years from now people with gather and look at the photos and wonder.  "That’s Uncle Ted.  Aunt Betty.  Cousin Lou?  He’s dead.  That’s–wait.  Who the hell is that?"
  I like a joke that has a long set up.

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