Monday, December 7, 2015

My Black Family

Visiting family for the holidays is always interesting. For me, Bryan, it's especially interesting, because on top of visiting my white family and my Mexican family, I also get to visit my black family. Yes, that's right, there's a whole side of the family that is 99% black. Now let me clarify, I am not in any way black. Nor do I, uh, make like some of my more embarrassing light skinned brethren and pretend I'm black.


In a nutshell, my aunt married a black man and they had some kids. Those kids found black partners and had some kids of their own. Then those kids found some black partners and had some more kids. Yeah, they start early. My 40 year old cousin is already a grandma*. But that's neither here nor there.

*Interestingly enough, 40 Year Old Grandma is the name of my upcoming Indie folk/noisetronica project

They don't really gather with the other sides of the family, and up until now I had only met a few of them individually, so this holiday season was the first time I had ever met them all together at once. We drove to their big, shared house, in which I helped my 92 year old grandma, who's recovering from a nasty fall, move in. She's going to be living there now.

And I won't lie, it was such a trip. First off, the entire house smells like weed. And I may not smoke it, but I know what it smells like.



"Dave's not here, man."
"Amen."

Also, I was pretty surprised to see that they looked a lot like me... well, if I was darker, had the ability to grow bitchin' facial hair, and/or had the ability to grow a killer afro. Side note: in high school I wore an afro wig to my school ID photo shoot as a joke, and apparently it fit my face so well that they didn't even question if it was my real hair.


So afros look good on us. And really, I can see the familial resemblance. Which is kinda cool. However, talking to them is a little weird. It certainly brings out my inner awkward white guy, if only because they talk so differently to my parents and me than they do when (they think) they're alone.










So it was, well, interesting to overhear that and then sit in silence as they would come back into the room and ask us politely about Denver or about our drive up. It's a culture shock, to say the least, but we appreciate them taking us all into consideration, as I don't know how my mom would handle getting asked to "move her stank ass" so they could get into the refrigerator and fetch her that cup of water she asked for.

And of course, there was also the awkwardness behind the small talk of what we all do for a living. Having that conversation with one of my cousins was just beyond anything I had ever experienced.


And mind you, when I was telling him this (they don't even have a computer in the house), I kinda felt like I was presenting myself like this.


But that's not the surprising part. No, the surprising part was me reciprocating the question.




Meanwhile I'm thinking THIS.


I mean, call me sheltered, but I was pretty happy never having known someone that had been shot, much less a family member, and in a drive by at that. He was so nonchalant about it, but clearly thankful to be alive. And no, he's not in a gang. He says he was mistaken for someone else in the dark who was gang affiliated. And I'm not naive. He just doesn't seem the type. What a horrifying thought, though. Most days I squeal like a little girl when I'm listening to my headphones and the cord gets wrapped around a door handle and yanks out my earbuds. I couldn't imagine going through that.

So yeah, I visited my black family this year, for the first time ever, and it was a hell of an experience. But affinity for the n-word aside, they're a great bunch of caring people that have taken in my grandma when no one else would or could (I certainly can't. My house is all stairs, which is like a limb-breaking minefield for a 92 year old woman).

Let's face it, these folks would not be hanging out with me if we weren't related. But they're a blast to spend time with, they're really kindhearted, and they don't judge my nerdy, awkward whiteness or remind me that I'm not nearly as cool as I think I am. And isn't that what family's all about?

So tell me about your weird ass families.

Cheers and stay classy, my n...eighbors,
Bryan (and Brandon)

Music: Fenech Soler
Beer: Upslope Christmas Ale

111 comments:

  1. I'm really curious as to why the house smelled of pot, especially since you said your cousin isn't a gang type person.
    No experience with being shot. I had a kidney stone once. Probably not the same thing.
    I have a small family, so outside of my giggly drunk sister-in-law, it's not too bad.

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    1. Well, I don't believe there's any correlation between weed and gang activity. Otherwise Colorado would be a gang state. Like I said, I don't smoke, but I do know that when you do you want to do the exact opposite of curb stomp a fool.

      LOL JK I'm in a gang right now. Watch your back, son.

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  2. That last panel was gold. Another upside is that apparently G-ma will have plenty of pain medication. I don't anyone who has been shot, let alone crippled and had to relearn how to walk because of mistaken identity. The best weird family I have is my aunt who collects creepy dolls which she piles up in the guest room and also has an antique butter churner collection. And an uncle with a dead tooth that's been dead for more than two decades and no one addresses it.

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    1. If those creepy dolls are clowns, then I actually think I'd rather be shot. And how does a tooth stay dead for that long without just falling out? Like, he brushes it just enough to keep it, but not enough that he could have saved it?

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  3. What can I even say that can't be construed as racist by my e-stalkers? These eggshells are practically breaking themselves.
    That's crazy though, that he got shot in the back and was like "gotta walk it off... after I learn to walk again". Guess that's part of the daily haps in some neighborhoods. Nothing you can really do about it. At least he wasn't actually killed.

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    1. Stomp some eggshells, my friend. It's good for you. But yeah, the way he talked about it, it's like he had slipped at work and put a kink in his back. And he wasn't walking funny, either, so I wouldn't have noticed had he not mentioned it. He even helped us move in some of my grandma's furniture, so apparently he's feeling a lot better. And before anyone asks, my aunt and other cousin later mentioned the shooting and the toll it took on him, so he wasn't just making it up in private to sound tough. Dude got gunned the fuck down and walked away smiling.

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  4. B&B:
    R-O-F-L-M-F-A-O...!!!

    In a word...BRILLIANT.

    I will consider THIS post an early Christmas gift.
    It is SO spot on (and I don't even have any "other-raced" family members (that I know of, anyway)...

    Leave it to a WRITER to "capture the essence" (or the smell of reefer) in such a marvelous way.
    You also captured the "culture" shock that many see but few get to live (thank God for that one).
    And to those family members, it all seems perfectly NORMAL...goes to show how some can view the entire universe as only a couple square city blocks...and nothing more, hmm?

    But, they did take grandma in...props for that.
    Sometimes, being "sheltered" can be a GOOD thing...a VERY good thing.
    (we call it being protected and acting a lot more normal)

    Excellent post.
    (great cartoons, too)
    BTW, never had a weird-ass family...just a (former) mother-in-law that had OCD (Which beats the hell outta getting capped by mistake any day).

    Stay safe out there, "muh crackaz".
    :)

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    1. Honky please.

      Glad you enjoyed it, and yes, if the definition of being sheltered is never having been shot at then I'm okay being sheltered. I haven't been shot, but I feel like my body is allergic to bullets.

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  5. No family, so no weird family stories... Well, except for that time my twin brother stole my wife, but other than that...

    We had a client at my office who'd been shot five times. Not just five times like bang-bang-bang-bang-bang, but rather shot once on five different occasions.

    I never stood near windows when he was in the office.

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    1. Okay, so what the fuck? Was he in a gang? Involved in a ton of road rage? Liked to streak at the gun range? How is that even possible unless you're 50 Cent?

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  6. My family members keep marrying lighter shades of white people. Pretty soon we'll be transparent, and the CIA will be approaching us to do reconnaissance missions for them.

    But, I've have been shot before. Took it like a man, though. When the doctor withdrew the needle from my arm, I only cried for, like, 30 minutes or so.

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    1. The last time the nurse tried to draw some blood, she kept screwing it up and pricked my arm at least 10 times. She even had to call in another nurse. Apparently even with transparent skin it's hard to find a vein. It was the worst. Day. Ever. I had so many bruises. #FirstWorldProblems

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  7. I pretend I'm not related to my family. Which is sometimes hard because Grass isn't a common name and I am related to everyone in this state that has it. I have some strippers, drug dealers (meth and pills), lots of people drawing disability, and general wtf. Ironically my cousin married a biracial man that most of the family looked down on until I pointed out he had a great job, treats my cousin amazing, and is just generally great to hang out with. Which I think is the real reason they don't like him. He shows them up. In general I avoid all of my family from all sides and pretend I was abandoned at birth. It makes me a lot happier than dealing with 99% of them

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    1. I'm in the same boat. Like, if you meet a Pedas, they're related to me. Guaranteed. Even the black ones. It's that uncommon. And I don't have any strippers or drug dealers, but a lot of mine (from the post) like to post Facebook videos with enough n-words dropped to constitute a Lil Wayne music video. I just pretend that's not destroying my family name.

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  8. What a trippy visit with your family! My family on my side isn't nearly as fun, but my brother and cousins do smell like weed. (It's legal in Canada!) My in-laws are the scary ones. My brother-in-law does think he's black. My husband's parents are divorced. They vehemently hate one another and take every opportunity to yell it out to the world. It's like one badly written reality show.

    RYC: The Krampus parade was fun, but I think they toned it down from last year. No children in cages nor a guy with a flaming whip. And no kids were crying around us even though the street was packed with them. My son taunted the Krampus monsters, but made sure to display his "nice" badge so he didn't get switched by them! The costumes are awesome. The Krampus monsters look really impressive in the dark.

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    1. You need to get your brother-in-law to meet a real black person. That usually gets them dropping that act pretty quick. And I guess I'm lucky that not only are my in-laws a ton of fun but they're, well, cool. My mom-in-law is even pals with Manny Pacquiao and Will.I.Am (that's a post on its own).

      Re Krampus: No children in cages? Not even kids in sacks getting beaten with chains? It's like the holiday's just gotten so commercialized and people have lost the true meaning of Krampus. :(

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  9. Hahahahahaha, Bryan the Geeky Nerd is TOO funny! You should make him a regular character.

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    1. Hell yeah! That I can most certainly do. Also it's not something I can upload, but just imagine him speaking in a crude nasally voice and wheezing heavily because he left his inhaler at home.

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  10. Grandma won't ever need any pain medication, just get the contact high and she'll be all set.

    Learning to walk again is no easy task, amazing how he can just be so easy going about it. I'd bitch for years about getting shot. I've gotten stabbed in the back with a huge ass needle, couldn't deep breath or it might pop a lung, but at least it was a Dr. doing it haha

    Profanity Granny is the only quirky family member I have. I have those we shall not talk about because they are assholes, but we cut them off the tree long ago lol

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    1. You can cut them off the tree? Dammit, if I knew I could cut out family members like that I'd have pruned that tree years ago. It'd probably just be a stick at this point. I wouldn't cut out the black family, though. Anyone that can survive a shooting and act like it's no big deal is someone I want in my corner in a fight.

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  11. My family is pretty normal country folks. Now my husband's family all lived with a few miles of TMI when they had the accident. So they're all a bit off but no extra eyeballs or superpowers.

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    1. I had to google that because in my mind "TMI" means Too Much Information. And they may yet have superpowers, they just need to discover them by, say, jumping off a building and attempting to fly*.

      *don't ever do that. ever.

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  12. Hey you have black family, you can say that word now. As long as you have at least three of them with you who can all say that you're part of the family. It sounds like quite an interesting experience to get a look into their world. It's weird meeting someone who is so different and in such a different situation, but you're part of the same family. I can't say for sure I have someone like that in my family though. My regular family is enough of a culture shock as it is. They're the "share memes on Facebook because they're so omg funny and relatable" kind of people.

    I don't think I'd last a day in any kind of 'hood. I have a friend who lives in Spain now and she told me how just two days ago she heard gunshots outside her house and later found out two women were killed in the crossfire of a gang war. It's a crazy world outside my house which is why I never leave it.

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    1. I'll take sharing memes over getting shot any day. And with all of the shootings we've had here in Colorado lately, I'm never leaving the house again. Amazon can just mail me my groceries and if I want to experience the sun I'll step out on my balcony for a few minutes.

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    2. I have a window for the sun. Install a dog flap if you don't have one yet so that the mailman can just post even groceries for you. You won't even have to step outside to talk to the mailman that way. Just keep it locked so no one can get through it. You'll be living the real dream.

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    3. Unfortunately the mailbox is one of those big community mailboxes that's a quarter of a mile away from my house. I guess I'm just never getting mail again. UPS delivers to my door though, so... UPS or nothin'.

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    4. I wouldn't chance it... MLK was shot while standing on a balcony. Just sayin...

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    5. Shit. You're right. Guess I'm never feeling sunlight ever again. Time to stock up on some Vitamin D pills from Amazon and just pray they get shipped UPS instead of USPS.

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  13. The woman who I called my aunt for 21 years turned out to be my half sister????

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  14. That IS family, and it's beautiful. Family puts everything in perspective.

    You wore the Afro so Well, I was wondering how you photo-shopped that. Hilarious. Great job. I hope you won the Class Clown title - for that alone.

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    1. I didn't tell many people because I didn't want the teachers catching wind and taking it away from me. Totally worth it. And the wife made me throw away that old afro wig a few years ago, but it looked just as good on me, if not better.

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    2. Thumbs up. Totally worth it. Applause.
      I would've liked to see the moment when the wife made you throw it away. I can only imagine that was funny and yet so bittersweet.

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  15. Hey, there's Fletch at the Brighton High School.

    Hmmm, I may be dating myself with that one. I'll be over here quaffing my liquids.

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    1. I'm just a gritty kid from the streets of Harlem. I'm 5'10, but I'm 6'4 with the afro.

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    2. You aren't really 5'10", are you?
      Because if you are, I'm sending you a case of protein powder... UPS, of course.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      (Just Another DogG From The 'Hood)

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    3. I've tried that protein powder stuff but all it does is make me grow horizontally. The afro, though... that's an instant 6 inches.

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    4. You stole that one (about the Afro) from Fletch!

      [During Fletch's dream] He is actually six-five, with the afro, six-nine

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    5. Nah, I didn't steal that line, I just carefully borrowed it to show that I did know what he was talking about. But I'm not 6'5, so...

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  16. I love having lots of relatives, it makes holidays and other gatherings so much more interesting. Although with the Irish side of the family, sometimes a little too interesting....

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    1. I have a lot of diversity in my family, but I'm sad to say that none of that diversity includes Irish, so I feel like I'm missing out on the true definition of a crazy family get together.

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  17. One of my early experiences smoking weed was with a couple of black guys. It was hilarious and I am pretty sure whoever shares in this activity will get along great. As long as there are enough Doritos to go around.

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    1. The only reason I didn't smoke with them wasn't because I'm anti-smoking but simply because they didn't have the necessary level of Doritos to facilitate a proper smokeout.

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  18. Love your photo with the afro! What a blogworthy experience this was. My family is weird in different but not nearly as interesting ways. Except maybe an uncle who had some midnight exploits.

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    1. No midnight exploits in my family but we do have a few midnight rendezvouses and midnight dalliances on my mom's side of the family.

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  19. Well, don't we all have a few of those weird types in the family, the ones who think we're the weird ones? We have Prairie cousins in Saskatchewan, Canada, First Nations relatives in the interior BC and Southern relatives who can't understand me too well because I talk Yankee now. (Yankee means two different things to a Southerner as opposed to a Canadian northerner. Yankee in Canada and other places means American. . .but in the south, there's that Mason-Dixon line divider. . .

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    1. Ha, I love that sounding like a regular American makes you unintelligible. "I can't understand a damn word you're saying!" - said by the guy with a southern drawl so thick it sounds like he's gargling a bag of dicks

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  20. Bryan the Mega-Nerd DEFINITELY needs to come back someday, or at least be in an art museum somewhere. That is pure comic perfection. (By the way, you were rocking that afro, my friend. Very classy.)

    My family? So far as my dad's side goes, they're all pretty normal. My siblings and I are...all pretty normal. My Mom's side of the family, on the other hand, now THAT'S where it gets interesting!

    Shall I tell you the tale of my uncle, my mom's only brother, who joined the navy when he was 19 or something and basically dropped off the face of the earth for 20-something years, and when he finally did come back into his family's lives, it turns out he'd been a Black Ops Sniper?

    No?

    Well, how about my aunt, who lived happily with her Lesbian life partner for nearly 30 years? They were living together, happy as can be, until one day when her partner basically said: "I got a job in (Sweden, or something...)." When my aunt asked her "Well, what about me?" And her partner basically said: "I'm going without you." And she left. And THEN, about a year later, my aunt announced that she had reconnected with an old high school friend/flame and was getting married. The big news? The old high school friend/flame is...a MAN!!! When the family started raising their eyebrows, my aunt's response was: "Well, for me, it was not so much about gender, as it is about the person." For me, my reaction is: More power to you, Aunt June.

    Oh, and don't forget the other aunt who has been practically homeless for most of her adult life, and a drug addict. It's suspected that she is bisexual. No one in the family would take her in, because apparently she can't be trusted. I remember when I was in high school or something, and my aunt was rumored to be back in the state after a long absence. My mom was going out to run some errands, and specifically said: "If my sister comes to the house DO NOT LET HER IN. Don't even open the door." She has managed to pull things together during certain periods of time, so I have met her once or twice, but no more than that.

    And don't even get me STARTED on my in-laws...

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    1. **Note: I just realized that I made it sound as though her suspected bisexual-ness is the reason she can't be trusted. It's not. Just so we're clear. My mom won't actually talk about everything her sister has done to lose the family's trust, but I know it has something to do with her history with drugs. My mom is a very forgiving person. It takes a LOT to lose her as an ally, so I can only imagine.**

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    2. I wonder if people will ever figure out that Bryan the Mega-Nerd® is really me and I'm just slowly introducing people to the truth - that I wear highwaters up to my belly button, have Coke bottle glasses, and have severe asthma that really distracts me from my true passion which is being a Dungeons and Dragons dungeon master/guild leader.

      So wow, what a family. The Black Ops Sniper could either be really cool or really scary, depending on how likely he seems to snap as a result of those 20 years picking off suckers.

      Also, it always confounds me when someone's in a relationship with one gender for years, and then suddenly gets together with the opposite sex. I've got nothing against it, people can do what they want, but for a guy who only like-a da ladies it just seems so weird to be like, "Well, I've had nothing but vagina for the past 10 years, how about mixing it up with some penis now?"

      And yeah, keep telling yourself YOU'RE the normal one. We allll believe you.

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  21. Most of the older, shall we say... more "eccentric" members of our family are gone now, so I guess it's up to my husband and me to carry on the weirdness now. (It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it.) Our older son's wife is black, and we're all crazy about her. Some of her family members are a little... unusual... but we all get along with them just fine. (And of course, our brown grandchildren are beautiful.) Ironically, our lily white grandchildren in Florida act more stereotypically "black" than our actual black family members, because that sort of dress, behavior, and language was considered cool where they used to live. Now that they've moved to a different area, that's changing, though. Can't say that I'm sorry. Ghetto behavior isn't terribly becoming, especially when the person acting like that has blonde hair and blue eyes...

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    1. Yeah, isn't it just hilarious when white kids try to act "black" (I.E. their misinformed idea of what black people act like)? "Yo yo, I'm from the mean streets of Boston, and anyone who says I've got a weak badminton game is gonna get a cap in they ass, sonnn."

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  22. Seeing your drawing of how they think you look like after telling them what you do for a living made me laugh so hard I almost peed my pants...thank you for that...and yes, I had to share that. Bless them for taking in your grandmom...if she has a lot of pain, you never know, they may introduce her to something ..um...medical:) There is always something happening in families. We always celebrated on Christmas Eve (German) and my Canadian Daddy was happy with that. He always said my mom brought Christmas to him. My parents me here in Canada (Welland actually). My mom was already in this country for 3 years. We never had extended family come over for Christmas which was great! My mom's side was back in Austria and Germany and my dad's side never came, thankfully since they loved having rye and ginger ale...by 9am. The usual would be my mom making up the turkey and all the extra early on. She would go for a nap at 1pm, wake around 3pm, get back to getting everything going. My dad made the rounds of visiting his family bringing a bottle of crown royal to each and having a shot or 3. This was, of course, before anyone thought drinking and driving was a bad mix. He came home, never once in a drunken stupor as my mom would have buried him in the rock garden after killing him. Around 5pm she would have a meltdown and cry. My dad, nicely dressed told her to relax and have a coffee in which she relied she had too much to do and go into freak mode. We would all dress up and, despite a cat lodged between the walls or me being sicker than anything, we would have a great dinner and then sit and start calmly unwrapping the gifts. Being German, my mom made sure we saved the paper and ribbons, had a box for each and a garbage bag for the stuff we could save. Each person took their turn so we could appreciate what the other person got. To this day we do it this way..I still have wrapping paper from when I was a kid! Hmmmm, that does sound a bit weird

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    1. Share away. Almost peeing is the highest compliment a funnyman can get. Actually peeing is just kind of... well, awkward.

      The gift of Crown Royal - now THAT'S the holiday spirit! Sounds like a really fun time, meltdown and all, and while I think saving wrapping paper is weird my mom doesn't. She saves all of the wrapping paper she's ever been given, and because of it it takes her about 10-15 minutes to carefully open a present. She's surgical, like a doctor.. whereas I'd just rip into mine like a lion into a zebra.

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  23. There's nothing in my family nearly so interesting.
    Except some mafia ties.
    And an uncle who used to ride with the Hell's Angels.

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    1. Now I'm just picturing a family reunion that's essentially a tense standoff between the Italian mob and the Hell's Angels.

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  24. Wow...even your blog has succumbed to the insanity...

    "N-word?"

    What word is that?

    I'm going to type it....

    Get ready...

    Wait for it...

    Do you mean nigger?

    Both George Carlin and Chris Rock have great bits about white people's use of the word.

    It just saddens me how much power we currently give to the word.

    I am sure the pot smell represented medicinal usage.

    Larry

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    1. Wee-oo-wee-oo-wee-oo!

      You hear that? That's the PC police come to arrest us. They're now going to sentence us both to 6 months of white guilt.

      Actually, we've used the word here before. In our Paula Deen bit, she proclaimed that her food processor was powered by 1,000 niggawatts. I thought it was pretty funny. I know a lot of people surf this website at work, so when my cousins are screaming it nonstop in a series of comics... well, I figured I'd black it out just in case. Aside from that, it's true though, this blog bit is already toeing the line when it comes to political correctness. The last thing I wanted was the random PC social justice warriors to troll this site claiming I was racist because I posted about black people being shot and calling each other 'nigga' and I said it in the post too. I mean... that's preposterous!! Who would do such a thing?

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    2. Kudos, LC.

      I don't understand why the "N-word" is avoided by Honky Crackers as if it's the plague. I mean, I'm not for indiscriminately using it, nor using it as an authentic racial slur. But let us not be so niggardly about it.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    3. I get a niggling suspicion that PC people just can't understand the difference between pointing out a word's existence and using it hatefully.

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    4. And...we're all supposed to be adults, right?

      Even if used hatefully....it's just a word!

      Anyone who uses the word watch out nigger hatefully is an ass!

      And I use ass in the above sentence both hatefully and factually.

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    5. Hmm...for some reason my attempt to use italics in the above comment failed ("watch out" was supposed to be in italics).

      It saddens me that just when I thought we (Americans) had risen above both racism and letting BS words scare us, here comes the 21st century!

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    6. I'm not surprised. These days people are even scared by the word fat. Don't you body shame me!

      And for some reason, italics don't work on this site anymore. No idea why. Bold does, though, so we just use that.

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  25. I've been blogging about my weird ass family for 5 years now!!! LOL. Loved this and I'm so glad your grandma has a place to live now. That makes me happy.

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    1. She may be 92 years old but they definitely keep her young and active (in the good way). Cheers to that!

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  26. Sounds like a fun time, interesting to say the least. Getting to know family members that you didn't know existed is really interesting. I have family in West Virginia that I can only call Hillbilly's. They even had an outhouse. Now that was culture shock. It was my grandma's sister and her kids. The house was actually nice which I wasn't expecting but they didn't have a working bathroom just an outhouse. They had a shower head in the inside bathroom but it was just a closet sized room with a shower head that they hooked a gallon of water to and let the water slowly come out.

    But I also have a black side of the family. My uncle's daughter married a black guy and had 6 kids. Some of those kids now have kids and even though I haven't seen them in a few years it was different just like you said, when I went to visit them. We lived closer to each other when I lived in California and the get togethers were always interesting. Gotta love family.

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    1. You know, I'm less startled by the outhouse (which sadly, I've seen plenty of) and more startled by the jug of water hooked up to a shower head. That's a special kind of hillbilly ingenuity that I'm sad to say I've never seen in person.*

      *We both come from a small cowtown full of hillbillies and sisterfuckers

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  27. Woefully unprepared to comment on this one- other than to say, this is a great lesson in learning not to judge. Sounds like some good people.

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    1. I started the visit thinking oh God, this is going to be miserable, and then ended it having had a lot of fun. Judge not indeed.

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  28. That sounds infinitely more interesting than my family gatherings, which is a lot of yelling (we italians call it "talking," apparently) and plenty of political comments that are just on the brink of racism. Sigh.

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    1. I think this just proves that no matter where you live, no matter what your ethnicity, holidays are always full of awkward racism. And let's face it, as long as it doesn't come to blows, it's pretty damn entertaining.

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  29. My brother's wife is black and my grandmother is an old southern woman. Granted she showed up to the wedding and tried to keep her emotions in check. I actually got stuck riding in the same car alone with her on the way to the wedding. She told me God made a black man for her and a white woman for my brother. This got pretty awkward. About maybe less than two years later I met my wife who's Asian.

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    1. That's still pretty impressive for an old Southern woman. Some of them go down kicking and screaming... and bring the wedding down with it. My grandma, who's very old fashioned (you should hear her thoughts on "the gays"), is surprisingly supportive of her black family, considering her daughter aka my aunt essentially got knocked up by a black guy (who's now her husband) in high school in the 1960s.

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  30. Dear Lord, this is one of my favorite posts - if only for the cartoon of a google-eyed dude hugging his CPU. Okay, okay...there were other reasons, too. Loved it.

    Half of my family is 11 hours to the north of me and half is 8 hours to the southwest of me. It's frustrating as heck because I just get sick of the travel and boarding the dog. My son, however, is very close to his cousins (within a few years of each other) and I am so grateful for the relationship they have with each other, so I suck it up. Also, my sister-in-law makes me laugh till my face hurts.

    The northern gang...lord, the drama. It never ends. Someone's toes are always being stepped on and they have a tendency to be unkind. I hate that, so I try to grab my mother and exit the state as soon as humanly possible.

    Happy holidays, guys!

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    1. Hey, boarding a dog isn't so bad. I have to board 3 dogs and get someone to watch the 2 cats... or just load all of them up in a car and take them with us (we've done that before). We're like an animal sanctuary on wheels. If you think children slapping each other in the backseat are annoying, just imagine animals.

      I'm grateful to say that I don't have any unkind family members, so I'll take the cloud of weed smoke and ghetto speak any day. Happy holidays to you too!

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  31. I'm not being dramatic when I say I don't know where to start w my weird family. We JUST started marrying in the "normals" to add some bleach to the gene pool. I don't even know what people consider weird.
    My younger brother has fallen off of a roof and lost his sense of smell for awhile; lost teeth in bar fights (2 different times. He has a plate w 2 false teeth & he's not yet 40.) Those are just his injury stories off the top of my head. My older brother, we'll just ONE example was the time he cyphened gas, then tried to smoke a cigarette and burned so much skin off of his legs he had to have skin grafts. That's just a sampling. We did also take people in though. Coincidence?

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    1. So how do weird families breed in normals anyway? Do they feign normalcy until they can snag them via marriage and/or pregnancy?

      Also, I'm not sure which is worse, losing a bunch of teeth (even one is too many, frankly) or getting your lips burned off. I'm in favor of never having experienced either.

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    3. In my case, yes I faked it until my now husband was invested enough that he thought it was worth the risk. Not sure how he feels about it today, but he is highly amused by my family and their crazy stories.
      My sister married a normal, we think she used witchcraft. His parents are claiming that whole "Opposites Attract" thing. Sounds legit.
      In my opinion? Losing teeth is always worse than skin. Skin can be grafted and can heal. You only get so many teeth. Once they fall out? Unless you get an implant (and trust me, GET AN IMPLANT) the gum starts to implode or something. It's really ugly. Especially in a very young person.

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  32. Not really any family on this side of the pond Bryan. Matt's kids live in England with their families. My cousins are my only family really and they are all over the place, one in NZ, one in Portugal, one in the UK. Two in the States. Don't hear a heck of a lot from any of them. Although they all are computer literate.

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    1. I couldn't imagine that. All of my family is here in the states, and about 90% of them are in Colorado alone. And even still I hear from them constantly via computer. Though, when I get an e-mail from my loopy uncle called something like "FWD: FW: Obama lies MUST READ! (God Bless)" I instantly regret their computer literacy.

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  33. Well on my dad's side:
    Racist asshole and discriminative cunt-face and their kids, Senior Psychopath (my dad) and the missing douchebag, his kid, and a shitton of adopted in aunts I constantly apologize to on behalf of asshole and cunt-face.

    My mom's side:
    My grandma, my stepgrandpa who is the only grandpa I claim, my very masculine gay uncle and his Hispanic boyfriend, my very feminine straigh uncle and his Mexican wife (and her four kids plus their two kids), and my mom who's Mexican boyfriend is younger than my black boyfriend.

    I wonder why they hate each other so much...

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    1. So that's sad and all that they hate you guys, but can I just say that Senior Psychopath and the Missing Douchebag sounds like an AMAZING mystery novel series.

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    2. You can write it but I'll require a shout out and a pizza for inspiring the idea.

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  34. Most of my family are hilljacks (that's Indiana hillbillies on 'roids to you normal people) but then there are the Lakota relatives on Standing Rock reservation, etc... (I'm the only one to have met them in three generations.) Not to mention all the in laws in Scotland.

    If we ever have a family reunion it's going to be, erm, interesting.

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    1. We grew up in a town full of hillbillies. One of us was in a wedding where the groom and groomsmen wore camouflage colored suit jackets. I don't want to imagine that on steroids.

      I do want to imagine the Scottish family get togethers, though. I bet those are rowdy and off color in the most wonderful way possible.

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  35. This was a classic ABFTS installment, my n...ice, White friend!
    I was laughing right from the word "homeskillet".

    And, hey, your drawings are really getting good! I've seen so much artistic development from when I first started following this blog a few years ago.

    Saints Cheech y Chong... HA! You know I'm a big fan of the saints, right? I remember when I was young, going to the "bad" neighbors' house and listening to their albums, which I also knew my parents wouldn't approve of. In fact, I was listening to Saint Cheech y Saint Chong when I was so young I didn't even get half of their jokes.

    Nappy and I still quote them regularly, and things they said in their comedy skits are interspersed throughout all my blogs. I rarely mention that I'm stealing lines from them; I just quote them and wait to see who's cool enough (and/or rebellious enough) to recognize their origin.

    And that high school ID card, man, what a trip! I wasn't nearly as fun and funny as you were when I was in high school. My style developed later and really blossomed during my "League Of Soul Crusaders" years.

    Great blog bit, Brother Beer Boy Bryan Bodyguard Betty (6-B)! Next time you visit the Black part of your family, wear your "Thug Life" sweater. That ought to really impress 'em.
    [:o)}

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. I do know you're a big fan of Cheech y Chong. In fact, I dropped that "Dave's not here" line in there just for you.

      So fun fact: I didn't wear my Thug Life sweater, but I did wear my Cheech and Chong t-shirt when I was there. It's pretty much my favorite shirt ever. I don't think my cousins know who they are, though, because a few of them looked at it kind of oddly. Which is weird, since they and Cheech y Chong have a particular hobby in common...

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    2. Wow! A 'CyC' T-shirt? Never seen one.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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  36. I have family who are like that too. (My aunt became a grandmother at 36 or something like that.) They're white though.

    But, we live with our colored employees in the same yard (since we live on a farm), and we often comment how their Afrikaans (my first language and theirs) is so much better than mine when they speak to us, but it sounds like a completely different language when they speak to each other.

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    1. Yep, starting early isn't exclusive to any race. I used to work with a 37 year old white lady who said she was a grandmother. People used to joke that she was a GILF. That's just... weird. 37 is just around the corner for me and I don't even have kids. I couldn't imagine having grandchildren at that age.

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  37. This was hilarious. I could picture your discussions. And that afro is rockin' on you. HOTNESS all the way.

    Nice to hear that your family all got along. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks! Now if only I could grow one now. Or find another comparable wig. :(

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  38. Relatives can sure make holiday gatherings interesting. Sounds like you have a colorful bunch over there. And yeah - getting shot - I have no experience with that, and have no desire to do so.

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    1. I have yet to meet someone that actually wants to get shot, but I'm sure there's a rapper somewhere that thinks it would add to his cred.

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  39. This is fantastic! I'm brown and I would still feel as awkward as a white person in that situation. Culture shock is an understatement.

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    1. Yeah, I don't think the race matters so much as the words. I mean, if my white cousins went into the other room and started yelling about some "nigga getting off they stank ass" I'd probably feel just as awkward. Maybe even more so.

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  40. You know, I always thought stereotypes were so obtuse, until I moved to NYC and met some. Regardless, it seems to me that the people who have the least tend to be the most generous.

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    1. It makes me sad when I see good people play into stereotypes, because dammit, they're better than that!

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  41. My birth mother married a black guy. She never did go back either, might be cuz she's too old for slick willy or the fable is indeed true. He was a nice guy. Was... but he dead now. Nothing gang related. Diabetes, kidney failure, renal failure...you know, everything you get from a lifetime of drugs and alcohol. That's what happens when you quit...they always git your ass sucka!

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    1. "Hey, baby. How would you like to go black, and then make a difficult decision regarding whether or not to go back?" - Cleveland Brown, Family Guy

      And I'm no doctor, but it does seem that once you quit it kills you. The lesson here? Just never stop doing drugs. You're safer that way.

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  42. It's pretty frightening that your cousin was shot. He's probably still in pain, but seems to be an awfully good sport about it. It's also nice that they took in your grandma. A lot of older people lose their sense of smell, so odoriferous pot smoke probably doesn't bother her. Heck, maybe she has glaucoma so she's partaking too! Great story about family!

    Julie

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    1. I know for a fact that my cousin smokes to alleviate the pain. If Mary Jane healing a gunshot wound doesn't persuade the weed haters, I don't know what will. And Grandma doesn't have glaucoma, but I bet she's getting one hell of a contact high just by living in that house. My parents say she's much happier now. It's no coincidence.

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  43. Man, what an experience! I would rather hang out with friends than my family during the holidays. Not that there's anything particularly bad about them.. it's just family obligates you certain traditions while friends do not and it's chill. I stress out trying to plan around everyone's separate things because nobody wants to just agree to have one thing.

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    1. Yeah, this is why we always have a Friendsgiving and a Friendsmas, so after all of the awkwardness with family we can just relax with friends. So, so much better.

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  44. Hahahahahahaha! Loved your blog. I was married to a black man for 35 years. On one side of his family were the doctors, lawyers and other professionals. The other side, were the inner city family members (not blood related, as they told me)...and I can assure you I've had encounters like yours. I went to many family gatherings when I used to ask, "What are they doing in the basement?" I soon learned - none of my business. They accepted this "white girl" but had lots of fun at my being white. One time the female cousins challenged me to see if I could down more tequila shots than any one of them. So I took them on 10 shots and still standing - I won! But before I did I went into the kitchen and ate greasy chicken, mac'n'cheese, and greens. After my husband passed away, I fell in love with a man from Mexico and now live here...and that's a whole 'nuther story there.

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    1. Wow, what a great story. You know, a while back here in Denver they had a dinner honoring MLK, and it featured a meal like you outlined above - fried chicken, mac and cheese, greens, etc, and people started whining and crying and called it racist. Uh, excuse me? I'm white and I love all of those foods. Since when is enjoying good Southern soul food racist?

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  45. My husband's been shot. But his was because his big brother dragged him into a house robbery when he was, oh, about 9 or so. And the owner shot at them with a shotgun. Because Texas. He shot the 9 year old. Texas is scary.

    On another somewhat unrelated note, I went to a kegger with a friend of mine in Widefield. Multiple times they shut the music off, and that was apparently our cue to hit the floor. There'd been a recent drive by (my friend was in the Four Corners). I did not so much enjoy that kegger.

    Also, Christmas with the Native American side of the family is pretty much just a Southern Christmas. It's an Okie Christmas. Except loud and boisterous. Hell, I don't know what it resembles. Fun coincidence: it also occasionally smells of pot. But that's just the Vietnam Army vet uncle.

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    1. "Yeah, I shot a 9 year old." Just Texas things. That's hilarious... well, now that it's been so long and he's okay. At the time, though, I can only imagine how horrifying that'd be. I mean, who takes a little kid to a robbery? He couldn't have just had him wait in the car?

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  46. How many characters can fit? Half of my family - the half my dad swears I share no DNA with - want to start their own political party because the right wing is not wacked ENOUGH. They're also hyperreligious. The other side is also religious but in a social justice kind of way. That side has depression and OCD running through it (thanks, folks) but most of them, unlike me, are not medicated.

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    1. I'm going to assume they're all future Trump voters. Unmedicated depression will do that to a person.

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