Saturday, July 08, 2006
Family Reunion Memories
Yesterday was the annual family reunion. Due to scheduling conflicts of the last 3 years, this was my first year of attendance. I know...I can hear you all..."Oh sure there were scheduling conflicts". Stop thinking that...you're gonna jinx me writing this post.
So when I finally had enough energy to drive the 90 minutes to the reunion, I arrived fashionably late. Met the missus and son at our picnic table and quickly scampered to say hello to everyone. After that task was completed, I was just in time to be one of the last one thru the food line. Man was I not disappointed. Grilled burgers and hotdogs, all kinds of varities of potato salad, cole slaw, macaroni salad, baked beans, etc... You know the menu line-up. More food then I could possibly eat going thru once. lol There ya go again...stop saying "oink oink". Hey, when your sick you need all the vitamins and nutrients you can handle. And I behaved myself, I only washed all that food down with one beer. Yes just one...well, erm, we weren't supposed to have alcohol there but thats another story. I was to plump to even eye the dessert table, right after eating. I could see the missus rolling her eyes when I mentioned I should "just check out the desserts". So I decided that I'd wait until Uncle Dazed played with all the kids. I'd either pass-out from my system being physically overloaded after that huge meal and playing with the kids or I'd work up enough appetite to visit the dessert table. heh
Water balloons...nothing like kids having a water balloon fight along with super-soakers on an 85 degree day. I filled and tied off what seemed like 1,000 water balloons. Man that's a tedious task. I had just gotten the basket full and carried it outside when WHAM, nailed by 5 or 6 super-soakers. I laughed, kids ran and the older ones yelled to the younger ones, "You're gonna pay for soaking Uncle Dazed." Maybe it was the full stomach, the lack of oxygen from my severely cramping for space lungs, maybe it's old age creeping in on me...but whatever the case, I laughed it off. I went back to the shelter house and toweled off. Yea Yea...I heard the inevitable, "Uncle Dazed peed himself" remarks. I smiled a sheepish smile only to have those who remarked sink lower into the lawn chairs. I would enact my vengance...all in due time.
After the water balloon fight had ceased due to lack of ammunition, I forgot to mention I went on strike for being soaked, the kids all wanted to go swimming. Off they went with enough adults to constitute adequate supervision. All the other adults were just sitting around...the women cackling like hens and the guys just wondering, "Why the hell do we do this every year?" When out of the blue a new contest for the adults was announced. What!?!?! Not the usual Bingo? Not the horseshoes? Not the "whatever else they played the last 3 years"? lol But a fishing contest. YES! Men aganist the women...teams of 2, man and woman fishing together, and the most fish at the end won. YES! So I put my name in the hat. I, along with my Uncle, were the only ones stupid enough ermmm brave enough. Two female relatives were chosen to show us men how to fish. Perfect! This was going to be a glorious day...I get to go fishing and a prize for the winners (me) to boot.
Well the fishing was not great and I was sucking major pond scum for the first 2 hours. I had only one fish...but the lady I was fishing with only had 2. So we were kinda even, in my mind, after 2 hours. I walked over to where the other lady and the Uncle were fishing and man it was a dead heat. Both had 4 fish and if looks coulda killed, I'm thinking both of them would've been fatally wounded. I didn't dare ask how the fishing was going...I knew better. But nonetheless, us men were gonna win regardless. After 3 hours, the women decided that 3 hours was long enough. It was tied...7 fish for both sides. So it was decided that one kid for each side would be chosen for a fish-off. First kid to catch a fish and that team wins. YES! I began frantically digging thru the tackle box looking for the smallest hook I had. Found a damn small one too...one I thought I was gonna need a microscope to thread the line. When my fishing partner was presented to me...I knew immediately us guys had been set-up. A 7 year old...scared of water and definitely not looking forward to fishing. MAN! Not until Uncle Dazed passed along his secret for the day...more on that later. Well he was a bundle of unfocused energy. But he managed to get his line cast off the bank. (12 times to even hit the water lol) I had baited with bits-o-worm and a beemoth larva. Sure fire catch-all bait. And we were not disappointed...he caught a fish! 5 minutes into fishing and he caught one! The men won! So we hurriedly took our prize catch to the shelter house for pics. All 5 inches of fish. lol WOW! hahahaha But it was a fish! And for the prize...for the greatest fishing team ever assembled. We got to clean all the fish. UGH We'd been set-up again. But the moment on that childs face...of catching his first ever fish was priceless. No money, no award, no winning of a tournament (of sorts) could ever replace that moment. I proudly procalimed that I'd be happy to clean all 14 fish. And to my amazement, the little boy stated he'd be happy to assist. I won't go into details, but lets say half way thru the first fish, the boy was looking a little green around the gills. (Pun intended)
So after cleaning 14 fish of various sizes, it was time to hit the dessert table. I'd worked up quite an appetite and was faminshed from all that fishing. I gorged myself on pie, brownies, cookies and all kinds of desserts. Man, talk about a sugar rush. lol And eveything was homemade...nothing store bought except the ingredients. I'll admit it's my favorite part of a family cook-out. As with the main course, I was not disappointed when I finally loosened my belt a little and left the table.
And now it was time for Uncle Dazed to extract his vengance upon those poor unsuspecting children. Horrible little creatures...how dare they become traitors to the one who supplied them with all their ammunition. Vengance was mine and it was gonna be sweet. Please Please..spare the eyerolls and comments of "oh how horrible...poor little children." Now mind you, it had been over 4 hours since the ambush. And all the kids had been swimming. And they'd all changed out of their wet clothes into something more presentable. So they were a little slower then when I first got there. I called them all together in mass and told them I'd brought more goodies for them. Follow me thru the kitchen door at the shelter and I'd hand them out.
They all followed me like I was the Pied Piper. All in mass...hurrying to get the goodies Uncle Dazed had brought for them. They had all entered the room....with anticipation showing on all their faces. And I unleashed my vengance! I grabbed the sink hose and slammed open the sink valve and got my vengance. Not a one of the 6 kids who betrayed me left that room without a good soaking on the front of their britches. I left the room...kids screaming...with a huge smile on my face. I high-fived the little boy (my prized fishing partner) who I had told my secret of the day too. He was sparred the wrath of Uncle Dazed bringing forth his vengance. A task of vengance completed that left me feeling whole again. When the adults started scurrying for the door asking me what all the commotion was...I simply replied....
They all peed their britches...