Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cruise Control - Part 1: Meet The Gawkers

Howdy, folks.

Well, we up and went on another family trip, because we clearly haven’t learned our lesson yet and keep banging on the door to disaster. This particular adventure involved a big boat, extensive amounts of water, and the availability of copious amounts of alcohol, so of course things developed that shouldn’t have, and of course I had to start blogging about it the very second we walked back into the house. Things just seem to happen to our family. We’re definitely followed by angels. I just haven’t figured out if they’re good angels or the bad kind that got kicked out of heaven for letting boys sneak into the Celestial Dormitory after midnight.

Anyway, after completing the first two (unpublished at this point) posts, I realized that the cast of characters was a bit extreme, and perhaps it would help things a bit if I provided a wee smidge of background on those 15 personalities, complete with actual photos from the trip and short biographies that are totally and completely true. And here we go. (Oh, and everyone under legal age has been given a fake moniker, to protect their identity and allow them to destroy their own reputations later in life. This explains some of the odd names, and not the possibility that we all grew up on a commune where people named their children Bean Sprout and Roach Clip.)

1. Me

And this is from one of the better days on the cruise, although I’m still a little blue in this shot because I’ve just learned that the opening of the Sausage and Grease buffet line has been delayed after a misunderstanding about where to put the mustard sauce. But at least I still have my cute little hat. Things are always better with hats.

2. Terry

My partner. (His face is a little dirty because he just wouldn’t listen when we told him he really shouldn’t look into the smokestack on the ship.) We’ve been together for 11 years. Come to think of it, that might explain why he was so invested in shoving his head into a deadly space.

3. Tiffany

My bestie. She actually selected this picture herself, because I know better than to ever post a picture of her without review and approval. She often goes on family trips with us, partially because she’s loads of fun, but mainly because she requires a lot of supervision, and she can’t be left on her own for more than a few days or the police become involved.

4. Dawn

One of my sisters. She’s the kind of woman that can roll out of bed, belch, then shake her hair slightly and look stunningly gorgeous the rest of the day without any effort. So of course we have to hate her a tiny little bit and talk about her behind her back, because that’s what good families do when they can’t afford therapy.

5. Darrin

Dawn’s husband. He actually spoke once, in 1994, (I believe the phrases were “I do,” to Dawn, and “Is there any beer left?”, to anyone who would listen.) He hasn’t said much since, but don’t let the silence fool you. Once he gets going you better hide the good china.

6. Tara

Dawn and Darrin’s daughter. Tara is a modest, reserved woman who rarely has anything to say. She likes to wear frilly dresses and do needlepoint. She never drinks or smokes, instead choosing to spend her time working in homeless shelters and attending Bible study. She always has a kind word for everyone she meets, never once thinking of saying anything rude or sarcastic. Except for the first sentence, this entire paragraph has been a complete lie.

7. Tristany

Another item in the Dawn and Darrin product line, Tristany is an energetic 9-year-old who will happily share with you every single detail of every single thing that has ever happened in her entire life. When she grows up, we’re all assuming that she will be either an auctioneer or the person who says all that legal stuff really fast at the end of a commercial.

8. Mom

Mom, as is the case with most Moms, is the one that makes us all get along even when we really don’t care to be speaking to one another. And yes, we made her hair look like that because of the naughty things we did while growing up. But I’m not taking responsibility for the outfit, she did that on her own.

9. Roni

Okay, my sister Roni really can’t do this anymore, after the stroke and the wheelchair business, but this is what’s going on in her head. She’s a very determined woman, and will run you down with that wheelchair if you even look like you might get in her way. (Under no circumstances should you ever deny her a Diet Dr. Pepper if she requests one. Write that down.)

10. Karen

My sister Karen is a hoot, but she may not be thrilled with this revelation: As a youngster, she wanted to be Cher. She and Dawn would give concerts in front of the fireplace, using those really long matchsticks as slender microphones. Being a budding young gay thing, I wanted to join them so we could be The Supremes. This was clearly unacceptable, and I was usually booted out of the room. Then they would swoon over a Shaun Cassidy album cover and fight about who was going to marry him. Good times.

11. Janet

Aunt Janet is definitely a free spirit, and she is not afraid to tell you exactly how it is and where you need to stick things. This is a great attribute. Actually, she and Karen have very similar personalities. Both of them can march into a room and take control, getting things done and making the annoying people find something else to do. I, on the other hand, shuffle into a room reluctantly, instantly decide that I don’t care for most of the people, and then proceed to do absolutely nothing about it. Except drink.

12. Launa

A friend of the family. She’s a little tense, because she agreed to come along on the trip and keep an eye on Roni’s children. I have no idea what she might have been drinking at the time of the agreement, but it must have been very liberating.

13. Crispy

My nephew, Roni’s son. He’s 16, which means he knows absolutely everything he will ever need to know for the rest of his life. Just ask him.

14. Baylor

My niece, Roni’s daughter. Baylor has plans to completely run the world some day, but she’s content to wait for people to figure out that this is really going to happen so they better start treating her right. In the meanwhile, she’s biding her time trying to figure out why boys can be so stupid.

15. Bacon

Another niece, Roni’s daughter. Bacon has never had a bad day in her entire life. Some unpleasant things have happened, yes, but she chooses to just ignore them and continue singing, dancing and wearing saucy outfits. And laughing. She laughs a lot. One day we may discover that she just has chronic gas, but for now we’ll just let her chuckle away because it keeps her occupied.

And there you have it, the whole cast and crew. It’s not really important that you take notes or anything, and there most likely will not be a pop quiz, but I thought this might help you navigate through the deluge of blog posts that are about to come tumbling out of my head. Too many twisted things happened during the cruise for me to simply keep my mouth shut, and it would be negligent of me not to tell the tale. Besides, have I ever passed up an opportunity to make fun of everything around me? Of course not.

Ready? Let’s go.

Click Here to Read the Next Entry in This Series…

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