Editors Note: Everyone thinks that there relatives are crazy, until they meet Marty's...

"Dinner With Relatives"

Jonathan Polkay - January 9th, 2006  Bookmark and Share

Ahh... peace and quiet. Complete and utter solitude. The perfect atmosphere in which to FINALLY write my column after all the holiday hubbub has died down. Having been outcast from practically all my friends & family, I don't see anything getting in the way THIS time... (doorbell rings)

(groan) Then again...

Good Lord, it's my Uncle Jake- famous for causing misery and human suffering in its purest form! Gotta hide, I can't bear another one of his "I know where to get quality shoes for under $2.00" stories... Presently I find myself hiding in a closet, with nothing to keep me company aside from the flickering bulb and the half-dozen roaches I squashed while throwing myself in here.

"Marty? Marty, are you hiding somewhere? Ah, there you are!" I was momentarily stunned as my Uncle Jake threw open the closet door, because I could have sworn I locked & bolted the front door...

"Hello, uncle. Nice to see you still haven't developed any sense of privacy for other people." I got to my feet and made my way to the front door, eventually finding it at my feet. "Check it out, Marty. I got this portable battering ram, you know the kind the police use? Bought it real cheap, and found a use for it!" I winced, hopefully not too noticeably.

"Marty? You look ill. Do you need painkillers? I've got some, these painkillers from overseas. They're affordable..." (Yep, definitely too noticeably.)

"Uncle. How about telling me why you're here? You DO realize I'm trying to write-"

"Hey, I've been wondering; where's that humor column you keep saying you're writing? Can't seem to find it anywhere! Well, never mind now- grab your coat, we're out of here. You do have a coat, don't you? If not, I can get you another one-"

"Uncle, I-" I began, with no success. "I've actually got a few in the trunk of my car. Bought 'em from the military salvage store, so they probably need scrubbing with steel wool to get the blood out. Well, I hope you're hungry, 'cause you're in for home cookin' tonight!" With that, he headed for the door. Or rather, the entranceway, as the door was now acting as a makeshift throw rug.

"Uncle, that's generous of you, but- hey, did you say home cooking?" I grabbed my coat and followed him. No need to worry about thieves- there was nothing of value in my apartment. Being the deathtrap that it was, anyone found there tonight would probably be found in the morning.

"Yes, home cooking! Your aunt's working her magic in the kitchen!" Oh, dear Lord- I immediately tried to run & hide, but Uncle Jake managed to collar me. I tried to counter with a jab to his solar plexus, but he ended any further debate with a haymaker that put my lights out long enough for him to drag me out the doorway.

Please, Uncle!" I begged him, digging my nails into the cold, unyielding concrete. "Auntie Janine can't cook! Last year she made something called Klingon Casserole. Remember the paramedics?" I couldn't help but wonder how one was supposed to make an authentic extraterrestrial dish using earthbound ingredients, but she managed to NOT pull it off anyway.

I should mention that my Uncle Jake also has a nasty habit of never letting me get fully inside his car before he floors the accelerator. Today of course, was no exception. Of course, he would take the freeway today.

CondemnedReaching my Auntie Janine's ramshackle cottage, I tried to remember the Zen meditation techniques for relaxation- only to remember that I hadn't studied them yet. (They were next on my list after writing a humor column.)

It was only then I noticed the paramedics were already here. "Hey Marty!" I turned to see Ray, one of the regulars, nonchalantly shoving a stretcher containing one of my cousins inside the ambulance. "Don't try the soup", he advised.

Making my way inside, I sat down to the table and stared at the bowl of... um... things. "Um... Does anyone know what this was SUPPOSED to be?" I glanced around for an answer, but might as well have been asking for the meaning of life. My Aunt Janine cackled with glee from her kitchen; "Oh, Marty, you kidder! Stop worrying, I took it out of a cookbook!"

"Good! It had no right to be there in the first place!" I shot back, studying the bowl. It was then that I realized that the spoon had been steadily sinking downward because it was melting. I had one shot at survival... "Here, Kitty-Kitty-Kitty..."

Okay, my column starts next time, and FOR REAL! No kidding!  Bookmark and Share

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