No matter the size of the hole-in-the-wall, if you peek into it you’ll probably find me, blue mountains, and, on rare occasion, a potential bed warmer. Last night I ventured into a pit I rarely visit, which featured a three-piece band of men around sixty playing music from the sixties. It was all good. They brought their own fan club–family members, I assume–which screeched its support with every (rarely in-key) note struck.
Something else was a bit off.
The family table contained everything from Grandma and Grandpop to cousins and kin. Most families have this odd assortment of people who look relatively (bad pun) similar. Each one is a little freaky-deaky, but we don’t notice our own family fiascoes because we’re too close to them. I noticed.
There’s always that tweenager who faces the music before the music:
“Well, honey, gee whiz, I sure wish you wouldn’t wear that half-shirt out in public.”
“It’s … well … inappropriate.”
“What do you mean?”
“Look, sweetie, I can see your bellybutton and that’s probably a look better suited for the beach.”
“You’re not going to change, are you?”
“Lord, please give me the strength to endure the punishment You deliver me for my indiscretions during my twenties.”
“Oh, nothing. Will you at least wear a jacket?”
“Um, no-o. It’s like seventy degrees out.”
At one point during the evening, the band broke into “Summer Wind” by Ole Blue-Eyes. Nana and Pop-Pop were shooed out to the makeshift dance floor.
“They want us to dance, Harold.”
“You shit your pants?”
“No, THEY WANT US TO DANCE.”
“Oh, thank heavens. You go dance. Can’t I just sit here and order some tapioca?”
“No, Harold. Let’s go.”
As they bobbled around the floor to thunderous applause, all I heard was a TV commercial voice-over: “When that moment arises, will you be ready?” I’m such a dick.
Then things became really weird. Cousin Dewey (early twenties, shaggy hair, rolled-up jeans, suspenders) sat next to Aunt Felicia who sat next to Uncle Buck. Ole Buck was three whiskeys deep in a trance. Felicia kept reaching back and rubbing Dewey’s thigh while he caressed her lower back. I pointed it out to my companion.
“What do you think the story is behind this?”
“Well, they’re probably just a real close, affectionate family.”
“He’s an inch from her butt and he’s got a lump in his lap.”
“Oh, Jesus! I really could have gone without seeing that. What do you think is going on?”
“I happen to be an observationalist–an expert in the field of twistology. Dewey here lost his virginity to Aunt Felicia five years ago after the annual family Thanksgiving beerfest. Buck doesn’t ask and doesn’t care as long as he can watch NASCAR in peace.”
“You truly are demented.”