The Tern Worms

…he’s eaten about 12 of them so far

 

The Doclopedia #1,023

My Family: Cousin Hank

One of the more tragic members of my family is my cousin Hank. Hank is a handsome, intelligent man of good moral fiber. He has never borrowed a dime from anyone and has successfully run his own business for 25 years, starting out with just a small corner store and building it up to 7 modern supermarkets. His beautiful wife, Ellen, is a tireless charity organizer in addition to being a first rate mother to their 4 children, all of whom are top students in school and have never had trouble with the law.

Nobody in Hank & Ellen’s house drinks, smokes, does any form of drugs or curses. They are the perfect family.

It is therefore heartbreaking that they are pretty much shunned by the rest of both our family and Ellen’s/

Nobody likes perfection.

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The Doclopedia #1,024

My Family: Grandpa Boris

My Grandpa Boris was pretty damned strange. First off, he was only 30 when I was 15. I’ve never figured out how that works out. Next, he came to this country in 1910 to escape the oppression of Jews in Russia, even though he was an Irish Catholic born in Dublin. He was also “no handed”, meaning he did not favor either hand and was equally clumsy with both. He had one green eye and one private eye. Finally, he was known to yodel (quite well, truth be told) in his sleep.

Grandpa Boris was married at least 9 times, twice to his third wife and once to a potted banana plant. That was when he was 98 years old. We’re pretty sure Grandpa Boris died at age 108 in 2011, but he was such a cranky old bastard when you wake him up, we just moved him out into the barn and covered him with a tarp. If he doesn’t wake up by 2014, we’ll go ahead and bury him next to the banana plant.

Never Tickle A Shark

… Not even with a really long stick

 

The Doclopedia #1,022

My Family: Aunt Wren

 

My Aunt Wren was my favorite aunt. She was always joking around and would take us kids places and she’d read comic books and sing songs. She was a hell of a baker, too, and her coconut chocolate chip cookies were to die for. She and Uncle Oliver traveled often, usually on business. As a kid, I never thought to ask what their business was, but later I asked Mom and she told me they were insurance salespeople.

When I was 22, the truth came out that Aunt Wren and Uncle Oliver were actually professional hitters who specialized in killing important businessmen and politicians, usually in far off countries. Oddly, the family found this easier to believe than if they were in the insurance biz.

Aunt Wren and Uncle Oliver supposedly died in a bloody shootout and big explosion in Russia in 1981, but no bodies were ever found. Most folks say they died, but I and several of my cousins still get two dozen coconut chocolate chip cookies in the mail every Christmas.

Junior Muskrat Shops For A Chainsaw

…and now he is banned for life from MuskMart

 

The Doclopedia #1,020

My Family: Uncle Porky

Everybody in the family loves Uncle Porky, even though he was transformed into a half human/half pig after a toxic chemical spill. Once he got used to his new looks, he was back to being his funny old self, always telling jokes and stories and goofing around.

Uncle Porky has been married to Aunt Xena for going on 60 years now. They have 5 children, 17 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. Porky is a member of the Elks Lodge, the Masons, the VFW and the Yuba County Democratic Party. In his spare time, which he has a lot of since he retired, he likes camping, fishing and rooting for acorns.

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The Doclopedia #1,021

My Family: Cousin Gert

Except for her third eye, Cousin Gert is just your average middle aged suburban housewife and grandmother. She and her husband Dave are both avid gardeners and their yard has won many awards.

Most of the time, her third eye is kept closed and is covered by her bangs, but every once in a while she’ll brush her hair aside and open that baby blue up. She’ll look around and find the person who pissed her off (Beware, Jehovah’s Witnesses who knock on her door early on a weekend!) and then tell them the exact time & date of their death, along with details about how it will happen. These folks never bother her again.

The last time I talked to her, Gert told me she and Dave were planning a vacation to Washington, DC. It will be interesting to see what happens if they attend a session of the House or Senate.

Horrid Finger Monsters

…made from horrid fingers, naturally

 

The Doclopedia #1,019

My Family: Sister Zoe

My older sister, Zoe, was pretty much your average girl as a child. She played with dolls, liked to read, played games and had a pet cat named Roger. She did well in school and helped around the house. For an older sister, she was ok.

Unfortunately, when Zoe entered puberty she started breathing fire. As one might imagine, this got her banned from most public and private buildings, including our home. Dad built her a nice fireproof little house out back, but being a teenaged girl with social problems, she was not happy with it.

As time went by things only got worse, until, during her junior year of high school, the lid blew off. It seems that Zoe was fighting with her boyfriend, feeling sorry for herself, getting teased by snobby rich girls and having issues with algebra. I didn’t see the explosion, but I’m told it sent a fireball up 3,000 feet into the air. I know that it pretty much vaporized 600 acres of prime undeveloped real estate that Zoe cut across on her way home from school. Now, 45 years later, the crater is a popular tourist attraction.

A couple of years later, Zoe was out of puberty and her teenage years and stopped breathing fire. She went to college and got a degree in Fire Prevention & Management, then married a firefighter named Gus. Thankfully, her three kids are normal.

Jet Powered Robot Kid

…more fake anime

The Doclopedia #353

My Family: Uncle Smitty

Old Uncle Smitty was about 85 when I was 10 and he used to tell us kids all sorts of great stories about having been an accountant and an insurance salesman and living in the same small town (population: 2,500) all his life. He told great stories about actuarial tables and tax shelters and meetings at the Oddfellows and Elks. We loved listening to him.

Imagine our disappointment years later, in our teens at his wake, when we learned that he had actually run away from his home in New York City at age 13 and bummed around for several years. Even worse, we found out that he had fought in the Spanish American War with his close friend, Teddy Roosevelt! And been decorated for valor!

It got worse! We learned that he had been a spy for the United States government in Europe and Asia…that he had been a top spy during World War I and had seduced many European women to get information…that he had personally killed dozens of German soldiers with his bare hands…That after the war, he traveled the globe having many adventures…that during World War II he was a trusted advisor to both Churchill and FDR…and that he only settled in that small town (from which he ran a top secret branch of the CIA) shortly after the war.

We all agreed that he had been an old fraud and broken our hearts. Fuck him.

The Doclopedia #354

My Family: Aunt Fern

Aunt Fern believed that she was actually the secret granddaughter of Emperor Joshua Norton, whom she claimed actually lived until 1899 under the name George Hastings, a farmer in Merced, California. Of course, Aunt Fern also believed that gnomes lived under the local Moose Lodge and that her cat, Sammy, was actually the reincarnation of her late husband Gary. She also sometimes danced butt naked in the moonlight in the park near the old Western Auto store.

One day when she was 77, Aunt Fern decided that she knew how to get to the Emerald City of Oz by using the interstate highway system. She packed her old Ford station wagon up and she and Sammy hit the road. That was the last time we ever saw her in person, although we would get postcards from her over the next 20 years. The last one came from Wonderland. As my father said when he saw it, I guess she made a wrong turn at Albuquerque.