Monday, June 11, 2012

Blowing Up Family Reunions.


Uncle Irwin had a summer place on a lake and we always got to spend at least one big family reunion type weekend there. Family reunions are those wonderful times when everyone who hates everyone gets dragged protesting and screaming up to the potato salad on the buffet table and told to "play nice."


Entertainment for the day always included swimming, lawn darts, baseball and some major drama/fight that ended with people screaming and crying and someone burning donuts on the front lawn as they speed off with their half eaten potato salad, swearing at Grandma, and insisting they were adopted.

Uncle Irwin always had lots of blow up stuff for the kids to play with around the lake and it was a mad dash when we first got there to detangle the massive pile of brightly coloured plastic and claim the best flotation device. (The palm tree sucked by the way) Inevitably someone would be found crying that there were none left and we would all get lectures on sharing, which we ignored, and then Uncle Irwind would go and search in the back bedroom closets and come out with one more yellow ducky, or some huge shark with gaping teeth.

Except one time.

This kid went searching on his own, found something, came out and sat on the beach, watching the rest of us splashing, and began to blow up his "find." We all ignored him, the adults were too focused on the potato salad and the kids were focused on trying to drown one another. Finally the kid waded in, mounted his 'flotation device' and laid spread eagled on top of his anatomically correct blow up doll.

It's amazing how the presence of naked plastic is just "felt" and after the Heimlich Maneuver had been performed on Aunt Isabel who choked on her potato salad, 300 parents ran for the water (parents from neighbouring houses came too ... I think parents have a signal they emit that only they can hear because Grandma's mouth was open like she was screaming but I could not hear any sound) and they grabbed the kid, drowned the blow up doll, covered all our eyes and insisted we needed to come and eat our potato salad .... NOW!!!


I asked Grandma a couple of years later why we never went to Uncle Irwin's House anymore.

She swore at me and told me he was adopted.

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