My dad’s family is about as close to trailer trash as you can get without actual trailers. It’s from my dad’s family that we have a serial crack-baby maker. It’s also from my dad’s family that we have siblings who actually try to off one another in an attempt to be the only child to regularly empty the coffee cans filled with urine in the front hall. (Not nearly as amusing as it sounds. Trust you me.) But when I was a kid, I didn’t know any different. What I knew was that every year we would get together to play Bingo and do that whole white-elephant-gift-stealing game. It was pretty fun to open presents, unless you got the one erroneously labeled “girl” instead of “boy or small man” and wound up with an athletic cup for your undersized (non-existent) man-bits. But then I got older and realized how cray-cray these people are.
The last time I went to a family reunion, we were meant to bring an item to be auctioned off (they’ve managed to turn the family reunion into a money-making scheme under the guise that the money they raise goes toward buying hot dogs).
But our little faction of the greater buffoonery decided that we would not commercialize our insane family reunions, so we refused to bring an auction item. (I considered a box full of used tampons, but I forgot about the collection and it’s destination and threw them all away.) Well, when we brought our romaine-and-strawberry salad to the buffet table (placed strategically between the green jello with carrots and the potato salad with bread-and-butter pickles), we were confronted for our lack of family loyalty and asked to cough up $20 in lieu of our missing auction item. (Seriously? Charging at the door for a family reunion with these people? Are you effing joking?)
We gathered the troops (and this could quite possibly have been the final time my siblings and I ever sided on anything together) and came up with a game plan. Everyone was to go to their cars and collect anything worth anything that we were willing to part with. We would meet and debrief in 10 minutes.
When we regrouped in 10 minutes, we came armed with:
- a Maverick coffee card with 3 punches on it
- a Maverick coffee card with 4 punches on it
- a Cafe Rio punch card with 3 punches on it
- a Barnes and Nobel gift card with $2.37 on it
- ten 2-for-1 coupons to a local (crappy) museum
- 3 local arcade game cards with an unknown amount of game credits and/or tickets
- a motley assortment of coupons from Red Plum
- a McDonald’s arch card with 59 cents on it
We placed our discoveries into an envelope, wrote “Grab Bag” on the outside and handed it over to the family reunion patrol. I think it auctioned off for $7.50.
We weren’t informed of any subsequent family reunions.