Beware the Locals


This weekend my family and I celebrated two wonderfully momentous occasions:

1. The birth of my beautiful nephew, Tucker, and
2. The subsequent slow but sure deflation of the life rafts attached to the kankles my sister has been walking around on for the past 9 months

She had the baby in Columbia, MO, so that meant an overnight stay for Nick, Ellie and me at my parents' house on Planet Ozark.

While I'm sure most of you have visited Planet Ozark at one time or another for a little fun and water recreation, I actually have the pleasure of being related by either blood or marriage (or, thanks to my Grandparents who happen to be first cousins, in many cases both) to several of its inhabitants.

Over the past 16 years I've done my best to shake my roots and it's now nearly impossible to tell just by looking at me that I have any genetic connection to Planet Ozark. However, the one birthmark that I cannot scrub off is my middle name - Jo. It's a dead give-a-way so I keep all diplomas locked away safely out of public sight.

For those who have not had the pleasure of visiting Planet Ozark, it is a beautifully peaceful and serene habitat teeming with wildlife species not found in the city, including the Toothless Fatty Stink. You can tell the females from the males because the females have dark moustaches.

Other differences you may notice are that the Wal-Mart accepts rabbit pelts as legal tender and you can have your welfare check directly deposited into your meth dealer's bank account to save time and hassle.

Anyhoo, as most conversations do our after-dinner family discourse turned to who has shot what since we saw each other last, and the mandatory viewing of my Dad's newest 4-legged friend on his Wall 'o Death.

There are certain topics that I've deemed off-limits on this blog, including religion, politics and Keanu Reeves movies. But in this case I just have to lay a little groundwork by telling you that everyone in my family graduated from the George Bush school of self defense - "Rifles for Everyone!" and I attended the school of watching the Karate Kid enough times to believe that a leg sweep will disable even the most skilled and hardened criminal.

Though I will admit that this theory has been disproved several times when Nick is hogging the bathroom mirror.

So the conversation continued:

My Sister: I'm excited because one of my police friends gave me his gun to keep in my house in case there's an intruder!

Me: Ummm, I really don't think it's a great idea for you to have a gun not registered in your name in your house. In fact I think if you actually shoot someone with it then legally speaking all bets are off.

My Mom: No, that's the best way because there's no paper trail! You can just shoot someone, throw the gun in the lake and then call the police and tell them that you have no idea how that dead person got in your living room and there's no way to trace the gun back to you!

Monday, June 21 2010

Dear head nurse working at Bothwell Hospital the night of July 26, 1976:

The jig is up. I don't care about the reason for the baby mix-up at the hospital - I'm sure you were overly tired, maybe you slipped a little whiskey in your coffee or maybe you decided to sample some of the wonderful pain pills. Whatever. No one blames you. It was a different time back then. I don't care and I won't tell.

I know that my real family is probably sitting around an environmentally friendly fire somewhere, sipping Bourbon and discussing the Age of Enlightenment and its effect on 18th century literature, how important it is to ensure cultural diversity in the workplace, their upcoming trip to Europe and how much they love our President. And all the while they're wondering why their daughter is wearing nothing but deer antlers and a Rebel flag.

Please. Make it right.


-Eleanor (that's what I'm pretty sure my real parents would have named me).


Leslie said...

Planet Ozark sounds suspiciously like where I grew up, Kokomo Indiana.