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Your Humble Ruler, Rajah Cheech Beldone, King of the Gypsies.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Genetic Markers

When I was really young, like before I was like 7, I remember that my family always used to go camping with my paternal grandparents, often with their friends coming along too.
We used to go to places like this

and this

and yeah, they really look like that.
Anyways, this all kind of stopped after I got to be about 7, since me sainted Ma decided (and coerced Pa into agreeing) that that side of the family weren't  good examples for us kids to be exposed to.
Her logic was that her side of the family was much more likely to inspire us to better things. In fact all that happened was that the Grandma on that side commenced to criticise, scold, belittle, censure, browbeat, and generally bury my head in the dirt for the rest of my pre-adult existence, in between bouts of holding me old man in contempt and tsk tsk-ing Ma incessantly for marrying beneath her.

There's a good reason that I never found this particularly amusing...

Meanwhile, Gramma and Grampa and the aunties and Grandpa Leif (Grampa's best friend from boyhood) and the rest of them?
Hell, all they ever did, especially on camping trips, was to do shit like sit around, drinking


and smoking cigarettes


for Grampa, and

for Grandma, just telling stories and jokes and making fun of each other.


Ma's carefully executed plans for determining my future lifestyle apparenty didn't exactly pay off quite as handsomely as she might have wished.
(some kind of a lesson in there)

ANY fuckin ways, when we did go camping, we always slept in this bigass old Army surplus wall tent.
I can still smell the musty canvas in the cold mountain air mixed with the smoke from the cooking fire and the hot chocolate we'd drink before burrowing down for the night in the old flannel-lined sleeping bags, me and my sister lying in the dark tent listening to the folks bullshitting around the fire.
I'm pretty sure the kids and Mamas and Grandmas stayed up there through the week while the menfolk drove back and worked all week long before coming up to join us on the weekends.

I can't guarantee this happened EVERY year, but I can almost guarantee it happened more than once.

When we first arrived, everyone set to getting everything ready, someone would go get wood, me and my sister would have to hump water back from the pump

Everyone had something to do.
Pa and Grampa would do the tent, which was a pretty complicated deal, to get it just right.
And there was a center pole that had to go up first.
And I can very clearly recall Grandpa calling Grandma and getting her to go into the middle of the drooping tent and stand holding the center pole up, and him and Pa telling her to stay in there holding it until they said to let go.
And then they come out and, motioning me to not speak, grab a box of beer and me and fuck off down to the lake, piss laughing and leaving Grandma standing in the middle of the tent holding up the only support.

Thank heavens I never inherited any of those tendencies.


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