The Quirky Relatives

Posted by on Sep 21, 2010 | No Comments

A friend told me about his Michigan cousin who scheduled his wedding to be on a Saturday morning. An unusual time for a marriage ceremony, but it seems that was the only way the the newlyweds would be able to attend the local tractor pull that night. You might understand their priorities. To me, it sounds like fodder for a Jeff Foxworthy monologue.

I have to admit that some of my own relatives are a bit quirky. My family tree includes people who ruled the Sarawak region of Indonesia for three generations as benevolent Rajahs and others who settled the Washington Territory and ran (unsuccessfully) for Sheriff in Tacoma. They also include colorful characters in the current generations. Several tales involve celebrations of marriage.

At the reception following the wedding of an aunt the festivities were interrupted by a man who stood and asked for everyone’s attention. The conversation died down as the crowd prepared for what they thought would be a toast to the couple.

When he had the floor he said, “We’re running out of beer, and we’re going to take up a collection.” Not quite the moving speech they were expecting.

Another story involves an incident that could have got some of my family in trouble. In fact, if you’re involved in law enforcement, you may want to skip the rest of this post. Then again, I’m pretty sure that the statute of limitations is long past.

A few years after the wedding of my aunt my parents celebrated their silver wedding anniversary. A close relative of my mother gave them a strawberry pot as an anniversary gift and told them it had already been seeded. When the seedlings started to come up my mother, an accomplished gardener, observed that they didn’t really look like strawberry plants.

“Could those be marijuana?” she asked my brother. It was the kind of practical joke she might expect from this particular gift giver.

My brother, who undoubtedly inherited his interest in things agronomical from my mother, encouraged her to wait a few weeks and see. She agreed, keeping an eye on them to ensure that they didn’t get purloined for inappropriate activities.

Not to worry. Her chowhound terrier pulled up the seedlings before long and ate them all. Then the dog ran off to follow the Grateful Dead for three months.

Statute of limitations, remember.