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Saturday, June 07, 2008 

Shoo fly!

The real reason I came to Nesbit was because there was a cookout/birthday celebration for my uncle today. I don't know how old he is, but he's the oldest of the 9 siblings in my mom's family, and he was recently diagnosed with cancer. But then the doctors decided to take it back and say it wasn't cancer, so now we don't know what he has. Can you imagine? "You have cancer. Oh no, wait, it's not cancer. But maybe it is. But it's not. Probably." If you're healthy when they tell you that, you'll no doubt develop high blood pressure and have a freaking stroke trying to deal with the stress.

Anyway, I was looking forward to the cookout for many reasons, not the least of which was the fact that it would give me the best excuse ever to eat a hot dog, and because I've had a hankerin' for charcoal grilled food for a while. Our old grill finally rusted to nothing, and someone gave us another one that we haven't tried yet. Tim won't fire it up for me because "charcoal is a pain in the ass." He's been shopping for gas grills for a while now, and after more than a year of shopping, may have found one he can commit to. That's nice, but it's the charcoal I crave.

Another reason I was looking forward to the cookout was because it would mean a gathering of all my redneck family members. I'm talking about the real rednecks. Yes, there is an entire set of teeth in the group........unlesssss by "the group" you mean Uncle W. or Aunt T. Or Aunt L. Or Uncle R. Or that skank Cousin C's brought to the last few gatherings. They're all good people, though. Well, maybe except for the skank. I'm not sure about her.

Some unwanted guests crashed the party. There were about forty million flies. It started out with about two hundred, but the longer the food was out, the more flies showed up. And Aunt T. was patrolling the food area with a fly swatter, whacking them left and right, as if she was actually going to finally kill the last one and we'd be fly-free for the rest of the day. She'd squish one next to the potato salad, then scoop it up on the fly swatter and sling it somewhere, then make her way to the deviled eggs. UCK! Someone please tell me how having fly guts everywhere is more sanitary than just having flies everywhere. Hell, I can swat a fly away from my plate if need be. But I'd rather not sit down to eat knowing that virtually every square inch of the table has come into contact with the gutty end of Aunt T's fly swatter at some point. That really took away my appetite. I hate fly swatters. Have you ever walked into someone's house and seen a fly swatter lying on the dining room table? That's the worst. There is one place for a fly swatter, if you ask me, and that is at the fly swatter store.

Nobody in our family really drinks and we don't have alcohol at family gatherings, so everyone is pretty well behaved for a bunch of rednecks. We even pray before we eat, and we're nice to each other. Well, Aunt T did tell Little Cousin L that she looked like a street whore when she showed up to a similar event last year wearing way too much eye makeup for a 14 year old. But brutal, tactless honesty is part of Aunt T's charm. I was mortified the first time I brought a guy to a family gathering when I was 18 or 19 years old, and Aunt T spotted us in the doorway and shouted, "Look what Ann brung, y'all!" but these days I absolutely love watching her do the same thing to the younger cousins. The same younger cousins who think nobody knows the score when four or five of them slink off to the end of the yard and slip around the side of the house. Uh-huh. Been there, smoked that.

The hot dog wasn't everything I'd hoped for, and I ran out of energy and developed a killer headache shortly after everyone finished eating. I suffered silently for 45 minutes or so, not wanting to make my mom leave early. But as soon as a few people started to leave, I told her I wanted to go home, and everyone agreed that I should probably get back to the house and get some rest. We were outta there ten minutes later. That's one cool thing about being pregnant-- your whining isn't perceived as whining. And you don't have to carry the heavy stuff back to the car!

I'm going back home at some point tomorrow.

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