The truth about relatives

tsj column writers - thats the way i see itFamily, sometimes, is an overrated asset. You have no choice into whose family you are born. Considering the asinine families some kids have to live with, it would be better if mom and dad slept in separate rooms with a court order against physical contact that could result in babies.

Then there is the ideal “Leave it to Beaver” Cleaver family where everything connected to family and child rearing is nearly perfect (Note: if you are under 40, Google “leave it to beaver”). Parents never argue, kids are polite, respect their elders and can speak proper English. Unfortunately, Beaver was a fantasy.

Most real families are somewhere between asinine and Beaver. Mine certainly has its list of characters, from an uncle who hoboed his way around the world to a former President of the United States. We don’t talk about the latter one.

My grandfather, on my father’s side, joked his way through life until he was 90 years old. He was a fiddle player extraordinaire and was in demand for any barn dances held in the community. He said he had to quit playing for dances when he became a deacon in the Baptist church. “Baptist frowned on dancing about as much as they were against drinking hard liquor,” he said. He still played the fiddle at home and would join fellow Baptist out behind the barn for a little snort of something to “clear the throat.”

He lived his last years in our house. I recall taking him to the doctor for some forgotten ailment when he was about 88-years-old. After the doctor and nurse checked him over, the doctor asks it there was anything else he could do for grandpa. That was a mistake.

“Doc, there is one more thing you can do,” grandpa replied. “You can move my sex drive.”

“What,” said the doctor? “I don’t think I understand.”

“I want you to move my sex drive,” grandpa said again.

“What do you mean, move your sex drive?”

“Well,” said grandpa, “right now its here,” he said, pointing to his head. “I want you to move it about three feet down.”

The nurse left the room.

My oldest nephew would work hard all year until squirrel season opened. He would manage to be laid off, draw unemployment during squirrel and deer season, and then return to work. This guy lived to hunt and would shoot at anything that moved, which proved to be his undoing.

In season or out of season, he loved to deer hunt at night, which is illegal in all 50 states. This particular night the urge to hunt got the best of him. He put on his boots, his headlight, grabbed his shotgun and headed to a nearby field.

Within an hour or so on either side of sunrise and sunset, a deer‘s vision is optimized for very low light. When a light, in this case a headlight, strikes their eyes, which are fully dilated to capture as much light as possible, deer cannot see and they freeze until their eyes can adjust, giving my nephew an opportunity to commit an illegal act of shooting a deer that can’t move. Other than that he was a good guy.

My nephew was moving quietly across this field, headlight off, when he heard a clop, clop, clop, of something trotting toward him. He turned his headlight on and shown it in the direction of the noise. He spotted the reflection of his light in the animal’s eyes. He raised his shotgun and fired. He heard a thump as his victim hit the ground.

Rushing over to the animal, he discovered he had just killed his brother-in-law’s father’s horse. Leaving the horse where it lay, he rushed back to his house, put his shotgun in the closet and tried to calm his nerves.

The horse was discovered two days later. Although he was suspected, my nephew never admitted the truth. He also never deer hunted at night again. He should have watched “Leave it to Beaver” more often.

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