How to Plan a Family Reunion

I love family reunions as long as they are happening to someone else's family.  To me, the fact that my aunts and cousins and sisters have all chosen to live as far away from one another as possible is not a coincidence, but a warning.  Others in my family don't agree, and speak of our last reunion with such fondness that I am pretty sure they must have left before Uncle Lou grabbed the microphone and gave us his penetrating analysis of the state of the American political system, made all the more interesting because of Uncle Lou's a) lifetime service as a notary public, and b) bourbon.

I've been monitoring my e-mails lately, tracking the plans to have a "Cameron Family Blow-Out!!!!!", as the subject line reads--I assume the extra exclamation points are there to incite enthusiasm.  In case you are thinking of having a reunion of your own, here are the steps you apparently need to follow:

First, set a date when everyone is available!!!!!  You'll have to deal with cousin Dean, who reminds us that he is very busy and important and may have a big business deal overseas, or on the space shuttle.

Like Dean is such a big shot, sneers cousin John, all he does is sell insurance.

John, writes Cousin Tina, you shouldn't hit "reply all" when sending a message like that.

John, you are my cousin and I love you, replies Dean, but you have always been a big fat idiot, what I do for a living is... (seven paragraphs of information about financial bonds follow, each one as interesting as a report from the Senate Subcommittee on Cement).

John's response is to send a photograph of a large man bending over in unfortunately loose pants, the caption reading "Cousin Dean."

Next, pick a location!!!!!  Uncle Lou says Boise would be perfect because it is "close to everything."

Everything, Dean repeats, meaning what, corn?

Cousin John sends a list of countries in which to have the reunion so as to be "close to Dean The Big Important Businessman," including Moronovia and Idiotesia.  My mother writes HELLO CAN EVERYONE READ THIS?  WHAT KIND OF PIE DOES EVERYONE LIKE?  (Mother, it's called the Caps-Lock key; press it.)

Dean wants to know whether everyone got his corn joke.

Aunt Liddy says we should have the reunion someplace warm because Uncle Bob gets so cold.

Tina points out that we're having the reunion in August, it's bound to be warm wherever we are.

I tell him to put on a sweater but he doesn't listen, Aunt Liddy complains.

I might not be able to make it in August, Dean warns.  I have some big deals coming up.

Boy that would be a shame, John remarks, I was really looking forward to listening to you talk about your great job for ten hours.

I NEED TO KNOW WHAT KIND OF PIE TO MAKE my Mother shouts.  (Mom, you've got a month, you act like you're already pre-heating the oven.)

Finally, decide on the exciting events!!!!!  A really good polka band would be great, Uncle Lou declares.  Also a contradiction in terms, adds Cousin Tina.

YOUR FATHER WANTS RASPBERRY, my mother writes, as if we all have the same father.

I can't eat raspberries, I am allergic, John advises.

What would happen, Dean taunts, would your body swell up until it is fat as your head?  Let's have a pi*ata, Tina suggests, that would be fun.  Yeah, John agrees, especially if Dean is the pi*ata.

The best polka band in all the world is right here in Boise, Uncle Lou exults.

For your information if I eat raspberries I could die, John declares.

I don't like raspberries either, Tina confesses.

He just sits in his chair and tells me to turn up the heat, Aunt Liddy reports.

I'd be happy to be toastmaster again, Uncle Lou offers.

Please Bruce, Tina writes privately, don't let Uncle Lou have the microphone, last time he almost gave me brain damage.


(Uncle Lou, instead of a toastmaster this time let's just let people fight on their own.)

Well, I'm considered something of a wise man here in Boise, Uncle Lou responds.


(I'm not sure I can make the family reunion. I may have an important deal in Moronovia!!!!!)

~ Bruce Cameron ~

[ by W. Bruce Cameron Copyright © 2006, ( -- {used with permission} ]


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