Food, Drink, Character Assassination

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Spring is here, and that can only mean one thing: It’s time to prepare for another Family Reunion.

And, while I can’t speak for other families, I know that our gatherings are not for the halt and the timid. You come prepared to feast robustly, drink valiantly, and weather a storm of jovial scorn.

I don’t know why my family excels at insult, but theirs is a wit that revels in verbal jousting and savors the personal put-down. It begins the minute you arrive at the event. Grab a drink, head for the shrimp cocktail, and brace yourself. Everyone’s a target.

Lost some scalp hair but gained more ear hair over the year? You’ll get a query: “Hey… is it migration season again?”

Put on a few pounds? Observation: “I see you got a new chin collar.”

Fashion faux pas? Request: “I’m sorry, Uncle, could you repeat what you said…your shirt’s a little loud.”

That’s the mild stuff over the hors d’oeuvres. The high humor comes at dinner and draws on insightful analyses of how present conditions link to lifelong shortcomings.

Don’t ask. Continue reading

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