Over the River and Through the Woods
With some vacation days nearing expiration, I decided to squeeze in a surprise visit to my beyond awesome grandparents, carefully coordinating with my uncle so as to dance the fine line of Surprising Old People that falls between "Pleasantly Caught Unawares" and "Massive Coronary". After five days of drinking so severe that I actually began to feel myself devolving, I was looking forward to a couple of days spent padding around in slippers, playing cribbage, and introducing my grandparents to basic features on their electronic equipment in a benevolent, godlike manner (Last Channel, Delete Messages, etc.). Tuesday morning proved to be a high point of my trip, as I convinced my grandmother to take a break from her endless, bloodhound-like search for microscopic crumbs and sit down to watch the bootleg copy of Jackass 2 that my uncle had dropped off (or, as she later referred to it in a conversation with her sister, "You know, The Assholes? Two."). Sample conversation:
Grandmother: I couldn't hear that. What did he say?
Me: He said "I am not eating that fucking shit."
Grandmother: Does he mean real shit?
Me: Jesus, no! Oh wait, yes. Sorry.
After our (read: my) decision to take in the special unrated features, we'd wiled the better part of the afternoon away and segued neatly into "The People's Court" and "Judge Judy", which after three days' of viewings, I can safely assure you would not exist in a world without at least two of the following: used cars, security deposits, broken condoms/uneducated hicks. A good, relaxing time overall, but after years of city living in which my shelves have shelves, I sometimes get a little out of sorts with all of the available space and amenities, and the highly irrational means in which they use it:
This is but a small portion of my grandmother's vast collection of candles, none of which are actually meant for burning because "that's how fires get started". Though I've pointed out that by refusing to light a single wick, she deprives the candles of their very raison d'etre, she'll have none of it. The most frustrating thing about the whole thing is that they're all descriptively named after incredibly delicious foodstuffs, leading some primal part of me to actually desire to eat wax. I'm not sure if that was their original intention, but score one for Yankee Candle.
This is my grandparents' Sitting Room, which is somewhat innacurately named in that one is not allowed to actually sit within its confines (even entering the room is discouraged). This room exists entirely as a showpiece for visitors, reminiscent of some Victorian tradition in which the ability to keep a room pristine indicates Good Virtue and Gentlemanly Qualities. They've been living in this house for three years, and as far as I know, there's still a possibility that all of that furniture is made of cardboard.
This is my grandfather's collection of creepy, leering dogs, arranged on his bureau so that no matter what vantage point you view them from, they are staring at you, defying all properties of light. As for the warped, freakish glass clown in the background, in 27 years, not a visit has gone by that I haven't expected it to come to slowly come to life, look me straight in the eye, and huskily whisper "I'm going to kill you."
Note:Just above this shelf, they keep a picture of me as a teenager that is only slightly less unsettling.
Do your grandparents have a heart-shaped jacuzzi in their private bathroom? Well, mine do. And that's all I have to say about that.
These are a few of my grandmother's Hummels, a sort of collectible German figurine that ranks somewhere between Beanie Babies and Faberge eggs in terms of classiness/worth (far, far closer to Beanie Babies). Though my mother and aunt are also rabid fans, my cousin and I have been unnerved by these since we were children, and whenever we're told that we stand to inherit them, we usually just look at each other, shrug, and say "You can have 'em." The worst part about them is that they depict cherubic young German children from the Nazi era doing mundane, angelic things that I have never seen a single child do, let alone a Hitler Youth.
1. I'm not sure there is a pose in the world that can make one look stupider than "Staring Blankly at Two Piglets While Wearing Leiderhosen".
2. He is looking (slightly downward) into your soul.
3. First off, I don't know who issues a 6-year old a shotgun, but that seems a moot point. Second, he's using binoculars to presumably look for his next kill, when there's a rabbit not two feet in front of him. Third, nothing robs you of your innocence more than a porcelain depiction of a rabbit asking to be shot.