I went to my brother's house for dinner a week ago. The Brother, nicknamed "The Bird" when he was a wee little scamp, is now a gray haired middle aged old guy. I still call him "The Bird" sometimes. Mainly because he still calls me "The Toad" or "Toadly", a name lovingly graced upon me by my late father. Apparently I was pouting about something at one time and my dad said I was puffed up like a toad...and it stuck...even though I'm sure I don't puff up and pout anymore...or do I?
When my favorite SIL (Sister In Law), Michelle, called I figured it was a good day to go visit. They live about an hour to an hour and a half away, depending on traffic, and since the next day was a holiday I didn't have to get up early & go to work. Side note: In an effort to be truthful, whatever SIL I happen to be talking to at the moment is the "favorite" SIL...because I really love 'em all...equally... I mean it would be really shitty to have a real "favorite" wouldn't it? It would be kinda like having a "favorite" child...and everybody knows how strictly forbidden THAT is, don't we? Just thought I should be totally clear on this because heaven forbid...I certainly wouldn't want to ever be accused of FAVORITISM.
SIL 'Chelle: "Hey, haven't seen you for awhile and wanted to see if you want to come down for dinner"
SIL'Chelle: "We're just having hot dogs". "Casper's hot dogs. Bird says they were your dad's favorite." "It's just going to be us & Gabriel (The Grandson of The Brother)." She said some other stuff too, fave SIL 'Chelle is a little chatty, but I don't really remember what it was. I don't remember Casper's being my dad's favorite either but apparently The Brother does. Funny how everybody remembers things differently.
Me: "Okay". I'm not quite as chatty as Fave SIL "Chelle.
I futz around until it's almost time to leave, jump in the shower, and hit the road.
I actually didn't hit any traffic and made it in record time.
Fave SIL 'Chelle was in the house when I got there along with a new black Chihuahua...and an old Chihuahua, Pigitha. They're actually not bad for Chihuahua's...they don't do that shaky thing that most of them do. I don't really know what that shaky thing is but bigger dogs and even small dogs that aren't Chihuahuas don't do it.
The Brother is in the backyard with The Grandson. He's younger than me and, me, he has grandchildren. The Husband and I have kids who've failed to reproduce. Sad but true...but we have cats instead!! We have to feed 'em & clean up their poop so it's kinda the same thing...on the plus side, we can leave them alone overnight. I really want grand kids...but back to The Brother.
After a hug The Brother starts giving me three flavors of shit about the town I live in. Seems there's some list of the most redneck towns and mine is high up on the list. This is also the town where The Brother grew up...just sayin'.
The whole time he's making fun of where I live I look around and notice he's standing between his doughboy pool with a torn liner and an old hot tub that he's converted to a planter box that's filled with dying tomato plants...then he points out the latest acquisition...a plastic toadstool table and chair set. As Arsenio would say..."it's one of those things that make you go hmmmm?". Since it was really hot outside we went inside, where he'd rigged up a fifty pound block of ice in a metal washtub sitting in front of a fan to cool the place off. Hmmmm...
(Okay, I just made that part up...the doughboy doesn't have a torn liner...and he has A/C...everything else it totally true.)
Time for dinner...
So in my pea brain, I just assumed we were going to BBQ hot dogs...which is how I like 'em. It's pretty much the only way I eat them anymore. Looking back, I don't know where I got that idea. But imagine my surprise when Fave SIL 'Chelle put a big ol' pot of water on the stove...to boil some dogs.
I know a lot of people are hot dog purists...steamed old fashioned dogs in a bun loaded with sauerkraut, relish, mustard and all the other stuff. I just don't happen to be one of them. My current favorite is Costco Beef Dinner Franks. I used to be a Hebrew National fan and I still like 'em but I like the Costco ones better. I like 'em grilled but not charred...and I like the bun a little toasted. A little mayo and a little thin line of mustard all along the dog...that's all.
I want mayo but if I don't have it I won't die but NO MIRACLE WHIP!!! Under no circumstance is Miracle Whip a substitute for mayonnaise. The Bird remembers Dad loving Casper's but I remember him loving Miracle Whip. Yuck...which just so happens to rhyme with...???...you know...the big "F" word...and, please note, I haven't felt the need to drop a single "F" bomb yet. Maybe I'm getting more mature after all.
Fortunately Fave SIL 'Chelle made some chili so I was able to put a spoonful of that on my dog. When I took the first bite I felt a slight crunch...kind of a pop. I don't know if Casper's uses some kind of sausage casing or if the skin is just different. It bothers me because I don't really know what that lining is made from. My dad used to say cat gut but I don't really think it's made from cats. I think it's some kind of other animal intestine which totally grosses me out.
I was hungry so I ate the whole thing. I'm not sure if it was because I was really, really hungry or because I didn't want to hurt Fave SIL 'Chelle's feelings. I mean, she's sooooo nice, it would be like kicking a puppy to hurt her feelings. Whatever the reason...I did it. Then I went into the bathroom and barfed it all up.
(Okay I made that up...I didn't go to the bathroom and barf...but I wanted to...I kept thinking I just ate intestines...like one of those Walking Dead zombies.)
After a feast of intestinal stuffed meat remnants and the new knowledge that I'm a redneck I headed for home...
When I finally got back and turned onto the main street in town I suddenly got a hankerin' to pull into 7-11 to get a Big Gulp and a giant bag of pork rinds...
I don't ever remember wanting pork rinds or a Big Gulp in my life, and I don't think I've ever used the word hankerin' either...I guess now that I've been informed I'm a redneck my life's gonna change...it's the stoopidist thing