Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My Crazy Cousins

Left to my own devices, I seem to get myself into trouble, but pair me up with one of my Crazy Cousins, and there is no hope. This was evident yesterday, when an innocent phone call came through on my cell phone at 11:00 am. I was diligently multi-tasking some accounting work, job hunting, and an intense game of online bingo when the song "We Are Family" began singing from my phone. This is the ring tone that I have assigned to the Crazy Cousins. It is similar to the Bat Signal that Gothem City uses to contact Batman. When they call, it is usually to plan something fun or to talk about someone else in our family, which is fun in itself. Today's Crazy Cousin call was from a cuz on her way to Lexington. She asked if I wanted to join her for lunch. It was a beautiful day, perfect for lunch on a restaurant patio, and I probably needed a break as I had not won a single game of Bingo all morning, while my online Bingo arch-nemesis MyrtleMadnezz had won several.
You would think that I, and my Crazy Cousins, would know what happens when we get together. It rarely ever resembles what the original plan had been. These encounters have ended with tickets/warnings from police, tattoos, being thrown-out of restaurants, leading entire bars in our Family Dance (yes, we have a family dance), and most often, hangovers.

Crazy Cousin, Andy, and I had a nice lunch outside, and since we hadn't seen each other in a while and needed to catch up, we decided to go to another outdoor patio and talk some more. At some point in the afternoon, Andy gave up on us ever leaving and went home without me. One thing lead to another, and 10 hours later, I found myself at the Hyatt Regency bar in downtown Lexington, among the attendees of the 2010 National Child Support Enforcement Conference. They were a lively group, and I made friends with several of them. I did first ask if they were for or against child support, as I did not want to befriend a bunch of people who were meeting to explore ways to avoid paying support, and you never know, that sort of group very well could exist.

Thinking we could kick up the party a notch, my Crazy Cousin and I decided we would lead the group in a cheer, as nothing brings a party to a full roar faster than a crowd-participatory cheer. So, Crazy Cousin went to one side of the group and I went to the other side. Then I yelled, "OOOOHHHH, I SAY CHILD AND YOU SAY SUPPORT.....CHILD," then Crazy Cousin yelled, 'SUPPORT.'' We tried this several times, as it sometimes takes a few times for cheers to catch on, like blowing on a fire to get it to start burning. A few of those rascally child support enforcement people finally started participating, so we thought the cheer an overall success, although they were probably just doing it so we would stop.
Last night, however, was mild compared to the evening that this same Crazy Cousin and I, along with a group of friends, spent out on the town in Hazard, Kentucky. We ended up at an establishment called The Hillbilly Palace. I know you are probably thinking, "Wow, sounds fancy. A Palace for the people of the hills." Ok, maybe you weren't thinking that, and you would have been soooo wrong if you had. There was, though, a live band, a large dance floor, and several bars in this Palace.

This was the evening that my Crazy Cousin introduced me to a liquor named Jagermeister. If you have not had the chance to sample this liquor, count your blessings and please never do it. It tastes bad, and makes you do crazy, crazy things. I, for example, after several drinks of Jagermeister, ended the night singing the lead in the Hillbilly Palace Band. That's right, on stage, belting out "Friends In Low Places," which I now see was a very appropriate song.

I was then carried out of the Palace by my Crazy Cousin who somehow convinced our friend Angie to drive me home. The Jagermeister decided it had spent enough time inside my body on the way home, and by the time Angie and I arrived in Hyden, she needed a new car. To this day, I still owe Angie so much that I could never refuse any request she made of me!
Keep in mind that Hazard, Kentucky, is located in one of the only "wet" counties in Southeastern Kentucky. If you happen to live in Hyden, or any neighboring towns, and you want to go out and about, then you do it in Hazard.

This was evident to me a few months later, when checking out my groceries at the Food Fair in Hyden. I was unloading my things on the belt for "Sissy Mae" to ring up and I noticed that my dear, ol' third grade teacher was in line behind me. I immediately hugged her and we talked. She asked if I was being a good boy and told me how proud of me she was, that I had just turned into such a nice young man. At that point "Sissy Mae" wanted in on the conversation, and said, "Are you still singing over at the Hillbilly Palace in Hazard?" I immediately looked at my most prim and proper third teacher who had suddenly become very interested in the candy bars and was pretending to ignore me. I just said "No, it was a one-time thing," to "Sissy Mae" and left Food Fair in shame.

So, I do know that there are many consequences to hanging out with my Crazy Cousins, such as complete humiliation at a local grocery store or failing to get the child support enforcement officers to participate in a great cheer. My Crazy Cousins and I also know that all of our mother's are appalled and embarrassed by our behavior, but we have come to the conclusion that our action's are just something that can't be controlled or helped. It is genetic, and the effects become multiplied when there is more than one of us together.
Either way, I sure can't wait to hear "We Are Family" playing from cell phone again!

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