My aunt threatens to sue me

I checked my voicemail and had a message from my aunt Laura.

"Hi Jess-Jess. We have an ice storm going through town and it looks like a snow globe in my backyard…snow is just drifting down…and I just called to say, um, if my four-year-old turns into a teenybopper blue-eye shadow-wearing cheerleader, I’M GONNA SUE YOU FOR EVERY CENT TO YOUR NAME."

Woah! I'm reeling from the abrupt change in Laura’s tone when she begins to laugh. I can’t tell if her ha-ha-ha is rife with glee, menace, or both, but I have my suspicions. She continues.

"I’m gonna have to knock your block off if she turns into some kind of teenage freak. You should see her strutting her stuff around here because of that High School Musical concert you work for."

Please know that Laura hisses the words High School Musical in a stage whisper so emphatic that I imagine each tiny globule of spittle clinging to her fangs, I mean, teeth.

I picture my four-year-old cousin Erin in ten years dressed as a cheerleader who files her nails, pops her gum, and rolls her eyes at Laura, who is busy filing a lawsuit against me, when Laura suddenly breaks character again and wraps up the message.

"So I just called to say ‘hey’ and thinking about you. Bye!"

1. Laura, I want you to understand that I am on your side. In fact, I’m considering suing myself for becoming the kind of person who returns home bearing glow sticks and overpriced concert tickets instead of the Indonesian shadow puppets, African masks, and beautifully illustrated folk tales published in underdeveloped nations by women-run collectives like I’d always imagined.

2. I realize now that you and your children have lived so innocently and free of cable television that you were defenseless against my offer of free tickets to a show that our more shrewd 14-year-old relative, Sarah, dismissed as "stupid" even though she’s the one who actually fits the demographic of the program.

3. I am told by other parents whose children are swept up in the mania of High School Musical that the movie and its soundtrack contain positive messages. I myself have not seen the movie and while I HAVE seen the live performance of the soundtrack onstage no less than 40 times, I still cannot tell you whether the messages are positive because I was mostly busy laughing and wondering if the 10 – 15,000 shrieking fans resembled the crowds during the rise of the Third Reich in Europe.

4. If it turns out that these other parents are actually ex-cheerleaders who wouldn’t know a positive message if it stuck its finger down their throats, I will go to the closest locally-owned independent bookstore and buy Erin a copy of Free to Be You And Me and sing "William Wants a Doll" to her over and over again until she is re-brainwashed.

5. Thank you so much for saying KNOCK MY BLOCK OFF. This is something I haven’t heard in a long time and it will be a nice addition to the stockpile of phrases from home that I’m committed to bringing to the general lexicon (see "Jeezel Petes", "Hecky-Naw", and "Duh Hickey").

6. Love you.


zan said...

Jeezel Petes! Jeezel Petes. I thought we were the only ones who said that.

Let's reclaim southwestern Ohio speech. I'm still trying to work "pop" back into my lexicon.


Anonymous said...

Dear Roncky,
You will be happy to know that blah blah did indeed contain many positive messages, many of which are still relevant to not only your average, modern-day teeny-bopper but to many young skinhead types as well. These timeless lessons, such as, focus on the task at hand (aka, getcha blah in the blah--with its many athletic salutes); united we stand divided we blah (aka, W.A.I.T.T, the finale), and my personal favorite (and a catchy tewn indeedaroni), become a super power and reign almighty over the free world (aka, bop to the blah) are but just a few of many parables that will infect my psyche forever. Of course, my favorite part of the show always was when the large bird like character's head--hell, who am I kidding? OSTRICH-like character's head--would explode from its own high pitched insane squawking, leaving her legs to fall over and rattle off the stage like short stalks of broken bamboo. The mere thought of it leaves me laughing in a fit of nostalgia and mockery, the likes of which I haven't experienced since High School.

ronckytonk said...

z: we ARE the only ones who say that, if by we you mean you, me, and the rest of the kids from that era of growing up in ohio lo! those many years ago (15-20)....

ronckytonk said...

kookaburra: you forgot about the tinkle of rhinestones skittering across stage after the head explosion.

Anonymous said...

I am at your mommy's house, having dinner, after a day at the hospital with Mema, who is doing really well I should add; I thoroughly enjoyed your blog!! How about "jimminy crickets", or "dudn't it?". I would like to compile all of Dad's sayings....
Love ya!
Aunt Maureena

Janebloch said...

I've kind of always lived in fear of yer aunts, but in the good way..... Until now. Way to go go Number 5(4)