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When Family Comes A-knockin

Hello to our harmonious readers. The festive season is drawing upon us. Families and friends are coming out of the woodwork to celebrate the festivities. While Covid has ruined the party, for now. I am sure it has been both dreadful and a godsend not having family knocking at your door. I have begun to reminisce about the shocking, hilarious, and infuriating moments I’ve been privy to when family have come together.

I was born in Darwin and lived with my parents in a suburb called Parap. Thunderstorms and lightning were a common occurrence, and I loved listening to the thunder crackle in the sky. One evening my old man (dad) invited this peculiar work colleague named Worrell over for tea. While sitting at the table, Worrell explained that the thunderstorms didn’t bother him and that he had been through the worst of them. As Worrell shared his riveting opinions about thunderstorms, I noticed he also had no etiquette as he wiped his mouth on the tablecloth. A few minutes went by, I decided to leave the discussion, and as I sat down on the sofa next to the table, I discovered that Worrell wasn’t wearing any underwear under his very small, loose-fitting shorts. What the hell? I was horrified. I decided the best course of action was to tell my mum about the situation.

My mum was without words before she came to and tried to explain why this man wasn’t wearing underwear. Finally, she told me to sit on the opposite side of the couch, watch some T.V. and ignore him. Then, the power went out of the blue as the biggest and crackliest bolt of lightning shook the house. My family and I weren’t fazed, but as the house lit up again with electricity, the man who had boasted that he breezed through thunderstorms did not breeze through very well. He went completely white with shock and wet himself.

I was sent to my room as I could not stop laughing. It isn’t every day you see an adult piss themselves. Needless, to say the man swiftly left with his wet shorts in tow.
On a separate occasion, Worrell returned to have a swim in our pool. He also bought a keg of vinegar, which he stated would act as a pool cleaner. He dumped the lot into the water and tried swimming. Unfortunately, the pool was now highly toxic to be in and had to be drained. By this point, Worrell was on his last leg. However, he was invited round for a BBQ. My family were non-smokers and didn’t appreciate Worrell smoking the place out. He was asked to put it out, he didn’t and left it to rest on mum’s nice doily, which naturally started to burn. That was it. My mum was livid and banned this man from returning.
I never saw him again, but his name lived on and was constantly used to rile my mother up.

At Christmas time, we used to hold a bit of a get together for family and close friends. I was about 14 at the time when my cousin brought his wild looking girlfriend to the gathering. The hair on this woman’s head was like something I had never seen before. I wondered whether she had ever used a brush. Maybe she didn’t have a brush. She looked like she was carrying around a birds nest. While we were all gathered around talking, his girlfriend lifted up her dress, put her hand inside her knickers and gave her tush a really good scratch. While doing this act, she stated that the Darwin green ants had built a home in her fanny. She continued to openly in front of everyone, scratch her privates. I glanced over at my dad. He was gobsmacked. Everyone’s eyes were locked onto this girl going to town on her tush.

Mum quietly moved this girl into the kitchen with her green ants. Everyone had gone so quiet you could cut the air with a knife. My cousin was also called in, and after a few moments, they were leaving the scene. As she was walking out the door, she was still scratching her vajayjay. I couldn’t stop laughing and yet again had to leave the room.

I had one more encounter with my cousin and his itchy girlfriend. We were coming out of the shopping centre when I looked up and saw them walking into Woollies. Yet again, she was scratching her tush as she entered the shop. So once more, I got to have a good laugh.

A few years later, I had met my partner and was invited into his family shindigs. At first, all seemed promising, but some family members began firing wild insults and accusations across the room. One brother who liked the drink would start sprouting rash statements about his brothers. I stayed quiet and kept to the edge of the room, looking and listening intently. This brother threatened to flog the shit out of anyone who spoke stupidly about any issue of interest. That was it for me. I went to my partner and asked if we could go as things were quite tense. As usual, my partner was blind to the anger and was under the impression that the doo was going well. Even though his name had been bandied around along with the accusations. We got out of there as quickly as possible.

Listening to my partner with his mother was hilarious. My partner’s mother seemed to have some sort of selective hearing as anytime he was on the phone with her, he was usually screaming at full pelt to get a sentence across. It was funny. Anytime I spoke with her over the phone, she heard perfectly.
A bit later, we decided to get rid of the landline and rely on our mobile phones. This got interesting when his mother called, and to get good bars, my partner would go out to the backyard and scream into the phone. On one occasion, it came to light that his parents were getting a divorce. As usual, my partner was out the back yelling obscenities at the phone and trying to make contact with his mother. I was laughing my head off. My partner and the rest of the street now knew all about the impending divorce, which didn’t happen.

A few years later, with 2 gorgeous daughters, I had a cousin with his wife, and 5 kids come down from Darwin to stay with us for about 3 weeks. A couple of days into their stay, I noticed their kids scratching their heads, but I never thought any more of it. After they left, I discovered that we were infested with head lice. You’ve got to be kidding me. So I rang our visitors and advised them that we had knits. His wife told me they knew they had head lice before leaving Darwin but couldn’t be bothered to treat it. They gave us no warning and never said anything while they stayed with us. I wasn’t as much angry as I was gobsmacked. However, the worst was yet to come. These knits were unkillable. They were hybrid and indestructible against any treatment. We fought these beasts for a whole month. By the end of it, my family’s scalps were burnt, which was the only thing that killed these monstrosities.

Family is interesting. If they weren’t family, we probably wouldn’t stop on the street to say hello. Family can be challenging if you don’t get along. It can cause anxiety, tension, awkwardness, unhappiness, and anger. You may feel guilty for not having a better relationship with certain family members. However, only because your family doesn’t mean that you have to have something in common. Family can sometimes be explained as a bunch of people forced to be in the same room.
While we generally love them regardless. They are a cause of chaos, comedy and conversation.
Good Luck to everyone coming out of lockdown and heading into the festive season.


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