family dissected, city style

Posted: November 4, 2011 in Humorous Bits
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

A little while back several crackerjack bloggers shared clever and amusing posts which equated states to family and other assorted characters. I believe it started with the delightful H.E. Ellis riffing on her stomping grounds of New England. Then the smart and prolific BrainRants blanketed both the West Coast and Midwest with pithy observations. (I said prolific, didn’t I?) The engaging sandylikeabeach quickly followed with a wonderful breakdown of the multiple personalities contained within her home state of Florida. If I’ve neglected to mention the contributions of other social observers who joined in, I apologize. They say memory is the first thing to go and, all things considered, it could be far worse.

I’m generally not one to follow the crowd, but in this case how could I not? From the moment H.E.’s post graced my monitor I knew I’d be a bandwagoning fool. When Mr. Rants and Sandy soon followed with equally astute observations my ornery, competitive nature really kicked in. Oh yes, it was on like Genghis Khan! I’m not trying to outdo these fine folks (if that’s even possible). I’m simply consumed with creative jealousy and when that happens, all bets are off. So the time has come to go to the wall. The die is cast; the gauntlet thrown down. By hook or crook I will circle the wagons, take the bull by the horns, put grist to the mill and get down to brass tacks. All I can hope is once I get past this paragraph my version of the “Dissected” series will stop relying on clichés.

Imagine the family gathered for a Sunday dinner. As they settle in the realization hits that the personalities of your kin eerily resemble cities. It’s disarming, but that doesn’t stop the laughter. Sitting around the table are:

Father (New York, NY)
He thinks he’s in charge of all that exists, but he really isn’t. (Don’t tell him.) He is irrationally driven to succeed, at first to pay for private schooling and a top of the line (i.e.: expensive) University education for his kids. Now it’s all about power. His temper is short, language salty, blood pressure high. Although he ruthlessly dominates the corporate world, his Golden Retriever owns him and can do whatever it wants with no fear of repercussion. Family and friends insist he relax, perhaps take up meditation or yoga. He has no time for such things. Time is money and every second must be consumed with purposeful activity and his schedule has no holes and will someone pass him the damn knife? That turkey won’t carve itself.

Mother (Charleston, SC)
A southern lady with refined manners perfected across generations of social breeding, she met her future husband while they were undergrads at Duke University. She majored in American Lit and minored in Art History. Her favorite author is Flannery O’Connor. While her husband talks in succinct and terse sentences, her speech is paced like a lazy summer afternoon. She possesses a melodic, infectious laugh and dresses with great care, appearing equally chic and comfortable in a tennis skirt as an evening gown. Entertaining comes so naturally it seems as if she entered the world with this skill fully formed. People feel instantly at ease around her. She often bakes additional pecan pies for guests to take home. She carries herself with impeccable composure, never says a cross word and has a special fondness for mint juleps.

Son (Dallas, TX)
He graduated college with honors and was named a second team All American tight end his senior year. He works 60 hour weeks for Citibank as a Junior Business Analyst, his first post-college job. Like his parents he is a staunch Republican. He values hard work and long hours. He believes the American Dream is attainable by anyone smart enough and also willing to make the necessary personal sacrifices. He’s forthright and learning to temper his very opinioned beliefs. He dates a woman three years older who works for Goldman-Sachs, but has no intention of marrying her. He drives a red SLK350 Roadster and still throws back Jägerbombs with his buddies on Friday night. His favorite place in the world remains wherever the nearest tailgating party is.

Daughter (San Francisco, CA)
The world is unfair. Poor people are marginalized, corporations place profit before morality, deadly pollutants pour into our major waterways, police use excessive force, and the politicians seems focused on nothing less than world domination. She can’t sit back and do nothing. That’s why at 20 she’s been arrested twice in the past six months, suspended from school for a semester and bunks with two like-minded girlfriends in a cold water flat. A stuffed Opus she won at a state fair when she was six sits on her bed. She buys all her clothes at Goodwill and is particularly fond of paisley. She only eats organic food from environmentally friendly companies. (An exception is made for Häagen-Dazs ice cream.) Every week she volunteers for five hours at a no-kill animal shelter. Clyde, an aspiring actor who recently came out to his family and was told not to return until he “fixed his problem,” is her best friend.

Things become even more interesting when the extended family visits. With the holidays approaching that could happen very soon!

  1. […] angle in regards to FLORIDA and John over at Trask Avenue went a step further with his post A FAMILY DISSECTED – CITY STYLE. And just like any good Army man BrainRants did it twice; once for the LEFT COAST and once for the […]


  2. whiteladyinthehood says:

    That was so good and funny, too. I of course love the Mom – her speech is paced like a lazy summer afternoon…and she bakes an extra pecan pie for her guests…that describes 1/2 the ladies I know…very good!!


  3. sparklebumps says:

    I am greatly disturbed. My “father” is not from NY, yet you described him to a T. I am distraught that there are more than one of them in the world….


  4. TheIdiotSpeaketh says:

    I agree, as a Texan, Dallas was spot on! 🙂


  5. Really clever. Now I’m sitting here thinking about how I use to see all the people in my family: Philly. Philly. Philly. Philly…. The biggest small town on the planet.


  6. joem18b says:

    I’m reminded of my uncle, Frogswamp Mississippi. He married my aunt, Frogswamp Mississippi.


  7. H.E. ELLIS says:

    I loved your post, John. You give me way too much credit. We New Englanders make it easy to mock us. And Dallas was spot on, by the way.


  8. BrainRants says:

    I have to say that you have exceeded both of my posts, IMHRO (R is for Ranty). Not sure you beat the lovely Ladies (H.E. Ellis and Sandy), but every single one is spot-on. No, nobody beat Ms. Ellis.

    The reason your post beat both mine is because where I had to intentionally make them funny, you, Sir, let the humor of the truth speak for itself. Awesomesauce.

    Now, to revert to myself: “Hey, WordPress, you need to Freshly Press this m****rf****r for twenty straight days…. bitch!!”

    I am spent.


Whatcha got to say?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s