Pieces of Wisdom: Your Dumb Family

My uncle emailed me this weekend to tell me a little story. It seems he and my Aunt Kathy used to live next door to this guy named Dick, who had a bronze car.

They were out in a crowded downtown this weekend, and a bronze car went by, and my aunt announced, "Every time I see that color, I think of Dick."

Apparently she got a lot of stares from the crowd.

And that is why I have gathered you all here today. So we can all stare at my Aunt Kathy.

Kathy Everyone in my family has to wear this jewelry set. You should see the men.

Anyway, that is the topic of today's Pieces of Wisdom: ridiculous stories from your family. They do not have to involve the word "dick."

My Great Aunt Opie, whose name was really Opal–and as an aside, my great grandmother had this big plan to name all of her daughters gem names. She started with Opal, and she was going to name my grandmother Ruby, and my Great Aunt Mary Gertrude Pearl, then she got over it and didn't, and poor Opal was the only one stuck with a gem name. But anyway, Opal was all nervous to meet someone fancy one day.

She was getting ready or whatever and in her mind she was preparing to meet this fancy person. "Good day. How do you do," she was saying in her mind, picturing herself all proper and doing it up right.

"Good day. How do you do." Maybe a little curtsy? Just a handshake? Wait to hear how he really is doing? Tilt the head in curiosity? It was all so exciting.

The big moment arrived and my gem-named great aunt met the fancy person.

"Good do," she said.

See. I come by it naturally.

Okay, I'll give you one more and then you tell me your family stories. This is not anyone saying anything dumb this time.

My grandfather went by the name Chuck. I mean, he wasn't a gem name or anything; his name was Charles, but everyone called him Chuck. In my hometown, when it was your birthday, everyone and their gem-named sister went to Model Bakery to get a cake. I do not know why this was so. I do not know why they had the monopoly on cakes in Saginaw, Michigan. But everyone used them. I used to see my Model Bakery cake in the fridge on my birthday, but I was not allowed to lift the lid to see the color roses used that year until it was time for cake to be served. It was all very thrilling.

At any rate, it was Chuck's birthday and we got out the Model Bakery cake, and there in the middle of the cake it read, "Happy Birthday, Cluck!"

Cluck.

Who names anyone Cluck?

June. Losing readers named Cluck since Pieces of Wisdom day.

Okay. Family stories, please.

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Author: June

At one point, I was sort of hot, in a "she's 27 and probably a 7" kind of a way. Now I'm old and have to develop a charming personality. Guess how that's going.

254 thoughts on “Pieces of Wisdom: Your Dumb Family”

  1. Joann is terrible (and that is why I love her). I don’t think you should get another dog. It’ll get to the point to where you can’t walk with all of them, and you’ll just have a new puppy chewing up your stuff. I don’t know who said skip a third dog and get two cats instead, but I’m in agreement. At least you don’t have to walk your cats to give them exercise. I’m also extremely lazy and that is why thinking of owning a dog is tiring. Cats are my kind of people.

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  2. I’m sorry about baby kitty, too. I once bottle-fed an orphaned kitten who survived nicely. The picture of you bottle-feeding Francis brought back memories. One morning, as I was preparing to leave for work wearing a dress and pantyhose, the kitten climbed all the way up my leg. Ouch!

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  3. Oh, here’s a “durp” moment I had when I worked at my last payroll job. There were two other girls in the payroll department, and one day we had a meeting with the two big wigs. We’re just casually chatting towards the end and I start talking about how my roommate had these roasted peanuts and they were SO GOOD and how I ended up eating all of her roasted peanuts. It got really quiet and then we left and both of them went OH MY GOD, what were you doing in there? I didn’t understand, and then they said I kept saying roasted penis over and over again in the story and how I ate my roommates roasted penis.
    Upon further examination I realized that every time I said peanuts I really was saying penis, and have since fixed the glitch.

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  4. Um hello, June? I was going to email you privately about my exciting news but you forced me to share it openly. Last week, when my husband was checking his newly planted vegetable garden, he realized we had grown kittens. He found a litter of kittens in our wood shed and they are now residing in my bathroom while I am patiently taming them and getting them used to humans. They are fuzzy and sweet. There is a gray calico, a gray fuzzy boy who looks like Roger and a cream fuzzy boy who I am pretty sure I am keeping. I could meet you half way between Saginaw and Chicago when you’re in next month… Roger needs a same species friend. Be same species affirming!

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  5. I’m thinking June leaves work at 5:00 and it takes all of a blink of an eye for her to get home. It’s been over one hour since we last heard from her. Bets on whether or not she stopped on her way home to get the new puppy?

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  6. First of all, it only takes $25.00 to ensure a good home for giant monster puppies?
    When my little brother was 14 he called and asked me how to take money out of his savings account. He had gone to the bank and told them he needed to “posit” some money and they had no idea what he meant. He thought that if you DEposited money to put it in, you must “posit” to get it out. He’s still pretty stupid.

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  7. Duffylou - hopes there is a kitty in June's future and the doggie stayed in craig's list of naughty thing says:

    Jan has boy kitties!
    This happened before I was born, but it is a classic family story. My mom took my two sisters and brother to the park to play. She was talking to a neighboor and my siblings were playing on the slide. It was one of the huge silver slides and my sister Beth was sitting at the top having some mixed feelings about sliding down. My brother Keith, three years younger, decided he’d waited long enough and shoved her. She still didn’t go down the slide so he pushed her off the side. She fell from the top and broke her arm. If your wondering is still sort of an ass.

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  8. So, can you go to the pound and leave empty handed? (when a lost pet is not involved) Me thinks not. I think there will be a kitty in the blog tomorrow. Squeeeeeee.

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  9. Duffylou - and yes, tacky, borish, incredibly unthoughtful girl did put it on space i mean facebook says:

    Pertaining to Bridezilla’s shower, “She didn’t put that all on Spacebook, did she?”
    Duffylou’s mom.

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  10. The year was 1963. My husband, along with the rest of his family was visiting his Aunt and Uncle. All of the younger kids had gone to bed and the adults were still in the dining room chatting at the table after dinner. My husband’s cousin (the one who lived there), who was about 9, walked right past the adults ( he was a known sleep walker), opened the refrigerator door, peed, closed the door and went back to bed.

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  11. Amish Annie, feel like sharing any hints? Meow? Woof? OMG you aren't adopting a horse are you? says:

    Again, I’m going to say, Oh June, you tease you.

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  12. Amish Annie, feel like sharing any hints? Meow? Woof? OMG you aren't adopting a horse are you? says:

    Again, I’m going to say, Oh June, you tease you.

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  13. Amish Annie, feel like sharing any hints? Meow? Woof? OMG you aren't adopting a horse are you? says:

    Again, I’m going to say, Oh June, you tease you.

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  14. Love the stories!
    …hmmm..well here’s mine. How about the time my sister was stopped by the police in a little town up “in the hills” outside of Sacramento, California ..and somehow this required that she pay a large fine to LEAVE town. So my mother calls me in the middle of the night, hysterical, “we have to go get your sister, she’s at the police department in some little town.” And my mother wouldn’t ride with me in my car. With me driving…no, that was not allowed. But her car was almost empty and my father was out of town on a hunting trip AND my mother never learned how to pump her own gasoline. I had to drive out into the country to meet up with my mother (45 minute drive) in the dark of night, then ride with her to the nearest gas station, (back to the town where I live) that was open, and I had to get the gas for her car. We then drove several miles to the JAIL HOUSE…which was attached (the Dispatcher said) to the Court house. We got there, flying like bats out of hell (my mother, driving to rescue her dumb over grown “baby” daughter)…then parked the car. Walked into the Court House that was lit up like a Christmas Tree and followed the sign that said “Police Department..this way” and went into the UNLOCKED glass doors. hmmmm…no one was there. All the hallways were dark.
    Where was the Police Department…? Maybe it was connected outside the main building…. (this is us thinking out loud).
    So we went stomping down the darkened hall…back to the glass double doors. But the doors were now LOCKED.
    LOCKED tight.
    Crap. My mother was a claustrophobic pain in the ass – and that was when she was in a good mood. I went back down the hallway and tried every door. We were stuck. I remembered seeing a funky wall phone at the end of the hall …but we didn’t have any change.
    Wanna know how we got out?
    I called “911.” The “ Small Town” police dispatcher answered, “what is your emergency” (something like that), and I said “I am locked inside the courthouse next to your police department with my mother. Could you please get someone to come let us out?”
    Silence.
    I decided I’d better make the next statement count before she hung up on me. “My mother’s name is xxxxx xxxxx and she was on her way to get her daughter xxxx xxxx out of your jail, you talked to her once and gave her directions. We accidentally went to the wrong building, but it did say “police department” and the door was open…we are inside using the pay phone. Please send an officer; he’ll see us standing on the other side of the double doors.”
    Note: this was 20 years ago …no cell phones.
    Man. The look on the face of the cop that came over to check it out was priceless. He escorted us to the correct entrance – which was about a hundred feet away. They (all three people on the night shift) had the best time, hooting and snickering …they said the janitor must have accidentally left the doors unlocked and we’re lucky that we called, cuz if the alarm had gone off, they might have arrested us for burglary (of course they were joking, I think?). We got my dumb sister out of there (arrested for unpaid fix it tickets, can you believe that?), and the police people waved good bye, with huge smiles on their faces.

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  15. Sadie?
    I have to say that after I went back and again read through these hilarious comments… each worthy of the Pulitzer Prize…
    Yet your #2 and #4 just crack me the Hdouble”L” up.
    (I am sure that #4 has happened to me, I could actually “hear” the “BRoooooNNNGGG” of the sound of flesh against metal, and feel the horrible flattening numbness as I read your words).

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  16. L., my only saving grace is all this happened before cell phone cameras and the internet. Only those around me saw it happen.
    #2 (how prophetic) is our family classic and #4 happened in Junior High and put a knot on my forehead. Thankfully, I recovered from it all.

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  17. Letha, I saw two baby bluejays in the middle of the road near my home this morning. They were too young to fly and must have just recently left their nest. I stood near them until they hopped into the safety of the grass as I didn’t want them to get run over by a car. Their mother was flying nearby. I guess they liked the warmth of the sunshine on the asphalt.

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  18. OMG, Duffylou! I broke my arm for the third time in the third grade in a simular way! Kim Kottcamp said, “Let’s play train!” And grabbed my feet at teh top of the slide. I was talking to somebody down the steps and didn’t hear her.
    Cut to my mom learning that I knew an enormous string of curse words when the orthopaedic broke my arm to set it an hour later.

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  19. When my niece was about 2.5-3, she cursed (in proper context!) while my sister & mom were talking on the phone. My sister scolded her while holding back the laughter. When it was time to say goodbye to Grandma, my niece wouldn’t. She was mad. When my sister asked why, she said: “Cuz you won’t let me say SHIT no more!” and pouted. Smart girl, she now collects a quarter every time we slip up.
    I say go with the kitten(s), the dog-drool factor is gross.

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  20. My niece was in kindergarden and she kept walking in front of the swings while other kids were swinging and she would get hit and knocked to the ground. After getting hit for the umpteenth time, the principal called her mother (my sister) into the office and wanted to discuss problem-solving so that my niece would stop getting hit. The next day, my niece walked in front of the swings and got knocked to the ground and her glasses broke. My sister asked my niece why did she keep walking in front of the swings while people were swinging. My niece simply said, “I don’t know.” My sister said, “WELL, STOP!” It never happened again.

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  21. LauraL, who had a Pyrenees growing up and loves them passionately and lives about 2 miles from the state Great Pyrenees rescue. Dammit. says:

    You do realize, don’t you, that Pyrs are WONDERFUL with cats? They’re wonderful with everything – they are awesome dogs. … With a shitload of hair that you will have to brush for at least 30 minutes a day. And they drool and fart, and you just got rid of a giant creature that did that. Also, puppy?? House training??

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  22. Susan, that reminds me of my cousin when he was about 2, maybe a little younger. He was in the mimicking phase of learning to talk anyway. My aunt was running to get the phone and answered it but realized that she had just missed the caller. As she hung up, she said “F*uck!” So my cousin went around for about a week pointing at phones and saying “F*uck!” Then my aunt thought that she would correct this behavior by telling him that f*uck is not a real word, as in “don’t bother saying it anymore”. So he went around for another week saying, “F*uck not real. F*uck not real.” He’s not quite old enough for us to tell him that story, but believe me, we will someday.

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  23. Diane,
    Kid-swearing stories are the best! That’s a cute one that *must* be repeated to your nephew once he gets older. A good reminder when he starts dating! 😉

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  24. June, you see I spelled it outright. There’s no shyness on this blog!
    And that’s why my niece is making a mint off of me!

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  25. Every once in a while, in a house full of six noisy kids, there’d be a quiet spell. Only lasted a few seconds, but golden.
    Once, the quiet spell happened just in time for one of my boys, fighting with an older brother to yell, “Oh, yeah?! Well, I’m dumber than I look, you know!”
    Imagine the windows blowing out as we all howled with laughter.
    And, we’re mean; we still tease him about it.

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  26. Lots of funny stories today. But the potato chips/toothpicks/toothpaste story hit my funny bone in just the right place; it just totally tickled me. I was laughing out loud in the shower remembering it.
    When my daughter was in her early teens, she went through a phase of saying really dumb things. One day right after she had made one of these verbal blunders, her grandmother and I were laughing at her. She looked at us–and was completely serious–and said, “Just slap me next time you think I’m fixing to say something stupid.” Needless to say, she has yet to live this down.
    Same daughter, years earlier with a mixed-up phrase: She took “getting on my nerves” and “making me nervous” and came up with “making on my nerves”. “Making on my nerves” is funny and too often true, and it is still in common usage in the family.
    Thanks for all the humor that brightened my day.

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  27. My cousins and I used to spend summers with my grandmother. My uncle, who was in his 20’s at the time, was quite good looking and had lots of girlfriends.
    Whenever a girl came over to see him, we would give my grandmother’s Chihuahua a pair of his dirty underwear to take to the girl. Dog would do it every time!!
    And that is just one reason I love dogs! Try getting a cat to do that.

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  28. Earlier today my son was yelling at his younger sister and when we asked him what she had done, he said “She’s really egging me off.”
    Thanks for all the great stories today, BBPlanders.

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  29. when my Uncle Barry was about 6, he was invited to a friend’s house for dinner. the friend’s mom was not a good cook, and she made some horribly bad, rock hard biscuits. my grandmama, barry’s mama, never had a bad word to say about anybody, and in true Nonie Rish fashion, Barry bit in, realized how hard it was, and said very plainly, “don’t nothin break MY teeth!”

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  30. I do have a story involving Dicks. I already had an Uncle Dick, but then my aunt remarried a guy named Dick. You all know how confusing it gets when there are too many dicks around, so everyone started referring to them as Marian’s Dick and Betty’s Dick. We were all in Lake Tahoe for Betty and Dick’s wedding, and stayed at a cabin on the lake. We were sitting outside and Betty pokes her head out of the door and asks “Where’s my Dick”? Of course, we all started laughing, and all my uncles and cousins started making comments about how they had never lost theirs or where she should look for her missing dick.

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  31. June you are like me and DVD’s, i cannot stop buying them. Of course they don’t poop, shed or hawk up piles of grossness on the living room carpet. My new obsession, since i have no life, is collecting small Yankee candles (3.7oz) in glass jars. I have about 30 so far and now i can be in aroma heaven anytime i want. Just take off the lid and breath in.

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  32. Garden Girl.....who hopes there's a prize for best comment this week 'cause she's feeling pretty confident that this one takes the cake. says:

    I know I’m late to the party but it’s been a busy day. The daughter who is in the upcoming story graduates from H.S. tomorrow!
    When said daughter was five years old we took her to her first Rose Parade. Because my in-law’s live only 15 minutes from Pasadena we stayed with them the night before the parade to make our early-rising-in-the-dark to “save seats” a little easier on all of us. When the morning of the parade came we all stumbled out of our sleeping bags/beds to throw on our clothes. Before we were even fully awake my MIL hunted me down and says this: “Garden Girl, if you want to make it more convenient I have some DEPENDS that (insert daughter’s name here) could wear so you don’t have to worry about finding a port-a-potty!” Daughter has always been a reserved, quiet girl and there was not a snowballs chance in hell that she was going to sit curb-side and pee her pants (or Depends!) To this day I marvel at what my MIL’s whacked out mind could have been thinking to even remotely consider subjecting a little girl to the indignity of peeing in her grandmother’s depends, in plain sight of thousands of people,at age 5.
    And how ever did my sweet husband turn out so *normal*?
    It’s a mystery.

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  33. Garden Girl.....who hopes there's a prize for best comment this week 'cause she's feeling pretty confident that this one takes the cake. says:

    And also, too, I believe the condominium,IOU thing, June. OF COURSE you had the same sense of humor as a kid as you do now.
    June: The Early Years. Some people just can’t grasp sardonic humor…no offense to Mom. She did a great job raising you. :0)

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  34. When I was in highschool, my boyfriend had come over to my house and we had gone swimming in the backyard pool. When we came in and got dressed, his hair was still pretty wet.. my mom, who is always mixing up her sayings said to him “You should get Kara to give you a blowjob”. Way to go mom.

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  35. Oh, I forgot another funny story (although I’m late to the party and we’ve all moved on from funny family stories). My Mom, sister, and I used to attend this huge antiques festival in Charlotte every year. One year when I was about 13 and my sister would have been in her mid-twenties, she and I were walking around the booths and she must have been teasing me about something and I playfully responded, “I’m not afraid of you and your big boasts!” A little while later my Mom came through the same booth (we had split up to look separately) and asked the booth owner if she had happened to see us come through. She gave the lady a brief description of us and the lady responded in shocked and dismayed tones, “Oh, yes, I saw your daughters. And your younger daughter said to your older daughter, ‘I’m not afraid of you and your big breasts!'” Needless to say, when my Mom caught up with us she was totally bewildered.

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  36. Is it awful that I missed this earlier?
    We host a bible study every other Thursday night and as I stood in the driveway last week with the baby and my 5-year-old waving goodbye to everyone, I turned around to find my middle girl (age 3) standing a few feet behind me in everyone’s headlights, waving. She was stark naked.

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