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!"


Who names anyone Cluck?

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

Okay. Family stories, please.

254 thoughts on “Pieces of Wisdom: Your Dumb Family

  1. 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.


  2. 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.


  3. 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.


  4. 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.


  5. 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!”


  6. 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.


  7. 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.


  8. 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.


  9. 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)


  10. 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.


  11. 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.


  12. 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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