The father of Thomas (the Art Lad) is a rather amusing writer. I’ve blogrolled him and am working through his past few posts, and this one had me in stitches.
That’s one of the fun things about a family of C.R.A.P. [“Chronic Regenerative Acquisitional Proclivity”] sufferers. You’re always taking each other’s stuff, whether it’s given to you or not. That Johnny West figure in the picture the other day? Okay, fine! It WAS my brother’s. But possession is nine-tenths, right. And anyway, who nibbled off the kung-fu grip on my GI Joe and then started calling him “Knuckles,” huh? Well?
This personality trait among C.R.A.P. sufferers is especially pronounced after a member of the family has perished. When my grandfather died of a heart attack in the early 70s, some of his children didn’t even wait til sun-up the next day to raid the house and the numerous sheds, looking for the old gingerbread clock, the Shaker dresser, the only known tintype images of our Abenaki grandmother, and dozens of other legendary items.
And so it was that my sleazy uncle Dennis crept up to the house at 4:30 the next morning, slid in through the side window of the house, intent on getting into his dead father’s bedroom, probably to make off with the coin collection, or the Amoskeag musket, or the wooden box full of Dick Tracy cap guns that the kids were only allowed to fire off on the Independence Day.
I know. Appalling, isn’t it? And we know for a fact that he did this, because as uncle Dennis was creeping through the darkened living room, he tripped over my dad, who had been hiding behind the sofa ever since he heard the window open.
As they sat their in the pre-dawn gloom, bickering, they saw a small pick-up coast into the barnyard, its lights off, its motor killed. It was their sister Brenda! Hastily, they came to terms: Dennis got the cap guns, my dad took the musket. They both squeezed out the side window with their acquisitions just as Brenda was opening the front door. They didn’t find the coin collection, but that was because the eldest child–my aunt Barbara–had dispatched uncle David to retrieve it (for safekeeping) approximately 45 minutes after my grandfather’s body had been discovered the day earlier.