Queer Goggles by Joan Opyr My Inbred Home for the Holidays t won't surprise Ismart-ass family.my regular readers to know that I have a We can never just say anything plainly or directly. The other day, after my son did his usual pole vault onto the sofa, his other mother said, "That is a sofa, not a jungle gym. It is designed to cradle your backside in striking comfort while you watch television with your mouth hanging open." And that's a mild example. The kids follow suit. Holiday shopping this year has led to some useful new terms. At Wal-Mart, we were being pressed tightly by the crowds when my son motioned for me to bend down so he could whisper in my ear, "This place is a tool." I thought he was being rude, so I started to reprimand him, but he explained that he meant TOOL as an acronym standing for Tsunami of Old Ladies. I'm glad my family is smart. I'm glad they're quick off the mark. It helps to alleviate a major concern that has arisen this past week as I've been back in my home state of North Carolina, visiting folks and doing a bit of genealogy research. I began by laughing at the family names at the two 19th century brothers, Black and Blue. At a distant ancestor named Littleberry. This was good fun. Things didn't get hairy until I noticed a certain lack of variation in the surnames on the wedding certificates. My grandmother and great aunts assured me that we were only talking about very distant cousins mostly but it was still unnerving, and to see it going back across three centuries made me wonder what I'd have been if my mother hadn't broken ranks and married a wayward Ukrainian immigrant. Would I have had the Hapsburg jaw? Three eyes? Two heads? It doesn't bear thinking about, but the worst is yet to come. When we reached the end of our research, I discovered my great aunts had saved the best for last. My maternal grandparents are, in fact, distant cousins. I'd scarcely finished reeling from that one when one of my great aunts told me that if you go back a few centuries, you'll find that the two lines of descent were founded by two brothers. That was enough for me. I'm done for now with genealogy. Unless I feel a sudden need to marry a European monarch the royal families of Europe are as inbred as the Pharaohs I'm sticking to my other hobbies, complaining about the weather and putting money in the cuss jar. I can't seem to stop saying f*#k, especially not this week. Those of you flying home for the holidays, please rate the following potential biohazards on a scale of None to Toxic: 1. My hair gel. 2. My shoes. 3. My asthma inhaler. 4. The armpits of the teenaged boy in front of me. TSA, we have a problem. It's been seven years since someone tried to ignite a shoe bomb. Just between you and me, I don't feel any safer having to kick off my loafers so they can be scanned. I'm also wondering just what the difference is between five ounces of hair product and three. Is it that extra two ounces of extra stiff texture wax that give chemical attackers the edge? Maybe I've been watching too much NCIS, but my favorite agent, Ziva David, can kill you with a dull pencil. What would make me feel safer is a safer world and a whole lot more air marshals. But about those armpits Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be stinky. I flew from Minneapolis to Raleigh sitting behind the BO King while he ate a raw onion sandwich. That would be a thick slice of raw onion sandwiched between two raw onions and slathered with a rich raw onion sauce. I chewed an entire pack of gum, trying to blow the spearmint smell up into my nostrils. It didn't help. When the stewardess took our drink orders, I got a ginger ale and used the cup as a fizzy gas mask. So please, this holiday season, be kind. The plane is small. The seats are tight. Use deodorant, brush your teeth, don't eat anything that might cause you intestinal distress before boarding your flight. People will love you for it; they really will. ____________________________ Joan Opyr is a gigantic crank. Her life is frequently weird, and she enjoys writing and talking about that. She's a transplanted Southerner who dreams of golden beaches, sweet iced tea, and sunny skies. She believes that Eva Cassidy should be beatified. Oh, and she's also an award-winning novelist. www.qviewnorthwest.com | Q View Northwest - Spokane Edition | January 2009 | 9