Folks: Part I (Preparation)

jonge Koolmees - Parus majorI am practicing my witty banter on a jar of grape jelly. So far, I think I’m winning.

Most people prepare for a visit from their parents by cleaning the flat and brushing up on dental hygiene. I prepare by practicing story-telling ability and polishing up on wit.

Dinner in the Galeone household was like engaging in witty combat. A large family, we spent most of a day separate, piling up on material for dinner. Once we sat at the table it was like hunting season on each other’s shortcomings. We’d fling jibes around the table concerning lacking character and zero in on vexing physical features. When the food arrived, we’d pause for a short while to stuff pork chops and broccoli into our throats as we restored ammunition for the imminent continuation of discourse.

We were not visited often.

At the moment, the jar of grape jelly is gazing back at me as I fill the kitchen with witty retorts on nothing and funny stories about everything. Priority is given to the speed with which I can get a story out of my mouth. Any slip, stutter or hesitation led to the immediate end of your turn. And since there were three siblings and two parents dying for the end of your promulgation, it wasn’t long before your idea was lost to the ages and the beginning of another’s manifesto on any subject began.

It took my sister six months to get out that she was going on a school trip to Paris. I’m still not sure how my brother broke his arm in 1990, but I do know that I got more potatoes as a result of his temporary handicap to the left.

Once your story was out, it was harshly judged on its merits of entertainment and humor. There isn’t a tougher jury of plot at the New York Times. If your story was bad, you were put into an imaginary penalty box until you could redeem yourself. This redemption could be prompted by a grand zinger on another family member. Or chocolate.

This may sound cruel, but it’s not. I turned out normal. Or at least that’s what my doctor and Elvis assure me.

So now, I am practicing my wit on the jar of grape jelly. Unfortunately, I think the tide has turned. I’ll head to the penalty box.

  1. #1 by Marcelle on April 26, 2012 - 3:01 pm

    In my family, the biggest insult after telling what you think is a funny story is the dreaded response, “nice story.”

  2. #2 by Damien Galeone on April 26, 2012 - 3:04 pm

    Oh yeah, that’s a tough one to get. Or “Ok, so….”

  3. #3 by angela galeone on April 26, 2012 - 11:04 pm

    Damien–this is fantastic!! Read it a few times and laughing on the floor

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