back home

Thanksgiving was good. There was surprisingly little drama. My dad and I did exchange a few words on the Bush administration, but that was about it… Our wild pit bull from the streets of Detroit, as my mom once described her, didnt gobble up my sisters precious little dog, as wed all feared, and there were no discussions on the subject of Maynard offspring.

My sister, for those of you who are keeping track of such things, has the same kind of dog as Kathy Lee Gifford. Its a yappy, little Hummel figurine of a dog.

As for my statement about offspring, my mom would like for us to produce a grandchild. Shes the oldest of three daughters and both her little sisters are already grandmothers, even though their kids are younger than my sister and me. For some reason, my mom thinks that it’s important for someone to carry on our family name into the future.

I think Ive mentioned it here before, but us Maynards havent really done much of note in America since Lieutenant Robert Maynard killed the infamous pirate Blackbeard off the coast of North Carolina in hand to hand combat. That was almost 200 years ago now.

I did win a Beautiful Baby contest in 1968, but I never lived up to the promise of that moment. At 35, I am now best known for this blog and my crumbling entertainment empire. I was thinking about it about it yesterday as Linette and I drove through Dayton, the home of Larry Flynts Hustler empire. Im like Larry Flynt, only without the porn and the success.

(Actually, I was just kidding when I said that Maynards haven’t done much of note. They were, from what I can tell, hard-working farmers and teachers for the most part. They came over to North America in the 1600’s and they worked to make this country great. Some grew crops, some taught school and one even killed a pirate and chopped off his head. In more modern times, some, like my father, have been successful in business… Lots of them served in the military too… So, I was just exaggerating for comedic impact when I said that we hadn’t, as a family, done much… (So, if you’re a ghost reading this, please don’t haunt me tonight. I said I was just kidding.))

So, back to Thanksgiving. Here are some highlights.

– Linette brought some new shampoo with us, some stuff that shed bought on-line. It smelled like cake frosting and it immediately put me into a bad mood. If youre anything like me, theres nothing like the sensation of smearing hazelnut frosting onto your scalp to really get your negative energy flowing. If anything else had gone wrong on Thanksgiving day, I was prepared to blame Linette and that little bottle of frosting. (As it was though, it was a really good Thanksgiving one of the best ever.)

– I lost the annual Maynard family Scrabble game by ONE FUCKING POINT! My mom and I were actually tied, but she used all of her letters and went out, leaving me with one one-point letter that I had to deduct. (Damn that Hazelnut frosting!!!)

– Linette and my sister bonded over knitting. Actually, they werent really knitting so much as they were un-knitting. They spent a total of eight hours untangling one small ball of yarn. The thing absolutely possessed them. Theyd both wake up in the morning and go to the thing and start working on it When my grandmother saw what they were doing, she pointed out that a new package of that same yarn would probably cost two dollars. That didnt stop them though. It was like crack to them.

– I invented a game called Monster Attack with the kids of my cousins. The game entailed me jumping around a room and making monster noises while they hid inside a fort built from blankets on the bottom bunk of a bunk bed I would shake the bunk bed and then thrust my hand in between the blanket walls and grope around for a child to eat. Theyd scream and scurry around to one side or the other. Id eventually grab one of their ankles, yank them out and pretend to eat them. This was the most fun I had all vacation.

It was cool spending time with my family. Linette and I dont see them often enough In spite of what I might say for comedic effect, Im pretty damned fortunate to have the family I have. We might have the occasional difference of opinion, and we might deploy the occasional passive aggressive attack against each other, but, when alls said and done, were pretty good people. (My dad is, however, wrong about Bush.)

Oh, did I mention yet that I think I may have gotten a death threat today?

Heres the photo that was sent to me.

Actually, it wasnt really a death threat. It just looks like one when viewed out of context. This photo was sent in by Mr. Smallwood, who happened to find himself this past weekend on the grounds of a Buddhist monastery in West Virginia with a digital camera and a copy of the navigation bar.

I need to do something to help out people like Mr. Smallwood, people who want to spread the word about through digital photography. My friend Jeff has a little poster on his site that people can download, print out, and then take with them as they travel the globe. Hes got a huge gallery of photos amassed. They show his logo, the smoking fish, inhaling at a World Series game, in North Korea, in Las Vegas, and lots of other places. If I didnt suck so bad, Id have something for you folks to download, maybe a caricature of me lathering up my hair with cake frosting, or perhaps a photo of me in front of a huge Mission Accomplished banner. How does that sound?

OK, here are the other photos from Mr. Smallwoods excursion into the forest where monks apparently meditate, slaughter woodland creatures and study human anatomy.

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