So we told Redneck Brother, we can only attend his events if he gives ample notice. He took our words to heart, because three months before his "First Annual Blended Family Christmas Party", everyone got invites in the mail...party, Santa, dinner, and ~shudder~ karaoke.
Not wanting to endure this alone, I sought out an escort. Indy is an avid people-watcher. Not to mention he never met a meal he didn't like. So, one chilly Saturday night, Big City Family plus one, set out to the sprawling metropolis of St. Joseph, Missouri. I have it on authority that St. Joseph boasts the very first trailer park in the state of Missouri.
Immediately upon arriving, I get lost and we end up in a more seedier part of town because no one in St. Joe believes in putting numbers on their buildings. Making a quick u-turn, I finally find the place. Right next door to this place.
The location was a little banquet hall which also serves as a meeting place for some local union. Redneck Brother had initially reserved it for a wedding reception for a cousin of his wife (which I think is ridiculous to foot the bill for a cousin of a spouse), but for whatever reason, the wedding was postponed and so Redneck Brother came up with the Christmas party idea. At any rate, the hall was just an moderate-sized square room with a stage on one end, and stacks of folding chairs on the other, where all the children set to climbing over in a contest to see who could get sent to the hospital first.
And there was zero ventilation. And smoking was allowed. In a non-ventilated room with children. You know, normal people would have stepped outside to smoke. But you have to remember, that most of these people are denizens of the trailer park, and are governed by a completely different set of mores.
Indy was immediately sorry he didn't bring his inhaler.
The invite told everyone to bring their kids, because this was a blended family event. They even had a section where you could put your little ones.
Everyone came in their festive holiday best.
And what redneck holiday gathering would be complete without the appearance of the resplendent mullet?
Redneck Brother cooked a metric shitload of meat, which was very good, because folks in my family are talented cooks that way. So, the charge was put on everyone else to bring side dishes. And people answered the call.
And all was going well until Chester Molester showed up, who is really Redneck Brother's former brother-in-law, but for whatever reason, the guy still buzzes around the family. Now, I don't know that he's a molester...he just puts off that vibe.
Anyway, Chester saunters up to the food table, lit cigarette in hand, and starts picking food out of dishes...with his bare hands, and eating right there at the table. And just like that...dinner is over for Big City Family Plus One...which disappoints the hell out of Indy because he doesn't consider it a good meal until he's had at least four plates. Why that man doesn't weigh 500lbs, I will never know.
Mr. Recommendation revealed to us later that he earlier, he spotted Chester sitting at a table mining for gold. That's it to say, he was picking his nose. And you know guys like that only get soap on their hands is when they are in the shower (if that). Even later, we mentioned all this to Redneck Brother, who wasn't surprised, and told us that is why he waited to open the food trough until we arrived.
At any rate...
So, here comes Santa, of whom I am convinced was a homeless guy my brother paid to wear the Santa suit for an hour.
We made Mother go and sit on his lap. She came back, reporting he smelled of stale cigarettes, and had really, REALLY bad breath. I think she may have felt a little dirty. I hope Santa didn't touch her in her No-No Zone, because he did look a little shifty.
And look! Dessert is now ready. And for those who can't be bothered to leave their cigarettes unattended for two seconds, someone was thoughtful enough to put an ashtray at the dessert and beverage table.
And finally, to cap off the night, out comes the karaoke machine, and as expected, Mullet Man got up and grunted through a Garth Brooks song. It was then that Big City Family Plus One made a hasty retreat.
It sounds like the Redneck Christmas Extravaganza is going to be an annual event. To prepare, we are going to bring a shit load of Purell, a portable air purifier, and we're going out to eat before we get to the party. Because it is a Prime People Watching Event of Epic Proportions, I may just raffle off tickets to be my date.