Look, I'm not doing this for you, but for my own dark and twisted reasons. Oh, and because everyone else is doing it.


April 18, 2005

but where am i going to sleep?

Kurt Vonnegut is one of my favorite writers. He is a master of language and satire without being overbearing. (Usually.)

Welcome to the Monkey House is one of the finest collections of short stories ever. Love it love it love it from "Harrison Bergeron" to "Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow".

You can probably guess that I hold a very special place in my heart for all things satiric and hyperbolic. And not just from this recent declaration regarding Vonnegut's writing. I do, after all, have the gall to write about the poor guys that actually want to date me. (And don't even ask about the most recent sad soul.)

In fact, the latter story was recently recalled as I related my family's current housing situation. My parents have sold the ancestral manse (30+ year old 2-story) and moved in with my sister, brother-in-law and their rug rats. They are all, collectively, buying and building a much larger house for them to all live in. Together. Yes, I'm more than a little amazed since WASP's don't do this very often. When the WASPy chicks flee the nest the parentals grieve briefly, and then turn the chicks' former rooms into sewing rooms and offices. Then they stop answering phone calls because they're out having fun or something ridiculous (as opposed to sitting by the damn phone waiting anxiously for my a call... why haven't you called me back, mommy?).

Well, back to the weird matter at hand. They're all living together. Of course, there's a brand new baby to care for and my dad can't sit still for more than 25 minutes so all the yard work is getting done and flowers have been planted…

The story "Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow" is about a family of 23 living in a one-bedroom apartment. Ya see, it's the year 2158 AD and the world population has reached 12 billion or something and the planet can't handle the overflow as a result of pharmaceuticals keeping folks alive till they reach 150. The eldest member of the family controls everything in the apartment; he has the private room, sits in front of the tv, controls said tv and determines who gets to sleep where. Members of the family grow frustrated and conspire to water down his medications so that he dies sooner. The geezer discovers this and shows mercy on his family by having them arrested and sent to prison where they have their own rooms for the first time ever. And then they conspire to see about lengthening their prison stays.

So, for the first time since ever, I will be relegated to couch city when I visit in two weeks. And with a new and adorable baby it's not like I can wait to visit till the new house is ready next November. I have an obligation to make the other aunts (the in-laws) look really bad in comparison and this necessitates coming home every 2-3 months. I won't be able to escape from the parental, sibling, giant hairy neurotic dog, or sobrino factions. On top of all this, I am no longer allowed to call after 8:30 pm CST as this wakes my sister and the babe. I was okay with not being encouraged to call my parents on Sunday nights as that was their big HBO night forever, but this is out. of. hand.

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