Repartee is what we do best. Back and forth. Parry and thrust. Touché. No subject for humor was taboo. No irreverence was too big to stomach. My father, as big a pain in the ass as he could be, was always willing to allow himself to be the butt of jokes -- ours and his own -- no matter whether they dealt with his receding hairline or his pot belly or his eccentricities. So that's how the Sowards family motto was born.
And here it is:
"If it gets a laugh, it's not in bad taste."
You'd think we'd have learned our lesson. You'd think we'd come out of that knowing that funny people are downright unstable and not to be trusted. Do you think it stopped us from passing it along? Of course not. We are prisoners of the night, searching endlessly for our next host bodies.
Why... here's one now....
This is my niece, Shane. She is clearly labeled as such.
Shane is four years old, and is obviously painfully shy. Please note to the immediate left of Shane (that would be your right), is the bucket, also labeled to avoid confusion. The bucket contains, as you can see, one very naked Ken doll. What you can't see, but what the bucket also contains, along with the very naked Ken, is two naked Barbies, a shark and a baby bottle. On a recent trip to Las Vegas, this bucket was rarely out of my niece's sight, even when she was swimming in the pool. My sister dubbed this concoction the "bucket of porn."
Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Oh, sure, she thinks that's funny now. But one of these days, she's going to be out with her daughter some place and her daughter's going to burst forth with a diatribe on the 'bucket of porn,' and then I don't think that mother will find that quite so funny anymore."
Oh, yes, she will. And so will I. Because we're Sowards women and we were born to be funny. In fact, in my family, you have to be funny just to survive. Maybe that should be the other family motto. "Repartee or die." My father, now 76, has been making noises about amending the family motto to include, "Never pass up the opportunity to use the bathroom." We're all trying to talk him out of that one.
For now, though, if it gets a laugh, it's not in bad taste. Which, I realize, is not true in real-life. But we're not talking about real-life, now, are we? We're talking about family. Family is what you're trying to get away from when you go out and join real-life.
So, get out there. Away from your family. Go find real-life. And don't forget to take your bucket of porn.