Every few years, the Greens get together to tell stories, compare babies, let their hair down, and ingest intoxicating chemicals more or less constantly. Mrs. Green and I arrived at the Tidal Flats Family Reunion Campsite a day later than most, which meant we were immersed in the details of Uncle Preston's murder from the moment we arrived. Consensus among the earlier arrivals was that no one saw it coming, least of all Uncle Preston. No one, that is, except my second cousin Hester, who had already planned to make Preston's evisceration a top priority of her reunion experience. She killed him just after dinner on Friday evening.
Hester is an interesting character. She is the daughter of my Dad's cousin Pussy Willow, and she actually entered this world as a male, named Bruno. It was not until Bruno was in his mid-30's, already a pretty accomplished Stevedore, lifting refrigerators and gas tanks onto tugboats destined for the Arctic, that he began to examine his sexuality. He quickly decided he was a delicate female flower trapped inside the body of a sweaty, hairy gorilla who enjoys the taste of oil and breaks rocks with his teeth. Once his mind was made up, he (Bruno) became she (Hester) following a blitzkrieg of life-altering surgical procedures last fall. Most of us agree that she has yet to refine some of the subtleties that separate the graceful swan-like creature she imagines herself to be from the lumbering Yeti-like hillbilly that she has been for most of her life, but all of us still harbour a great affection for our cousin. Still, maybe those differences provide a few clues to the demise of Uncle Preston that threatened to be such an immediate distraction to the festivities.
In fairness, I should provide a word or two about Uncle Preston. He was a complete tool. He was generally unliked by every Green he ever met. Preston was in the habit of making people feel small by pointing out flaws in their appearance (something that is easy to do, given the shallowness of the Green gene pool). If he couldn't find a physical flaw, he would insult their pets, or scorn them for enjoying disco whether they listened to it or not. He talked like a pirate, believing that "Ar-r-r-r" was easily the funniest thing anyone could say. Privately, I would say that Hester quickly became the most popular Green in Tidal Flats last week. There has already been talk of staging an impromptu Disco Tribute for Hester next week.
In order to keep the party atmosphere from being too severely dampened, the Greens who had arrived by the time Preston was murdered quickly decided to bury him at sea and get back to the fun. Cousin Scoobie, the undertaker, had fortunately left a promotional casket in his van when he left for the reunion, so they were able to launch him on Saturday morning's early ebb tide with about an hour's worth of gas. They calculated the prevailing winds and tides would carry him in a more or less SSW heading after the gas ran out, so we're hopeful that he will be in Mexico in time for Labour Day.
I must apologize for beginning this narrative on such a sombre note. Things are bound to lighten up as the reunion progresses, and I'll be sure to post another account in a few days. Meantime, we have been listening carefully to see if Preston's journey to the Baja Peninsula has been intercepted by the Coast Guard. As long as we don't hear anything, none of us can see any reason why we would put a damper on our reunion by informing the police. Besides, Hester is scheduled to prepare her stunning Chicken Cordon Bleu dinner on Wednesday, and we're already stocking up on plastic knives and forks for that not-to-be-missed feast. See you soon.
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- ▼ August (28)