In our haste to protect our friend and relative Hester from the legal implications of Bloody Friday, we had completely forgotten about Aunt Chantelle. Chantelle is the late Uncle Preston's only surviving sister, and as we now realize she held an uncommon affection for her brother. Preston was a dickwad, and it should have occurred to us that Chantelle would possess some genetic dickwaddery of her own.
We were reminded of our oversight at Tuesday's dinner when Aunt Chantelle showed up with a companion who she claimed was a second cousin visiting from Prague, and was thus a family member who deserved to be welcomed warmly to our fold. Chantelle introduced her as Cousin Gilda, saying she had bumped into Gilda while they were both playing mini-golf earlier, and was so struck by her physical resemblance that she introduced herself, confirmed a connection to Grandpa Emile in the Balkans, yadda yadda, and now here we are.
Fortunately, we Greens are not easily fooled. Almost to a person, the rest of us at dinner noticed that Aunt So-Called Gilda was missing the noble Green overbite, and that the spots on her face looked less like playful freckles than a swarm of malignant potholes devouring her saggy, sour, dishonest face. Cousin Scoobie had already saved the day once by providing a lovely outboard coffin for Uncle Preston's departure, and he was about to save it again by drawing on his experience as an embalmer. As he watched Chantelle and Gilda engage in what can only be called conspiratorial whispering after dinner, it suddenly dawned on him where he had seen Gilda before. Quickly and quietly he slipped out of the large hospitality room and and went off to confirm his suspicions.
At breakfast the next morning, we immediately noticed that three of our number were missing: Aunt Chantelle, Aunt So-Called Gilda, and Cousin Hester The Uncle Killer. I immediately ran to Hester's room, knocked on her door, and was relieved to find her alive. She explained that she had had too many S'mores and tequila at the previous night's Koombaya Bonfire Songfest, and had projectile vomited into her suitcase, ruining all her clothes and preventing her from attending breakfast. I lent her a small but rather fetching pup tent (Hester is as big as a bear), and brought her back to the rest of the family at the breakfast table. Once we were settled, Cousin Scoobie revealed his chilling findings. Cousin So-Called Gilda, it seems, is none other than the notorious Serbian sniper and gangland hitperson Ludmilla "The Scrunt" Cankle-Frottage, who had been the scourge of innocent Bosnians during the unpleasantries of 1993, and who brought her killing ways to North America at the close of the war. Most recently, she had made her living as a hired killer for the Mafia, and it was Scoobie's experience embalming her victims that had brought him into contact with the Police, who had been hunting for The Scrunt throughout North America for over a decade, and who had conveniently provided Scoobie with an 8" x 10" print of The Scrunt for his crime wall.
There was no time to lose. Hester's life was in danger, and a deranged killer was on the loose. We had to act quickly. Nephew Sherwood had always struck me as a bit 'lighter than air', if you will, going to church services dressed as Carmen Miranda, juggling coconuts on the bus, and composing an entire opera for his hamsters. But he warmed to the role of Hester's Defender as though he were born to it. On the spot, he conscripted Nephews Bald Kevin and Short Kevin, two fit and eager accomplices, promising to convert them into crazed, zombie-like assassins who would deliver the left ear of The Scrunt to our family of Greens by tomorrow (he chose left ear rather than heart because it fits in a Ziploc snack bag and isn't as gross). Sherwood and the two Kevins sprang into action, rushing off to clear a secret room in the resort's laundry area where the newly christened Scrunt's Ear Gang could practice their 'shooty-killy routines' as they called them.
Last night's dinner was a sombre affair. Aunts Chantelle and So-Called Gilda were missing, of course, and Cousin Hester was subdued, knowing not only that she was an assassin's target but she still carried a faint but distinct aura of tequila and S'mores puke about her. But more than that, we were burdened by our own reluctance to discuss the absences of Nephew Sherwood, Nephew Bald Kevin and Nephew Short Kevin, The Scrunt's Ear Gang, for fear of inadvertently spilling the beans and revealing our nefarious plans to some unknown accomplice of The Scrunt or Aunt Chantelle who may have infiltrated the room. So we all gathered in a small group at one table, feeling nervous and apprehensive and talking with feigned enthusiasm about tomorrow's Miss Green Family Bikini Pageant, which was usually the highlight of any Green family Reunion, but promised to be overshadowed by the bloodbath that was about to take place.
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- ▼ August (28)