Kissing Cousin

Some people are blessed with many relatives. I am not. As a matter of fact, I only have four cousins, one of whom is a girl:  Priscilla. She is the issue of my mother’s twin brother. When we were kids, Priscilla had a pet rabbit that ran away and I was blamed for releasing it.

Because we are the children of twins, Priscilla and I probably share more DNA than most. She was raised in Illinois, I was raised in Canada, yet we both ended up pursuing film careers in Los Angeles. We both married and neither of us had children.

Here the similarities end because I am a very nice guy and Priscilla is evil. I like to think of her as my evil cousin. You may consider this a harsh description of my only girl cousin, but the fact is, she believes I should have been killed as a child by own family.

Here is what Priscilla recently wrote:  “Our grandpa was a neat man; after all, you’re still alive when by all rights he would have gotten off if he had murdered you.”

Priscilla went on to describe Grandpa. “He had chickens and called you ‘boy,’ he had clocks all over the house and it took a week before anyone could sleep thru them ’cause they didn’t all go off at the same time. He had his wonderful victory garden, a barn (and every once in a while I still get a whiff of it), a big old green car (was it a Packard?) and smoked a pipe and wore baggy overalls with suspenders.”

Then my only girl cousin asked me to write what I remember about Grampa. So here goes:

Dear Priscilla,

Grampa liked you better than me. He thought you were cute, clever and graceful. (And I never let your rabbit out of the cage. I would have, but I just never thought of it. Your stupid rabbit probably gnawed its way through its dumb cage door. Grampa took a stick to me for letting your rabbit get away, you brat.)

And Grandma — remember she used to summon Grampa with a stick by pounding on the floor with it? She lived on bran flakes and prunes that she poured hot water over.

Grampa liked to sleep in his den on a cot that had more lumps than a coal mine. And when he would doze off, bang, bang, bang would go that stick and Grandma would yell, “John, John, John. Hot water!”

Often when I was bored, I would beat a stick on the floor to wake him up. Then he would stumble to Grandma’s bed and ask her what she wanted and she would get mad at him. He discovered what I was doing and took a switch to me. I don’t think he was all that much fun sometimes.

And Charlie, who lived next door, had a crush on you. You liked him. He asked me if I ever saw your tits and I said you didn’t have any. Just Kleenex and after that he got over his crush. Hahaha.

But I digress, we were talking of Grampa.

I remember the tornado cellar behind Grampa’s house and the time the big twister came roaring down on the town and we were all gathered to go down into the cellar. Everyone was terrified of this big black cloud, howling like a bull, screaming toward us. I yelled, “Hope she hits us!” And Grampa hit me. The twister veered off.

I’ll never understand why Grampa loved you and took a switch to me so often. I guess he liked evil people.




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