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My Family Legacy (Grieving, Burnham-style)…

Oh, my family… And y’all wonder where I get it…

So, there we were last night. Just my sister and me, crying and drinking vodka. We were just getting into the good part – you know, where you start apologizing for shit you did when you were 12 – when my sister happened to notice something sitting on the end of the kitchen table. It appeared to be the toe-end of a men’s dress sock cut off, filled with…*something*, and tied off with a rubber band. Hmmm…

So, my sister tried to get me to smell it. I refused, on the grounds of my automatic vomit response to the smell of feet. I was CONVINCED this thing, whatever it was, was made from a dirty sock and I wouldn’t even touch it. My sister eventually smelled it and concluded it was some sort of very pungent cheese stuffed into this little package. Which left us wondering, why would someone do this? We figured our dad must have been the culprit, but *why*? Poor old man, his dementia must really be setting in now. And off we went to bed to cry some more. 

Fast forward to today….

There we were again. Just my sister and me, but this time with our dad accompanying us. As we were bonding over some fond old memories, my sister happened upon the mystery package and gently asked my dad about it. He made me smell it and because I still can’t refuse a direct order from my father, I sniffed it. It smelled like rotten cheese and death. Then he told me to feel it, to see if I could guess what it was. Now, bear in mind, this is the same man who once brought home a mummified cat corpse because he thought it was interesting and funny. My best guess was the mystery package was some kind of dead and rotten slug or maybe a rodent. Entirely possible in my family, trust me. 

My father looked at my sister and me incredulously and asked, “Y’all really don’t know what this is?” The horror had begun to set into mine and my sister’s eyes, but we dared not refuse an explanation. “That right there is a Georgia Sachet, girls.” I forget which one of us it was, but one of us got up the nerve to ask what exactly was in a “Georgia Sachet”. We knew we were in too far to turn back now, so we braced ourselves for the inevitably hilarious, yet horrifying explanation. We know our father well. 

The explanation was simple: “It’s dog shit, honey.” The ensuing chaos? Not so simple. I made a mad dash for the kitchen sink, where I performed a full surgical scrub while screaming at my dad, “WHO DOES THAT, DADDY?! WHY???” and my sister sat in stunned silence, staring at the sachet in abject horror. Btw, it was still lying on the kitchen table at this point. 

Daddy just laughed and laughed. He explained that he’d left it there for us to find. Again I began shrieking, begging for some sort of rational explanation. In lieu of rationality, I simply asked him how he got it into the sock and before he could even begin, my sister declared, “Nope! That’s it! I’m done. Good night, y’all!” She washed her hands in the sink and marched straight upstairs for a little PTSD siesta. 

Dementia, my ass. That old man is sharp as a tack and straight-up hilariously evil. He is my biggest hero.