Why I Hate Fishing

Fishing was one of dad's favorite past times. It got him out of the house and put food on the table. Hard to find issue with that. However, his quest for fresh fish would often override his common sense and parental instincts. One incident involved smelt fishing.

Smelt is a little tiny fish that travel in large numbers during early spring. You catch them with nets. These little fish are pretty tasty, BUT, if you've ever been forced to fish for them, you might want to consider a McDonald's cheeseburger instead.

The smelt run is usually in April. April in Wisconsin is still basically Winter but with a sloppy wet layer of melt on top of the snow and ice. So taking a 5 year old out on the edge of an icy pier during high winds while it is snowing, handing her a dip net, and telling her to scoop up as many fish as possible while leaning over the side might not be a good way to win a "Father of the Year" award.

I did live through the experience, but now my sons can read this and understand why I never sent them to go fishing with grandpa.

Golden but not silent

When hearing that a friend of hers got dumped by her boyfriend, Sally gave some of her special brand of consolation.

"Of course he broke up with you. You weren't very nice to him. Did you think you had a golden pussy or something?"

Animal, vegetable or mineral?

One of the joys of growing up with Pete and Sally was preparing diner. I didn't actually cook the main course. Mom would do this and put it in her trusty crock pot before she headed to work. The job for me, Mike and Kristin was to set the table and make the side dishes before dad got home.

We usually made minute rice, mashed potatoes or some kind of pasta for the starch and also heated up some canned vegetables. Our favorite was always corn. Dad preferred peas. While we loved fresh peas, canned peas were a completely different matter. Not only were they mushy, they turned this horrible grayish color when cooked. The flavor and texture were also quite disgusting.

When dad told us that he was sick of corn and we weren't allowed to pick that for our veggie, we tried to find something besides those horrible peas to use as our side dish. Unfortunately were we out of any other canned veggie. While none of us were big fans of french cut green beans or yellow wax beans, we could choke those down if the alternative was those horrible, disgusting peas.

Not having the bean back-up put us in a panic. We were forced to get creative. As it turned out, mom had recently begun another round of Weight Watchers. She had stocked the refrigerator with actual fresh vegetables! We came up with the brilliant plan to make salads! We would still make dad his horrible, gray mushy peas, but we would be eating a fresh salad with sliced tomatoes and cucumber and tons of Catalina dressing. It was the perfect compromise. Well, at least WE thought so.

Dad came home in his usually crabby mood. We had the table set with our finest Hardy's Looney Tunes drinking glasses, mismatched plates, margarine tub salad bowls and silverware pilfered from the local Howard Johnson's. We passed around the pork chops and gravy from the crock pot mom had prepared earlier, the Minute Rice we just made and handed dad the pot of peas while we each loaded up a salad bowl.

Not two bites in to diner dad said, "You all need to get a vegetable."

We looked at each other confused. Being the oldest and the unofficial spokesperson for our sibling group I replied, "But dad, we are all having salads."

He paused for a minute then angrily said, "I don't give a crap about your salad. You all need to take some peas NOW! You have to eat some god damn vegetables!"

My teenager smart-mouth reply was "Well what the hell do you think lettuce and cucumbers are?"

Needless to say there was a lot of screaming, I was in serious trouble and immediately grounded. I actually got off easy. While I was sent to my room, Mike & Kristin had to stay at the table and eat those damn peas. I bet to this day they still wished they had been the ones to give dad his horticultural lesson and get grounded for stating and inconvenient truth.


Submitted by: Abi Fae

When I was seeing a psychiatrist to deal with family issues, my dad asked why in the world I was in therapy. I told him because the family was dysfunctional. His supportive reply?

"Dysfunctional? Families have been dysfunctional since Cain killed Abel. We haven't killed each other! We aren't any more dysfunctional than anyone else."

The apple doesn't fall far from the crab appletree

Sally's influence lingers in me to this very day. My husband recently discovered that first-hand. After he noticed I was a bit grouchy, he made the mistake of telling me...

"Stop being a crab!"
My reply? "Stop being an idiot. The two are related you know."

Northern Comfort

When Kristin broke up with her boyfriend, Sally offered her special brand of parental comfort and sympathy by saying, "You're never going to get married, are you?"

Reach out and touch someone

Actual phone message left on my sister Kirstin's voice mail after she had not heard from mom in a couple of weeks....

"Hi this your mother, umm I had gall bladder surgery and I made it. I didn't croak so I am home recovering. Bye"

She later called me to inform me she wasn't dead. I chewed her out for not telling me BEFORE she went in for surgery. She said there was no point in making me worry and asked why I would want to know anyway. My reply?

"Well, if you end up dead, I need to know the name of the hospital to sue. I'm sure as hell not going to inherit any money from you so I have to cash in somehow!"

(I learned from the best :D)