Eleven Ways That Visiting Relatives Can Wreck Your World
In the beginning
Under normal circumstances a hub like this would be written as the direct result of a personal experience. And it is, but in an indirect sense. Props to the writers and producers of "The Andy Griffith Show," who created the episode: "Family Visit," that aired Oct. 5, 1964, with Howard Morris directing. Mayberry fans will instantly recognize Morris as the colorful, wild "Ernest T. Bass." Morris also took on the role of the radio announcer heard later who announced that some convicts had escaped from state prison and were on the loose and maybe headed toward Mayberry.
The "Andy Griffith Show" producers, writers along with Andy Griffith (the stern taskmaster) many times used real-life as the arena to seize ideas for creativity. As mentioned above, "Family Visit," is the episode where "Aunt Bea's" (Frances Bavier) baby sister, "Nora," played by Maudie Prickett and windbag husband, "Ollie," James Westerfield, bring their two sons, "Roger," Billy Booth and "Bruce," Kenneth Butts, for a weekend visit thanks to "Bea's" letter that told "Nora" how much her and Andy wanted to visit with her and the family.
All is not as it seems
But soon after "Nora" and "Ollie" arrive, "Aunt Bea," and Andy are faced with the reality that their comfort zone is about to be threatened with the relatives' loud talk and totally disregarding the "Taylors'" way of living. "Aunt Bea," makes a vocal error in remarking that it is a shame that "Nora," "Ollie," and the boys, "Roger," and "Bruce," cannot stay longer than the weekend.
"Ollie" gets a devilish look in his eyes and asks "Nora," "You thinkin' what I'm thinking?" Then he proceeds to take his second week of sick leave prolonging their visit yet another tormented seven days.
Examples of how "Bea's" relatives got on "Andy's" nerves was "Ollie," barging into "Andy's" office where he assumes that helping himself to the rifles Andy keeps in a rack is a given and takes a rifle out and checks the firing pin. Meanwhile a "Mayberry" citizen, "Mr. Mundt," Forrest Lewis, has entered to pay a parking ticket and "Uncle Ollie" takes on the role of an interrogating officer while Andy tries to maintain his subdued nature to help the situation move along smoothly.
The always-wise Andy, sees a way out of the impending chaos, urges "Ollie," that he is on vacation and he should drive to a nearby lake where he can rent fishing equipment and go fishing because after all, Andy says, he is on vacation. But "Ollie," being used to taking charge of any situation, takes Andy's squad car (without permission) and off he rolls to the lake.
My point: Sometimes although when relatives visit us, we have forgotten over the years just how annoying and nerve-bending the visiting relatives can be.
After much work
Researching every available internet outlet for advice and information, I finally compiled a near-perfect list of . . .
Eleven Ways That Visiting Relatives Can Wreck Your World
- Walking through YOUR house in their underwear like doing that was acceptable.
- Pilfering through your closets, mail, utility and other places you consider "private." When you ask, "may I help you, 'cousin Nedd?" He replies, "Naaaah. I do this at home. Just a habit! Haw, haw." Then "Nedd," steams you by saying, "You best pay your gas bill for it is two weeks behind." This incident leads to . . .
- Reading your mail, both personal and professional pieces. And your annoying relatives do this with such ease that you swear you are either on a prank reality show set-up by your old college buddy or sorority sister or you might be in a nightmare moving at slow motion.
- Showing up at dinner wearing YOUR shoes, pants and suit if you are the man host. An annoying female relative might wear YOUR heels, best dress and pearl necklace to the meal if you are the male host's wife.
- Correcting YOUR children without your permission. Your objections, "Cousin Millie, they are our children," prove to be null for "cousin Milly," who quickly replies, "Yeah, but they were whispering too loud while my husband was watching his favorite PBS show, 'Appreciating French Minstrels."
- Asking, "what are we having for breakfast?" They ask this annoying question just as they sit down to "pig out" on the fourth lavish dinner that you have bought and prepared for them and these annoying cousins have yet to offer you help in paying for the grub.
- Ignoring your "No Smoking" signs you have hanging throughout the house due to your asthma, your pushy cousins light-up whenever they please and wherever they please. The smoke in your home is so thick that you almost lose your composure by saying, "Hey, if you must smoke, please respect us by going outside." Your annoying relatives look at each other and then give your wishes the horse laugh. Then make the situation worse by replying, "Cousin Julie, you have such a squeaky voice when you get angry. You sound just like a mouse that's been trapped."
- You work hard at trying to keep your interest in CB radios a secret for fear that they will barge into your "man cave," and take over your base station. You almost had it made, but one day you came home from work and heard "Nedd," barking suggestive remarks to a female trucker over your CB base station. You desperately try to get him to stop, but he is all but welded to the radio.
- Without your permission, these annoying "thorns in your side," take over your brand new barbecue grill that you have not even removed from the box it came in. On another day you return home from work and cannot find a parking place. Your driveway, yard, and every empty space within one hundred yards of your home has a vehicle and the occupants are all in your backyard drinking your beer and eating the expensive T-Bone and Ribeye steak that you were saving for a special family barbecue. What irks you to the bone is when you finally make it to the backyard, "Cousin Nedd," wearing your white chef's hat and apron yells, "Hey, cuz! Party time! Get your brew on!" while he has your grill piled high with your steaks he is serving to every neighbor within two miles. Your wife became frightened at "Nedd's" behavior and took the kids with her to her mother's house a town away.
- Charging all types of movies, porno and R rated on your satellite television system. They tell you this one evening when you return home from a tough day at work. "Uhhh, cousin Ted, I hope you won't mind us charging a few movies on your satellite system last night. I was a little short." "How many shows?" you ask. "Uhhh, I lost count at 12 and that was at 3 a.m. this morning, but hey, with that great job you have, that bill will be like chicken feed to you," annoying "cousin Nedd," replies.
- While eating your meals with these "Pester Box" cousins who might stay two weeks instead of two, "Cousin Nedd," not only eats from his plate, but eats from your plate as well. And then passes your plate to his annoying kids for them to finish off your food favorites like a flash.
Be honest. Do you have any cousins like this? I hope not.
And good night, Tucson, Arizona.