Friday, December 23, 2011
We went home to Iowa today! I have been Jonesing hard for a trip home. In all of my travels, this had been the longest that I had been away. My parents’ house basically has three bedrooms, plus a basement. I grew up sharing a room with my two brothers, my sister had her own room, and my parents were lucky enough to have their own room as well. There is one bathroom, plus a half bathroom in the basement. Growing up taught me a lot about sharing. Luckily, it was 3 boys, so the bathroom times were pretty short. There were 6 of us. For Christmas, there were 15 of us. The Houghtons are a fertile bunch, and the marrying type, so we’ve added two wives, one husband, and six children to already cramped quarters when we get together.
We’re a ragtag family made up of a bunch of misfits and castoffs. I like to imagine us as a crew assembled to drill a hole into an asteroid that is heading toward Earth that needs a nuclear weapon detonated inside the core of the asteroid in order to save the Earth from certain doom.
I’m going to give you the rundown of each character and what they bring to the team. Please imagine us walking in a line in slow motion down an aircraft carrier. Then, each character’s name appears on the screen as the camera zooms in on their face.
The Wife. Nickname: Mitch. Skills: listening, providing mix CDs, making things look “cute.”
The Me. Second born. Nickname: Mystery (others he has made up for himself that haven’t stuck). Skills: Procrastinating, getting around to things later.
The Brother in Law. Husband of The Sister. Nickname: Bob. Some people you just don’t dare give nicknames to. Skills: Doing manly things the Houghtons are incapable of.
The Sister. First born. Nickname: Bomber. Skills: pressure points, excelling in volleyball like situations.
The Sister in Law. Wife of The Brother. Nickname: Tree (ironic). Skills: laughing at jokes she shouldn’t find funny, ability to fit into small spaces.
The Brother. Third born. Nickname: Chonny. Skills: inability to hide smile, sun rashes.
The Brother Again. Fourth born. Nickname: Puck, Scooter, Cynthia, Tumbleweed, Hought-Scought. Skills: blending in to beige walls, confidence in being faster than NFL offensive lineman, whether true or not.
The Mom. Wife of The Dad. Nickname: Yupthere. Skills: chatting up enemies into submission, use of package mailing tape for anything. Anything.
The Dad. Husband of The Mom. Nickname: Dean, Hondo. Skills: Full movement of the hip, xyloid intimidation.
The Next Generation
The Girl 1.0. Daughter of Tree and Chonny. Nickname: Wiley Ky-ote. Skills: Torture (mostly upon brothers, but could be used on others).
The Boy 1.1. Son of Tree and Chonny. Nickname: The Train (Thomas). Skills: Kung Fu, based on what he has learned from Sensei Panda.
The Girl 2.0. Son of Bob and Bomber. Nickname: Rodney the Knife. Skills: Giggles and artillery.
The Boy 2.0. Son of Bob and Bomber, twin of Boy 2.1. Nickname: Tiny (ironic). Skills: Stealing nutrients from brothers in utero, rolling over on enemies, when he figures out how to do that. For now, intimidation from appearing as though he could roll over on enemies.
The Boy 2.1. Son of Bob and Bomber, twin of Boy 2.0. Nickname: The Happy Grouch. Skills: Excessive drool and weapons grade explosives.