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The Family Gathering
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TITLE (EDIT)
The Family Gathering
DESCRIPTION
A short story about my very crazy family. Highlights include having a party in a cemetary, and Cousin 'I'm a bad pirate' John.
[726 words]
TITLE KEYWORD
Humor
AUTHOR
Hanna Rose Ashton-Lawson
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A girly-girl with an eccentric family and a will to wear earmuffs and get away with it. My stories are just observations of life and fashion that need to be told from a perky perspective!
[April 2006]
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESS
angeleyes301@hotmail.com
AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (1)
A Shopping Excursion (Short Stories) This was a little observation of a day of shopping in Melbourne. After all, shopping is such a wonderful and inspirational experience for me. It's amazing the people you can meet... [702 words] [Humor]
The Family Gathering
Hanna Rose Ashton-Lawson

Today is the day for an Ashton famiglia gathering. Tomorrow is Nana Aston’s birthday, so the different members and attachments of the family are all currently sitting around on various camping, indoor and plastic outdoor chairs, none of which match, under a rotunda in the Maldon Cemetery. This family is ever so slightly eccentric, though I believe the venue may give it away. One year to my absolute disgust, my mother purchased an eel, cooked on the barbeque and me grandpa and her ate it. My great aunt was delighted- “Oh how lovely!” she said. “I haven’t eaten fresh eel in a long time!” How utterly repulsive.

Anyway the reason why we are celebrating my grandmother’s birthday at a cemetery rotunda is that my uncle happens to live in the cemetery. In a house, by the way, but that house just happens to be the old cemetery keeper’s cottage. How perfect, it’s so fitting for our family.

A bird was just spotted outside, an announcement was made (Mum- “Ooh, oh, look is that a pigeon? Quick everybody!”), and the entire family peered round excitedly. My grandfather jogged to his car to ‘grab The Bird Book’. This is an event that happens at every family meeting. It involves usually either my uncle, grandfather, or sometimes my mother flipping through the bird guide, until they find the required sparrow/ eagle/ owl. Once the bird has been identified, the rest of the family respond with enthusiastic nods and comments like “oh, I knew it was either that or a spotted finch.” The Ashton’s have a proven history of having a curious affinity with things of the animal kingdom, especially all things creepy crawly. Spiders, lizards and owls are the favourites, but most insects are taken into special consideration for discussions.

 

*Special note*- at the end of the day a beetle was discovered on a stick, and Uncle Mike, Grandpa and Mum all examined it for twenty minutes, trying to guess what kind of beetle it was. A real quote of Uncle Mike’s- “It looks like an assassin beetle. Look at the way it moves. Like a hunter. It’s quite aggressive in the way it moves…”

Yeah…whatever an assassin beetle is…..

 

We always worry that a funeral will take place during one of our regular get-togethers. I wish I could say that it hasn’t happened…

 

An elderly couple just arrived carrying cameras, and walked bravely into the rotunda to read the cemetery history. They are neatly dodging the table covered in festive looking dips, home-made breads, and neatly arranged fruit platters, and they are carefully avoiding my young cousin John who is brandishing a pirate flag yelling “I’m a bad pirate!” Very brave… We must look so creepy, kind of like the family from House of 1000 Corpses, but with cuter kids.

 

For twenty dollars, my Uncle Steve bought a paring knife and a “Forever Sharp” kitchen knife from a salesman peddling his wares in Big W, beside the boxes of cereal. An extra four “Forever Sharp’s” came with the purchase, so he passed one along to mum and Mike. Naturally, Mike had to prove the knife box wrong, so he brought out the knife, a lump of granite and a tomato. He then stood on top of a bench and cleared his throat to get our attention. After showing how neatly the knife sliced through the tomato, he had a dangerous look in his eye.

“Now,” he said, “wait ‘till I do this!” He picked up the hunk of granite and started savagely hacking into it. We all cringed and begged him to stop. My grandmother was horrified. “Michael stop that! What are you doing?”

My aunty said to baby Georgina: “Let’s watch crazy Uncle Mike” The entire family watched with a mixture of shock and eye-rolling.

“Ok,” said crazy Uncle Mike, “Let’s see if it’s Forever Sharp!” He stopped cutting into the stone (we all stopped cringing), and he sliced the knife cleanly through another tomato. We could all tell that he was disappointed, because the males in my family are a bit like that because they like to prove things wrong. However, I laughed because it truly seemed like a moment from an infomercial. We could have sold it to Danoz Direct and Uncle Steve could have had his twenty dollars back.

It was a classic Ashton Family birthday party.

 

READER'S REVIEWS (2)
DISCLAIMER: STORYMANIA DOES NOT PROVIDE AND IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR REVIEWS. ALL REVIEWS ARE PROVIDED BY NON-ASSOCIATED VISITORS, REGARDLESS OF THE WAY THEY CALL THEMSELVES.

"well hanna you did ok with this piece but i think i would change a few things like for one instead of saying you wrote it maybe you should my name next to auther i think it would work alot better, anyway apart fromt that it is such a good story i really got a grasp of you family and how they are nutters, like you i supose" -- Ericah.
"This story made me laugh so hard, seriosly your family seems really funny. you should be a published author!" -- Erin.

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 2006 Hanna Rose Ashton-Lawson
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
April 2006
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
1128
 

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