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There's one in every family
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Some folks don’t like to air their dirty laundry. Other folks don’t mind wavin’ it all over town. And then, there are some folks who don’t know they have dirty laundry until someone tells them so.

My family has its fair share of dirty laundry. We know it. We own it. We don’t mind though, because it all basically comes from one individual member of the family. And this time, it ain’t me.

This particular member of the family has managed to outlive the nine lives that the dear Lord saw fit to give him.

He’s been run over (twice), backed up over after being run over (once — obviously the person driving knew he was not just driving over a speed bump), mugged twice, stabbed at least twice, don’t think he’s ever been shot, but come pretty close to be being so because he’s just so obnoxious, had his tail whomped several times and lived to tell about it, always professing to be the victor, while spitting out teeth. He is truly one cat who ain’t goin’ down.

He’s wrecked a couple of vehicles, even managed to drive one home that had caught fire.

While it was on fire — but he put that out with a six pack.

My father finally put his foot down when this family member, that we refer to as ‘Drunk Unk’, knocked out a utility pole, left the scene of the accident and was eventually found passed out in the front yard.

He was charged, all right, but not before saying it was the county’s fault for putting the utility pole there.

We’ve all had a turn at checkin’ his scalp when he was passed out in a chair, looking for the “666,” but thankfully never found it. ’Course, it would have explained a lot of things, but ...

He’s done several things over the course of his lifetime that have left indelible marks on the rest of us, and we pretty much now just leave him to his own devices.

When our beloved parents crossed over, there was ol’ Drunk Unk, camped out in their house as he had been for the last quarter of a century. If you heard the deafening sound of nails screeching on a chalkboard last year, that was us, draggin’ him out of their house. He was clutching to everything with all his might.

Stupid us. You know how you can get a kitty down from a tree by opening a can of tuna? We shoulda just popped open a cold one, backing up with it out the door. No problem.

He was found suitable lodging (we would have preferred a jail cell for him, but he hadn’t committed any crimes at that point other than being, as I said, obnoxious) and was handed what Hefty bags of belongings he claimed.

He felt like he’d been kicked to the curb and that no one loved him. Well. OK. That’s fair. But you know, enough is enough already.

He wasn’t alone too long in his year-long pity party, though, as folks like him tend to find each other.

His gal-pal, Pill Poppin’ Patti, was over there sharing her comfort and joy and they would commiserate and regale each other with all their stories of jail time and re-hab.

Drunk Unk had never been to re-hab, even though GalPal highly recommended it. After all, she’d already been about eight times in last 2 years. She thought it was a great place to go to get away from it all.

You know, “all” being the encompassing word for “responsibility.”

She tried to make him own it, you know: “Come on, man, you know you’re an alcoholic!”

To which he retorted, “I ain’t no danged alcoholic! I’m a drunk!”

Must be somethin’ in the syntax.

They’re kinda like Jack and Meryl in “Ironweed,” ol DUI (Drunk Unk Inc.) and PPP think the world owes them something just for bein’ alive. But no, they ain’t gonna work for it.

Hey, I know I’m not alone in telling you this tale. According to most people I talk to, they’ve either got one just like them or someone pretty close that’s just like them, in and around their own families.

I don’t worry about Drunk Unk, though. He’s definitely a survivor. Can’t find his way out of a brown paper bag, but he’ll sure come up with some tall tale about the fight he got into while trying to get out of it.

He called another relation here recently to complain about not having any money for food, and fessed up that he’d ridden his bike to one of the local eateries asking people for money. One fella told him, “Hey man, you’re just gonna go buy booze...why should I give you any money?”

Drunk Unk waved his hands and said, “Aw nah, man, I got drinkin’ money. I just need somethin’ to eat.” Get it on, bangagong ...

Some say the village is missing their idiot.

Lucky village.

Ellen Lambert is a former Guyton resident.