Tuesday, March 31, 2009

10 Things You Probably Don’t Want to Know About the Viking Funeral

We don’t have very many funerals in my family. Or . . . I guess I should say, we haven’t had many funerals in my family. So, I’m not really sure if what happened this weekend is normal or just more craziness from the family that brought you the 90-year-old-mojo-party and the ill-fated-party-in-the-woods.

(1) Apparently, when my Aunt I said she would pick me, Cousin S, and Uncle B up at the airport at 2:30, she actually meant that she would think about picking us up approximately any time in the afternoon of that day, not actually at 2:30. So, after waiting for Aunt I for an hour and a half, I called my parents to come to pick us up.

(2) Although I have only been to about five funerals in my lifetime, I have never been at one that lasted for three hours. There are very few people who are important enough to be memorialized for three hours in a church. I love ya, Uncle T, but that was excessive.

(3) Does anyone else think the church’s logo (or symbol? What do you call it when it is reproduced in giant brass on the wall at the front of the church?) looks like a stubby penis surrounded by a halo next to a giant crochet hook?

Or is it just because I was staring at it for three hours?

(4) Is it weird that everyone in my family (aside from my crazy Aunt J) didn’t recognize the person being talked about by all of the people memorializing him? Between hymns, about eight people got up to speak about my Uncle T’s "faith journey." Pretty much all of us thought he was an atheist who attended church to appease his naggy wife. What the fuck is a faith journey anyway?

(5) So, after the funeral, we all adjourned to the church basement for a luncheon. This luncheon consisted of Chinese food, lemonade, and cake. This might have been bearable if there had not been a simultaneous lutefisk luncheon for 100 people in the next room over. You know what doesn’t go together more than Chinese, lemonade, and cake? Lutefisk (which looks and tastes and smells like fish Jello), Chinese, lemonade, and cake.

(6) The burning of Viking ship happened without a hitch. Someone took a video of it, which I will try to get and post here. The ship was significantly scaled down and burned in the gas grill at the hotel. The hotel begrudgingly agreed to this but insisted, for safety reasons, that their manager be the one to light the ship on fire. Whatever. I’m pretty sure she just wanted to light a rubbing-alcohol filled Viking ship on fire.

(7) You know you are the presence of good Swedes when the first bottle of Aquavit is empty, much to Uncle B’s dismay, and an old family friend stands up and says, "Never fear!! I have an extra bottle in the car!" And she actually had two extra bottles.

(8) Did you know that there are three flights every day from Minneapolis to International Falls, Minnesota? I didn’t know there were enough people who lived in International Falls to justify flying there three times a year, much less three times a day.

(9) The Peoria Airport is very, very sad. So sad that it makes me feel like I’ve just flow into Bumblefuck Arkansas or something.

(10) Did you know that Illinois-American Water likes to play a little trick on people who have been out of state for a funeral by turning their water off while they are away? Oh, baby . . . there is nothing like coming home from a long, stressful family funeral and not being able to flush your toilet. And then being told you haven’t paid your water bill since January when you are sitting looking at your online bank statement which clearly indicates you paid your water bill every month for the last seven years.

Rat Bastards.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

And so I Leave You with This . . .

Before I depart tomorrow for the great Viking funeral of 2009, I thought I would update everyone on the ill-fated launching/burning of a Viking ship in a public lake in Minneapolis.

Apparently, someone talked some sense into the rest of my family and convinced them that spending the night in jail would probably not be the best way to celebrate my Uncle's life. So, it was decided that we would burn the ship in my aunt's fireplace. I was immediately against this idea because that fireplace has probably not been cleaned in the 15 years they have lived in the house. The second-to-last thing we need at this funeral is a chimney fire.

(As an aside, I would like to stress that I am not the killjoy in my family. I like to have good fun too . . . I just tend to have my fun without fire. I think that's perfectly reasonable.)

Anyway, so the burning of the Viking ship has been moved outside to the Weber grill. I don't really know all of the details, but I do know that we all get to write personal messages to put into the ship as it is burning to send with Uncle T into the afterlife or heaven or wherever his ashes land.

First, I asked whether these messages would be secret, which, given the nature of the potential messages, is very important. Then I decided my message will say:

I hope they don't force you to remain married to the same person in heaven.

My brother just informed me he was thinking of writing this:

Watch out for the wasabi! It's not avocado in heaven either!

Uncle T was my mother's only brother. My mother told me hers is going to say:

Life is like a bag of charcoal briquettes . . . and then they set you on fire in the Weber.

Yeah. We're not a very sentimental bunch.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Do You Want to Play a Game? (Updated with hints)

It is a dreary day and I thought we all needed a little humor today. So, see if you can name the movies these quotes came from. I borrowed this from myself on Facebook. If you played my movie game on Facebook, you are only allowed to answer the last five because the first 15 are identical to my Facebook ones. Bonus points if you know where the title came from.

(1) ______________________.
HINT: The men talking are Martin Lawrence and one of the Wilson brothers.
First guy: "Don't you ever get all up on this thing?"
Second guy: "I don't think I've ever gotten all up on anything, sir."

(2) ______________________.
HINT: Shroomin' in Vegas.
First guy: "Did you know there's a guy whose sole job is to find chairs for these hotel rooms?"
Second guy: "Please take the chairs away!"
First guy: "Like this one! It's red with gold stripes and - oh, this one is amazing!"
Second guy: "Please take the chairs away. I don't like them. The big one is staring at me and that short one is being very droll."

(3) ______________________.
HINT: When is it OK for a liberal to kill someone?
"People disappear all the time. Especially in Iowa. We probably saved him from an alien abduction."

(4) _______________________.
HINT: Together they make the perfect woman.
First girl: "If I was a guy, I think women would like . . . line up to go out with me. I'm smart. I have a good sense of humor. I make a great living."
Second girl: "I'd fuck you."
First girl: "Thank you, honey. I know you would."

(5) _______________________.
HINT: Candy bar villians and Leonardo DaVinci
"I feel like a dolphin who's never tasted melted snow. What does the color blue taste like? Bobo knows? Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! I must speak with the dolphins now. Eeeee-eeee-eee-eeeeeee!"

(6) _______________________.
HINT: Hooters . . . Hooters . . . HOOTERS!
"Did she say we were doing laundry? Because where I come from, it's called 'doing the hibbidy-dibbidy.'"

(7) _______________________.
HINT: Star Trek fans probably have no love for this movie.
"Let's get out of here before one of those things kills Guy!"

(8) Old School (Tom)
"Alright, let me be the first to say congratulations to you then. You get one vagina for the rest of your life. Real smart Frank. Way to work it through."

(9) Dodgeball (Tom)
HINT: If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a dodgeball.
Guy: "Are you okay?"
Girl: "I'm fine. I just threw up in my mouth a little bit."
Guy: "In some cultures, they only eat vomit. I never been there, but I read about it . . . in a book."

(10) Men in Black (Christine)
"Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training."

(11) Legally Blonde (Brauner)
"Do you think she woke up one morning and said: I think I'll go to law school today?"

(12) Notting Hill (Diane)
"After all . . . I'm just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her. "

(13) Johnny Dangerously (Christine)
"I would like to direct this to the distinguished members of the panel: You lousy cork-soakers. You have violated my farging rights. Dis somanumbatching country was founded so that the liberties of common patriotic citizens like me could not be taken away by a bunch of fargin iceholes . . . like yourselves."

(14) The Princess Bride (Christine)
"Have fun storming the castle!"

(15) The Sound of Music (Vanilla Bean Counter)
HINT: Doe a deer, a female deer . . .
First woman: "And what's worse, I can't seem to stop saying things - anything and everything I think and feel."
Second woman: "Some people would call that honesty."
First woman: "Oh, but it's terrible, Reverend Mother."

(16) In Bruges (Katie)
HINT: Two hitmen hide in a hideaway place and it doesn't go well.
First man: "How'd your date go?"
Second man: "My date involved two instances of extreme violence, one instance of her hand on my cock and my finger up her thing which lasted all too briefly, one instance of me stealing five grams of very high-quality cocaine and one instance of me blinding a poofy little skinhead: so all in all . . . my evening pretty much balanced out fine."

(17) Pretty in Pink (Tom)
HINT: Blaine, Andi, and Ducky.
"We don't have none of this stuff in the boy's room! Wait a minute! We don't got none of this . . . we don't got doors on the stalls in the boy's room, we don't have . . . what is this? What's this? We don't have a candy machine in the boy's room!"

(18) Breakfast at Tiffany's (Katie).
Man: "I love you."
Woman: "So what."
Man: "So what? So plenty! I love you, you belong to me!"
Woman: "No. People don't belong to people."
Man: "Of course they do!"
Woman: "I'll never let ANYBODY put me in a cage."
Man: "I don't want to put you in a cage, I want to love you!"

(19) The Breakfast Club (Christine)
"Hey, how come Andrew gets to get up? If he gets up . . . we'll all get up . . . it'll be anarchy!"

(20) When Harry Met Sally (Katie).
Man: "If you could take him back now, would you?"
Woman: "No. But why didn't he want to marry me? What's the matter with me?"
Man: "Nothing."
Woman: "I'm difficult."
Man: "You're challenging."
Woman: "I'm too structured, I'm completely closed off."
Man: "But in a good way."
Woman: "No, no, no, I drove him away. AND, I'm gonna be forty."
Man: "When?"
Woman: "Someday."
Man: "In eight years!"
Woman: "But it's there. It's just sitting there, like some big dead end."

Friday, March 20, 2009

Something to Think About . . .

I'm on my way to a girls' weekend in Chicago - hanging with my BFF and going to another friend's "wedding." I leave you with this very scientific analysis of which aphrodisiac I am. Something to thing about, I think . . . .

You Are Chocolate

You make people feel euphoric and dreamy. You're very addicting.

You definitely drive people to passion, lust, and even obsession.

While you are quite sensual, you are also comforting.

You sure know how to work your magic. It doesn't take long to get someone to love you.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

There But For the Grace of God Go I

I was just reminded of this story not too long ago while talking to my college roommate. I had completely forgotten it happened. Although it happened almost 19 years ago, it has surprising relevance to something that has happened quite recently.

About a month after I started college in the fall of 1990, my English professor called me into his office. He made some small talk about the paper I had just turned in and then said, "So . . . I hear you are going to missing some school in the next few months." I was stunned for a few seconds while a million things ran through my head - most significantly: have I already been kicked out of college? I mean, I haven’t really done anything yet! At least not anything really bad!

"Not that I know of. Why?"

"Well, I got a call from the Dean of Students . . . I think he called all of your professors . . . and he said you were going to be missing school because of a family situation."

"What family situation?"

The professor looked really embarrassed at that moment. I think the look on his face was something like - dear god . . . she doesn’t know - but he said, "Because your dad is sick. The Dean said you might need to take some time off from school because your dad is sick."

I laughed, mostly out of relief that I wasn’t being expelled, and said, "No. I’m sure if my dad was sick, my parents would have told me. They don’t keep things like that from me." The professor looked concerned, but let me leave. As I was walking back to my dorm room, I got to thinking about it. What if my parents really hadn’t told me my dad was sick?

No. They wouldn’t do that. They just wouldn’t. They are very up-front type of people who believe in talking everything out, no matter how painful. And my dad hadn’t seemed sick at all and I had just been there a month ago. My parents don’t hide things from me.

But . . . my paranoid side started taking over. What if they didn’t want me to leave school and decided not to tell me? I mean . . . they did sell their house while I was away at summer camp before my senior year of high school without telling me first. But they told me about it the next time they talked to me . . . so.

As soon as I got back to my dorm room (no cell phone, people, it was 1990), I called my dad’s office. "He’s with a patient, honey," said his secretary. "Can I leave him a message or do you need me to interrupt him?" "No, that’s OK," I replied. We were never allowed to interrupt our parents when they were with patients. Emergency situations, yes, but I had never had an emergency serious enough to interrupt them. Apparently, his dying was not an emergency situation.

I called my mom at her office. She was available. Without any preface, I said, "Is Papa sick? Is he sick and you didn’t tell me?" "No. Of course not," she replied. I explained the whole situation to her, what my professor had said. After hanging up with me, she called my father and they called the Dean. They called me back and assured me everything was fine. Apparently, the Dean had mixed me up with another student. The Dean called all of my professors and straightened the situation out.

However, the Dean forgot to tell my RAs and dorm manager.

A few days later, I was telling this story to a few friends in my dorm corridor and we were laughing about how weird it was and scary and bad that the Dean had gotten me confused with someone else. Our two RAs walked by and caught a piece of the conversation. They stopped dead in their tracks when they heard me say, "Yeah . . . my dad’s not dying."

"What? Your dad’s not dying??"

I explained the story to them and, to my surprise, they got pissed. Apparently, the school had made both of my RAs go through grief training because my dad was dying. They had been in training for an entire weekend and had missed some big party or something. They were having daily meetings with the dorm manager because they thought I was in huge denial because I seemed to be living my life just like I always had.

After a few weeks, it kind of became a joke among my friends. If I was acting super happy or something out of the ordinary, my friends would say, "Man . . . she must be in denial." The story was told at countless parties until the party a few years later where a girl told us all to shut up and said, "That was me . . . that was my dad." All of us shut up and felt pretty bad. I said, "I’m so sorry . . . I had no idea. How is your dad?" (OK - not the brightest thing to say, but I was drunk.)

"Dead. He died."

I knew this girl because our names were very similar. In fact, our last names were the same and our first names sounded alike. We were often confused for the other, even though we looked nothing alike. We weren’t really friends in college, but I have always thought about her and how hard it would have been to lose your dad while you were in college.

Sixteen years later, my youngest cousin started her first year of college. Two months after she started, her dad was diagnosed with brain cancer. He died in January of this year, during her junior year of college.

Life is funny sometimes. A situation that could have been very bad for me turned into a funny story I told people at parties. But for my cousin, it came true.

I’m not a religious person, but I do like the saying, "There but for the grace of god go I." Even though I forget it often, I am a very lucky person. I’ve had a lot of advantages in my life. I can’t explain to my cousin why it is fair her dad died when she was just 21 and my dad is still alive when I am 37. I don’t know how to explain why these things happen. But I do need to remind myself every day how lucky I am.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I Might Be Out of Words

I am disturbed by my lack of blogging. However, I am not going to be one of those bloggers who calls it quits only to have a huge burst of blog-creativity and then write some of their best stuff. Because, I'll tell you, every blogger who has ever said "that's it, I'm done" has come back for more. It's like crack. Or pastry. Or good sex . . . you can never say "I'm done."

Anyway, the reason I might be out of words is that I recently completed two major writing projects at work. Seriously - I've probably written in excess of 50,000 words in the last three weeks. I don't know why my caseload can't be more balanced. I would love to have a simple case, hard case, simple, hard, simple, hard, etc. but it doesn't work that way. I had these two giant things due at the same time and now I have a string of completely little things to deal with for the next month or so.

Of course, I complain and complain during the big things, but then I complain when I'm not super busy because I get bored without deadlines breathing down my neck. I'm the type of person who asks for more work if I have nothing to do at work. I can't stand to be idle, particularly at work.

All of that being said, I have a few random comments I'd like to make. In no particular order.

First . . . I think some people should learn to keep it in their pants. And by "it," I'm not referring to car keys.

Second . . . why is the river flooding on the riverfront such big fucking news? Yes. It sucks for the people who live and work on the riverfront, but is it really such a big surprise? Didn't you notice the river when you bought that restaurant space (or planned to build that museum)? It's kinda hard to miss, people. And do you know what rivers have been doing since the beginning of time? Flooding. And do you know what this river has been doing for at least the last 8 years (the time I've lived in Peoria)? Flooding. Seriously. Every. Single. Year. Sometimes more than once a year.

Why is it such a surprise when it happens again? I mean, nothing has changed down there. It's not like they are building up levies or walls or barriers or anything. I mean, they don't even bother sandbagging anymore. It's a RIVER, people. My grandfather taught me many things, but one thing was that you don't fuck with a river. OK, he didn't say it like that, but you get my point. And he was talking about the Mississippi River when he said it. Despite the fact that we are all humans and think we have the right to control everything, in fact, we don't and can't control Mother Nature.

And while I'm on the subject, no one is allowed to call this current flooding the "great" or "horrible" or "record" flooding of Peoria's history. Until you lived through something like the floods in Des Moines in 1993, you have no fucking clue what a great flood is. ALL of downtown Des Moines was flooded, including two of the three major hospitals. Every single government building was flooded. Power was off for weeks. There was no usable water for two months. It's been almost 16 years and some things still haven't returned to normal. Oh yeah . . . and people died. Until things get that bad, I really don't want to hear about it.

Third, just because you are writing something on the computer does not give you the right to turn into an illiterate moron. Seriously . . . can't we just make an attempt to use correct grammar and punctuation. Please? I mean, I get pretty hacked off when people misuse their, there, and they're, but I mostly keep it to myself. But, if you can't write a simple declarative sentence, why are you even on the computer? Your time would be much better spent taking some adult ed classes. Really.

Fourth, I don't get St. Patrick's Day. I mean, I get the fact that for most people, it is just an excuse to get shit-faced drunk and do stupid things. But, if you need an excuse to do that, I think it's time to take control of your life, do what makes you happy when you feel like doing it, not when it happens to be a time everyone else thinks you should do it.

Fifth, this week is the worst week to work in downtown Peoria. IHSA. Ugh. Not only do they screw up traffic and parking and take every freaking spot in every freaking restaurant over the lunch hour, they expect us people who are actually working for a living to rearrange our entire lives so their sorry-ass children can have their five minutes of high school fame before they go to college and realized that life is not high school and . . . really . . . high school doesn't matter that much.

Well. Look at that. I guess I didn't run out of words after all.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I'm Not, But I Kinda Wish I Was

I got the following message via Facebook today:

"Hi, I am looking for a girl I met in the year 1976 in the Faroe Islands, she competeted in swimming with Ægir, a swimming club in Klaksvik, just wondering what her life came to be, so if you are that girl I would like to hear from you."

Wow. I am so not that girl, but I kind of wish I was. Not because I want to reconnect with this guy but because I kind of want to be the type of girl who traveled to the Faroe Islands and competed in swimming clubs in the 1970s. That girl sounds so much cooler than the girl I actually was in 1976.

Of course, it would probably help if I knew where the Faroe Islands are without having to look it up on Wikipedia. And after looking it up, it's decidedly not cool that I didn't know the Faroe Islands are an autonomous province of Denmark. My Danish relatives would find it so not cool that I didn't know that. It also probably isn't cool that I didn't know Klaksvik is the second largest town in the Faroe Islands either.

Sigh . . . back to my regular boring life as an American child of the 70s. Why is it that Europeans always sound so much cooler than Americans?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I Was Good at Four Square, Actually

From an email exchange with my brother yesterday about looking for a place for the family to have drinks before the god-awful dinner at my Aunt's house before my Uncle's memorial service:

My dad: Since the group has gotten a little large for drinks in a hotel room on Friday, we are trying to find a bar where we, the Family that is, can assemble at five if we choose to do so. Everyone will buy their own, and following that, J is planning a dinner at the house. Of course there will be no drinks there. Grandpa really wants to have his family around him. J will not be excluded but I’d doubt she’ll want to do it.

My brother: I might have some contacts in the wine/liquor industry in Minneapolis. But what exactly are we looking for? Something that can accommodate everyone? How large is large? I can bounce ideas off of [Ms. PH] from the time she lived there.

Me: I lived in Minneapolis 15 years ago and my specialty was sort of local dive bars. I'm not so sure I would be good at picking out a place now for our entire family to drink.

My brother: Ok, no bouncing ideas off [Ms. PH] then.

Me: You can bounce all you want, I just might not be able to contribute much.

My brother: It will be like a game of four square!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Good Morning, Shorty

I’m fighting a chest cold. I really tired and my voice sounds like I’ve been smoking three packs a day for the last 20 years. So, perhaps I wasn’t in the best mood when I received a phone call at 5:36 this morning. Yes, my phone rang at 5:36 a.m., waking me, my daughter (who was sleeping next to me), and the dog up.

Me: Hello?

Asshole Caller: Yeah . . is,sdff sd;aspi wetheere serhsa there?

Me: What?

Asshole Caller: Yeah . . . this Shorty’s number?

Me: NO.

Asshole Caller: Oh. Sorry.

I snapped the phone closed, said a few swear words under my breath and put my head back down. The phone rings again.


Asshole Caller: Yeah . . . this Shorty’s number?

Me: NO. Same number.

Asshole Caller: This ain’t Shorty’s number?

Me: NO!

Asshole Caller: Oh. Sorry.

I snapped the phone closed again and said a few swear words out loud. My daughter, who does not like to be awakened AT ALL, starts to whine and groan. I tell her to go back to sleep before all cranky hell breaks lose. We are almost back to sleep when . . . the phone rings AGAIN.

Me: HELLO??!!??

Asshole Caller: Yeah . . . this Shorty’s number?

Me: Yeah . . . here you go.

I put the phone up to my daughter’s face and say, "Here . . . someone wants to talk to you. Talk to them." I have fully anticipated the long screechy, wailing, whiny, scream that will come out of her mouth.


Asshole caller hung up. And never called back.

Behold . . . the power of a crabby three year old.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Proper Funeral

As I mentioned here, my Uncle T died in January after a battle with brain cancer. Our family convinced his wife to have a memorial service a few months after his death, so there was no funeral at the time he died. So, she scheduled it for March 28th. All fine and good.

As I mentioned here, my Aunt J has always been at odds with the rest of my family because of her religious beliefs. So, we knew that there was going to be some sort of church service involved. No problem. All of us respect her need to mourn the way she feels comfortable.

Of course, that doesn’t stop my family from planning multiple other "memorial" events during the weekend as well. For example, everyone in the family, except my Aunt J, are convening at 5 pm on Friday to drink. A lot. Then we are going out for dinner, just the family, and Aunt J is invited. I bet she won’t notice at all that the rest of us are shit-faced.

The religious service is at 10 am on Saturday and there is a reception at the church after the service (bring on the Jello molds, church ladies!!) There is a dinner on Saturday night either at my uncle’s favorite restaurant or at the hospice where he died. I don’t think I have to tell you which one I will NOT be attending.

The rest of the weekend is a mystery to me, as I am usually the last to know anything in my family. So, I called my cousin S on Friday afternoon to see what the plans were. Here’s the conversation:

Me: Hey. Do you know what else is happening over the weekend for T’s memorial service?

S: Did you hear about the Viking Ship?

Me: Um . . . no. What Viking Ship? (as an aside, I was once forced to march in a parade in full Swedish costume behind a giant Viking Ship float. Therefore, my voice probably had a wee bit of panic in it.)

S: Well, Uncle B and Uncle C decided they are going to build a replica of a Viking Ship out of wood, fill it with flammable materials, light it on fire, and launch it into Lake Calhoun.

Me: WHAT? Has anybody checked to see if it is legal to light a Viking ship on fire in a public place in Minneapolis? Because I’m thinking it’s probably not.

S: I don’t know . . . it wasn’t my idea. I guess they did it in Washington the day T died and it worked out fine.

Me: How big was the boat?

S: Well, in Washington it was only about six inches and made of cardboard. But B and C wanted to do it right so they have plans for a three foot long wooden boat. My dad was at Home Depot last night buying the wood.

Me: Has anyone considered the fact that Lake Calhoun might still be frozen in March? Or that it could catch something else on fire? Or that it’s not legal?

S: Probably not. How bad could it be?

Me: Oh . . . let’s see. I can see the headline now, "Mourning Swedish Family Burns Down ENTIRE Lake Calhoun Area in Ill-Fated Viking Funeral."

S: Well, good thing we have a lawyer in the family.

Me: Whatever. Is T going to be on the boat when this happens?

S: No. Mom and I are going to be making him into pottery after the memorial service.

Me: What???

S: Well, we thought it would be nice for people to have a keepsake, you know, like a little piece of T, so we are figuring out ways to make T into pottery. Right now, we are experimenting with Cosmo’s ashes and it’s going pretty good. (Cosmo is their dog that died a few years ago and was cremated.)

Me: Um . . . gross. I’m pretty sure I don’t want some T pottery. I’ll just stick with my existing memories, thanks.

So, there it is folks. The family crazy continues. And I can guarantee you that I will be standing as far away from that burning boat as possible so I can run when the cops come. I would hate to have to call into work on Monday morning and have to explain I was in jail for burning down a park in Minneapolis.

Of course, all of the men I mention this story to think it is a great idea. Some even suggested lighting the boat on fire by shooting flaming arrows at it. Clearly, these people have never met my family. We would set ourselves on fire before the boat.