Thursday, 12 June 2008

Weird family, I got no creep sisters, just me.

The Japanese are such perfectionists, that they often remove the entire contents of their homes whenever they change the towels. No, really.

“We are family. I got all my sisters with me.
We are family. Get up ev'rybody and sing”.

We Are Family. Sister Sledge.

Right on! Er, not exactly. All my true family are Japanese you see, all one hundred and fifty of them and that’s the way, ah huh, I like it. And they all live in the same apartment. Nope, old Colonel Neville has no Australian folks at least that I ever see or wish to, or need to. And man, that's really worked out surprisingly well. Er, not surprising, really. Hey, Australia is one of the few great and worthwhile places to be on Earth, I just don't have any folks here. What a drag, baby!

Now I do have some perhaps swingin' relatives in New Jersey in the USA, and in the UK etc. Sadly, I’ve just never met them. I had some great Uncles and Aunts and many of them were rather unusually talented and unique people.

My Great-Great Grandfather was a gypsy who lived in two caravans with a handlebar moustache. Er, he wasn’t living in sin with a soup saver, he had the moustache. He once made a banjo and a pair of leather boots by hand, thus winning a contest. Maybe it was the Annual Banjo and Boots Competition. Who knows? He owned Sir Walter Raleigh’s pipe that sported a giant ruby, which he gave to the British Museum.

“...and curse Sir Walter Raleigh, he was such a stupid git!” I’m Only Sleeping. The Beatles.

He also thought of making cars in prefabricated metal sections and then welding the parts together on a conveyor belt. He sent the drawings for his idea to Ford in America and never received a reply. No, really.

I had an Uncle who was in the merchant marine and developed cancer in a testicle. It was removed in a Bombay hospital and is still there on display to this day.

“Adults 10 rupees. Children admitted free”.

My Grandfather was a First World War hero, who lived with us until I was five. He loved Danish furniture, photography, fishing, VW’s and the Beatles. In 1963 he said “They’re going to be big”. And that was before metric. He was really great and died suddenly. My parent’s never told me he died though, and didn’t take me to the funeral. I asked them why they were throwing all that dust into the ocean. Beyond odd really, is it not?

The last time I had invariably strained contact with my two dull and ordinary siblings, not that there’s anything wrong with that, was a long time ago, and shortly after my Fathers funeral. I was forced to request through a solicitor, that my personal effects be returned to me, as I was not allowed into the old family home now that they had er, control of most of it.

Kindly, the eldest then sent me about eight boxes, empty of said personal effects. Instead, they were delightfully filled with junk, rags and rubbish, with the added touch that I had to pay the COD. Nice, eh? Still, my brother in law took the entire double garage full of builder’s tools acquired by my Father over a hard working lifetime, and made sure there was precisely zilcho for me. How stylish. How deep. How classy. How profoundly boring.

And that’s the good part! Thus, I have for over more than a decade, focused entirely on my Osaka-side relatives by marriage. They are people who would do anything for me and have. And far more than I deserve, I’ll wager. And often to the point of embarrassment.

“How do you rate for embarrassment? A, high? B, hello? Or C, good evening?” Monty Python.

“Ah. You like watch? House? Take it, please! I have another one in drawer!”

I have no sentimentality or nostalgia whatsoever. My wife says I have no emotions, just because I’m cold, shallow and unavailable. Go figure? I owe almost everything to my Japanese wife and her family, who are my family.

I like Japan. There’s no shortage of new and intriguing vending machines and the people are thoughtful, though in actual size, are often at three fifths normal scale. This not only saves on building materials, but an entire baseball team can fit in a single elevator journey. The reason Japan is so free of litter, is because they're so close to the ground that they notice it, and thus pick it up more readily than Westerners. No, really.

This why I’m a conservative kind a libertarian guy. Family does that to you.

“A man is nothing without his family”. Cuban saying.

“Ev'ryone can see we're together as we walk on by,
(Fly!) and we fly just like birds of a feather
I won't tell no lie.
(All!) All of the people around us they say, can they be that close?
Just let me state for the record,
We're giving love in a family dose.


Living life is fun and we've just begun,
To get our share of the world's delights.
(High!) High hopes we have for the future,
And our goal's in sight.

(We!) No we don't get depressed,
Here's what we call our golden rule.
Have faith in you and the things you do.
You won't go wrong, this is our family Jewel”.

Hey, now that’s right on.

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