Monday, May 01, 2006

thanks, folks

Okay, there was this jolly-assed character who used to do commercials for a local home improvement center- Menard's I think. He had an impossibly cheery demeanor that made you suspect either heavy drug use(of, yes, the mood-altering variety) or primary residence in another Solar System. Actually I found him kind of amusing. I read a story on him in the paper sometime back, which gave me a further chuckle. He has 7 sons, all of whom are Doctors.

Why or how is that funny, you ask? Picture them all living at home, and Mom fixing everybody a nice big breakfast before they all head out at the same time, each with his own Doctor bag, to Save Lives.(And of course inside each individual Doctor bag, is a personal note from Mom, sorta like she'd leave in your lunchbox). Seven cars out front, all with MD license plates.Or at a family function, being introduced: these are my sons, Dr. Jenkins, Dr Jenkins, Dr Jenkins, Dr Jenkins, Dr Jenkins, Dr Jenkins, and finally Dr Jenkins. THE DOCTORS.

It becomes an unconscious self-parody, this quest for the ultimate status quo, or at least the ultimate conformity. There is another family(the Rossi's), up in Tazewell County with a preponderance of MDs- much more extensive than even the 7 Dr "Jenkins's".. Someone in my family, either my brother or myself, speculated on whether their cousins are all pharmacists--and, of course, living across the tracks, in the less-ritzy housing...

It is true of course that a propensity toward music, or acting or athletics, or other disciplines, will reside in certain families, have certain concentrations. But even though JS Bach begat Johann Christian Bach, Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach and Wilhelm Friedmann Bach, all composers in their own right, not all 20 of his kids were composers or organists. Not all of Joe Frazier's kids are boxers--Marvis sure didn't do so hot..(Strangely enough, with 3 of the great heavyweights: Ali, Frazier, Foreman, it's their daughters who have the pugilistic aspirations-and unfortunately, much more attitude than their Dads). It's a hit-and-miss thing as far as inherited talents. Not everybody can step up to the plate. At least not the same plate anyway..

As well as 7-kid families with MDs across the board, I never quite understood family singing groups: The King Family Singers et al. Maybe because my own family was made up of 4 different people off usually doing 4 different things. We may have splintered off in groups of 2 or 3, but I don't remember us doing much of anything as a foursome, except maybe catch something on TV. I can't imagine us gathered around a piano any more than I could see us living on Pluto. There was plenty of human warmth and all that, just not a whole bunch of togetherness, at least not all 4 of us at a time.

When I think of family singing groups, I can't help but go to the Brady Bunch Movie when they're entering the talent contest all wearing matching jump suits, and of course performing a most corny-ass tune( or at least corny-assed arrangement). Really epitomizes that whole 'genre' if you will..My brother and I did wear matching Nehru jackets on one occasion as kids--little kids, mind you-- out for dinner with the folks & a few others, but that was as close as it came to having to wear a jump suit on stage with your parents.

Then again, maybe if we'd had more conventional parents, it'd all be different. There'd probably be more of us, we'd have names that rhyme, they'd call us "team". Who's to say?

I suppose my family is dysfunctional in its ways. But I'm glad to have grown up in a household where we were allowed to just be our 'weird' selves. Thanks, folks. If we have any occupational commonality, like the family o' MDs or the Roundly Family Singers, it's blogging. I am a blogger. My brother is a blogger. One of our Uncles and possibly a cousin, are also bloggers. Our Dad would've been a most avid blogger, had he lived a bit longer. And there may be more.

So I guess in that sense I'm part of the Blogging Roundly's. That's fine. Just as long as I don't have to go to medical school or perform "Jeremiah was a Bullfrog" in an orange jump suit.