Monday, April 20, 2009

Allen Expose

This post has been a long time in coming. I've known my father-in-law for a long time. Since I was 7 or 8 years old, in fact. So, you could say we're pretty close. Perhaps closer than even I knew.

My in-laws were here over Easter weekend, staying at my folk's house. Allen was in the bathroom and when I walked by he said, "hey, baby." He was quick to inform me later that he thought I was his wife. And, I would have dropped it at that, except that later that day we all went to Costco. I was walking beside him minding my own business when he slapped my butt. For some reason it didn't phase me, but he immediately gasped and turned bright red. He thought I was Majaunta. We are about the same size and have the same color and length of hair. I don't think I've ever seen him so embarrassed. It was worth it just to torture him about it later...and don't think I'm above kicking someone when they're down--because I'm not, let me tell you.

I love to pick on Allen. He's an easy target, kinda like his son(s). The McKean men share some startling similarities. Most especially with their valuing of efficiency above all. If you want to sale something to a McKean, you don't regale them with tales of beauty, you dazzle them with functionality. I guess us girls that married them are full of workable parts and that's why we were chosen (I think that my "cooking part" may have a defective piece, however).

Back to Allen. He's a good man. He even recycles. Last Thanksgiving I was helping him make deviled eggs and we were discussing the best way to get the yellow gunk efficiently back into the egg after we'd mixed all the mayo in. He suggested piping it out of a sandwich bag by cutting a hole in the corner of the bag and squeezing it back into the egg. Fantastic. So, he searched through his drawer of used sandwich bags. Would any old bag do? Absolutely not! He had to pick the most used one to desecrate. After all, we wouldn't want to destroy without provocation a nice, new-looking used bag.

I should mention his vehicles. Last time I counted he had about twenty. But, he doesn't drive the nicer ones. He's real into scrap metal especially his early 80's model Ford Escort with red interior. He has prettier vehicles, but the Escort got something like 900 miles a gallon. Which is crucial when you live in Pampa. I think the farthest grocery store is at least 5 miles away. I heard a rumor, perhaps spread by vicious gossip mongers, that he purchased a GPS for his wife for an anniversary gift. GPS is critical in a town fast approaching a population of 15,000 in which you've lived your whole life. What if they add a new street? Where would you be? Lost is where you would be, Allen. Lost.

I'm not finished with the car issue, though. He drives his dad's (Papa) truck instead of his own. And here I should insert an interesting tidbit about Papa. Papa is blind as a bat. He can barely see his hand in front of his face, but he purchases new vehicles every year or so to drive to the mailbox. I find this odd. See, all the McKeans are truly fascinating species.

I can't see Allen purchasing a new vehicle to drive to the mailbox, though. That wouldn't happen. Because Allen is nothing if not efficient and economical. He has a new dishwasher. But, he won't use it because it uses too much water or electricity or soap (it's one of those things, I just can't remember which). And, he won't let Majaunta use it either. So, he has to do all the dishes by hand. Even when all of us come home for a holiday, and there are somewhere around 5,765 dishes he still does them by hand.

I could go on and on. Perhaps a series about Allen? But, before I close, it would be remiss of me if I did not mention his affinity for buffets. We all know how delicious a good buffet is. Any food that can manage not to degrade while warmed under a heat lamp for 42 hours is food I don't want to miss! Where else can you get a plate heaped full of fried goodness for only $8.99? Heartburn? Reflux? Clogged arteries? Small prices to pay when the food is in abundance at such a low price. Besides, all you have to do is take Fiber Therapy and rid your body of those pesky saturated fats.

He's hard not to love, my father-in-law. I hope that this little post doesn't affect in any way the one item that I can't wait to get my hands on. That would be the deep-fat frier he rescued from the side of the road. It's got my name on it.


joe and karen said...

Let me remind you about the car Allen purchased that would only go in reverse..... here he is, driving down the road all the way to their home, IN REVERSE.......
we love Allen... he would do anything in the world for you..... he has blessed us in so many ways....also gotta love Mahoota... I miss them.

majaunta said...

I have to thank Karen for adding the reverse vehicle to the LONG list of wierdisms. I haven't laughed this hard in ages. Sometimes it takes a different perspective to really appreciate life as a McKean.

allen said...

In defence of the truth I do have to share my side of the story found in the first pagraph, or is it the second ? You'll know which one I'm talking about. I can't mention the word without turning several shades of red. Ok back to the truth of the matter. After thinking through this long and hard in an attempt to figure out what happened I came to the only logical conclusion. It was A CONSPIRACY. Thats right, a conspiracy. When I got out of the truck at Cosco I am 90% certain I was walking beside my wife. Somewhere between there and the front door of Cosco they made "the switch". Yep that's what they did. It was planned and intentional. They new I was male and the fact that one was wearing yellow pants and the other black would not be noticed. Right guys ? (Why do I feel like I'm digging the hole deeper?). And Jane herself admits she and my wife look much alike (from a distance) and even though I was talking to Jane, whom I thought was my wife, as we walked, AFTER they made "the switch", she never mumbeled a word because she didn't want to give up her identity. The fact that I probably never shut up long enough for her to get a word in edgewise should also be deleted from the record. That's it folks. Now you have the truth. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Now to clear up the misleading story on the post from Joe and Karen about the van. Did I buy a van ? Yes I did. Was the transmission out leaving the van with reverse only ? Yes. Did I have to drive the van through town and down the highway to my house backwards? Yes. BUT here is the rest of the story. Did I pick the busy time of the day to do this ? Of course not. Did I take the main streets in town ? Only one. (And we also won't mention there is only one main street in Pampa)So there you have it. See how much better the story sounds when told in it's entirety ?
I've always thought of myslef to be quite normal. But I guess "normal" could be considered a relative term. We won't touch that.
Keep blogging Jane (and Joe and Karen). You can use any material you can gleen from me (not that you needed my permission) and I'm sure I give you plenty. I haven't laughed this hard in a long time.
Love you guys.

Sarah Taylor said...

Oh my goodness, Jane! That was awesome! That was a long time coming...the witty writing and the ragging on Allan. And, actually, I think you're even a little meaner than normal because of your sleep-deprived state. I must hear most stories next time you're able!

You're a great guy, Allen! So much like my own Dad. Although I'm pretty sure he would have hauled the van home on a trailer. Your story was much more interesting, though!

Bryan said...

As soon as my son finds the girl he is going to marry, I am going to begin to tell her how much she looks like Dawn, especially from behind...

Eileen said...

So, Carrie sent us home with 180 Aprons and 27 Tiger Hats destined for the Scarlet Threads Distribution Center in Perryton, TX. I anticipated having to shop for a box big enough to ship the products all together, but then I had a brilliant idea! I work in a 50 storey office building, surely somewhere there is a big enough box that no one wants. That way, we can save money because we won’t have to buy one AND I can lessen the impact on the environment by re-using a perfectly good box! I persuaded our office assistant (Aggie) to assist me in finding said box (as box hunting does not fit her job description) by explaining that she is helping to empower women in rural Asia through this box acquisition quest. We scoured the halls and offices, and finally found a gigantic box. Eureka! Only to realize that this was only one part of the equation. I now had to find a way to bring the box home on the COMMUTER BUS, during 5:00 RUSH HOUR, when there is STANDING ROOM ONLY. Breaking down the box into a somewhat manageable 4 x 5 foot heavy duty cardboard unbendable sheet seemed the only logical option. Sailing down the elevator with my cardboard parachute, I change direction with my cardboard rudder and head out into the beautiful windy afternoon. I face the dangers darting across a busy street to catch my bus. We unsuccessfully attempt to stow my bounty underneath the bus in the cargo bin. And, so I face the stares of the nearly full bus as I try to force my cardboard sheet to turn corners not designed for its turning radius. Only 7 more stops to go before I am home free. At each stop the remaining seats are filled around me and my cardboard box taking up two seats. Finally, the person with the short straw who embarked on his homeward journey either 6 minutes too early or 6 minutes too late to catch the non-wierdo-filled bus was forced to become our travel companion. Luckily, Boxie and my other companion (for by now, the box needed a name) each had a tremendous sense of humor and we had a pleasant journey to the bus stop. Boxie and I bid our companion farewell, and I only hope people weren’t watching as I not so gently forced Boxie into my not so mid-sized car. All this for a lovely box that may have cost 2 dollars at the post office. If this isn’t the definition of efficiency, I don’t know what is. I just figured I had to do something to earn admission into the McKean family. Do you think that it worked?

majaunta said...

I believe you'll fit in fine Eileen. Allen I am sure is very Proud!