EXAMINER PUBLICATIONS – FEBRUARY 27, 2008
By Rich Trzupek
It’s hard not to feel sympathy for anyone attending a Trzupek family party for the first time. It’s a dangerous exercise, like climbing K-2 or Everest and, like climbing K-2 or Everest, for every person that makes the attempt, another comes crashing down.
It’s not just the fact that the family is, to quote my ex, who is very astute about these things, “a bunch of pseudo-intellectual jerks”. No, come to think of it, that sums it up quite nicely. We are a bunch of pseudo-intellectual jerks – charming pseudo-intellectual jerks to be sure – but pseudo-intellectual jerks none the less.
Bigger brother Lar would surely object to the “pseudo” part of that description, but not much else. The unsuspecting guest who engages Lar in conversation for more than five minutes will soon realize that he is talking to a fellow who is convinced that he is the smartest person on the face of the earth. After ten minutes, our poor guest will realize that Lar probably is just that, which makes Dr. Larry Stanley Trzupek all the more annoying.
Little brother Ger, on the other hand, is a wit on the order of Oscar Wilde, although – to my knowledge anyway – he isn’t moved to swap spit with his drinking buddies, for which my entire family is most grateful. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that).
Ger’s sense of humor is the epitome of the family’s sense of humor, a mix of the high-brow, “look how much smarter I am than you” style that typifies British comedy; potty-jokes that would (and often do) embarrass a ten year old; and the subtle observations of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. For those who wonder where the off-the-wall comments in this column come from, well – blame my genes. And if my genes are twisted, Ger’s exist in a dimension that only M.C. Escher had a handle on.
As are the genes of biggest bro Gene, although in an entirely different direction, one that a psychiatrist would prescribe heavy doses of lithium for, which is why we try to keep Gene and psychiatrists apart from each other whenever possible. I do not make this judgment lightly. Consider this Gene factoid: he voted for Ross Perot. Twice. And he admitted it. Twice. In any court in the land, that should be more than enough to get a person committed.
Going strictly by IQ, bigger sister Dorts is actually the smartest person in the family, but rather than flaunting it, a la Lar, she minimizes it with a steady stream of self-depreciating remarks, which are at least as annoying as Lar’s attempts to rule the world as benevolent despot (a post for which he is richly qualified, damn it). But bigger sis is as fond of sophomoric humor as her bros, and as likely to light up a cigar at a wedding as any of us, which makes her especially dear to our hearts.
That’s the minimum that a newbie has to negotiate at the party. It’s enough to send people running for the door screaming, wondering if they somehow walked into a meeting of the “Middle Aged Republicans With Brain Damage” convention.
And of course we’re all Republicans, or rather conservatives, since political parties don’t do much for any of us. Woe to the liberal that drifts into our midst, especially the sort that believes that “intelligent people are liberal”. You really don’t want to compare IQ points, knowledge of current events, history, science, economics, theology, or Warner Brothers cartoons with a pack of crazed Trzupeks. Trust me on this. You don’t.
Spouses and blood relatives can get a pass, like our fabulous niece Marie who shakes her left-leaning head over what a bunch of right-wing whackos she is related to, as often as we wonder what exactly got screwed up with her DNA. But, seeing as Gene is her father, it’s not hard to imagine that something went wrong. He’s still working the Agent Orange out of his system after all.
Then there’s biggest sis, Ruth, who only makes the occasional guest appearance. A good thing, not because she’s an unpleasant person – she’s not – but because she tends to converse in one long, run-on sentence that lasts the entire party. One can only handle so much before eardrums start to burst.
And we haven’t even mentioned Ger’s wife, Darcy, whose high-pitched cackle of a laugh has fooled more than one person into thinking that someone left a bag of cats, on fire, somewhere in the house. (Her laugh does contrast nicely with the horse-whinny that the rest of the family is afflicted with). Or Brian, another one of Gene’s spawn, or perhaps he’s really Rosermary’s baby, because Brian – as my daughter sagely observed – doesn’t merely cross the line, he destroys the line and then builds a brick wall to make sure that nobody can get back across to the safe side of the line.
And the reason that I bring this all up is that you, dear (or unfortunate) reader are going to be able to attend a Trzupek family party of sorts over the next three weeks. I’ll be on a bit of a sabbatical from the column, so “Trzupek familia” will have the keys to the Cheap Seats for the next trio of editions. What that means, I can not tell you. I shudder to think of the possibilities. I am, after all, the least fanatic of my sibs. (You read that right: least fanatic).
So, for those of you who send in the letters and post those comments complaining about what a nut job I am, hold onto your pointy hats. It’s going to get worse. Much worse. Bwah-hah-hah-hah!
The rest of you will, no doubt, be entertained. Perhaps it will be entertainment like watching a multi-car pile-up, but it will be entertainment. We’ll see if there’s still space for me on page 8 in three weeks.
You have been warned.