Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Booted

"Rome is the capital of Italy, you know," she said, lazily stroking the leather Dooney & Burke bag resting in her lap, choosing to stare at its polished wood handles rather than watch me try to force a pair of undersized shoes on her oversized feet.

"Oh yeah?" I tried to feign surprise and wonder despite both being of Italian descent and having successfully passed the fourth grade. "You know, I really don't think you're a size 6."

"Of course I am," she said dismissively, stroking the purse's embossed duck logo like a parent consoling a child after a bad dream. Of course you are, I thought. If you cut off all of your toes. "During the second week, we'll head to the coast to visit Naples. Just like our own country, Italy has both mountainous and coastal regions".

"Wow," I said, giving her heel another optimistic push, even though it would be easier to cram her grown children back into her birth canal than it would be to fit her foot inside this Saucony. She puked out another few paragraphs from her Fodor's guide, this benevolent woman here to educate the unwashed, uncultured associate literally kneeling at her feet.

It happens more often than you'd think, the customers assuming that since I spend my days explaining the benefits of sweat-wicking socks that I rank somewhere between cottage cheese and the cast of The Hills on the IQ scale. Some would express genuine surprise to learn that I don't actually live in the stockroom, making a nest for myself out of an empty New Balance box and eagerly awaiting their arrival each day to keep me posted on the events of the outside world, like whether the Olympics are over (they are, we won), whether swarms of locusts have engulfed the earth (not yet) or whether Elizabeth Taylor is still alive (not sure).

I'm not even supposed to be here, not today, not listening to Carmen Fucking SanDiego explain that the people in Italy speak Italian. I should be in my second day of trekking the Inca Trail--en route to Machu Picchu--with my sister Runtie and my Uncle Dickbag, but I was booted off the trip, a life lesson proving that you can either take a vacation or you can travel with your family. They're separate but related creatures, like Mogwai and gremlins.

(Note: For background on the Peru trip, read this.)


To hear Uncle Dickbag tell it, it's my own fault that I'm straddling a fitting stool with a foot resting my lap, that it's because my "character" was too "weak" for his "team", a finger-quoted sentiment that explains why I've re-christened him with the Dickbag surname.

The truth is that I failed my physical. The guide company that we'd selected needed a physician to sign a number of forms proving that your lungs weren't going to pop like a piece of stomped-upon bubble wrap when you reached 13,000 feet but my paperwork went unapproved, like my credit applications and Facebook friend requests.

My first challenge was finding a doctor. I only have one medical chart, filed alphabetically at the gynecologist's office where I strap into the stirrups once a year for my annual ride in the speculum rodeo, but I eliminated her from contention since I didn't recall her ever cramming any well-lubed metal devices into my chest cavity. It's been at least three U2 albums since I had a 'regular' physician--I vaguely recall getting a flu shot during their PopMart tour--so I had to turn to the yellow pages, where I made a selection purely because my index finger settled on an M.D. whose last name was House, causing me to grasp a nugget of hope that it would be a Method-acting Hugh Laurie practicing without a license in my sleepy two Target town. Instead, Dr. House was a short, squat woman with a single eyebrow and a wardrobe from the Husky Department at Sears.

Regardless, I assumed that after she listened to my heart thump out its timpani-like rhythm and noted my resting pulse rate of, like, four beats per minute, she'd send me to the receptionist with my inspection sticker and a prescription for 30 days of Baconators.

Instead when she pressed the cold tip of the 'scope against my chest, her first question wasn't "Has Timbaland sampled these beats?" it was "Did you know you have a heart murmur?" I did, and it's something that I was born with, along with eyes that are unclassifiable in color and a pair of single A-sized breasts. It's described as an 'innocent' murmur, which makes me picture it sitting alone in my aortic valve, penning a book called If I Murmured, Here's How it Happened. Anyway, this was only one reason I was stamped IRREGULAR, the other being the fact that I'm asthmatic, which made her assume that I would be unable to even pack my suitcase before collapsing in a heap, inadvertently suffocating myself between a stack of neatly packed sweaters and a Costco-sized carton of anti-diarrheal medication.

I tried to reason with her as she sat poised with my chart ready to mark it with a scarlet FAIL. "Look, my heart hasn't given me any problems, ever, and my lungs are super awesome too."

I paused for effect. "I ran the Boston Marathon in April."

Another pause. "In three hours and 23 minutes."

"The Boston Marathon wasn't at 13,000 feet", she responded without looking at me. I knew I should've kept scanning the yellow pages. Perhaps my index finger betrayed me--fucking Pontius Pointer--before landing upon the name of the more lenient Dr. Huxtable.

"I going to make you an appointment with a pulmonologist", she said, standing up to let me know that there would be no argument. I stood up too, to let her know that I had no insurance.

I walked out of the clinic, dejected, down $107 and no closer to being approved by a doctor. I called my uncle to tell him the news, which was met at first by silence, then by agitation. "So do you have another appointment today?" I told him that I didn't, that the expensive-sounding pulmonologist wasn't for another couple of weeks. "You shouldn't accept the first opinion. Go find another doctor this afternoon." I explained that I needed to be at work, slinging enough shoes to pay for said doctor and his tone changed. "We're going to have a team meeting to discuss this. I'll be in contact with details."

When I got home from the store, I had a tersely worded email festering in my inbox explaining that the "team"--he and Runtie--would be meeting me at a Cracker Barrel later that night, albeit one 65 miles out of town. I wouldn't walk across my living room to eat at the Cracker Barrel so I was less than pumped at the prospect of driving an hour so I could be scolded over a plate of limp-looking okra.

Things weren't any better in person. A waitress whose apron was emblazoned with five stitched-on stars--making her the Cracker Barrel equivalent of Douglas MacArthur--led me to our table in a crowded corner of the restaurant beneath a wall decorated with antique farming implements. Uncle Dickbag already looked pissed, staring at me with a pinched expression as he selected items for his vegetable plate. After General MacArthur took our order, he pulled a number of papers out of an accordion file, moving the golf tee logic puzzle out of the way to spread them on the table. "We're here to discuss your indiscretions," he began. I looked across at Runtie who looked both embarrassed and terrified. "Your sister and I already have our physicals done and have the forms signed. Now you're telling us it's going to be another two weeks before we find out if you can participate?" He was serious. I think he'd heard Machu Picchu described as 'The Lost City of the Incas' and assumed that he was being sent there to find it.

"Look, it's a heart murmur," I said as an overeager waitress refilled the one sip I'd taken from my glass of sweet tea. "I've had it since I was a kid and it's not exactly like I can will my valves to close simultaneously".

"Let's cut it with the attitude," he said, staring at me like I was something he'd just squeegeed off his windshield. "You're going to take this seriously, or you're going to take a hike." I gnawed the inside of my cheek, the only thing that kept me from pointing out that yes, we were all going to take a hike, through the mountains of Peru.

Admittedly, we didn't know Uncle Dickbag well. He'd been notably absent from most of our childhoods, save for holidays when he would shower us with expensive gifts and imported chocolate. It's only been in the past couple of years that we've seen him on days that didn't involve roasting a turkey and more recently still that we've figured out what he did for a living, having only been half-kidding when we joked that he was a trained assassin. For the better part of two decades he's lived high on his inheritance, leaving his home deep in the mountains only to go climb, hike, or sleep on other, more remote mountains.

When the idea for this trip was hatched, one March night as Runtie and I lazily painted our names on Easter eggs, we were shocked that he'd want to include us, since he was essentially Lewis and Clark and we were less Sacagawea than SacofLipGlossesandMaybeHalfOfAKudosBar. This side of him--this biting sarcastic side--was still completely unexpected, like biting into a Whitman's sampler expecting fondant creme and instead getting battery acid.

"Maybe you need some incentive to get back on track. As the team leader, I'm fining you $250." He crossed his arms and waited for me to protest.

Which I did.

"Dude, I make $8 an hour. There's no way I have an additional two bills lying around," I said, because I really do talk like that. "Besides, if I did, I might splurge on food that I didn't have to split with my dog. You're being unfair." This conversation came at the end of a week when I'd purchased my groceries at the Exxon station because that was my only credit card that hadn't been cancelled. Despite the side order of misery, it was nice to have a meal that hadn't spent the day gestating under a heat lamp or rotating lazily on a pork-filled Ferris wheel.

"Unfair? UNFAIR?" he said, hitting his fist on the table hard enough to knock over the salt shaker. "Unfair is expecting me to put up with your SHIT." The table beside us--an earnest-looking family of five whose matching hats all advertised a brand of fertilizer--all turned to stare.

"Look," I said, shoving my chair back from the table and hoping if I talked loudly enough no one would notice the quiver in my voice. "You're not going to talk to me like that."

"Are you a big girl?", he said in a mocking sing-song voice, and turning the corners of his mouth down in an exaggerated expression."Because if you're part of my team, you're going to put on your big girl pants and learn how to TAKE IT!". The emphasized words were each punctuated with a fist pound that rattled his plate.

He was interrupted when a man wearing a brown vest and a bolo tie walked to the table. "Is everything OK here?" His nametag simply said 'Manager', which was either his title or an extremely coincidental first name, like if Judge Reinhold had grown up to preside over a circuit court. He leaned in toward the boysenberry syrup and whispered in a voice louder than he spoke, "Because we've received several complaints." Being reported to the manager of this Cracker Barrel--the one that shares a parking lot with a truck stop and a Days Inn--wins the sash and the crown for being The Most White Trash Moment of my entire life, which is extra impressive considering that I once got my ears pierced at the West Virginia State Fair.

"Yep," I said standing up. "I was just leaving." I attempted to toss my paper napkin onto the carcass of my uneaten blueberry pancakes for emphasis, but it fluttered helplessly to the floor.

When I got home, another email was waiting to lick my face. Runtie and my parents were both copied on it, so everyone could learn that I was no longer welcome on the trip. The words "diva bitch" were used--making me briefly think that he'd invited Diana Ross--and he hinted that my "character and behaviors"weren't appropriate for his "expedition". The vitriol covered several scrolled pages, referenced incidents from two Bush administrations ago as evidence of my weak character, and the final sentence said that there would be no further discussion. Two days later, I received a copy of the same letter in the mail, which I promptly used to line Pigpen's crate.

There wasn't a lot to argue with. Regardless of whether my lungs and heart eventually got the thumbs up, he was still the guy in charge since he was funding the trip and I couldn't even afford a weekend in Lima, Ohio. The worst part--other than the fact that my parents are going to have to sort out whose chair will be standing empty at Thanksgiving--is that I'm missing out on clomping through Peru with Runtie, taking pictures that look like we're resting our hands on mountain tops and buying garish alpaca souvenirs to give to people we hate.
__________

I finally convinced her to give the size 8s a shot. She admitted that they felt more comfortable, but still held the box away from her body like it was full of tuberculosis. "Don't worry," she said, taking a step toward the cash register. "Maybe you'll get to travel one day."

"Yes," I nodded. "Maybe I will.

81 comments:

kleph said...

i can't even begin to fathom the amount of suck you just describe and i had my cat put to sleep this week.

if you ever want to do peru on the cheap and without the bullshit, you just drop me a line and i'll get you taken care of.

p.s. the inca trail is for tourists, there are hundreds of other places to go here where you see just as amazing things and actually meet the people who live here.

Nate said...

1) What a dickbag.

2) You may not be going to Peru, but with writing like this, you're sure as hell going somewhere. Keep it up.

Ben said...

I cannot imagine anyone talking to me like that, let alone a relative. Sorry he wasn't a stranger that you could pimpcane and be done with.

amindinmotown said...

Uncle Dickbag definitely seems like an appropriate description. Actually, perhaps Uncle Mother Fucking Dickbag, but only because I think the word fuck makes everything angrier. Though I suppose that means he did inappropriate things with your grandmother... Ew, moving on.

Sorry he, a relative of all people, treated you like that. =/ At least it made for some interesting blog material.

Cami said...

Not for nothing, but the guy sounds like a king-sized asshole who has major issues. We get to pick our friends but not our family, which sucks. Screw him. You don't need to be talked to like that. Who does that guy think he is? Bruce Almighty? I don't think so. Sounds like going to the corner with him would be a nightmare, much less a trip to Peru. It sounds like you are better off. Sanctimonious prick.

Deutlich said...

oh.my.goodness I can't begin to explain how much I dislike that kind of crap

Beth said...

Oof! Wow, that hurt just to read.

Sheesh. Control freak much? So sorry you're related to him.

But love, love, love, love, love your blog!

SAM said...

I want to beat him to death with his own crampons. What an arse!

Hell, it can only get marginally worse before it gets better.

When it comes to redneck moments that also rocks. (Like when I had to turn the tv up because the rats in the wall were fighting!)

poodlegoose said...

Oh, damn. That sucks. What a huge asshole. But wasn't it nice that you had Italy woman to rub it all in for you like that? And who in the hell with a size 8 foot even thinks they can fit into a 6?

Nicole said...

You're freaking hilarious! Sorry about the dickhead uncle. Maybe bad juju will bite him in the ass.

WendyB said...

Wait..you don't nest in the boxes? Srsly?

la chaser said...

Ahhh what a bummer. I am doing this trek in November and I haven't heard a damn thing about a physical. I think my tour doesn't care if our lungs explode, which is cool, Darwin agrees. Maybe we will lose the weak and those with heart murmurs on the first day. Hah, I am sure said overweight doctor doesn't even know that 3:30 for marathon is killer time. What a beeotch.

Anonymous said...

Beth (she left a comment) pointed me to your blog with the sentence: Other people have wonky uncles, too ...I think hers beats yours, happily for you. Ummmm - yeah - you get the prize for having the biggest dickhead Uncle. Wow ... so sorry for your loss (of a trip) but you gain your SELF!!!

Biddy said...

damn...

for once, i'm basically speechless

Nate said...

Also? I've hiked 14,000-ft.+ peaks, and believe me, if I can do it, you can do it. Physical - and Dickbag - be god damned.

Miss Burb said...

you are totally hilarious. your Uncle Doucheb..assha...err Dickbag, is not. he sounds a lot like my dad, except I assume if you were at CB he wasn't drunk.

I'm sorry you have to miss your trip, but I can't imagine it being very much fun with him around. My dad once took me to Mexico and I spent most of the vacation avoiding him.

Hot Librarian said...

So now Runtie is going alone with Uncle Dickbag? I'm not sure I feel comfortable with that.

elle michelle said...

Wow. That's a whole new level of fuckery. On that note, you have an Uncle Dickbag and I have an Uncle Assclown. Are we related?

notsojenny said...

i never read posts that are that long. i usually like to turn on my speed reading skills (the only class i passed easily in HS) when i see that many paragraphs. but i couldn't help myself. i read every damn word. and that blows. maybe he was always around but there's a reason you blocked him out of your childhood memories.

Butter Chicken said...

Sometimes when I'm feeling down, I like to read your site for a quick pick-me-up. Today was a little too punch-in-the-balls-y for my liking.

That having been said, who would want to go on a vacation with that fucknut? Your sister should bail on pure principle.

Vanilla said...

Wow, that sucks. We've got 14,000 foot peaks here in Colorado that just about anyone can climb pretty easily. Maybe next time you come out here for a Red Sox - Rockies World Series game I'll take you...

... Oh, right. The Rockies are back to being the Rockies again this year. Nevermind.

Kimberly said...

Speechless. Totally have no words to describe how outrageous this is. And the cc: ing of other people not directly involved in a dispute? Only certain people do that and you named him aptly...

Karen said...

Frankly, I'm worried for Runtie. Have you heard from her? Is she having a good time? Because a trip with Uncle DickWad sounds like the equivalent of boot camp combined with anaesthetic-free oral surgery: a lot of work and a whole bunch of unnecessary pain.

Kayleigh said...

Uncle Dickbag gets an ultimate fail. Wow.

I also don't know how you can hold it in around those customers when they talk to you like that. You get the award for best composure around Asshats.

I hope Runtie survives the trip with Dickbag. Sorry for how things turned out.

laura marie said...

that was....an incredible post.

I read it with such an intensity that I didn't realize until I was through.
Holy crap you are an incredible writer.

ÄsK AliCë said...

Ugh, what a terrible CB experience, not that I can imagine any CB experience being overly good

Dazed and Confused said...

While I'm sorry that you had to put up with Miss Pasta Primavera, I am so, so glad that you ended up NOT going. I can't imagine being stuck in a foreign country with him as your companion. I'm glad this side of him came out before you got there. I can't believe the group email AND the paper version, what a freakin' psycho.

And I hope Pigpen took full advantage of the opportunity to show you what he thought of the paper version.

Your Ill-fitting Overcoat said...

srsly are you famous yet?

every post is more genius than the one before! sorry that uncle moneybags turned out to be uncle dickbag. i'm a little nervous for runtie.

& those golf tee puzzles? amazing.

Princess of the Universe said...

Jesus- it sounds like you're better off!

And this line: "fucking Pontius Pointer"
Freakin' genius!

Red Squirrel said...

My word, that's astonishing.

He's going to be so very disappointed if he thinks it's an expedition. I mean it's cool but it's not much more than a relaxed hike once you've had a day or two to acclimatise.

No amount of memories are worth spending more than a day in his presence...

Jack said...

Doxa Huxable.

Good riddance to that dickbag. It's not worth the effort of putting up with a petty person like that for a vacation anywhere. Life's too short to get caught up in the drama they manufacture.

Meika said...

He sounds like my uncle. Who I would NEVER go traveling with. I would rather be eaten to death slowly by spiders and have my ashes dumped into the depths of hell for me to roast for eternity. Don't worry, your sister will probably hate it anyways!

Daddy said...

Brilliant!

Miss Kate said...

That just... blows. Your uncle smells like vinegar & water.

I am honestly a little scraed for Runtie to be alone with him in Peru. He might off her in the mountains if she doesn't keep up the pace. Should someone maybe run a background check on Uncle Dickbag?

Wait a second, why didn't Runtie defend you? Dahyum.

Barb in Boston said...

Wow. All I can say is, you really dodged a bullet there. I can't imagine being stuck anywhere with that kind of malignant asshattery, and without an escape route. Did he really refer to you guys as his "team"? That is some truly breathtaking douchery.

Too bad Runtie didn't fuck him over at the last minute and decide to stay home.

Sorry you're feeling badly about it, but chin up. Peru's not going anywhere. See it on your own terms.

punchlinewalking said...

Sounds like you wouldn't want to travel with him anyway, but that still sucks (made for a great post, though).

Felicia said...

Shit, are you for real?? That sucks, I'm sorry!

emily said...

Holy ... Dude, Runtie went? Runtie's alone with him? Well, in a crowd of other hikers, but.

Your uncle was so out of line it's unbelievable, J. I'm sorry he said so much baseless, hurtful shit to you. It's a damn hiking trip, not a covert black ops mission. What a total freak.

Craig said...

You have an amazing gift for making the tragic into comedic gold. How you do not have your own recurring NPR segment boggles my mind.

Sorry this happened to you.

starpower said...

Sorry dude. I don't know you but really like you. I'd say this one's actually the Universe throwing you a bone. I mean, really, who gets mad at someone for a heart murmur? Not your fault. And, really, Godspeed to Runtie.

J-Money said...

Wow. I was totally unprepared to come home to all of these comments and all the nice words and support.

You guys are so insanely awesome and I wish I could make each of you a friendship bracelet.

Runtie will be home on Saturday. I haven't heard from her in a couple of days but hope she's having a safe and misery-free trip. I hope Uncle Dickbag has amoebic dysentery.

Again, thank you all.

Allie said...

Yeah, Dickbag is right. I would love to go to Peru myself but, if it meant putting up with this kind of bullshit (a control-freak, manipulation, did I mention control-freak?), then I would have to pass on it for my own sanity. No one needs to put up with that. You were completely in the right, he sounds like he gets his kicks from controlling people.

And that doctor? I don't know, sending you on to a pulmonologist seems a little drastic, imo. I guess that's why it's nice to have a primary care physician who knows you. I understand your situation of not having insurance though, kinda tough to have a PCP without this. If you know anyone who REALLY loves their doc, maybe get the number for the next time you need it (hopefully not a "physical" for one of Dickbag's "teams")

Dexter Colt said...

I also have an "innocent" heart murmur. Had it since I was a wee child. Most doctors cannot even hear it (it was a grade 1 murmur), and it was never considered a problem. Well, I was forced to get an ECG [once] to please the application review board for West Point. I was given a clean bill of health, but they found another bullshit reason to finally deny me an appointment anyway.

And, the only diva I see in this story is your tantrum throwing uncle. You'll miss out on Peru, but at least you'll be saved from the company of Uncle DB.

You should organize a team of misfits and go to Peru on your own.

Melissa said...

I agree with nate. You're going somewhere. I highly doubt you'll be peddling shoes @ 8 bucks an hour for much longer.

God, if I could write like you, I wouldn't be procrastinating submitting my "real-life story" to Glamour to get my piece published, along with five thousand peanuts.

Elizabeth in Denver said...

That sucks alpaca dick! I'm sorry you're related to such a duchebag.

Runtie should've told him to fuck off right then and there and left with you. Who knows if he'll leave her in another country!

Sorry!

Lainey said...

I rank somewhere between cottage cheese and the cast of The Hills on the IQ scale. - LOVE IT!!

Sorry you didn't get to go to Peru, but honestly, I'm glad for you that you weren't stuck there with him. Dickbag, indeed! If you ever come to Ohio, I'll happily escort you to Lima. For reasons unknown to me, it's pronounced with a long "i" here...as in Lima Bean. Yes, we're just as backward as West, by God, Virginia.

~Cardboard Sea~ said...

Damn. I feel out of the loop because I'm reading this at nearly 11 p.m. and you've already gotten more than 40 comments.

I had a similar experience with my dad at a Bennigan's, who is, in fact, a dickbag as well. My sister and her then-boyfriend (now husband) sat in silence while he berated me and called me a "pitiful excuse for a daughter." Unfortunately, I didn't have the luxury of leaving since I had gotten a ride with my sister to the restaurant.

As for your trip to Peru — going there is probably all sorts of awesome, but visiting with Uncle Dickbag would have been like opening up the biggest present at Christmas to find a fresh turd inside.

And for fuck's sake, who the hell calls health conditions "indiscretions"?

Phil said...

Holy crap, I could not tear my eyes away from the screen for even a moment while I read this. I'm pretty sure I laughed, snorted, and cried, the whole time.

Too bad your sister and you couldn't take matters into your own hands and set something up yourself, even if you'd have to wait a while. At the very least, it's good that you found out what a total shit the guy is BEFORE you went on the trip. Because you were probably bound to find that out sooner or later, and traveling abroad like that should be an experience you always want to remember, in a positive way.

onewandering said...

I have an entire family legion that I wouldn't consider traveling with, but only because they're mildly annoying. For you to have even *considered* going to Peru with this dickwad, either you REALLY wanted to see some ruins or Uncle Dickbag wasn't quite this nuts to you before??

I'm so sorry that you've missed out on this trip, but I'm so glad you're not going on this trip with him!!!

I'm living paycheck to paycheck too, but I've managed to scrimp and find ways to get over to Europe twice now... so have faith! Methinks writing like *this* might get you there! ;) *HUG*

Studley said...

J-Money,

I'm sorry you weren't able to go on the trip. I know you were really looking forward to it. The trip kleph can hook you up with sounds much cooler.

What about the gear you bought? Are you going to be able to return the stuff you never used, or is there a policy regarding opened goods?

Jenn N Butter said...

First I have family like that too. They suck big ass!

Second I cannot believe that Runtie left the country with that man. I would have totally told him to fuck off where I in her position.

Third, when I have customers like that I just use big words that they don't understand. You know, words like run and mat and dog. That usually shuts them up.

Fourth, sorry if this is not actually readable but drunken typing is not my forte. I broke a chair once trying to do it. Funny story

Jenn

P.S. took a few tries to get the letter thingy right.

chasinglibby said...

what! an! ASS!

wanderingtex said...

if this weren't so funny, i think i would be genuinely pissed off for you. uncle dickbag seems like a more than appropriate name. also, if i were runtie, i would totally not feel comfortable going to peru with him. who knows what his attitude is like in high altitudes...

The Rambling Redhead said...

“Uncle Dickhead”…the title almost seems too kind!

While it sucks that you won’t get to see Peru (at least not yet), consider yourself lucky for not having to travel with your crazy uncle. By the sound of it, his attitude probably would have ruined the trip anyways. I cannot believe he freaked out over you heart murmur – a condition that is entirely not your fault!

Is your sister still going to go to Peru? I honestly don’t think I’d want to be anywhere with this guy.

Why is it that evey family is obligated to have at least one crazy uncle? There should be an island for them...or a lost city in the mountains (hmmmmmmm)

Lone Butterfly said...

He is a total and complete loser - and we can only hope he gets very loose bowels on his journey.

I'm sorry that your sister has to still go with him. Count yourself lucky you escaped!

If you ever decide to move to the East Coast, I can get you a job making at least $8.50, with only one night a week and no smelly socks. Plus, we do have marathons here in Atlanta - but less famous people...

theloosemoose said...

Everytime I read your blog I am reminded of just how freaking substandard I am. You are an AMAZING writer, and so hilarious. And 3:23 at Boston? My crush deepens.

JC said...

Wow, this took me back to sitting in El Nibble Nook at 12 years old while my father, speaking in a serious whisper so as to not disturb the other diners, new girlfriend making appropriate "I'm backing up my man" faces, told me I wasn't spending enough time with him since the divorce. He was going to stop paying for my beloved dance lessons if I didn't promise to be a better daughter. Needless to say, my amazing mother was able to dig enough coins from the couch cushions to pay for my classes until the end of the year so I could be in the recital. Thus ended my dance career and any remaining belief that my father was not a complete ass.

I think there is a reason your uncle spends most of his time alone on mountains and has to pay relatives to vacation with him.

Victoria said...

If I had a bunch of money that I didn't need for a) property taxes b) turd-polishing (making needed repairs on) my house in the 'hood or c) getting work clothes that were purchased more recently than 1996, I'd take us both (and anyone else who wanted to join in) on a huge mountainous tour of Peru.

Your uncle sounds like a nightmare to travel (or spend any time) with. Even free travel. And being one of the world's biggest travel whores (i.e., I'd do almost anything to travel somewhere new-- especially if it's in an airplane), that's saying a lot.

Captain Steve said...

Uncle Dickbag has some rage issues.

Amy said...

I think I fell in love with you when I read the first account in May of the planning of this trip. My admiration for you grows by leaps and bounds! Kind of like a lemming running over the edge.

OI said...

Put one of those PayPal donation thingys on your blog. I'll kick in to fund a trip... or extra gas station hot dog or...

B-cups.

lacochran said...

My father had a simple response to people like your uncle: "Goodbye and good luck!" The implied "'cause you're gonna need it!" didn't even have to be said.

Sorry he was such an unbelievable jerk. Nobody needs abuse. Better to find out before you spend weeks with him carrying poop.

I'm a little worried for Runtie, too.

Shouldn't she be backing out of the trip as a sign of solidarity with you? There's no saying he'll treat her any better.

A good time in Lima, or near Lima, Ohio, is still better than a bad time in Lima, Peru.

Okay, enough platitudes.

I'm really glad you walked out.

And your description of the innocent murmur made me laugh out loud. Thanks.

M in SF said...

Situation sucks balls but it was beautifully written. You just need to find somebody who will pay you to write.

Andy said...

First off- I take great pleasure in reading about your misery. I think that makes me a blogging masochist. Second- Yeah for asthmatics! I love how people assume I'll die at any given moment in a wheezing-filled fit of despair.
That dude is a douchebag. You should have cracked his barrel. Totally.

Laura said...

J-Money I have to say that even in the face of a really disappointing situation, you're hilarious. THAT is true talent.

Shieldmaiden96 said...

After reading that I find myself hoping he falls off a temple or the local policia find something muy interesante in his suitcase. (Yeah, I only have the Spanish or I'd throw a couple of quechua jokes in there.)

Two Left Feet said...

didn't you write a blog not too long ago about rich people that suck? i think he ranks up there with them...

**Melissa** said...

wow, I'm so sorry you're even related to that deuchebag!
You can come to Peru anytime you want, I'm from there but I live in the States and I go there every year.
Hiking there is not as bad, I just normally take twice the time (-: but I make it just fine!

TNT Jim said...

you're uncle sounds like a major D-Bag.

Besides did you really want to go hiking and carry your own poop?

ms. changes pants while driving said...

dickbag indeed.

is your sister still planning on going with him? after his temper tantrums, i wouldn't want to be stuck with him in a foreign country where he was the only person i knew.

Mike G said...

This has become like a strange little vigil to your unapreciated fantasticness. Uncle Goatse sounds like a strange little pay-me-no-mind kind of person. I think you should do just that. That is my Starbucks approved advice.

Bill said...

Hello J-Money,
Your uncle the dickbag isn't good enough for you.
I am old enough to be your uncle, we can adopt each other!
Thanksgiving dinner at a Chinese restaurant would follow a Thanksgiving Pie Race, however. Hope that wouldn't be a problem for you.
I am sorry that you had to go through that. In October, tell your family that you have other plans for Thanksgiving, that you have been invited to run, and to dinner. If this is your best offer, I am ready to follow through.

Tassie said...

I don't think you're missing anything if you had to take this trip with the people you described. You're better off staying at home! Do something nice for yourself!!!

Enny said...

Oh my gawd - that's all terrible!!!

And this is probably terribly innapropriate, but I just wanted to let you know that I love your writing and included you in a meme (that I don't expect you to actually do - enny-pen.blogspot.com/2008/08/link-lovin-meme.html). I'm glad to have stumbled across you.

~Enny

Alya said...

I feel sorry for Runtie!

I think you're lucky SHE wasn't the one who was booted off. She's going to be stuck with Uncle Dickbag all by herself! With no one to make sarcastic comments with!

Anonymous said...

Bizarrely, my best friend from high school and I headed up the Inca Trail starting--you guessed it--last Monday.

Although the Trail hits 13,700 feet or something, it's not like you have to be a warrior to complete it. Anyone in reasonable shape with a patient guide will get to MP. I run maybe 20 miles a week and experienced only a little discomfort. I really have no idea why your uncle would decide to be such an epic douche.

In any event, I hope you get the opportunity to see the Sacred Valley at some point down the road--it's definitely worth it. Unfortunately, you've now been deprived of the opportunity to crush delicious Cusquenas in the Plaza de Armas with Ohioans.

Like A Bad Girl Straight To Video said...

what a dicknugget.

You dont want to go with him anyways...

Although It would be funny to refill his water bottles with local water and watch him spend his trip wiping diarrhea with plant leaves!

thecusp said...

What a complete and total douche. The universe was conspiring in your favor. Can you imagine being stuck in Peru with that cock smith! I'm glad you aren't going. And am positive you will go wherever you want with a decent person some day. Screw your Uncle!

dicampbell said...

Hey - it's my first-time commenting here ...

It's all been said before me - what happened to you COMPLETELY sucks!

Karma will make this right. And that hopefully includes a whopping case of Montezuma's revenge for that douchebag relative of yours, while he's on top of Macchu Picchu.

stealthnerd said...

Omg...that sucks so hard core! I'm sorry your uncle is a major douche.

aoc gold said...

What does the bee do?

Bring home honey.

And what does Father do?

Bring home money.

And what does Mother do?

Lay out the money.

And what does baby do?

Eat up the honey.

--------- by Age Of Conan gold