Thursday, March 29, 2007

Feel-Good Family Fun Story from the Old Country!

The following is a continuing series, that attempts to, if not explain, then at least examine the philosophical differences between a certain "G" and myself.

We we're talking about “family values” and G shares following fun family story from the old country:

During WWI, my grandmother’s grandmother, Anna, was widowed in a small farming town. She was a large, strong woman who after her husband disappeared in the war re-married to a small, lazy man named Laszlo. He was a useless drunk who spent all of the family’s income at the town’s only pub.

One night, Lazlo comes home stone drunk and starts punching the stove. Back in those days, they were wood-burning with hot metal stovetop rings to regulate the fire. One of these rings lands on his hands and he starts to scream. Anna wakes from the commotion and instead of removing the hot ring holds Laszlo’s hands in the air so he can’t free himself, “So you want to punch our stove! Punch it with these.“

He passes out from pain and drink. When he wakes up the next day with huge blisters on his hands; he asks Anna what happened. Anna responds, “How should I know, you shouldn’t drink so much!”

At this point G is laughing uproariously. My jaw has dropped about 45 degrees from horizontal.

The story continues some weeks later with Laszlo stumbling home drunk again. He loudly shouts, “Woman! I’m hungry--make me a sausage sandwich!” She shouts back for him go get fucked. He stumbles into the smokehouse (a shack where they used to preserve meat) angrily knocking sausage strands into the dirt. Anna bursts in and starts beating him with a fallen sausage, “You want sausage? I’ll give you sausage, you miserable drunkard!”

He’s ineptly fighting back and she calls in the children to sit on his legs while she grabs a broom. With him restrained, Anna uses the handle and proceeds to beat his shins into bloody shin-pulp. He passes out.

The next morning he wakes up and asks his wife why he can’t walk. She again responds “How should I know, you shouldn’t drink so much.”

Somehow my jaw had dropped a few more degrees, “All this really happened--and you’re actually related to these people? What the fuck?!"

G just laughs more uproariously, “Oh don’t be such an uptight prude, he totally had it coming.”

The story again continues some time later. Laszlo is drunk and the neighbors hear another explosive argument from the couple. Then nothing. According to Anna, she threw his clothes out the window and politely asked him to leave. He was never seen by anyone in town again. According to the neighbors, she probably just hit him too hard on the head and dumped his body in an abandoned well.

Me: stunned silence.

G: Pretty cool story huh?

Me: No, it’s pretty un-cool. That’s an absolutely horrible story.

G: Well, I say good for that Anna! She really stood up for herself. And besides nobody knows for sure what happened to that worthless Laszlo. Anyway, he probably beat her too.

Me: Uh, maybe, but that woman sounds like a vindictive husband murderer, and you’re related to her, making you a woman of murderer-descent.

G: She did what she had to. I think it’s a good story because she’s, you know, like an early feminist, a woman who refuses to be a victim. The story also shows that she was an early advocate against alcohol abuse; which was really progressive back then.

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