Sunday, April 1, 2007

My Ancestors Didn’t Raise No Fools – April or Otherwise - Or Did They

From the family lore I’ve gathered, it would appear that my ancestors didn’t have much of a sense of humor. They were in most cases, deadly serious (coming soon to a Blog post near you).

The perfect illustration of how “funny” my ancestors weren’t, is the following exploration of what they found to be humorous. Was it amusing? In celebration of April Fool's Day and the Carnival of Genealogy – you be the judge.

Paternal Practical Jokers

My father and his stepbrothers’ big practical joke for the year was to wander out in the dark of Halloween night and tip over outhouses. His stepbrothers, the Kitchell boys, were handsome, rowdy, lovers of honky tonk piano playing, who were always up for a good time. At least as good as they gave.

Having used my Grandmother’s outhouse in the dead of night - in October – in Missouri, I can assure you it isn’t the least bit humorous to wander out in the cold with flashlight in hand and a roll of toilet paper under your arm, only to find the outhouse on its side next to a dark smelly hole and no where to run to.

Yet, tipping over an outhouse did more than just amuse my father, it sent him into hysterics. Fortunately, we lived out in the country and had indoor plumbing, so my family wasn’t a Halloween target. My father’s stepbrothers were townies and all had outhouses. Somehow, this seems to be the exact opposite of what the plumbing situation should have been, but this was how it was and Dad set off to town every October 31st to do his tipping.

OUTWITTED - The irony in this was that while they were tipping over one brother’s outhouse, that brother was out tipping over theirs. By the end of the night, there wasn’t an outhouse standing in town and a large quantity of 3.2 beer had been consumed with nowhere to properly dispose of it. Noon the next day found the brothers righting the overturned outhouses and nursing some serious hangovers.

With the advent of indoor plumbing for the entire family, the Halloween high jinks were no more, a fact the brothers lamented every year on October 31st.

Consume This Blog Post With a Little 3.2 Beer



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