Monday, April 11, 2011

MAGPIE TALE: Family Portrait in Alcohol

(Another adventure in the land of Magpie Tales.)

'Wine has always flowed in our family, splashing the banks of our bloodline as it rushes to the the family tree and soaks its roots before drowning its branches, retreating to leave an eternal crimson shroud.

Where did it all begin? Likely long before any of our ancestors crossed the Atlantic to Canada and then descended ever further down the Mississippi and then out to the west, scattering in random streams from Vancouver to San Diego, like the errant remnants of a spilled glass of merlot. Our now revered ancestors always had a bottle of cheap burgundy as they strolled the back alleys of Vienna picking rags or sneaking through through the loose board of a fence to steal a pair of chickens for Christmas dinner.

The New World brought only a slightly scrubbed new start. Stories of Great Great Uncle Winchell and his over-sized coats to hide his eternally present bottle.
His cousin Harriett thought she broke the chain by switching champagne and later pink and blue cocktails that her dog Jasper was always quite happy to lick away so she could delude herself into believing that any evidence of her debauchery had been erased.
Grandpa Orleans continued that tradition by never acknowledging that his problem ever existed, forever scolding his fellow plumbers guild of the evils of booze. "Don't throw your earnings down the drain, boys." They found him face down in one of his latest porcelain installations on his 37th birthday, lifeless from an alcoholic stroke and leaving nine hungry mouths to feed.

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11 Comments:

At 5:15 AM, Blogger Isabel Doyle said...

wow! if this is fiction it is amazing and if it is fact - it is amazing

 
At 12:15 PM, Blogger Helen said...

I started to compose a comment, then realized Isabel had said it all!!!

( and to top it all off? the word verification is 'ledwino')

 
At 11:04 AM, Blogger Donna B said...

BRAVO! Standing ovation! This was so creative! Totally agree with Isabel and Helen...

 
At 11:17 AM, Blogger Gregg Biggs said...

Thanks, everyone. Just for clarification, these photos are not of family members. It's not EXACTLY my family story, but we have some characters in our family that could equal if not top these. I just won't risk libel by sharing the details.

 
At 2:47 PM, Blogger HyperCRYPTICal said...

Brilliant stuff! Many families have lived this life (either directly or on the peripheries) from generation to generation and will relate to this. Excellent!

Anna :o]

 
At 2:47 PM, Blogger HyperCRYPTICal said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 2:53 PM, Blogger Tess Kincaid said...

I love the way you tell a story. Fabulous opening line, too.

 
At 6:37 AM, Blogger Trellissimo said...

That was some story! :)

 
At 9:44 PM, Blogger Celeste Bergin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 9:47 PM, Blogger Celeste Bergin said...

(Had to retool this...typo)

(The last one reminded me of a true story..indulge me!) there is a tombstone in a pioneer cemetery here that has a beautiful poem inscribed...all about the Columbia River. The cemetery caretaker told me that the writer (who was evenutally interred beneath the stone) was going to jump into the river (to commit suicide)... but instead the river was so beautiful he came home and wrote that wonderful poem. Really? I said, wow. Then the caretaker told me that the poet died two years after the poem when (in a drunken stupor) he hit his head on a Portland curb!
LOL!

Thanks for the stories...reminded me of my family.

 
At 11:26 AM, Blogger Doctor FTSE said...

Amongst the very best this week. Now read the first (Isabel's) comment again!

 

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