The day before Ben and Kate leave for Miami Beach for our family get-together for Thanksgiving, I get this text from Ben:

Clothes for the family picture?

I answer:

Yes.

Ben:

Yes?

Me:

You would stand out were you naked, but we just want you to be comfortable.

Does Kate want to be naked also?

Ben:

That answers my second question.

~Lenore grabs my phone from me and assumes my identity.~

Black tie.

You did rent one, right? 
If you don’t have time before your flight,
we can rent you one here.

Ben:

Bah.  I demand pastels.

Lenore pretending to be me:

Dad will be going to rent his own tux tomorrow. 
He can get yours.
Need measurements, please.
Kate’s too.

Ben:

No way.  I defy you to get dad into a tux.

Lenore pretending to be me:

Lenore is mad because she wants all black,
but  you can wear pastel because
I love you more than I love her.

I love Tim more too.

Ben:

K. Three colors. 
Hat pink,
shoes purple,
jacket and pants green with orange trim.
Same palette for Kate.
Four colors.

Lenore pretending to be me:

I love Kate more than Lenore too.

Ben:

Yeah, Kate’s pretty great.


Are you taking account of how gross Lenore is though?

You clearly find that charming. (Dad)


Kate wants to know what we are supposed to wear.
You may discuss this among yourselves.

Lenore pretending to be me:

Whatever we wear,
it has to get the message across to Lenore
that we love her least of all.

Ben:

We could make her wear a tutu. 
Then we don’t need a dress code. 
Brooklyn and Kimchee too,
so it looks like we’re monsters.

Lenore pretending to be me:

God I hate her.

~I struggle with Lenore for phone.~

~Lenore is very strong.~

~Lenore won’t give it to me.~

Ben:

Oh hush.  Have fun.  It’s family week!

~Ben is the sensitive kid.~

~He’s getting rattled.~

Lenore pretending to be me:

It will be easier to have fun when she’s dead.

~Long silence ensues~
~I beg Lenore for phone~
~Lenore finally relents and returns the phone to me.~

Me:

Lenore has been writing this since I said “yes”
waty backj after you asked
whether you should wear clothes!!!!!
I didn’t say that horrible stufff!!!!!
She is so creepy weird.

~Long silence~

Ben:

I say we keep her in a tutu anyway.

Me:

Everyone just should wear what he is comfortable in.

Ben:

Cool.

Me:

I myself will probably wear a tutu. 
A pink one with greed edges.

Ben:

Sounds fancy.

Me:

Oooooooo yeah.

~Lenore is evil-giggling.~


TAGS: , , , , , ,

IRENE ZION has been married to the same curmudgeon for 40 years. She has 5 children, none of whom sufficiently appreciates her. The one you probably know is Lenore, who frequently gives her mother hives. Irene paints oil portraits and makes her own frames. She has been described as an outsider artist. Most of her paintings creep people out, especially her family. She finds this to be greatly satisfying. She writes non-fiction for TNB and loves every minute of it. She is writing fiction now too, but is too chicken to show it to anyone. She has two golden retrievers who will inherit anything of worth she leaves behind. Her kids will delight in dividing up her famous cork collection and her notorious stockpile of bubble wrap.

127 responses to “A Typical Text for the Zion Family”

  1. Matt says:

    Irene,

    Can you adopt me? I mean, I know I’m 31 and live on my own and everything, but I’d really like to be a part of these hijinks. I can be the ostracized outsider everyone secretly resents, thus bumping Lenore further up the Zion family social hierarchy!

    • Irene Zion says:

      Matt,
      I believe just about everyone on TNB who asked, has already been adopted.
      You’re just one of us now.

      • Matt says:

        Great! I’ll look for my adoption certificate in the mail!

        And I have a very nice-looking black suit, so I’ll look all snazzy in the next holiday family photo.

  2. Stefan Kiesbye says:

    Irene, what a lovely, creepy weird text. Oh the pleasures of a large family. I do love Lenore’s comments about your fickle love for her. Did Ben really think you were saying that? That would be even stranger.

    • Irene Zion says:

      Stefan,

      Ben totally believes everything!
      Ben is an innocent.
      All the creepier, Lenore’s behavior!

      (@Nathaniel is afraid of light sabers, see #18.
      Tell him we come in peace.)

  3. ksw says:

    not so weird for lenore. kind of tame actually.

  4. Tawni says:

    It will be easier to have fun when she’s dead.

    I can’t stop laughing at this. Your daughter is hilarious, Irene. (:

  5. jmblaine says:

    Is he drinking
    Diet Rite
    because he likes it
    or because it is cheap?

    The Zions at their best here.

  6. Irene Zion says:

    jmb,

    I think it’s because it is free of caffeine.
    Personally, I don’t think a soda is worth it’s salt
    without caffeine.

    Most of what happens at our house
    when we all get together
    is rated “R.”

  7. Irene Zion says:

    (Sometimes “X”)

    • J.M. Blaine says:

      But you can get
      Diet Coke easily
      without caffeine.

      R?

      R?

      Cant believe it.

      • Irene Zion says:

        jmb,

        Okay, I’ll admit that the diet rite cola without caffeine would have to be “G” rated,
        but that’s the only thing that falls under that category.
        I’m not sure whether that’s actually a good thing,
        but certainly we’re not a boring family.

  8. Zara Potts says:

    I read this on the way to work, Irene, and almost crashed my car – I was laughing so much! Lenore is hilarious.

    I love you Zions. You are all so funny and smart and amazingly good looking.

    They should make a TV programme about you. I would never stop watching.

  9. Irene Zion says:

    Zara,

    If they made a TV program about us, it would have to be on cable.
    Cable allows all the nasty words and innuendos.
    I’m afraid we’d need that.

    (You shouldn’t read anything while driving.
    You could get hurt and that would be very,
    very, very bad, Zara!)

    • Zara Potts says:

      I know… I am very naughty.
      I must not talk on the phone or read things when I’m driving. It’s a very very bad habit and one I must stop.

    • If this was on TV it would be the first thing in a long time to actually make me sit down and watch. Your family is wonderful, Irene. You’d be more popular than the Simpsons.

      • Irene Zion says:

        Ah, but David,
        you know not about the
        seamy underbelly
        of the family Zion.

        Seamy.
        For real.

        • Which makes you all the more perfect for TV.

        • Irene Zion says:

          David,

          I never used make-up.
          Do they make you use make-up on TV?
          I will look unlike myself.
          Wait.
          That’s probably a good thing.
          Never mind.

          I did tell you that there are sordid, unwholesome aspects
          to our family, right?
          (So I’m covered, legally?)

        • I never used make-up, either, and I’ve been on TV. Maybe they did put make-up on me… I don’t remember. Wait… no… bad memories. Too much make-up.

          You never look like yourself on TV. That’s always for best, because you aren’t yourself. You’re a projection. An image of Irene detached from reality.

          I don’t know what I’m talking about, except that I hate TV and reality TV in particular. You should probably avoid it.

          Nevertheless, I do love reading about your family.

        • Irene Zion says:

          David,

          When were you on TV?
          What for?
          Is it on you tube?
          If it is, put up the link!

          I’ve never in my life seen a reality show.
          I’m happy to say that.
          I do watch TV though, but I’m picky, in my own quirky way.
          I also have compulsory TV time with Victor to watch what he likes, together, so he doesn’t get sad that I don’t want to watch his silly shows with him.
          (Lucky Victor doesn’t read this stuff, huh?)

          I’m glad you like reading about my family.
          My family doesn’t like reading about themselves,
          so I need some more people like you to offset that.

        • I’m sure I’ve been on several times, but the one that springs to mind comes from that Hunter S. Thompson story I wrote. Back when I was in Colorado I was stuck in front of a TV camera in some drunken stupor. I think I avoided making an ass of myself. It was on the internet for a couple of weeks, but by the time I wrote the story it had been taken down. Thankfully. It’s a priceless memory, but I don’t need to watch myself in that state ever again.

          I sadly get made to watch these crappy shows when I go back to Scotland. Hence, I live in a state of perpetual transit.

          I’m glad I help the karma balance in your family.

        • Irene Zion says:

          David,

          If your Mom has the tapes, you could ask her to make copies and then you could post them on you tube!
          We’d all watch!
          It would be fun!

  10. Irene Zion says:

    Zara,

    It can be your New Year’s Resolution!

    (You do have New Year’s Resolutions over there in New Zealand, right?)

  11. George says:

    What is interesting (and scary) is that Ben did not know that Lenore was texting until Irene told him.

  12. Irene Zion says:

    I know!

    George, this worries me.
    Why would Ben think I would say anything like this ever?

    Oh my.
    Now I am unquestionably uneasy!
    Queasy even.

  13. Mark Rotunda says:

    LOL! Lenore is awesome!!!

  14. Duff says:

    Your family is soooooo much more fun than mine.

    • Irene Zion says:

      Duff,

      I cannot explain how this family formed the way it did.
      I know for sure that it is indeed an unusual one, though.
      Creepy weird unusual, for the most part.

  15. Irene Zion says:

    Mark,

    Lenore is devious and creepy, too!

  16. Marcia (former next-door neighbor in Illinois and frequent visitor to Florida) says:

    It will really be a big disappointment now if you didn’t all wear tutus in the photo. Do you still have the one with chain saws?

    I also think hijinks is one word. What does word press know????

    • Irene Zion says:

      Marcia,

      Merriam-Webster says that it can be “High Jinks” or Hi Jinks” or “Hijinks,” and it all means:
      : boisterous or rambunctious carryings-on : carefree antics or horseplay.

      We couldn’t get tutus in regular people sizes.
      They make tutus for emaciated ballet dancers and pocket dogs only.

      We couldn’t find an alternate source in time.

      Yup,
      we still have the chain saw family picture!

      • Marcia (former next-door neighbor in Illinois and frequent visitor to Florida) says:

        You should post the chain saw photo. I bet everyone wants to see it!

        • Irene Zion says:

          Marcia,

          No one without extra special web powers can post a picture in the comment section.
          There is a good reason for that.
          Apparently, porn sites post their photos everywhere they can, so it has to be this way or we’d be inundated with nasty photos.
          I might do a post one day of our photos of yore.

  17. Hilarious! I want to be adopted too.

  18. Irene Zion says:

    Cynthia,

    You are hereby officially adopted!
    I always wanted a princess in the family!
    Woohoo!

    • Gloria says:

      Can I come too? I also own a pink bra. And I can be super sarcastic (though I could never promise it’s as well-honed as Lenore’s.)

      • Irene Zion says:

        Gloria,

        Of course you can come.
        Next year the bra color might change, but who’s to know ahead of time?
        Lenore has been honing her sarcasm and pranks since she was really tiny.
        She’ll be hard to keep up with.

        @Nathaniel is afraid of light sabers. I think it’s his #18 excuse.
        You might try to tell him we are the good guys. I did, but I’m not sure it took.

  19. Susan Gomez says:

    Cute story…fun family in a bizarrely humorous way. I love these communiques. Sounds like they all got your creativity mixed with a sense of the absurd. No, I’m not calling you absurd…I’m just saying…

    • Irene Zion says:

      It’s okay, Susan,

      I completely accept my absurdities.
      I am afraid that some of them have passed on genetically to my poor, helpless children….

  20. Christine Walling says:

    I am so glad that we met Tim all those years ago. I feel like a dejected third cousin! 🙂 I cannot wait to see the family photo this year!!!

    • Irene Zion says:

      Hello there, Christine!

      We just had it taken, so it will be as late as it always is.
      I haven’t seen them yet, so they may all suck eggs.
      Whatever, we were together, at least almost all of us….

      (You could never be a dejected third cousin!)

  21. Kate says:

    Ben was sitting on the couch laughing as all of this was going on, and all he told me was that you were discussing what to wear to the picture. I’m glad I finally got to read it all.

    • Irene Zion says:

      Kate,
      That is so funny!
      He never let on what Lenore was doing to him?
      I was a total wreck!
      I’m glad she finally relented and let me clear it up!

      (We sure loved having you both here for Thanksgiving.
      We always do!)

  22. Melissa (Irene's friend) says:

    Please please take ungrateful daughter for me. Wait take the son in law, drop him off in Dubai. Lets see how long he will last there. Yeah that is it..put him in the pink tutu in Dubai. Fabulous.
    Melissa

    • Irene Zion says:

      But Melissa,

      I only adopt the nice ones….

      (This is indeed a quandary now.)

      Wait!

      If you can think of a way to get him on the plane with us, I will “lose” him in Dubai.
      (But you have to dress him in a tutu.
      I don’t want to touch him.)

  23. Joe Daly says:

    Crossing my fingers and toes that I make it to a Zion family holiday someday. I will wear a pastel tux and I will keep my phone chained to my belt because ~Lenore is very strong.~.

    • Irene Zion says:

      Joe,

      You are invited any Thanksgiving!

      I would love to see you in a pastel tux, and I would take your picture with the family, such as it is.)

      (Lenore is very strong, indeed!
      That is excellent defensive thinking, Joe.)

  24. Slade Ham says:

    “It will be easier to have fun when she’s dead.”

    I heart Lenore.

    How much? Enough to actually type the word “heart” as a verb which I usually think is the most retarded thing ever. THAT’S how much.

    • Irene Zion says:

      Slade,

      I heart Lenore too.
      She is one of the two most wonderful girls that are mine, mine, mine.

      You need to come to Thanksgiving next year too.
      Lenore always comes, and she is glorious in every way.
      We did bizarre exercises in the kitchen.
      We swam 50 laps in an enormous pool.
      We did serious talking.
      We did silly talking.
      We hugged.

      I heart Lenore, and thoroughly understand why others heart her too.

      (Help @Nathaniel get over his trepidation about light sabers!)

  25. Ashley Menchaca (New Orleans Lady) says:

    I want to be part of your family.
    My family is screwed up but it’s never this fun.

    • Irene Zion says:

      Ashley Menchaca (New Orleans Lady),
      You are invited to be part of our family.
      We have big hearts, lots of room and the need to have an enormous family.
      We have more love to give than there are people who understand they need it.

  26. Kimberly says:

    Yeah. I totally should have come down to your house for Thanksgiving.

    Mine was for the birds.

    **rimshot**

  27. D.R. Haney says:

    Who’s Ben? Who’s Tim? And who’s this Lenore, who appears to be so evil? Must I dig into your archives for the answers? Oh, very well.

  28. Uche Ogbuji says:

    Video! Video! Videeeeeoooooo! Please tell me someone caught that on video. Gawd. With subtitles of the texts going back and forth.

    ~I struggle with Lenore for phone.~

    ~Lenore is very strong.~

    ~Lenore won’t give it to me.~

    KNOW that would go viral.

    • Irene Zion says:

      Uche,

      No one was there who knew how to video except Lenore,
      who was a main character in the peculiar play
      that is our lives.

      There was also so much laughing going on
      that I think the picture would be on the shaky side.

  29. Jude says:

    Lovely Irene…
    I have been so busy as of late that I have hardly had time to look in at TNB to see what’s going on. But then Zara told me I should read your latest – and I laughed a lot all the way through. Best laugh I’ve had for ages. (Oh, that’s not true – I did have a good laugh yesterday when a joke was made about a silly Australian guy who wore super short shorts, and his dress code was described as ‘red shorts wrapped around a banana’… that was pretty funny. Oh okay, maybe you had to be there.)

    So one of the bits that struck me as particularly funny was your misspelling of the following words…”waty backj after you asked”. Haha! That’s exactly what my text messages end up looking like too. Don’t know why I should find that so funny, but I did.

    Aren’t we lucky to have our gorgeous girls who make us laugh so much and bring us so much joy!

    • Irene Zion says:

      Oh Jude,

      I would really like to see a picture of the man wearing anything described as “red shorts wrapped around a banana.” I don’t suppose you have one?

      I’m afraid my texting abilities are less accurate than those of Lenore.
      Plus, I was in a terrible hurry to try to make Ben feel better and to understand
      that it wasn’t me writing those awful things.

      We are lucky to have our girls.
      My children, together, are a hoot both day and night.
      Thanksgiving is the perfect name for the weekend we spend together.
      I could just watch it in my head forever and smile.

      • Jude says:

        I don’t know how to attach a picture here in the comment box so I’ll give you the link to YouTube – where you can indeed see the bloke in question. Actually I think I prefer the pink shorts to the red…
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOMdvwqKgpc

        • Irene Zion says:

          My oh my oh my, Jude,

          Those are some skimpy tight shorts he’s wearing!
          When is this taped? This year? His hair is way out of date, so I’m thinking it’s at least ten years ago.

          Don’t feel bad about not being able to post a picture. It’s even hard to post a web site, that has to be checked out first, because pornographers try to post porn on sites like these.

        • Jude says:

          I think it’s more like 20 years ago – not too sure. Zara introduced the bloke to me complete with budgie smugglers. All I can surmise is he used to be a football player for Sydney. Australia seems to have a knack for turning out weird ones like him. Hilarious isn’t he?

        • Irene Zion says:

          I don’t think I have ever seen anyone who admires himself with such complete ardor before, Jude.
          It’s pretty creepy, even for 20 years ago.
          I hope he doesn’t dress that way 20 years later!
          Oh!
          Get that picture out of my head!

  30. Ann O says:

    Oh Irene, you have done a wonderful job of raising your children. I am also from a big, crazy family (I’m the oldest of 8). I asked my mom once how she could tolerate some of the raunchiness, jokes, telling of family history, etc. Her (very smart) response was she was so thrilled that her children enjoyed each other and had so much fun together that she could over-look some of the content. BUT, she never, ever let us wear tutus for a family photo—we are so much more boring than your group. So, I am also requesting adoption. Maybe I can learn a few new things and quit being the stuffy oldest sister. Keep on writing—just love these!

    • Irene Zion says:

      Ann-o,

      I am truly impressed with your mother. Eight!
      I could only get five out of Victor.
      He made it clear that any more children would be with the next husband.
      Bummer.

      Your mother is right.
      There is nothing on earth that brings me more joy
      than watching my children joke and play and delight in each other.

      Sure, you’re adopted too.
      Seriously, what’s one more?
      Hearts stretch, you know.

  31. Irene, Lenore, I fucking love your family. I seriously cannot wait until my daughters are old enough to read all your posts–I’m going to have a Zion TNB marathon weekend with them when they’re, like, 16.

    Happy New Year to the whole Zion clan. xx.

  32. Irene Zion says:

    Oh Gina,

    You are so good for my ego!

    When do you leave on your amazing trip?
    Do you have the extra camera batteries?
    Converters for the chargers?
    Enormous camera chips?
    Sun hats with chin straps so they don’t blow off?

  33. A pleasure to watch the Zion Family pulling real comedy weight. I think the sit-com should be called Dad Into A Tux and star Zach Galifianakis as the nosy neighbor.

    I require only a small percentage at signing when Fox buys the pilot.

    • Irene Zion says:

      Sean,
      Going along with this fantasy, I would like Bruce Willis to play Victor and I would still be me.
      (Don’t mention that to anyone, eh?)
      You can have as large a fantasy percentage as you chose, Sean.

  34. Richard Cox says:

    Irene, I have told you plenty of times in comments here and on PM that I want to be a member of your family. But, with apologies, I don’t think the state recognizes the validity of all these faux adoptions you promise to everyone.

    The only recourse I can see is to marry one of your daughters. I only know Lenore, and she seems funny and borderline crazy, attractive attributes to be sure, so looks like she’ll be the one stuck with me.

    Isn’t Uche an ordained minister? Can he do this online? Do I need to start looking for rings on Overstock.com?

    I eagerly await your response.

  35. Irene Zion says:

    I’m basically a Libertarian, so I don’t recognize the State Government or the Federal Government as having any right over what I do as long as I don’t hurt anyone. So in my house, what I say goes.

    I wish I had rights over Lenore’s heart, but I’m afraid she’s her own boss. She’s also the boss of me and Victor and most of the kids and, I assume, her boss. She’s a tough nut to crack, but I give you my blessing to try.

    Wait!

    Uche can absolutely marry you. I think he already married her to Zara and, I forget, maybe Kimberly. Come to think of it, she marries sort of easily and repeatedly, so it might work. You don’t mind a polygamist, do you?

    • Richard Cox says:

      As a man, I prefer polygamy. So I’ll be in touche with Uche shortly.

      Do you want me to PM you my dowry requirements?

      • Irene Zion says:

        Richard,
        This is the second time this post that someone has said PM as a verb.
        I don’t know what that means.
        But I do know that the lady gets the gifts; this is 2010!
        I’ll give you a couple of goats, though, just to be nice.

        • Richard Cox says:

          A man can always use a couple of extra goats.

          PM means to send a private message. An email. Apologies for the text speak.

          Touché!

        • Becky Palapala says:

          Uh. Yeah.

          Hello, BRIDEPRICE.

          As I understand it, Richard, you hold the lower hand in this deal. You’re asking Irene to let you into the family.

          Better start scraping that cupboard. If you don’t, someone else will. *gets out cupboard scraper*

        • Irene Zion says:

          Becky,

          I think I’ll have to adopt the phrase: “gets out cupboard scraper.”
          I can’t imagine how I’ll use it, but it will come to me.
          You make me laugh so hard!

          @Richard,
          Uche is going to write a textspeak dictionary for us.
          After that I will be well-armed to understand you folks.

      • Irene Zion says:

        @Richard,

        It’s “touché.”

        • Zara Potts says:

          Yes, Uche married Megan and Me.. but I think I have a prior claim to Lenore as well.

        • Irene Zion says:

          Zara,

          You and Megan and Kimberly and Lenore and all those men you also married, who we forgot, are going to need a BIG house!

          (With a big grassy yard for the goats.)

        • Irene Zion says:

          @Uche,

          Don’t you have any rules?
          You are sort of marrying people willy nilly here.

        • Zara Potts says:

          I think I’m married to several people here. I forget who now.
          I’m really going to be in trouble when we get divorced.. I didn’t sign any pre-nups. Shit.

        • Irene Zion says:

          Pre-nups, schme- nups.
          You don’t need anything like that with this bunch!
          It’s all one big happy family!

          There should be a list somewhere of who is married to whom, though.
          @Uche probably has it.
          He’s really compulsive.
          It’s undoubtedly on onion paper written in fountain pen in calligraphy.

        • Uche Ogbuji says:

          OK, so here’s the deal. I only recognize Nigerian rules in marriage, especially Igbo ones, soooo, here’s the law, folks.

          Irene, you only think you’ve lost authority over Lenore’s heart. She’s trying to bamboozle you, like Eddie tried to do to Mfufu when he took her out of [somewhere in] Africa. But as you know from the skit, one day Mfufu was crying in a restroom stall about Eddie’s mistreatment and an American chick came by, asked her story and told her: “He did what?! Bitch, don’t you know you can take half his shit?”

          I’m the Nigerian version of that American chick come by to tell you that only parents can give the blessing for the child to marry. In theory, that means Victor, but I don’t think there exists an Igbo man brave enough to give consent when his wife demurs, so you’re really in charge. If she doesn’t marry whom you tell her to marry, Ala (that’s the Earth goddess) will open up wide and swallow her without trace, then modify your memory so you don’t miss her. Ahem.

          So my next word to Richard. Richard, now that everyone with the hots for Lenore knows that Irene is in charge of her troth, seismic meters will be going off all over Florida (and they’ll be like: “WTF? This ain’t California all of a sudden, is it?”) with stampeding suitors on their way to Zion HQ. You’re going to have to be fast, and you’re going to have to have a monster bride price ready for the parents, as Becky says. But you do have one advantage. Everyone else will be going to Zales and Ft. Knox and shit, but you’ll know the true currency of bride price comes in one of 3 forms: goats, yams and liquor. You live in Tulsa, so hold up a Jack Daniels truck, turn that fucker around, raid the nearest exotic ranch for goats, and stop by Houston on the way to Florida, where half the Nigerians in the US live and there are plenty of stores selling the right kind of yams. Since some other suitors might be reading this I’ll PM you the Igbo word for the right sort of yams.

          Zara and Megan. Yes, I didn’t tell you because I figured you didn’t need to know the legal fine print, but yes in Igbo culture, two women can marry if they decide that’s what they want. I’m dead serious on that, and you don’t hear that a lot because so many Igbos have now turned Jesus freaks. But it’s true, and furthermore, it’s not uncommon for one or both of the women to arrange with another man to seed children for their household. BTW polyandry is less common than polygamy, but it’s permitted. In other words, I have a lot of latitude to marry all different configurations of you crazies, as long as the right currency is going back and forth in goats, liquor and yam.

          Rich, you’ve at least made it to the Texas border by now, yes? Better get a move on.

        • Zara Potts says:

          Well, thank God, at least Megan and I are properly married. I don’t know who else I’m married to, but as long as one is above ground, well… what more can I ask?

          Speaking of matrimony – Megan and I STILL haven’t received our wedding gifts. We only asked for a bloody Basquiat.

        • Irene Zion says:

          Wowzers, Uche!

          (Lucky Lenore doesn’t read my stuff or there’d be hell to pay.)

          If Ala, the Earth Goddess,
          opens wide and swallows my child,
          I will tear her apart,
          mountains to rivers,
          deserts to oceans,
          until I find her again
          and bring her home,
          because
          no Goddess has sufficient power
          to modify in any way
          my memory of my child.

          (I’ll leave the light on for you, Richard.)

        • Uche Ogbuji says:

          I know; and I even tried to help explain it to the guests. “Just like a Bloody Mary, but with more angst.”

        • Uche Ogbuji says:

          Oh Irene,

          You’re new to this game, aren’t you? I personally have never seen Ala opening up and swallowing anyone (then again my memory could be modified). That’s not the point. The point is that it doesn’t have to come to that. The possibility is the key, as in so many thins. So since Lenore doesn’t read your pieces, she still doesn’t know any better, and you’re still free to exhort a monumental bride price.

          Anyway, I’m just answering the questions which I was quite explicitly asked 😉

        • Irene Zion says:

          @Zara,

          Do you and Megan have any clue what a genuine Basquiat is worth?
          You need to meet another group of people who are philanthropists or some other jet-setter types, if you covet such things.

        • Irene Zion says:

          @Uche,

          I would love to witness such a powerful Goddess doing her work!

          My memory is unlike that of others.
          I remember everything about my children
          and my students
          and my husband
          and my dogs,
          but, for the life of me,
          I can’t remember anyone’s name.
          Ala, the Earth Goddess, would be flummoxed by me.
          Of that I am sure.

          On another subject,
          if I were to exact a monumental bride price,
          would that not make my son-in-law-to-be resent me?
          I wouldn’t be comfortable with that.

          I am officially stating that you are only answering questions which you were specifically asked to answer, and are in no way in dutch.

  36. Ronlyn Domingue says:

    Remarkable that the discussion carried on so long. You guys must be very serious about your family photos. 🙂

    • Irene Zion says:

      Ronlyn,

      I’m afraid that I am the only one serious about the family yearly photo.
      Everyone else just goes along with me in order to keep the peace.
      If I don’t get my yearly family photo, I’m the embodiment of the word “harridan.”
      It’s not pretty.
      It’s not pretty at all.

  37. Amy says:

    Glad to see my family is not the only one that will relentlessly pick on eachother at times. It just means we love eachother!

  38. Irene Zion says:

    Oh Amy,

    I’m pretty sure it’s universal.
    Picking, loving, picking, loving, ad nauseum.

  39. Greg Olear says:

    I can’t wait to see the photo.

    • Irene Zion says:

      We weren’t able to get tutus for normal sized people, remember, Greggie?
      It’ll probably be pretty boring.
      We’ll see.

  40. Aaron Dietz says:

    I’m sure someone’s said this already, but I want to text your entire family.

    • Irene Zion says:

      Aaron,

      No one has said it.
      I think that would be great!
      (I hope you have free texting….)

      • Aaron Dietz says:

        I have up to 400 free. Can this truly be arranged? Wait…I’m looking at my calendar. Maybe March? I might be on the road on a book tour and bored. I will check with you about this, when it’s time….

  41. Irene Zion says:

    Wow, Aaron,
    If you mean dollars, you can get a lot of yams for that.
    Goats might be more expensive,
    but we have a cheap liquor store here,
    so that’s not a worry.
    (But if you mean 400 yams, I’m pretty sure they won’t last till March.
    You should get baking. You could ask @Uche for the recipes. He’s up on all that stuff.)

  42. M.J. Fievre says:

    You guys are funny 😉 Thanks for sharing this, Irene. I would love to see the pictures.

  43. Irene Zion says:

    M.J.,

    I haven’t gotten them back yet, and I am generally about three months late with my Christmas cards, so all I need is your address, wait, I have to look up the code…hum while I look…okay, I found it, it was up with Richard Cox. You can PM me with it and I will keep it safe and only unto myself, promise.

  44. Jessica Blau says:

    I wanna hang out with your family at Christmas!

  45. Irene Zion says:

    Alas, Jessica Anya,

    They only come for Thanksgiving.
    Since not even one measly kid is coming for Christmas, we are off for a December trip that covers my birthday and Christmas. Victor hopes it will keep me from settling into the doldrums of clinical depression if he whisks me away from home….

    (But come for Thanksgiving!)

  46. the kayak lady says:

    i had some naked photos taken once, but there were no dogs.

    when are you gonna send a photo up here?

  47. Irene Zion says:

    Dear Kayak Lady,

    I am relieved to hear that there were no dogs in your naked photos.
    I am close to 100% sure that my family would not take a picture naked.
    No, I am 100% sure.

    I’m still in Singapore and will not be home until the New Year. I won’t even begin to think of my Christmas cards cum picture until then. But I am always late with them. Sometimes they turn out to be Valentine’s Day cards and sometimes they are as late as St. Patrick’s Day cards, but I always get them out eventually.

    I hope there’s a picture card from you, when I get back home!

  48. Marni Grossman says:

    It’s interesting that Ben was willing to go with what you said until you suggested life would be better off without Lenore. Are all the Zions so credulous?

  49. Irene Zion says:

    HA!
    Marni,
    Ben has always been the different one.
    He believes anything you say.
    He’s an innocent, with a heart as big as the world.

  50. […] writes about her family, the Zions, who are more interesting than your family, because they have funnier text exchanges.  This group includes Sara, who used to eat weird things; her Mercurial son (she can’t recall […]

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