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This is a question Family codes and rituals

Freddy Woo writes, "as a child we used to have a 'whoever cuts doesn't choose the slice' rule with cake. It worked brilliantly, but it's left me completely anal about dividing up food - my wife just takes the piss as I ritually compare all the slice sizes."

What codes and rituals does your family have?

(, Thu 20 Nov 2008, 18:05)
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For as long as I can remember, whenever a member of my family sees a monkey puzzle tree (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Araucaria_araucana) we have to let everyone in the world know by screaming "MONKEY PUZZLE TREE!" at the top of our voice, be it in the car, in public, with people who don't even know what monkey puzzle trees are, resulting in "Meh..? Monkey what?".
It's turned ridiculous now, people have driven hours out of their way just to get a point in the longest game ever.
Whenever we approach somewhere that we know has a monkey puzzle tree, you can literally see the sweat dripping off our faces to be the first one to yell out, because if you scream before you actually see the tree you're a dirty rotten bumface.
We've sent texts saying "monkey puzzle tree" from all over the world. My mum's still got some from about 4 years ago in her phone.
(, Thu 20 Nov 2008, 19:35, 10 replies)
Rune Family motto...
Our family code is very simple...

"Wherever you may be let your wind blow free.
Be it church or chapel, Let it rattle."
(Daddy Rune, Aunty Rune (aka wicked witch of south west) and Uncle "Baldy" Rune)

This evening ritual is usually punctuated by Daddy Rune doing a bum note solo reclining on the living room floor in just his underpants and socks and commenting on the waft, scent and wetness. Not to mention the Hound Rune letting a few dogfood scented fluffs go at the same time. It happens most evenings without fail as well. The only variation to this family ritual is when company is expected, such as my long suffering O.H Ashe. Daddy Rune then dons a t-shirt in addition to the pants and socks ensemble to appear more "respectable".

Serious thoughts are afoot to make a Rune Family crest with buttocks resplendent citing the age old rhyme. And underneath in schoolboy Latin the phrase "He who smelt it, Dealt it."
(, Thu 20 Nov 2008, 19:31, 4 replies)
Same every week, without fail and 10 minutes after I get in from work, unless I find a way to intervene:

Sunday - Roast beef
Monday - Rubbish beef pie
Tuesday - Sausage, beans and mash
Wednesday - Steak
Thursday - Ginsters Pasty (other pasties are available and I recommend them all above Ginsters)
Friday and Saturday - I stay down the pub and try not to eat red meat....
(, Thu 20 Nov 2008, 19:17, 5 replies)
The Amway Monster
Back in the days when men were men, Labour was old and shoulders were padded, my mum would go to pick my dad up from work every evening and, us being quite small at the time, my two sisters and I would come too. His office building was in the corner of an industrial estate, so in order to get there we'd have to drive past a number of different buildings. Warehouses, DIY places, normal industrialestatetype stuff.

Apart from one. One building that would have all three of us quaking in terror in the back of the car.

Amway. Gateway to Hell.

To merely glance at the building's corrugated shell would alert the denizens to our presence, and they would not be pleased, oh no. How dare these mere mortals, small children at that, gaze upon this terrible portal with their unclean eyes? And so they would dispatch their most fearsome beast to make us pay for our insolence with our lives. The Amway Monster would be released.

Me, being the responsible elder sister that I was and fearful for my sibling's souls, took great effort to impress upon them the awful danger they were in. I would give the word as soon as we rounded the corner, and then we would hide (as well as one can hide in the back of an Astra), scrunching our eyes up tight and covering our faces with our hands. My middle sister and I bravely did our best for the youngest, shielding her gaze as well as we could without compromising our own safety. Then, after half a minute of teeth-shattering terror, we'd turn and pull up outside my dad's office. And there we would be safe until the journey home a few minutes later, when the whole ritual was conducted afresh.

This happened every weekday at 5:30pm for four years. Then we got a second car, and didn't have to pick my dad up in the evenings.

A few years later Amway moved out, and whither they went, I know not. So be wary, all you people, and take heed. Should you pass an Amway building be sure to shield your eyes, lest you incur the wrath of the Amway Monster and lose your life and soul in one mighty crunch of it's hideous teeth.

Nowadays, the former Amway building is a Big Yellow Storage company. I don't know whether the gates of Hell still reside there, but it's a lot harder to be afraid of something that bright and shiny. I still get twitchy going past it though.
(, Thu 20 Nov 2008, 19:15, 2 replies)
who ever ..
smelt it, dealt it...

(, Thu 20 Nov 2008, 19:12, 6 replies)
Coming from
a fairly animal mad family, we used to send our pets (2 dogs, 2 cats etc) postcards from holidays. Our Grandma, looking after said animals, would carry on the barminess (or just prove where we inherited it from) by reading the cards aloud to the recipients then pinning them to the fridge quite low down "so they can look for themselves".

Once (perhaps foolishly, in hindsight) we sent them one of a cat yawning. Card was read alound, pinned to fridge etc. When we got home our Grandmother presented us with the card.

In two halves.

Top and bottom, or head and body, whichever you prefer. Chewed clean off.

I think that may have been the last time we did it!

Length? Severely reduced.
(, Thu 20 Nov 2008, 19:05, Reply)
before i got an alarm clock, my parents used to wake me up. My mum would usually shout for me to get up and that would be that. But when dad decided he was going to wake me up... well thats another story.

I'd be asleep then all of a sudden the door would burst open he'd run in making as much noise as possible the lights would flash on and off, the curtains would be thrown open and he'd jump up and down on the end of the bed. This carried on for a while until one morning. Now my dad is not the smallest of people when it comes to the stomach area (i usually ask him when his due date is). My bed was a very weak wooden frame with crappy legs. So you can imagine that this was just waiting to happen.

As usual 7am roles around and in runs my dad flashing the lights on and off opening the curtains, making as much noise as possible. Then, just like always, he goes to jump on the bed.
There was a loud crack. My dad fell off the bed and i slid down to the bottom of the bed.
Thats right, the end of my bed just couldn't take it anymore and collapsed.

That ritual ended that day. Although from that a new family ritual was born.
Constantly harrassing my younger sister in the mornings.

My sister is not the nicest of people at any time of day, but in the mornings she is at her worst.Then again, i can't imagine being chased by your dad brandishing a banana, spoon or any other item he can get his hands on that can be used as a toy gun would put you in a great mood.

Mornings are always interesting in my house.

(, Thu 20 Nov 2008, 19:05, 1 reply)
Ho Ho, Fucking Well Ho
It's Christmas eve and the house is quiet save for the gentle, drunken snoring coming from Dad as he sleeps where he'd been sat drinking all evening.

He awakes with a start, farts and wipes a hand across his brow before descending into a coughing fit brought on by the 20 Embassy Number Ones he's smoked throughout the evening.

He pulls himself out of his chair, farts again and necks the glass of sherry that has been left for Santa: "I'm doing his job for him, I'm drinking his fucking sherry." he mutters, before demolishing the mince pie and throwing Rudolph's carrot bin ways. The boys'll be too old for this caper soon, he tells himself and picks up a few parcels before turning the lights off and climbing the stairs.

"Bollocks", he pauses to check for the faint sound of three snoring boys, having booted the foot of a bed as he stumbled into the room: "is that you, Santa?" asks the youngest. "Shit. Yes, now go back to sleep or I'll take all your presents away again." he half lies and an exaggerated snoring immediately sounds out from the bottom bunk.

Dad carefully manoeuvres about the room, distributing presents with all the grace of an elephant on acid, before making his way to bed, happy in the knowledge that he'll be able to sleep off most of his hangover having provided sufficient distraction in the shape of small Christmas presents that require no Dad related assistance.

I think this ritual carried on until they split up. After that it was the 'don't wake Mum up unless you want a slap' ritual, which seemed pretty effective, too.
(, Thu 20 Nov 2008, 19:03, Reply)
Trying to get the first answer on a QOTW
And failing miserably.
(, Thu 20 Nov 2008, 19:02, 1 reply)
Oh, and we also all have to get a cup of tea before opening presents
at Christmas. God knows why.

We also have a 'nobody up before 9am on Christmas Day' rule, because it's Not Fair to wake anybody up with a hangover. Chances are we'd all been out on the piss the night before.
(, Thu 20 Nov 2008, 18:58, 6 replies)
Above two low doorways in our house
Dad has stuck a couple of small ducks he made out of FIMO.

It doesn't work - one visitor was looking at the duck so hard, he knocked himself out on the top of the doorframe. Explaining that to the paramedics was fun.
(, Thu 20 Nov 2008, 18:58, Reply)
My kids
all now use the terms "minger", "munter", "spang" and "twatbadger" in daily language.

Thanks, b3ta.
(, Thu 20 Nov 2008, 18:56, 1 reply)
My mum used to refuse to do a Sunday dinner
Unless I did all the veg the night before.
(, Thu 20 Nov 2008, 18:56, Reply)
When me mam and dad are in bed.....
...me mam has a tradition of pulling the duvet over me dad's head just before she goes to fart.

Might explain alot actually :(
(, Thu 20 Nov 2008, 18:50, 3 replies)
Remember the opening sequence for "The Lion King"?
They start out with dawn on the Serengeti Plain, a low rumble of drums, and in the distance a lone male voice cries out something in a foreign language followed by a chorus of mail voices humming a chord.

To my kids it sounded like the voice was calling out "Pennsylvania!" followed by gibberish.

So after we got that movie on tape, the next time we drove from Virginia to New York and passed over the Maryland border I bellowed out, "Peeeeennsylvania welcomes you!" and hummed.

My kids still do that. And the oldest is in college.
(, Thu 20 Nov 2008, 18:49, 9 replies)
I learnt from Mr. Fritzl.
Always tell my kids ''Don't tell the outside world about our secret fun cellar!''.

Works a treat.

Hmmm....who's that at the door?
(, Thu 20 Nov 2008, 18:45, Reply)
Here's one for us oldies...
Remember the episode of The Brady Bunch where they go to Hawaii and encounter a little cursed statue? My kids were watching that one day and I pointed out how every time they showed the little statue by itself, looking menacing just before they cut to an ad, they always played the same little trill on a flute: budda budda boo, BUDDA BUDDA BOO! And the kids cracked up every time it happened after that.

Years later I can go "budda budda boo" and they will respond with "BUDDA BUDDA BOO!"

Others look at us oddly.
(, Thu 20 Nov 2008, 18:41, 2 replies)
I used to
have this ritual of trying to get on the first page.

I am also rather fond of the ritual of crediting people with the idea when it is used for QOTW.
For example the Customers from Hell and this one. See: www.b3ta.com/questions/questionsyoudliketoask/post265979
(, Thu 20 Nov 2008, 18:20, 4 replies)
fuck off!
you spend fucking years getting over those social workers' accusations of satanic abuse and then some bastard wants to know about your family rituals. Well, I wouldn't tell them so I'm not telling you, chthonic.
(, Thu 20 Nov 2008, 18:20, 3 replies)
My grandpa likes to teach "life lessons"
If, say, you were eating some cake and had left the cherry till last, my Grandpa would lean over and say "Oh, don't you want that?" and eat it. Which made me upset and confused as to what he was trying to teach me.

Now I realise he wasn't trying to teach me anything, not even "It's a hard world out there", no no no... he was just a greedy bastard who wanted the cherry.

He's still alive at 97, clinging on, doing the Times crossword every day, yet unable to remember who anyone is.
(, Thu 20 Nov 2008, 18:14, 1 reply)
smelt it
dealt it.
(, Thu 20 Nov 2008, 18:13, Reply)
I procrastinate so much...
Oh wait shit sorry
(, Thu 20 Nov 2008, 18:13, 6 replies)
CHCB family Christmas ritual:
I don't visit them; everyone lives.
(, Thu 20 Nov 2008, 18:12, 1 reply)
First one to see the sea
(on the way to our holiday destination) buys the ice creams.
Just how it's done.
(, Thu 20 Nov 2008, 18:10, 2 replies)
May as well say it
When we go on holiday we dont bother with Baby sitters.

The McCanns.
(, Thu 20 Nov 2008, 18:10, 4 replies)
i have no idea how it started, but for some reason, every time i play monopoly with my brother and/or sisters, we have this weird little thing we do whenever someone lands on electric company.
we all, as one, chant "e-lec-tric-com-pa-ny!" and pound the table seven times.
as i say, none of us can remember why.
(, Thu 20 Nov 2008, 18:10, 9 replies)
and now the tale - or the first I can think of.

When seeing a magpie before midday, you have to say "Good morning Mr Magpie, how's your wife and family", turn, and spit.

Gets funny looks whether you are driving or walking.

God knows why this has to be done.

The only other thing that comes to mind is listening to the Archers. That's a ritual, all right, and 20+ years after leaving home, I still listen to it.

The shame.
(, Thu 20 Nov 2008, 18:09, 4 replies)
Cherry popped
(, Thu 20 Nov 2008, 18:09, Reply)
Huzzah.. and all by accident
(, Thu 20 Nov 2008, 18:07, Reply)

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