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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)
Pages: Latest, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, ... 1

This question is now closed.

Out on a ....
Every time I drive the M6 and am passing the Warrington exit, I see the sign saying "Lymm".
Without fail... even when I am in the car on my own... I say "That's where they have the small arms factory"
Heh... still makes me giggle..

Sad and pathetic, I know.
(, Tue 25 Nov 2008, 14:30, 6 replies)
T-shirt ritual
I was an only son to a single parent since dad fecked off when I was but six. Times were hard, money was short, but things were generally happy.

Except for the t-shirt ritual.

Each morning mum would shout from the bottom of the stairs that brekky was ready. I'd dress as fast as possible, rush down and scoff my toast or ready-brek or whatever. Then she'd walk me up to school. All well and good.

Except for those times when I'd appear in the kitchen and she'd glare at me and declare "That's the WRONG t-shirt! Why did you do that?!" She'd drag the cursed garment off me and I then had to stand in the hall closet. It was dark, dusty and very hot. I wasn't to make a sound or move, even to go to the toilet, so wet pants often ocurred. Thank God I wasn't afraid of spiders...

About 3:30 - the end of the school day - she'd open the closet door and drag me by the wrist to my bedroom She'd pull open one of the drawers and grab a shirt, seemingly at random "SEE! SEE! SEE! - *that's* the right t-shirt!". I had to stay in my room until the next morning and play the t-shirt lottery all over again.

Strange woman, but bizarrely I do miss her now she's gone.
(, Tue 25 Nov 2008, 13:42, 11 replies)
My younger sister and I like to irritate our middle sister and younger brother by either reading interesting times on the clock (e.g. 12:34, 14:15, 20:02, 22:22) whilst in the car, or, our real favourite, just by staring at them unwaveringly for up to half an hour. This is best done, silently, on public transport. It did make our brother cry once, but nowadays it just makes him uncomfortable.
(, Tue 25 Nov 2008, 13:35, 4 replies)
Like Fuckpig's story...
...only in our house the remote wasn't called a 'zapper'
It was called 'The Gun'
On more than one occasion in my teens while friends were visiting, there were eyebrows raised and pants shat when my Dad said "This programme's rubbish, where's The Gun?"

Knowing that my Dad was a Customs Officer, they thought he'd do an Arnie/Predator/Mini-Gun on our 17" TV.

But he just meant that he wanted to see what else was on...

Customs dudes aren't allowed to carry guns, y'see.
(, Tue 25 Nov 2008, 13:32, 6 replies)
Turkey Slapping!
Me and my brother have a ritual whereby for every Christmas diner we beat/slap the shit out of the turkey before cooking it.

Here's one example
(, Tue 25 Nov 2008, 13:25, 4 replies)
Making a sandwich
This probably isn’t a ritual, it is probably more of an OCD.
Many years ago when central heating was not too common and Bof was a nipper, I used to hate winter.
The kitchen was cold and the butter was always brick hard. My dear old gran would make a sandwich which had a lump of butter a quarter of an inch thick in the centre of a slice of bread that had started to break up because the butter wouldn’t spread.
The remaining 90% of the bread was ‘bare’.
Biting the sandwich would leave teeth marks on the butter.

As a result of this I spend a good few minutes carefully spreading the butter to every corner and edge of a slice of bread as I make a sarnie.

My kids used to watch in amazement as I followed my ritual sandwich preparation.
They may think I’m barking, but I am comfortable in the knowledge that I at least spared them the horror of eating a chunk of butter.
(, Tue 25 Nov 2008, 13:14, 10 replies)
the remote in our house
is called the 'zapper'.
as in 'pass the zapper,Harry Hill's on.'
if someone asks for the 'remote' the whole family stops whatever they're doing and stares at them until they take it back.
Conforming to the nonconformist through peer pressure?haha,yes!
(, Tue 25 Nov 2008, 13:05, 6 replies)
And that's Nancy!
When my bro and I were nippers we had comics delivered every week, which our Ma'd kindly read to us.

She'd sit in the armchair and we'd stand either side and she'd read both comics aloud.

When she'd finished we'd be dismissed while she read the Daily Mirror in peace.

However, one day, for some reason, we stayed hanging around afterwards looking at the newspaper with her.

I suddenly remembered that she'd been pointing out family members on photos the day before and mimicked her, pointing to a picture of a woman and saying 'And THAT's Nancy!'

Bro quickly pointed out another and also said 'And THAT's Nancy!'

So we carried on the whole time she read that newspaper, pointing out women, men, raceshorses, whatever, and saying 'And THAT's Nancy!' until she was in hysterics with laughter and frustration and we were in real danger of a good old 1966 slippering.

After that, during comic-time, we used to egg each other on to point and say 'That's Nancy!', even though we knew our mother would then refuse to read any more.

Any picture of a woman in the comics would have us giggling and discreetly pointing over Ma's head, mouthing the words.

God it was funny. Wish I was 8 again!
(, Tue 25 Nov 2008, 13:03, 4 replies)
not so much a code or ritual, more a behavioural pattern.
My Dad - rational man, physicist by profession. Prone to carefully reasoned arguments, logical thinking, and great calm.

Except that is when the cat is sick or poos in the house and nobody else is in.

If it happens on the carpet, then rather than clean it, he'll cut a square of carpet around the offending item and bin the bit of carpet, poo/sick in situ.

"That bit of carpet was ruined anyway" he'd reason, and "there was absolutely nothing else for it".

The living room carpet looks like an abstract patchwork quilt, and worryingly, my sister has been known to do it - so I see it as a disturbing family ritual in development.

Failing that, we could always take the cat to the vet.
(, Tue 25 Nov 2008, 12:56, Reply)
My ex- hated me doing this: When driving (or walking) down the road, if someone spots one of those god-botherer Icthys symbols on the back of a car it is obligatory to call out "Fish Worshipper, I win!" and point at the car in question.

Like having that on the back is going to give you some divine insurance policy against crashing??

I also salute magpies.
(, Tue 25 Nov 2008, 12:40, Reply)
Throughout my teen years whenever I was with a girl who my Dad had not met before, like clockwork he would ask her. 'Now you REALLY are a girl aren't you? He's had a few mix ups in the past, haven't you Son?'

I am really looking forward to tormenting my son with that one and continuing the cycle of abuse.
(, Tue 25 Nov 2008, 12:32, 2 replies)
One Family Ritual...
...that we've seen far too much of the past few years is coming around once again. My brother died a little over a week ago. We'll be carrying him into the Crem on Monday.

He had a cardiac arrest a few weeks ago and never regained conciousness. He was 38. When I was born, I was the youngest of three brothers - now I'm the last. I've yet to fully get my head around that, and I can only imagine how our Mum feels.

He's featured a few times in my posts over the years, and I'd like to share a few with you all.

His worst girlfriend ever
His best girlfriend ever, or at least how they met
His appalling spelling
Him stopping me from becoming a human torch
His attempt to get me laid at age 11
Acid-fuelled hijinks featuring me, him and his mate Ste

As you can probably tell, I've not always had kind words to say about him, but we've always been close no matter the level of silly buggers he was playing at any given time.

When you're out this weekend, neck a shot or take a toke (or both if you have the opportunity) for our kid, as I and a few of our friends will be.

I'm gonna miss him. Every day.
(, Tue 25 Nov 2008, 11:58, 17 replies)
Regional wars
When going on family holidays to Scotland, as the car passed over the border, as dictated by the sign at the side of the road that says "Welcome to Scotland", my sister and I would both stretch all limbs forward as much as possible just so we could shout "I was in Scotland before you!". An equal amount of fun could be had when passing the England sign on the return journey.
(, Tue 25 Nov 2008, 11:48, 1 reply)
A new ritual is becoming common in the Chickenlady home
Every photo in the newspaper or on television which shows a monster, ugly animal, bacteria, in fact anything particularly nasty and unpleasant looking....

a small voice pipes up saying, "I've had 'er"

Or, "I've dated worse"

Thank you PJM, my sons are now claiming to have had carnal knowledge with the monster from Alien.

Or Kerry Katona as she is known in our house.
(, Tue 25 Nov 2008, 11:35, 8 replies)
I understand that B3ta has a ritual...
.. that I have unwittingly been following.

Wednesday Home O'clock Wank.

Work tends to be frustrating, a good hard play, or bed.ride usually sorts that out. Wednesdays seem to be more annoying than others, So come Wednesday afternoon I'm rather looking forward to get home.

We're all family here... Who else joins in?
(, Tue 25 Nov 2008, 11:25, 5 replies)
I don't let the kids in the living-room to open their presents until everyone's downstairs and have had their breakfast.
(, Tue 25 Nov 2008, 11:22, 1 reply)
My mum
has a habit of leaving the key in the lock on the outside.

We once had to turn around on the way to a family do after she informed me that she "may" have left the spare key in my front door. She had.
(, Tue 25 Nov 2008, 11:09, Reply)
Mrs Humpty...
... HAS to check the door is locked twice before she leaves. If I try to stop her she'll yammer and whine all the way out of the building - like a puppy that needs a pee.

She's even been known to exit the lift on the ground floor and run back up the stairs to check before I can block the path.. It's kind of cute.... but a little worrying too.

:o/ Her Dad however.. He checks 6 times. I suppose Old age is going to bring some little foibles with it..
(, Tue 25 Nov 2008, 11:04, 4 replies)
How come
so many people seem to have nice, fun families? I feel like I've gone trespassing on Walton's Mountain: a bizarre mix of nausea, envy and suppressed aggression.
(, Tue 25 Nov 2008, 10:59, 8 replies)
Family rituals
No matter how petty, or annoying. How long or short. How embarrassed or proud you are of them.

They are important.

If your other half has a tradition that you don't understand, that annoys the hell out of you, that drives you insane so much that it makes you want to scream.

Still, try to cherish it. For their sake.

Because if something happens to take it away, you will miss it too. But more than that, the pain you feel for them will be worse than anything you've ever known.

If the man who fathered the woman you love, but also is the cause of her referring to chicken as ‘chick chick’ suddenly breaks down and stops even recognising his daughter and you can do nothing to stop her heart breaking on a daily basis, you’d do anything to be reliving the moment you wanted the ground to swallow you up when you went to dinner with her parents and he said to the waiter ‘And chick chick for me please’

Get well.


Sorry, I've been holding that one in all week, unsure whether it was appropriate or not. I feel better for having written it down.
(, Tue 25 Nov 2008, 10:51, 6 replies)
After his heart attack
Dad was forced to take some care of himself (it's the old story, the doctor that doesnt take his own medicine) - cue him starting some cardio exercise at one of the local gyms. This was great - not only was dad trying to get into some form of shape, but my brother and i could come swimming two or three times a week and spend time with him. Yay.

One thing sticks in my mind though - after showering, he'd dry himself, put his glasses and watch back on, and then straighten up and declare himself "ready to leave" ... fortunately he only had a heart attack, he wasn't going senile, and he did always put his clothes on before leaving, but it's definitely something i intend to do when I have kids.

And another one, when we made porridge together he sang us the porridge song (as sang to him by his father), I think the song must be circa First World War, because it involves a whale being blown up by a Woolwich torpedo, I think they are WWI kind of time ... either way, it's an alright song, lasts just the right length of time for cooking porridge, and I'm sure when I'm older it'll be sung to my kids too ... :)
(, Tue 25 Nov 2008, 10:51, 2 replies)
Another Christmas one
Every single year for as long as I can remember, Christmas morning has been the same. I love it and never want it to change.

As kids are waking up at 4am asking their parents if Santa has been, my dad is up organising the living room, sorting presents into piles until 7am when he phones us and tells us to hurry up and get to their house as the bacon is nearly ready and the tea's going cold. We all pile into the car usually still in our pyjamas half asleep and drive to my mum and dads. When we get there we dare not go near the living room door oh no that's against the law, it's straight into the kitchen for us whilst we wait for my other two sisters to arrive. Around 8am we've finished the bacon and tea and then my dad leads the kids to the living room door and says "wait here kids, I need to make sure Santa hasn't fallen asleep on the sofa again" two seconds later he comes out and says "nope, all clear, you can come in now" The kids run into the room and take up their respective seats on the floor and all the adults (8 of us) all pile in and sit in the same seats we have sat in for the past 10 or so years. Magic's christmas songs are usually blaring out on the TV and once we're all settled my dad hands each present out individually reading who it's to and from and we all watch that person open their present. and then it's the next persons turn. When there are presents for 10 people this usually takes hours, but it's the best bit of the day and I think it makes us all alot more greatful for what we get. About 11am, just as we think it's all over my dad usually springs a surprise present on us all that he's even hidden from my mum which we all open together. It can be anything from a number of little presents, one each or one big family present to share.

After this we all grab a bin bag and clear out the wrapping paper and then the men "help" the kids "set up" their gadget like toys, while the women all go in the kitchen for a sherry and a mince pie while we muck in with crossing the sprouts and peeling the potatoes. Dinner is usually around 3pm and being from a traditional family the kids get theirs dished out first, then the men and us ladies last. After that the men wash up and the ladies sit around in the kitchen drinking sherry and eating mince pies and christmas log. Then it's games and or a sleep for the older folk. Around 7pm we all settle down and watch Doctor Who and after that we set off home where the kids get their new pyjamas on, have a turkey sandwich and then snuggle up in bed, exhausted after a days play. Mr Sp@m and I usually settle down with a Baileys and watch a few Christmas specials at this point until it's time for bed.

Christmas day has been exactly the same for me the past 29 years except now I have the added bonus of watching my own childrens faces light up with each present.

(, Tue 25 Nov 2008, 10:20, 4 replies)
Burp Talk
My mother always said the word bollocks whilst burping and now its a habit I can't get rid off. Bollocks
(, Tue 25 Nov 2008, 9:33, 7 replies)
Any Incoming text message..
.. is always met with a gleeful cry of "FAN MAIL!"
(, Tue 25 Nov 2008, 8:44, Reply)

It's not so much procrastination, more that I tend to put off what I need to do and that I'm oblivious to what's going on around me.
(, Tue 25 Nov 2008, 8:25, 3 replies)
Our family has had a very odd past.
Many years ago, my great grandmother had a neighbour. They fell in love got married and had kids. she lost her husband in the war, but time marched on and the world kept turning.

Later on, It turned out that one of the kids (my grandmother) had a neighbour with whom she fell in love. This turned out to be someone related to her late father...

This story repeats itself - and believe me when I first heard it it made my toes (only ten thank-you) curl.

It comes to now... when I find that my parents have neighbours, who - for some mad reason are related to my father. One summer when I was visiting the Neighbour's child - also my age - was also there. There was a Barbecue, much alcohol and I inquired as to whether there was perhaps a man in their family for me to carry on the twisted history with.

Apparently not, and nor do I have a brother to offer her. By this time we were exceedingly drunk, and ended up fumbling and giggling together in the bushes.

I've broken a family tradition it seems, but though no fault of my own: Maybe we can skip a generation and I'll concentrate on having fun instead? :o)
(, Tue 25 Nov 2008, 7:42, Reply)
NOT the classic C64 game, but a very entertaining family game - vague and oft unpronouncable words are read out and everyone must write either what they KNOW to be its meaning or what they think someone else may chose to be right when all the answers are read out.

This game was played EVERY Monday night, "Dinner at Mum's"

My family are mostly considered somewhat smartish. Then there's Dave. My brother in law. (Check out what he's like with his tourette's on the CRAZY RELATIVES QOTW)
Dave's as clever as blunt trauma injury.

One of his classics was Pandaculation. An old chestnut that now gets hauled out at every conceivable family outing. His answer to this was, "an Ejaculating Panda"

Yeah, bravo Dave.... Needless to say, he never won.

A couple of years later we were playing this game with an ex's Navy brother. The word of the moment was Fluglebinder. Guess who not only KNEW what the word was, but at one of his worldly ports-of-call had actually "dated" a girl whose job it was to "apply the plastic sleeve at the end of shoelaces"

WINNAR - Yes, had once dated a fluglebinder-binder.
(, Tue 25 Nov 2008, 7:16, 5 replies)
Tea Towels
I had a bizarre encounter as a wee Gibbon.

My family have and always will call a tea towel a tea towel. Nothing wrong with that at all.

When I was in school however I found that several of my friends referred to them as Kitchen Cloths (weird huh?) and proceeded to take the mickey out of my towels with tea on them.

That got me worried- what else had my idiot parents told me the name of which was a complete fabrication of inner circle knowledge?

I lost many hours worrying about that but it turned out toilet roll is also fine by all accounts (I had this horrible idea as a kid that this use of the word "roll" was severely misgiven).
(, Tue 25 Nov 2008, 5:30, 5 replies)
Quality Street
Every Xmas, without fail, we would have a box of Quality Street sit under the tree as soon as it went up. But we were NEVER allowed to open it until after xmas dinner.

There were riots every year.
(, Tue 25 Nov 2008, 5:25, 3 replies)

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