b3ta.com qotw
You are not logged in. Login or Signup
Home » Question of the Week » Family codes and rituals » Page 16 | Search
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, ... 1

This question is now closed.

A stranger is just a friend you haven't met yet
For reasons which escape me now, my mother has a maternal need when in public to humilate me in front of others.

Naturally over the 21 years of my being this has slowly eroded all traces of self confidence, but in recent years I realised this isn't typical motherly ridicule. Oh no, dearest Mumsie will make eye contact with people passing by, point at me and randomly exclaim such classics as 'well it's not much fault you've put so much weight on'(I'm a foot taller than her, weigh a stone less and am suprisingly under the recommended BMI bollocks)

Every time I'd ask why she does it, I'd get the guilt trip of 'why, are you ashamed of your own mother?' and so on until I feel even worse about myself.

So business continued as normal until a hospital visit the other day to see some family. We're patrolling the echoing result of a cash-starved NHS avoiding the Mrs.A when mother notices a sullen looking old fella shuffling towards her in the opposite direction. Concluding that he needs cheering up in the best way she knows (at my expense), she decides to look him in the face, laugh and proclaim:

'Foxy, you really need to go on a diet, don't you? Doesn't he love?'

Aforementioned old fella, cool as a cucumber and without so much as a blink of hesitation lets out with:

'Leave him alone you chubby tart; he should be ashamed of you'

I was. And she did. The bigest shit eating grin exposed his few remaining teeth as he walked on by proudly.

Well done to you, good sir.

Apologies for lack of funny. My parents were mean to me.
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 13:27, 7 replies)
Milicent's routine.
Milicent was a bit of a daddy's girl who'd been in the office for years, and we'd frankly got bored off her. Unfortunately here Dad was our Boss, so, Millie was to be kept busy.

She was utterly Useless, but being a Geologist consultancy there was lots of boring work to be done. Sand samples for instance.... she had to sort and code samples all the time. This kept her quiet. We'd give her dull tasks to do that weren't too messy, so she could continue to wear her mink and fox stoles. The girl was addicted to fur...

Opposite her at the same desk was usually Richard. They were - against all odds - a couple. He was Metal-head who'd sometimes turn up to work dressed like "Kiss". Legend has it that once an owl flew onto the stage as Rich and his Alice Cooper tribute band were performing and - blinded by the lights and adrenaline - Rich bit it's head off in a tribute to Ozzy Osbourne...

The local rag once ran an article on the odd pair titled...

"Fur-Millie codes sand, Rich chews Owls"

(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 13:23, 7 replies)
Mass assumed stupidity
My wife's family are a very clever lot, erudite and intelligent to a human. However, when I first met them all I was struck by some "agreed non-facts" that they took as gospel. The two that come to mind are:

1. Calling the flamboyant pianist and lady-d'un-certain-age's man "Liber Archie". As though the Liber bit was an honorific. I imagine it would have translated as Free Archie, like Free Willie (he probably would have).

2. The well-known anagram "A man, a plan, a caravan", which would be brought up whenever anagrams were discussed (surprisingly often) and they'd all nod sagely, as if to say, "Yep, that's an anagram all right, ticks all the boxes!"

Funny thing is, they thought I was a bit slow because I didn't "know" these things.

I still don't.

(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 13:21, 6 replies)
*Takes deep breath*…

There’s this woman, right? And…erm…loads of…erm porridge…yeah, that’ll do ...started dripping out of her body…so she extends…erm…the thing on the end of her arm to grab hold of…erm…her 'strange medicine' on the high shelf…a medicine which consists entirely of the fatty juices of lady sheep...

So the headline* was…

‘Female leak oats, hand reach ewe oils’

*When I say 'headline' I mean 'the headline of a desperately sad newspaper on a particularly slow news day'.

(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 12:56, 7 replies)
Family, pfft,
it's just me and Mr Quar and the cats'n'dogs these days.

When one of us humans is in danger of losing an argument or is otherwise put out, we taser each other with whatever electrical or battery instrument is to hand.

TV doofers, mobile phones, electric toothbrushes, wind-up torches, sex toys - all have been used to settle arguments.

No actual pain is inflicted. Rather, the idea is to subdue the other by ending a pointless discussion.

If we're out and no taser can be improvised, or in polite company where symbolic tasering is frowned upon, it is correct to instead make a low 'dzzzzz' sound, hopefully audible only to the tasee.

It is also acceptable to taser unpopular or ugly TV characters.
Pets can be tasered, but only when it's funny, as when A is stroking Cat B and saying 'Ahhh! Look at the kitteh!' and C reaches out a hand but instead of stroking Cat B, skilfully tasers her.

Remember, kids - the family that tasers together, staysers together.
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 12:34, 4 replies)
Interestingly (to me, anyway). Actually, it ain't, but neither are 80% of the inane stories this week.
"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."

My ex is trying to divide up our joint house (where he does not live) on this basis - I choose a price and he decides whether to buy the other half from me or sell the other half to me. I see his point but I don't like it as I don't want to be homeless.

*counts crumbs*
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 12:20, 7 replies)
Right so this one time with my family, we were on a, er, a boat, and my sister slipped on a fish and it went right up her.

Since then we've always re-enacted this Fanny Cod ritual.

Did I mention we were on a boat?
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 12:20, Reply)
Can't be arsed to make up the story but it'd be along the lines of: All you [insert term of abuse here] make me [vomit/angry/want to kick kittens - delete as apropriate]. Well, isn't it SO fortunate you all have lots of happy stories to tell about [insert QOTW topic here]. I don't, so I fail to see why you lot shouldn't suffer. [Insert pithy, witty statement here.] [Insert amusing sex anecdote.] You fucks.
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 12:14, 20 replies)
Can't be arsed to make up the story, but it'd end with:

Farm early cods and wretch oils.
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 12:10, Reply)
Every Third Sunday of the Month
My family gather to discuss BOAT and all BOAT related activities.

Crazy but true.
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 11:54, 22 replies)
I think this QOTW needed more BOAT.
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 11:46, 5 replies)
I think this has been one of the best QOTW's in a while. Can we have another good one next week?

I much prefer it to the procrastination, which I've still not got round to fully reading....what?
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 11:21, Reply)
100% chance of being done...
.. So I'll adopt style of a 'bindun ninja'.

XXXXXX's post reminded me of the exact same game WE used to play too on long car journeys... "Tractor count"


My brother had the red ones and I had the blues ones... and we'd count the ones we saw. .. Later on I developed a penchant for the orange Fiat's and My brother the Green Zetors (love those red wheels) and so on.

Thinking back my dad used to be able to spot them from MILES away.. and funnily he only managed to spot ones that were *really* needed by the one in last place...
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 11:18, Reply)
Are we there yet...?

The end of the QotW I mean...

While we're waiting, let's play 'Who's the first one to see the end of the QotW'?
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 11:07, 1 reply)
I have family
over in America. Georgia I think - somewhere where they shag relatives anyway.

But yes, despite having never met them they insist on sending us a family newsletter every sodding year. But this year - this morning in fact, we did not get a newsletter, oh no. We got a DVD!

And sweet giddy Jesus after a bottle of fizzy pop are they ever hicks. They actually live on a proper farm. The patriarch (some several times removed cousin I guess) is called Lee. The highlight of the year? Hiring two farm hands, both of whom are called Al. Seriously - that was the high point of their year. You should have heard his wife Gladys doing a running commentary:

"Here's farmer Lee wit' two Als!"

Woop woop! End of the QOTW soon!
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 11:03, 2 replies)
Every year in the run up to christmas
my family would assign one of the preceding saturdays to be "Family Hike" day.

Every year we would be awoken at the crack of dawn by my father who would already have got up and dressed himself in his old corduroy trousers that had shrunk in the wash so much you could almost see his knees when he sat down, a faded flannel shirt, a ridiculous looking tweed hat and his hiking boots.

He would dance into your room singing a song, the tune of which would be whatever popped into his head and the lyrics of which would involve the words "up" "get" "hiking" and "going".

Following the inevitable groaning and moaning we would fall out of bed, put on our warm clothes, eat some toast and bundle into the battered brown vauxhall cavalier. We would then be driven down to somewhere on the coast before commencing with "the family hike".

One particular year that sticks in the memory we had achieved a remarkably early start and were on our way across the rolling coastline by 9am. The sun was out and the day was still and though it was the middle of winter (or the very end of autumn if you're going to be pedantic about it) it was a fairly warm day.

So much so that we didn't bother with the usual arctic survival gear that we were normally forced to don by my uber prepared mother.

Of course we were as far away from the car as we were going that day and had just turned around to head home when the first spots of rain were felt, the wind picked up and massive threatening storm clouds rolled across the sky. We were not happy.

We were soon soaked to the skin and, given that me and my sister must have only been about 10 and 12 at this point, in some considerable danger of contracting hypothermia. My mother was raging at my dad for not being prepared, my dad was raging at my mum for the same reason and me and my sister were howling and shivering as we were dragged across the barren landscape.

Things quickly got worse when we realised we were not heading for the car at all, but had got completely lost. By this time the arguments had ceased as mum and dad realised quite how serious the situation was getting, this was pre mobile phone so we had no way of getting help without finding someone to alert to our plight.

Luckily, when it seemed that all hope was lost the small track we were following opened onto a road, at the side of which was a large log building with bright light shining from the windows.

We practically knocked the door down in our haste to get into the warm. The proprietor of the shop could not have been more welcoming. Seeing the state we were in he quickly swapped our sodden clothes for huge padded jackets, sat us down by the electric heaters and gave us musili bars and kendal mint cake to nibble on while he made some tea.

Sam, for that was the name he introduced himself to us by, then went so far as to give us a lift back to our car. It turned out of course that we weren't all that far away but in the rain and wind we had just got confused.

I will always remember looking back at his shop sign as we drove away.

Sammy-Lee: Coats and Victuals.

You fucking love it.
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 10:43, 7 replies)
Poetry and Christmas
Like everybody else, I never really understood how bizarre my family was at the time - it's when you look back that you cringe at some of the inanity you had to put up with as a youngster.

I spent most of my younger years living in Wales in a sizeable farm cottage - the farmer had simply built a (tacky) new house next to the main road and barns, so we were surrounded by fields and fields of his veg. For some reason this made quite an impression on my youngest sister (to be fair, we didn't have a television), who would write all manner of poems about the crops and pin them up all over the house. My parents would encourage her by entering them in competitions etc., but unsurprisingly (to me, at least) her penned tributes to leeks and cauliflowers never really found a fan base.

The other thing that only really struck me later, when I compared my childhood experiences with others, was the epicness with which my mother regarded Christmas. For eleven and a half months we lived a pretty parsimonious life - sweets and chocolate were rare treats used as a reward, most clothes were passed down from sibling to sibling and we never went away on a proper holiday, but every Christmas my mother seemed to be on a personal mission to outdo every Dickens novel and feel-good film. Every room was festooned in decorations, the tree filled half the front room and was practically barricaded by a wall of presents, mulled wine, mince pies and other goodies were on tap, and the dining table would creak under the weight of the Christmas meal. She was a firm believer that there were twelve days of Christmas, so the good times would stretch until Twelfth Night, with presents from the more remote relatives held in reserve so there was always something to open each day. I'm feeling all nostalgic now just thinking about it. Where was I? Oh yes - my childhood. Farm leek odes and rich Yules.
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 10:00, 8 replies)
My Dad and his bloody fish stories…

Every Christmas, while the post dinner sprouts work their festering, gassy magic, the hats from our crackers go all lop-sided on our heads; and our mighty Queen blithers on miserably about her ‘Horrible Anus’… it has become a family tradition to entertain each other with stories and tall tales with which to bemuse, confuse, and hopefully amuse.

The subject matter, however…always has to be fish-related (don’t ask).

Now, being a veritable raconteur in the field of rambling inane bullshittery, you’d think I would be a dab-hand at this malarkey…But oh no, every year I clam up like the shy retiring chap I really am (ahem), and I let my Dad get fuelled up on Tesco Value scotch and entertain the stomach-growling masses with tales that would make Baron Munchausen himself say: “Oh, for fuck’s sake”…

Let me tell you his tale from last year. Gather round children, sit down and get comfy…

In Asia, they eat eels for Christmas dinner. They are considered quite a delicacy and are farmed all year round for the specific purpose of making the dining tables of folk who abide by this rather bizarre tradition.

Amongst the hordes of poor eels, packed into these horrible cramped conditions…was Lee. He was special, and had evolved to be far superior to those around him… for he knew was intelligent enough to realise his fate…

And he wasn’t very fucking happy about it.

Lee decided that it was time to get some support. He rallied round, and being skilled in fish-to-fish conversation and persuasion, soon managed to muster the support of a few thousand others. They were ready for revolution!

But as I mentioned – Lee wasn’t stupid. I mean, what good could a rampaging army of eels really do against their erstwhile captors? No, they were going to rely on the good old Legal & Justice system.

They formed a company, and Lee being a bit of an egotist, he named it after himself…

They immediately set about creating the legal documentation with which to earn not only their freedom, but a bit of compensation for their suffering.

Unfortunately, as you can imagine, it’s a bit difficult to actually write the appropriate confirmation of legal action when you’re an eel. But again Lee came up with a cunting cunning plan…

They would make a huge tray…fill it with sand, and squirm about in it, thusly creating the correct wordage that was required…before delivering the tray containing the detail of the summons therein to the elitist humans who had enslaved them and forced them into this treacherous life.

But what about the compensation package? What could they ask for? I mean, money is pretty fucking useless when you’re an eel…especially with the current economic climate (of which Lee was more than aware). But once again, our hero came up with the solution.

“We shall sue them for precious stones” Roared Lee to his fellow captives. “Rubies, emeralds – the whole fucking shebang! That way, we will be able to buy ourselves whatever we want…they will be a sound financial investment for our futures…

and they look all pretty and twinkly too

And so it was done. The company spent weeks…painstakingly scrawling away in the sand, creating the legal order and posting it to the owner of the farm.

Upon receiving the mysterious tray with writing on it…the farmer gazed in wonder…and then burst out laughing. “What the fucking hell is this?” He chortled. “Who the bloody hell expects a tray of sand with ‘Let-us-out-and-give-us-lots-of-diamonds-and-stuff-or-we-will-sue-U’ written on it, to stand up in court? Fucking stupid twatty eels!”

And with that, he promptly fucked the tray back into the water, killed all the eels, sold them and made a hefty profit, before making a point of having Lee for his own Christmas dinner.

He was delicious.

So I’m sorry children, but this story does not have a happy ending. Nonetheless, it is the sad tale of : Farm eel ‘Lee Co’ does sand writ jewels…
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 9:16, 8 replies)
Vietnamese Cyclo Driver
My current girlfriend is Vietnamese. Her parents still live in Vietnam and are very traditional. They are lovely people, very humble and accommodating. They don’t have a lot of money. The family business has been as owner-drivers of a cyclo: one those three wheeled bicycle things where people sit in the back and get taken around in a human powered taxi. They have been doing it for generations and the same contraption has been passed down from great-grandfather to grandfather to father to son and no doubt this will continue. Apparently there is great ceremony and pomp associated with handing the business to the offspring. After all it is a family rickshaw.
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 8:05, 9 replies)
Are we nearly there yet?
As a young Sunburnt Cub going on long car journeys inevitably the question of "Are we nearly there?" would be asked by me or my bro and my parents had fairly default answers:

My mum (ever the optimist) would tell us that yes we were just around the corner and would be there in no time!

My dad (ever the pessimist or possibly just a realist) would explain that we were hours/miles/ages/eons away!

Usually these answers came at the same time, we didn't know who to trust and in time just stopped asking... which probably means my parents won.
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 3:05, 1 reply)
Oh, and also on the weekly seaside trips, it was who would spot the watertower first, (at Hatfield on the way to Hornsea, or the one at Halsham going to With.) or the lighthouse at Withernsea (which is inland I might add).
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 1:53, Reply)
seaside woes
Every Sunday afternoon in-season (maybe late March through to late Sept) we would go on a 'run out to the seaside', unless there was a hurricane or there was "summat up with the car", usually because my dad would buy 12 year old Vauxhall Vivas. It alternated on a weekly basis between Withernsea and Hornsea.

The routine would start with paying 20p to park in the carpark. Get out the car, get dragged around the market, which was always packed and basically involved lots of shuffling past people, which when your 7, is no fun at all.

Finally exit market having bought nothing (as happened every week). Head back past the bemusement arcades, which were decidedly antiquated even then. In fact the whole town looked like one of those small slips of paper you get in a stick of rock, which usually shows a seaside scene taken in the 1950s.

Mum would give me 50p, which I would take to the change-lady (who always looked piss-miserable) who would exchange it for a coin-bag full of pennies, which I would go funnel into one-arm bandits and other penny slot-machines. I think the most modern arcade game they had was Monaco GP, Pong, and the table version of Space Invaders, but they needed 5p, and I only had pennies.

Leave the bemusements, go on beach. Help my dad shift two hundredweight of pebbles, stones and cobbles into the sea.

Leave beach, buy hotdog and/or chips, visit the toilet, go sit in car.

Crack open flask of tea. Drink tea, sit in car listening to an country & western compilation 8-track cartridge. Go home.

There's nothing as British as going to the seaside and sitting in the car. The sad part of it is that you couldn't see the sea from the carpark.
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 1:46, 2 replies)
My parents
"Put the kettle on"

"It won't suit me"


and now my wife has started saying it
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 0:45, 5 replies)
Stealing the Christmas Tree


And btw, it *is* true about the helicopter. It's unlikely, sounds unbelievable but true.
(, Wed 26 Nov 2008, 23:54, 2 replies)
Fucked if I've got any remotely amusing anecdotes, but...
wtf is with the GoogleAd?

Anal Fistula Information.

Facing anal fistula surgery? You do Not need it. See New Treatment info

Holy fuckery fucks. That advert truly came from the very edge of fucky bum boo boo.
(, Wed 26 Nov 2008, 23:29, 3 replies)
Broken. Twisted. Hopefully soon forgotten.
So many stories of family traditions that should warm the heart. So many stories of quirks that are endearing to those related to them. So many stories of functional families.

I was thinking the other day to see if I could find any memories of family things when I was still living in England. And you know what? I can't. All the memories I can easily remember are related to various geekeries (old Acorn and C64, or Laputa).

Looking back to the time when my family still all lived in the same house in England, I can't remember any so-called traditions. I don't remember what we did at Christmas and other similar events in the year, I don't have any memories of any events in the household.

Up until Christmas 2003 or 2004, the whole family would descend on my Grandparent's house for the big day. We'd open all our presents and have a sort of "normal" day eating too much and the younger people being banished to the front room with toys whilst the adults had the middle room.

2005 and 2006 were when the cracks started appearing. It was just immediate family at the house (granparents, one cousin, my uncle, my mum, an "aunt" and me). If that doesn't sound like just immediate family to you, I already know that godsdammit! If you were to look at the family tree, it would look more like a mangrove thicket. Kinda. That's just the Discworld nut in me coming through.

Ahem. Anyway, moving swiftly on...

Last year, at about this time, things started to come to a head. All the effedupness and tensions which I knew absolutely NOTHING about, gods bless my Mum for that, exploded shortly after New Year. The family unit in my grandparents' house dissolved and I didn't know why.

After my Gran moved out she decided, in her infinite wisdom, to tell me some of the detail. Damned if I know why. I still wish I didn't know.

My uncle told me some more. I wish he hadn't.

I thought a lot about the situation with my parent's divorce and my Mum leaving the family unit as soon as she got the chance after reaching Scotland. That frightens me. I didn't want to think about that.

I thought about my other aunts leaving as soon as they got the chance. I know why now, and dammit I wish I didn't.

If anyone on here knows me (doubtful I know), don't let on. Please. I didn't ask to know about this. I didn't want to know about this. And everything I remember, and granted that's not much, from my childhood and the more recent past is tainted FOREVER.

And yes, I know there are some stories seriously more effed up than what I've just told. And I've been light on the detail on purpose.
(, Wed 26 Nov 2008, 23:07, Reply)
At the cinema
...with my mum, we would always arrive early so we could watch ALL the trailers. Then when the light's dimmed at the end of the trailers she would get up as if to leave and say "Well that was good wasn't it?" Every. Single. Time. For the past 20 or so years.

Ok so I may have fell for it the first time (being wee) but the jokes on her now as she can't stand up on her own. So I get to do it.

Hmm... actually revenge isn't as sweet as I expected.
(, Wed 26 Nov 2008, 22:05, 1 reply)
Animal army
Every Sunday my dad would break out the plastic animals and dinosaurs. We had trolls, plastic men, creatures, monsters and many other plastic toys collected over the years.

We would split our family into two teams and choose animals to be in our army. We would then organise them into strongest and weakest and strategically place them in lines.

Out came the wobbly golf ball and the war was struck. We would play this every sunday. My dad found the animals in the loft and we are playing again over xmas.
(, Wed 26 Nov 2008, 21:43, 1 reply)
When I was a Sparklet
When I was a little Sparklet, we used to have a lot of fun, despite (or possibly because) Money was sometimes a bit tight. The best was the "Wild" the three of us (My two younger brothers and I) used to all throw ourselves onto my dad in the hallway on a Sunday evening, for a "Wild".. I think the idea was to tire us out for bath/story/bed time on a Sunday night. But it was brilliant! We could hurl ourselves at the auld fella continually, and he would fend us off as best he could. Which was pretty good as it goes, since he would have been about 30 and still playing footy at weekends. The only rule was "If anyone cries then we have to stop" which meant a lot of time hugging my littlest bro really hard and saying "Don't cry A****, Don't cry A***" And he'd breathe really hard and then re-join the fray..

Luckily as my own children grew, my Dad was still very much able to play "wild" with my little Sparklets, and I am very thankful that he continues in very good health.

However, as time went along, my parents divorced, and to say it was acrimonous would be the understatement of the decade, it made the McCartney divorce look like the blithering Waltons! As a result, neither of my brothers have spoken to my Dad for the last 14 years. My Dad has a beautiful talkative new granddaughter who he's never met, and I just know she'd love a game of wild with her Granddad..

I hate my brothers sometimes...And now I've just decided who I'm spending Christmas with!
(, Wed 26 Nov 2008, 19:48, Reply)

This question is now closed.

Pages: Latest, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, ... 1