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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, ... 1

This question is now closed.

I have a traditional Scottish Grandmother
This means she has a tardis in one of her kitchen cupboards that contains a warehouse full of shortbread, teabags, Embassy No1, IRNBRU, Lochanoa and stovies.

The ritual is how every time anyone visits this 84 year old woman who can't walk to the shops, she leaps from her chair and brings out a plate of shortbread and a pot of tea, lights a fag and starts pumping out gossip.

'Bairns' are given IRNBRU and shortbread.

'Eld doddery folk like me' might be offered a blast on the Lochanoa at Easter or Christmas.

She still has the odd joint to help with the 'arthritis'. I don't believe a word of it personally.

She is brilliant and I love her.
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 18:57, Reply)
We love Halloween.
We cover the front of the house in inflatable skeletons and pumpkins, fill the front window with battery-powered lanterns and plastic skulls and stick a load of chocolate and 20p pieces into an old jam pan - sorry, cauldron.

Then I dress up as a witch and we wait for the little monsters to knock at the door.

I open it and pretend to be afraid of the visitors, then play some little tricks on them, such as asking them to name what colour my 'crystal ball' is. As it's really a spherical colour-change lamp, they get it wrong and we all laugh.

When they're all feeling jolly I say, now you're all really scary, but there aren't any REAL devils here, are there?

And just then Mr Quar appears behind me in his horrific devil mask, and the braver ones point and say there! There! and the younger and more timid ones leg it down the path.

After all this the kids get to put a hand in the cauldron and grab some sweets and change.

We usually have a queue down the drive. Great fun.
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 18:11, Reply)
A Christmas one
As kids, my sister and I used to love looking at the presents under the tree to try and guess what they were. It was mystifying enough when we were little, but as we got older it became silly. CDs, Roses boxes and clothes were the easiest ones to tell. Our Mum started moaning that we were taking all the fun out of it.

One year she had a brainwave. As Christmas presents started to accumulate under the tree we did our usual ritual of guessing what everything was. However when the family presents appeared on Christmas morning we were stumped. All of them were lumpy and odd shaped and strangely squashy.

It turned out she had padded everything up with newspaper - and not only that, she had added extra rolled up balls of newspaper to confuse us.

The stakes were then up to disguise the presents for the following year, and it escalated to include little capsules filled with rice to make something rattle, toilet rolls and plastic bags to make something crinkly.

I'm 20 now but I can't tell what any of my family presents are before I open them and it brings back some of the childish excitement of Christmas for me.
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 18:07, Reply)
In my family
It's customary for all of us to huddle around a monitor on a Thursday afternoon, repeatedly pressing F5, dying a little of disappointment every time the page refreshes, only to find that the QOTW hasn't changed.

Then we usually put all of our car keys in a punch bowl, and head upstairs. Fingers crossed it's my Mum again tonight, Nana has cold hands.

because she's dead
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 17:31, 3 replies)
Christmas Time
My family started a ritual a while ago at christmas time, where we travelled around the area in the car to look at all the christmas lights and decorations around the town.

One year i was in my pyjamas ready to go to bed and suddenly it was sprung upon me that we were going to look at the christmas lights that night, so me being a lazy fucker got in the car in my pj's, with a pillow and duvet to keep myself warm.

Now the ritual involves a dress code. We all have to wear our pyjamas especially for the occasion.

(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 16:41, 2 replies)
We have a strange ritual in our house.
Every Thursday afternoon, we go on the internet and post "Last?" on an obscure messageboard that we frequent.

I don't know why. I've never quite worked it out.


John B3ta.
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 16:41, Reply)
Oooh, one last one...
... whenever my girlfriend or I are cooking something with mushrooms, and we take out a mushroom from the "work in progress" to taste it, you must make the Mario power-up mushroom noise.
... and if it tastes really good, run around the kitchen singing the "bonus level" music.
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 15:48, 4 replies)
Silence after 9pm
And miggyman runs in with this storming late entry.

All week I was trying to figure out if our family had a ritual, as I didnt think it did. But then of course I remembered.

My very light sleeping father. Youre talking the sort of light sleeper where if someone dropped a feather a 100 miles away, it'd wake him up.

As he had to be up at 4am for work, he would go to bed really early. So after 9pm, it was silence time. Well not quite, but certinatly low voices, no banging.

I have learned to be able to do anything in darkness, as we couldnt put any lights on upstairs when we went to bed. You see our doors had a frosted glass pane above them, so any lights would shine through.. and you guessed it, would disturb my father.

There was also no toilet flushing. If its yellow let it mellow, if its brown.. let it drown.

Thats right, there were many a mornings, where id walk into the bathroom to find a couple of stale turds thats been left soaking overnight because, we were unable to flush the damned bog. Grrr.

Whats wrong with cotton wool in your ears and an eye mask eh? Fuck sakes.
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 15:33, 7 replies)
Since we moved to our house in June, my bf and I have a silly bedtiems thing where one of us will take the knob off the upstairs banister and put it on/under the other one's pillow without them realising til they get into bed. It never fails to raise a giggle as we are actually 5. His name is Knobby the Knob and is referred to as such, or Knobby for short.

We also have family traditions at Christmas that are fairly run of the mill, like keeping hold of craptastic tree decorations from the 70s onwards so we end up with quite an interesting collection on the tree, like deccies through the ages. My mum will always tie a new one to our main present and then we add it to the collection. It always seems to be me who puts the bloody things on the tree though as my brother has the attention span of a gnat and usually does two then buggers off out somewhere.

Oh and fish and chips are "fishychips" and battered sausage is always said in Chinese accent with as few consonants as possible.

And disabled people are always "Timmys", said in a slightly "Timmah" way. I think we're going to Hell...
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 15:28, 1 reply)

(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 15:25, 6 replies)
*checks bottom of barrel*…

*Finds something*


It’s a little known fact that Althegeordie, (when he’s not bullying and attention seeking), likes nothing more than to hang around with his two cousins…who just so happen to also be called Al.

Both of his cousins are wealthy, and of the Yiddish faith…but they have an enemy, a nemesis if you will, who lives over the road from them.

His name is Ali, and his guitar strumming skills have made him famous, bringing him money and celebrity, and I’m afraid to say it’s gone to his head. He even insists on being called ‘Fame’

Well, one day, Al’s cousins decided they’d had enough of Ali, and, being celebrated strummers themselves, they challenged Ali to a ‘Hanukkah Duelling banjos’ competition…the rule being whoever lost would leave the street…….forever.

Several hours of rampant string plucking later, Ali found that he could no longer put the notes together on the fretboard. With that, he conceded defeat, packed his bags and fucked off, never to be seen again.

And that is the story of...


Guess the punchline.

(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 14:58, 5 replies)
This week and last week's questions combined
When I was a kid my parents had a strict rule that you couldn't have milk in a plastic container, so if you had a drink of milk or some on your cereal it had to be in a non-plastic cup, bowl etc. (I don't think you could get milk in plastic cartons then - the 70s - I only remember it being in glass bottles, which you hardly ever see now.)

Anyway, it was one of those things you just do without question and it wasn't until I was in my 30s that I discovered no one else had ever heard of this practice and it seems to have been confined to my family. I've always drunk lots of milk but even now, at 41, have only had it in a plastic cup once, and I had to force myself to do it just to prove I could. (I asked the 'rents about this recently and they said it was because plastic is quite porous and as milk is a 'living' thing which can go off quite spectacularly, if you didn't clean the cup/bowl/whatever scrupulously you might get food poisoning. So plastic containers - like milk cartons - which you don't keep don't matter because the milk will still be fresh when it's in there, but plastic things you keep and reuse over time shouldn't be used in case they harbour deadly decaying milkness. Got that?)

My brother and I thought we were alone in the world with this until I went to see the band Underworld (the "shouting lager, lager, lager" lot) last year. They have a song called Moaner which came out in the mid-90s (was on the soundtrack to one of the Batman films, fact fans). I've seen them quite a few times over the years and listened to that song many, many times, but without paying proper attention to the lyrics. I was very distracted by the singer's fab sparkly top but suddenly realised that part of the song goes: ".....I am the hunger above your town/A little sound in a little amp/I am dubious hard metal I am stainless/I am milk in your plastic"!! Yes, a kindred spirit!

I've not been on B3TA for a couple of weeks due to being super busy at work and was just reading the QOTW about procrastination before seeing what this week's question was. I thought at the moment of realisation I should try and find out where that line comes from. It's only been brewing in my tiny mind for about a year, so now's the time to act. I just have to sit back and work out at my leisure how I'm going to find out what the sparkly man was trying to say.
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 14:49, 1 reply)
I have had 56 sisters during my lifetime
My parents sacrificed them all to Satan when they reached the age of 4.

A little harsh but then because of it I am fabulously wealthy and powerful in ways most humans could never comprehend so meh *shrugs*

Plus I have this fucking awesome flaming sword, proper horns (I sneer at childish body modifications) and a set of hidden wings to fly around on.
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 14:37, 2 replies)
Fire retarded
One more before my lunch break is over...

When I was a wee nipper of only 4 or so, we took our bi-yearly family holiday to Dorset (we're peasants), and having a bladder the size of a small acorn at the time I urgently required lavatorial attention before I ruptured.

Pulling into the service station, which given the moment in history resembled more of a cornershop than anything else, mother went on her way to secure supplies while I was left to my own devices to find the aforementioned shitter (did I mention my mother has parenting problems?). Much like the McCanns' dinner date at the tapas bar, all hell managed to break loose due to a lack of what should be legally-enforced parental supervision.

I'd found the foam fire extuingisher. It had a big label saying 'Do Not Squeeze'. I mentioned I was 4 years old, right? Remember the end of Ghostbusters where the city is covered in the remains of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man? I made that look like a minor spillage. In my childish stupidity I had given every overpriced sandwich and pointless postcard within 10 metres a pearl necklace and got an utter hiding when mother found me throwing foam at customers. The damage costs cut our holiday short by a whole week.

The family ritual now? I'm not allowed near fire retardants. I'm 21.
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 14:09, Reply)
the cinema
my clan would invariably arrive for any film a good half hour before the trailers even started (to get good seats, apparently). now back in the day, it was more customary for cinemas to have grand old red curtains (particularly at the Canon in Salford Quays). Cue the extra half hour being passed by commenting on how good 'Red Curtains 7' was, with full running commentary of what was happening in the 'movie' for the amusement of my Dad.
If myself or my sister are in a cinema with a red curtain to this day, we keep it alive.
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 14:02, Reply)
As a kid, my grandparents used to take my sister and myself on caravanning holidays. Generally only as far as the New Forest, but for about 5 years we went to a Haven site in Devon. Now my sister could travel fine. I, however, just had to look at the car to be a monumental fountain of breakfast in reverse, and frequent stops would have to be made.

So our ritual, wherever we drive, someone has to point out 'Sandy was sick there'. There must be about 20 locations between Portsmouth and Devon, scattered throughout the countryside. It's been over 10 years since we last went on a holiday, but they still get to remind me of this, and enjoy it.
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 13:54, Reply)

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