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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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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)
You utter bastard
you had me right up until the end. I hope last night's curry gives you gut rot!

clicks anyway
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 10:59, closed)
I've already
had a Jonny Cash moment.
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 11:03, closed)
what kind of curry did you have then?
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 11:24, closed)
It's not
your traditional flock wallpaper style curry house. So you don't get your rogan josh and bhunas and stuff.

We had chicken tikka, lamb tikka, paneer tikka, seek kebab and lamb chops to start with, then we shared a Karahi Chicken, Karahi Ghost and a Dry Meat for main along with 8 naan breads.

They put chilli in everything, including the yoghurt sauce.
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 11:31, closed)
I didn't see it until the last line. You're a goddamn ninja!
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 11:01, closed)
Oh Al!



*punches Al in head*

(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 11:02, closed)
I should have known better!

Good one!
(, Thu 27 Nov 2008, 11:06, closed)

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