Dysfunction Junction (Or How I Was Almost Shot in the Face Last Christmas)

I should probably be more concerned about Christmas preparation right now, but instead I’m going to a movie tonight (this one or this one) and generally goofing off. However, I will share a Christmas story today in the spirit of the holidays.

Although it can be tough to appreciate the humor in the heat of the moment, I seem to be a magnet for situations that are genuinely weird, publicly humiliating, or flat-out bizarre. 

Christmas is no exception. In fact, Christmas is in a category all of its own.

Like last Christmas, when I was almost shot in the face.

Background: My father (R.I.P.) grew up in a family with two brothers, only one of whom is still alive. It’s surprising that my surviving uncle is the last one standing, given that he smokes a hookah pipe all day long, has never eaten a vegetable, and basically has every health problem ever described.

He’s 76 now, never married, and lives alone in a house that I will kindly describe as time warped and smoky. Also, to say he is a curmudgeon is a gross understatement. 

He’s had two strokes which have rendered his left arm nonfunctional. The mobility of his right arm isn’t much better, and he uses a cane to get around.

Oh, and he loves guns and other assorted weapons.

Last year, Ever Patient Spouse and I stopped in to check on him at Christmas, since we were back in our hometown and all. It was probably 2 P.M., and I think we woke my uncle up from a nap.

Still, he was happy to see us and invited us in. We chatted a bit, and then asked him about the interesting objet on his coffee table.

Turns out, it was a miniature – and functional – cannon. 

This prompted a turn in our conversation to guns and ammo. My uncle got progressively more excited and told us to wait a minute, then shuffled off to a different part of the house.


When he came back he was holding a huge, long-barreled pistol in his bad arm, supported by his good(ish) arm, and waving it back and forth in our faces.

Spouse and I took one panicked look at each other, decided today wasn’t the day we wanted to die, and high-tailed it out of there.

In the background, we could hear my uncle saying, “Come back, I want to show you my cross bow.”

We took a pass on that one.

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