Family Ties

I’m scared of my family: Not only do they judge the harshest, they’re always wrong.      ~ V. Shnodgrate

The fellow across from me was the sort of fellow that you shouldn’t have speaks with.

But I did anyway.

What’s the worst that could happen, see?

“So,” I began. “Good to meet you, the sudden.”

He looked up from that square device in his hands. “Umm…you too.”

Then he looked back down. This would be hardly hard. And maybe hardly worth it.

“Look here,” I began. “Are you having speaks with someone?”

“Uhh…” He glanced up for a second, then smiled shyly. “I’m texting with my girlfriend.”

“Oh. What’s she saying?”

He shot me a look.

“Not your business!”

“Quite right,” this professor said. “But if that was the case I don’t know why you started talking to me.”

“Haha, you started talking to me first.”

“Really? I can’t recall. But that’s because I’ve got a bad memory. You’ll understand when you get my age.”

He looked me up and down. Must’ve liked the shoes, I suspect.

“I’m already your age, or older.”

“Can’t be true,” I said. “If you were my age, you wouldn’t have a girlfriend, you’d have a wife.”

I didn’t mean anything by it, but this fellow instantly supposed I did.

“Would you just leave me alone? We’ve been dating for some time is all.”

“Do you have any cousins?” I asked.

Sometimes, changing the subject is like starting afresh. Sometimes. Not in this case, apparently.

“Huh?!”

He still wasn’t looking at me.

“I’ve got two uncles younger than myself, I think. And I just saw them, too, at a water balloon get together.”

Now the professor wasn’t lying, but that definitely fetched this fellow.

He just laughed—would you believe!

“Dude,” he said, “families can be strange. Just last week my sister wanted to date a tree.”

The professor did the only thing possible:

I stood and left.

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141 Responses to “Family Ties”


  1. 1 Simply Skeptical May 6, 2015 at 18:27

    Too funny Sir! Just when I think you couldn’t get funnier you do!!! (Laughing hard) Why not marry a tree if you love em anyway!?

    • 2 Professor VJ Duke May 7, 2015 at 18:56

      Very true. And Mr. John had a great point. Trees are frustrated beings overall–’cause they can’t move.

  2. 3 erinkenobi2893 May 5, 2015 at 19:54

    I’d rather marry a tree, sometimes. But you’re right. Family is strange.
    Lucy and I were wondering… since you’re a master of dramatic entrances… would you mind giving an exclusive class on how to make a dramatic entrance? Perhaps at Old College? ;-)

    • 4 Professor VJ Duke May 7, 2015 at 18:42

      You mean, like teach a class how to do that? That’s sounds wonderful!

      • 5 erinkenobi2893 May 8, 2015 at 12:45

        Yes, indeed! :-D It would be awesome!

      • 6 Professor VJ Duke May 10, 2015 at 19:05

        I’m a professor after all, see.

      • 7 erinkenobi2893 May 10, 2015 at 20:17

        A professor in all things awesome. X-D

      • 8 Professor VJ Duke May 13, 2015 at 19:40

        *bows* I appreciate it.

      • 9 erinkenobi2893 May 13, 2015 at 21:25

        :-D

  3. 10 Lady Dunamis May 5, 2015 at 16:46

    You are starting to sound like Mr. R. I am scared for you….

    • 11 Professor VJ Duke May 5, 2015 at 19:45

      *bangs head on desk* Nooooo! Don’t say that. That’s awful!

  4. 12 Julie Harris May 5, 2015 at 11:40

    Conversing with someone who is texting is always tricky…

    • 13 Professor VJ Duke May 5, 2015 at 19:44

      It is. Julie, next time you’re faced with that problem…knock that dadblamed phone out of their hands!

      • 14 erinkenobi2893 May 5, 2015 at 19:54

        I shall make sure to try that next time. ^_^

      • 15 Professor VJ Duke May 7, 2015 at 18:42

        Let me know how it goes, too, please.

      • 16 erinkenobi2893 May 8, 2015 at 12:44

        I will X-D

      • 17 Professor VJ Duke May 10, 2015 at 19:05

        *bows*

      • 18 erinkenobi2893 May 10, 2015 at 20:17

        X-D

  5. 19 John W. Howell May 4, 2015 at 22:25

    Trees have feelings too.

    • 20 Professor VJ Duke May 6, 2015 at 00:28

      But what sort of feelings?

      • 21 John W. Howell May 6, 2015 at 00:49

        Think how frustrating it would be to be in one spot your whole life. That sort of feeling.

      • 22 Professor VJ Duke May 7, 2015 at 18:47

        *laughing too much* Now, the sudden, I do feel for them. Perhaps, they like getting made into firewood then?

      • 23 John W. Howell May 7, 2015 at 20:47

        Only till it’s time to meet the match.

      • 24 Professor VJ Duke May 10, 2015 at 19:00

        That will scare everyone equally, I’m thinking.

  6. 25 Angeline M May 4, 2015 at 21:57

    I’ll have to remember these kinds of speaks next party I go to. I’ll quickly clear the circle around me, and possibly the entire party. You were very restrained I must say given your recent goings on.

    • 26 Professor VJ Duke May 5, 2015 at 19:40

      Do you suppose I should’ve slugged him? I was close, you know, you know.

      • 27 Angeline M May 5, 2015 at 20:47

        I know.

      • 28 Professor VJ Duke May 7, 2015 at 18:44

        You do?

  7. 29 Heartafire May 4, 2015 at 21:50

    I guess that is what they mean by “tree huggers”. I enjoy it when strangers approach me with odd questions, it happens all the time.

    • 30 Professor VJ Duke May 5, 2015 at 19:39

      Does it really? Now, why’s this?

    • 31 Heartafire May 5, 2015 at 20:58

      I work at the DOT.

      • 32 Professor VJ Duke May 7, 2015 at 18:45

        Is it fun?

      • 33 Heartafire May 7, 2015 at 20:00

        I don’t know, I lied. I don’t work there.

      • 34 Professor VJ Duke May 10, 2015 at 18:59

        I knew it! You…I should throw a water balloon at you!!

      • 35 Heartafire May 10, 2015 at 19:51

        I deserve that and more, 40 lashes with a wet noodle at the very least.

      • 36 Professor VJ Duke May 13, 2015 at 19:33

        *laughing* But that might hurt!

      • 37 Heartafire May 13, 2015 at 19:44

        I doubt you will feel a thing.

      • 38 Professor VJ Duke May 13, 2015 at 19:56

        Unless it’s a thick noodle!

      • 39 Heartafire May 13, 2015 at 19:57

        umm, well in that case you might, enjoy!

      • 40 Professor VJ Duke May 13, 2015 at 19:59

        I’ll just eat it!

      • 41 Heartafire May 13, 2015 at 19:59

        would you like some “lashes” with that?

      • 42 Professor VJ Duke May 15, 2015 at 15:41

        Now what is a lash? A fake eye lash?

      • 43 Heartafire May 15, 2015 at 15:41

        it’s a good spanking! or bad one.

      • 44 Professor VJ Duke May 15, 2015 at 15:54

        Yes, no such thing as a good spanking, I hear.

      • 45 Heartafire May 15, 2015 at 15:56

        No, there is not such thing a good spanking, repeat after me.

      • 46 Professor VJ Duke May 16, 2015 at 18:21

        There is not such thing as a good spanking. Unless you have a book between you and the paddle. Now that was a fun thing to do.

      • 47 Heartafire May 16, 2015 at 18:26

        Yes, the books would well, though I never got a spanking, that’s why I’m spoiled rotten.

      • 48 Professor VJ Duke May 18, 2015 at 21:39

        *laughs* Well…now that is an interest, madam!

  8. 49 Nancy Loderick May 4, 2015 at 21:45

    Well Professor,

    You are a friendlier sort than I. I see those texting folks coming straight at me, with their heads down. I deliberately stop and don’t move out of the way, waiting to see if they will run right into me. So far, they’ve managed to look up from their stupid square phones and avoid a collision.

    Perhaps I shall now try your approach and start talking to them. :)

    Nancy

    • 50 Professor VJ Duke May 5, 2015 at 19:39

      *Laughing lots and lots* Nancy! That’s inspired. I must needs try this! I will try this. And hope they don’t trip on me, of course.

  9. 51 desertdweller29 May 4, 2015 at 20:58

    Some people can be so wooden. Not the Professor though! I do want to hear about this water ballon get together. I happen to be an expect in water ballon ambush. I’m a quick tier. Lightning fast. I once took down the whole neighborhood.

    • 52 Professor VJ Duke May 5, 2015 at 19:39

      Seriously? I struggle with tying! What is the secret?

      • 53 desertdweller29 May 5, 2015 at 20:55

        I’d tell you, but then I’d have to blast you with one.

      • 54 Professor VJ Duke May 7, 2015 at 18:44

        Well, as long as your miss. Are you a good shot?

  10. 55 walt walker May 4, 2015 at 16:06

    I would have punched him at some point. Not sure when.

    • 56 Professor VJ Duke May 4, 2015 at 20:04

      Well, if you would’ve punched him soon as you sat…you could have avoided the whole thing.

  11. 57 Louis from VA May 4, 2015 at 16:04

    That got weird quickly… Hope he wasn’t purposefully trying to make you leave.

    • 58 Professor VJ Duke May 4, 2015 at 20:04

      I bet the dadblamed beast was! Do you suppose I should’ve wrestled him to the ground?

      • 59 Louis from VA May 10, 2015 at 19:24

        He probably wasn’t worth it.

      • 60 Professor VJ Duke May 13, 2015 at 19:32

        *nods* Quite right.

  12. 61 Debbie May 4, 2015 at 15:27

    Poor Professor. You really did start the conversation with the texting man, you know. He doesn’t seem a disagreeable sort, merely preoccupied with his phone. However, his sister seems suspect — trees have their good points (and I suspect their refusal to have speaks is one of them!), but the poor girl must have been cruelly wounded to prefer their company to that of another human! Once again, I love Schnoddy’s wit — and he’s truer than even he knows, ha!

    • 62 Professor VJ Duke May 4, 2015 at 20:03

      Yes, I know. Well, I was interested to see if I could interest him away from the phone. Dadblame phone!

      *laughs* Very good point about trees. But sometimes, their bark peels. Imagine that mess, would you. Do you suppose he was lying about his sister?

  13. 63 Princess Kick-ass May 4, 2015 at 14:40

    LOL I absolutely loved this. I dare say it was your most hilarious piece to date!

    • 64 Professor VJ Duke May 4, 2015 at 20:02

      Thanks so much! Do you suppose I should’ve punched the chap?

      • 65 Princess Kick-ass May 4, 2015 at 20:14

        Absolutely, though the information he provided did prove to be most appalling.

      • 66 Professor VJ Duke May 5, 2015 at 19:33

        *nods* I know! You know, I do wish I could have spied on what he was texting about. I doubt he was speaking with his girlfriend like he said he was!

  14. 67 Susan P May 4, 2015 at 13:45

    The professor is fortunate that the person had spoken to him. When I am buried in a book the house burn down and I would just get out the marshmallows to roast them without hearing someone telling me to get out of the house.

    • 68 Professor VJ Duke May 4, 2015 at 20:02

      *laughing* Every book? Or just Eragon and the Princess of Mars?

      • 69 Susan P May 4, 2015 at 20:31

        Any good book. I once started some hot water in the sink to wash dishes and wandered off and picked up a book. The next thing I knew, there was a river right through the hallway. My mother was … um… unhappy..

      • 70 Professor VJ Duke May 5, 2015 at 19:38

        *laughing* Well, I hope you made a good defensive case, though. Books are a good excuse. Imagine it flooding, though! Susan!

      • 71 Susan P May 5, 2015 at 22:57

        It was the worst punishment ever. She took away my books. If school had not begun the next day I don’t know what I would have done.

      • 72 Professor VJ Duke May 7, 2015 at 18:46

        Goodness! Took away the books? She should only have taken P&P away.

      • 73 Susan P May 7, 2015 at 19:01

        Well, as it turned out, school started the next day….

      • 74 Professor VJ Duke May 7, 2015 at 19:02

        And you went to the library.

      • 75 Susan P May 7, 2015 at 19:06

        It was hard to write essays without books to research your term papers.

      • 76 Professor VJ Duke May 10, 2015 at 18:55

        You should have rioted.

      • 77 Susan P May 13, 2015 at 00:24

        Is Smiles available to give lessons?

      • 78 Professor VJ Duke May 13, 2015 at 19:54

        He’d be horrible at it, don’t you suppose?

      • 79 Susan P May 13, 2015 at 20:49

        I don’t know…he’s a dark horse.

      • 80 Professor VJ Duke May 15, 2015 at 15:45

        Like the professor.

      • 81 Susan P May 16, 2015 at 21:16

        You are a horse? I’ve been talking to a horse? Do you know Mr. Ed?

      • 82 Professor VJ Duke May 18, 2015 at 21:42

        Am not neither a horse! But I know of that chap, yes.

      • 83 Susan P May 19, 2015 at 00:48

        Do you now? Of course you are ancient, so why not!

      • 84 Professor VJ Duke May 19, 2015 at 20:16

        I’m older than…everyone I can think of.

      • 85 Susan P May 19, 2015 at 20:30

        *nods wisely*

  15. 86 Audrey Dawn - Oldest Daughter Redheaded Sister May 4, 2015 at 13:32

    You know, this is eerily similar to one of our very first conversations! *laughing* Not really, but could have been, you know. Your memory is soooo bad you’d forget if you were married. Ba da dum! *ching* I like when we get to read about your conversations. You always paint yourself in such an approachable light, Duke. I don’t know what you have against cell phones. Have you gotten one yet? Do people marry at your age? Kind of one of those “one last hurrah” moments we read about. I’ve known a few trees worthy of my hand. I don’t see a problem with it. The way I see it I’d always have a lap to sit on. Shnoddy should write a very stern letter to my family, maybe it would help.

    • 87 Professor VJ Duke May 4, 2015 at 20:02

      *laughing* Now how could I forget something that important? (That little saying is an interest.) I hope I’m approachable. But sometimes I’m a bit stand-offish, unless someone’s starting having speaks with me. I’m friendly and mean at the same time. *laughs* Okay…so I have a tracphone of sorts. Cell phones are…well…see, I do a lot of stuff on the internet, and the idea of having that always available is scary. I mean, I like to escape. Plus, I can’t be tracked, see.

      Oh yes, I’m far too old to be married. The girls run from me.

      Well…I’ll ask him if you want.

      • 88 Audrey Dawn - Oldest Daughter Redheaded Sister May 4, 2015 at 22:37

        *smiles brightly* Okay, maybe you’d remember being married. I’d feel bad for your wife if you did forget. Poor woman. (Tell me why? And which one, Sir.) Oh you are approachable. Like a cute teddy bear. You stand-offish? Nooo!! Me, too. I’m always suspicious. *stern look*

        Nothing wrong with needing to escape. You don’t have to look at the phone. That’s usually my attempt at seclusion. What is a tracphone? I knew you were a cop!! You must have a computer glued to your stomach, so you can multitask. Who would track you? You must know vicious people, Duke. Be careful. Could you wipe out my spammers and trolls while you’re at it? I’m tired of them. *cries*

        Too old? What a pity. No they don’t. I saw the parade just last week.

        No, I’m okay, but thanks.

  16. 89 PorterGirl May 4, 2015 at 13:20

    Stellar proverb from Schnodgrate today, it must be said. And a wonderful little tale all round, I say! I did giggle.
    I wonder if it was a fruit tree? I can see some benefit in maybe dating a fruit tree. At least he wasn’t dating his sister, that is something to be grateful for.

    • 90 Susan P May 4, 2015 at 13:43

      He might have been dating his sister.

      • 91 PorterGirl May 4, 2015 at 14:19

        Oh. Pah. Maybe to stop her dating the tree. What a thought.

      • 92 Susan P May 4, 2015 at 15:35

        laughing

    • 93 Professor VJ Duke May 4, 2015 at 20:00

      Imagine! What do you suppose was up with that chap?

      That’s a good point. At least you could eat well. I bet it was just a pine, though.

      • 94 PorterGirl May 4, 2015 at 20:23

        I dread to think what happenings go through that chap’s head, you know. Sometimes it is best not to ponder on such things *laughing lots*.
        Yes, the fruit would be good for wines and pies and other eating things. A pine is not so good. No one should date a pine. Now, a cactus garden possibly.

      • 95 Professor VJ Duke May 5, 2015 at 19:37

        Me too! I bet he was thinking of all manner of horrid things. Like bees and beetles, for instance.

        Well, I do quite like pine carpet. A cactus?!

      • 96 PorterGirl May 5, 2015 at 19:58

        Exactly bees and beetles. And bat bugs!
        Why not a cactus? They are quite exotic. Although, thinking on it, probably disastrous to date. Dating is dadblame complicated!

      • 97 Professor VJ Duke May 7, 2015 at 18:44

        Bat bugs! Oh dear no. I should’ve boxed his ears now that you say it!

        That’s a good point. Well, you wouldn’t want to hold hands with your date–if it was a cactus. You’d just have to bring work gloves to get around that, I suppose. I’m sure it is! And scary.

      • 98 PorterGirl May 7, 2015 at 20:02

        Maybe dating flora and fauna isn’t such a good idea after all. I shall stick to admiring hats.

      • 99 Professor VJ Duke May 10, 2015 at 18:59

        Yes, and ties. Ties and hats. But never bow ties.

      • 100 PorterGirl May 10, 2015 at 19:54

        Never, never. You know where you are with hats and ties.

      • 101 Professor VJ Duke May 13, 2015 at 19:33

        Yes, quite right.

  17. 102 L. Marie May 4, 2015 at 13:17

    Perhaps the tree was very handsome. There are some gorgeous trees in my area. I wouldn’t want to date any of them though. They’re too wooden. You talk and talk to them, and they never say a word.

    I can’t blame you for leaving. If the guy’s sister is dating a tree, who knows what this guy is actually dating. Perhaps he thinks a fish is his girlfriend.

    • 103 Professor VJ Duke May 4, 2015 at 19:59

      Yes, they’re not too forthcoming with speech, that’s for sure. Plus, they invite wicked squirrels over all the time. Another downside, see.

      Oh dear me. Imagine! I can see it now. He probably has her in a bowl, too.

      • 104 L. Marie May 5, 2015 at 13:42

        Perhaps he does. Hopefully she is not a piranha.

      • 105 Professor VJ Duke May 5, 2015 at 19:44

        Oh good heavens! I do hope not.

  18. 106 FictionFan May 4, 2015 at 12:41

    My impeccable Vulcan logic tells me that this must mean… you have a wife!?! Live long and prosper! I hope she’s not a tree…

    • 107 Professor VJ Duke May 4, 2015 at 19:58

      That must mean you have pointy ears! Of course the professor has a wife. Though, it can be debated whether or not she likes me much.

      • 108 FictionFan May 5, 2015 at 01:21

        *wide-eyed in shock* You do??? I fear it may not be the happiest of marriages though, if she’s the tree that bashes you over the head. Mind you, given your propensity for flirting, you probably deserve it!

      • 109 Professor VJ Duke May 5, 2015 at 19:43

        *laughing lots* The girls all run from me because I’m heartless and mean! *growls for some emphasis* Do you know who Mike Tyson is? I didn’t. And a girl just explained that to me over the weekend. Imagine!

      • 110 FictionFan May 5, 2015 at 19:53

        The problem is that when you growl you’re even cuter and more adorable than normal – the girls don’t stand a chance! Fortunately trees don’t have ears though.

        I do! He’s the man who thinks that if you can’t beat someone by punching them you should just bit his ear off instead! *worries that the Professor will think this is cool*

      • 111 Professor VJ Duke May 7, 2015 at 18:41

        Yes they do! Owl holes–they’re its ears, see. Isn’t that something? I’m not adorable at all. I’m like a gecko that way.

        *laughing lots* And how come I didn’t know of this fellow?! Did he really do that? Goodness.Umm…no, that’d not cool at all.

      • 112 FictionFan May 8, 2015 at 17:26

        I shall go out and talk to some trees later then – I’ll let you know if they reply. Geckos are kind of adorable too though…

        He did! You’re too old to know him – you’d have been ancient by the time he was popular. You would have been in your study reading dusty old books.

      • 113 Professor VJ Duke May 10, 2015 at 19:13

        Yes, please do. Consider it a science experiment. They are not! They’re gooey!

        But….she knew who he was! I feel silly…

  19. 114 Lisa May 4, 2015 at 12:36

    It’s hard to have speaks with some people.

    • 115 Professor VJ Duke May 4, 2015 at 19:58

      It sure is. Do you suppose he needed some cool tea on the head?

      • 116 Lisa May 4, 2015 at 20:21

        Maybe some cherry juice.

      • 117 Professor VJ Duke May 5, 2015 at 19:34

        We can’t waste it, Lisa! I love cherry juice.

      • 118 Lisa May 5, 2015 at 19:35

        OMG!!! SO SORRY! I just thought it would make him smarter!!!

      • 119 Professor VJ Duke May 5, 2015 at 19:45

        *laughing lots* But…it’s so good to taste. We better just drink it instead!

      • 120 Lisa May 5, 2015 at 19:47

        Yes. Let’s just be smarter!!! LOL.

      • 121 Professor VJ Duke May 7, 2015 at 18:40

        And vicious.

      • 122 Lisa May 7, 2015 at 18:40

        Haha! Ok. Grrrrr vicious!!!

      • 123 Professor VJ Duke May 7, 2015 at 19:01

        Here’s your katana.

      • 124 Lisa May 7, 2015 at 19:01

        You didn’t lose it?!!!! :D

      • 125 Professor VJ Duke May 7, 2015 at 19:02

        Of course not! I just hide it.

      • 126 Lisa May 7, 2015 at 19:04

        I don’t think I’m going to be happy until we start some trouble

      • 127 Professor VJ Duke May 10, 2015 at 18:53

        Big trouble or little trouble?

      • 128 Lisa May 10, 2015 at 18:58

        Just a little bit. Lol.

      • 129 Professor VJ Duke May 10, 2015 at 19:16

        I want big!

      • 130 Lisa May 10, 2015 at 21:12

        We’ll have to plan that. Last time we ended up in handcuffs!

      • 131 Professor VJ Duke May 13, 2015 at 19:41

        Before I busted us out!

      • 132 Lisa May 13, 2015 at 19:51

        This is why I love hanging out with you! Yeah!!!

      • 133 Professor VJ Duke May 13, 2015 at 19:58

        *does his moves all over again*

      • 134 Lisa May 13, 2015 at 20:01

        Faints

      • 135 Professor VJ Duke May 15, 2015 at 15:42

        *goes and gets some ice water*

      • 136 Lisa May 15, 2015 at 16:02

        Ok. I think it’s going to be ok. Lol.

      • 137 Professor VJ Duke May 16, 2015 at 18:22

        That always works!

      • 138 Lisa May 16, 2015 at 19:55

        Ready?

      • 139 Professor VJ Duke May 18, 2015 at 21:41

        Recites… “I was born ready; I was born to conquer.”

  20. 140 Hazy May 4, 2015 at 12:19

    Dating a tree… Maybe she took Earth Day a little too seriously? Families can be strange indeed. And walking away was probably a good idea, professor.

    • 141 Professor VJ Duke May 4, 2015 at 19:58

      *nods* I should probably have done it sooner. Oh well. Imagine dating a tree!


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