By Gabe Tugendstein
The Cooley family of Augusta, Maine decided today that it would look to ignore its Uncle Lou’s occasionally politically incorrect statements at this year’s Christmas dinner. In a conservative approach, the three families that make up the Cooley clan determined that any response at all to Lou’s typically off-color (yet not unrelated to skin color, hair color, even colorblindness) ravings could too easily develop into a combative, or, even worse, awkward conversation.
“An argument is one thing we try to avoid,” said Tim Cooley, Lou’s brother-in-law, “But I am far more afraid of another conversation-ending bombshell.”
He’s making a clear reference to last year’s Easter when 17-yearold Alex Cooley engaged Uncle Lou. The debate concluded with the wild-card uncle confounding the family by threatening to kill Dwight D. Eisenhower if the long out-of-office and long deceased former president allowed “the Vietnamese” into the United States. This was followed by a 17-minute uncomfortable silence and subsequent cancellation of the family Easter egg hunt. The embarrassment of the situation was later magnified by 7-year-old Timmy repeating the exclamation in his second-grade classroom the next week.
The three Cooley families, hailing from Augusta, Minneapolis, and Baltimore, have not officially discussed the topic, and according to Aunt Linda, the pact will remain “unspoken.” This year, the three biggest obstacles will be 4-yearold great-niece Samantha, who is prone to capricious interjections, 14-year-old nephew William, who’s been clocked at 6.8 angsty remarks per dinner over this past year, and 22-year-old niece Anne, who recently acquired a Hispanic boyfriend. Anti-Hispanic comments have fallen each of the last three Christmas dinners for Uncle Lou, but this new development may buck that trend.
When asked if they’d ever consider not inviting Uncle Lou to potential future family engagements, the response was a resounding no. “Oh, we all love Lou, he’s really a great guy,” said one anonymous niece. “Anyway, we’re family. What are we going to do? Just leave him on the streets for Christmas?” After some further thought, she continued, “Maybe he overuses the term ‘sissy’ when talking to the men, and his blatant sexual innuendos are always a bit tough to hide from the kids, but we couldn’t just leave him out, could we?” The rest of the family echoed these remarks, gradually providing more disapproving assessments of what Uncle Lou adds to family events.
Regardless, the Cooleys appear to have an outstanding opportunity to complete this year’s Christmas dinner with a 90 percent or greater ignorance rate. And with the forbiddance of any future repetition of jokes, Uncle Lou’s tasteless statements should be forgotten by New Year’s Eve