Family, completely clueless

“And that brings me to the next point,” Mom said. “Aunt Sarah and Uncle Brandon and Tilly are going to stay at the Village Inn with Pops and Gams. But they’d like Chip to stay here.”

She paused for a second and gave me a little smile.

I didn’t like that little smile. It meant something.

“Chip’s a very nice boy,” Mom said. “And I think he’s grown up a lot. Sarah says his teacher calls him ‘the perfect little gentleman.’”

World's most annoying little cousin

World’s most annoying little cousin

Perfect little turkey, I said to myself. Even though the adults don’t seem to realize it, Chip is a turkey. His real name is Brandon, but that’s also his dad’s name, so everyone calls him “Chip.” He’s a giant pest. Last summer we spent three days with their family at a lake house, and every time I turned around he was right there, buzzing around like a little gnat, telling me what to do, and saying he could do it better. Even though he couldn’t.

I had tried to be nice to him, but it’s hard to be nice to someone who drives you bonkers. My mom told me he followed me around because he wanted to be just like me, and said I should be patient.

Sometimes grown-ups are completely clueless. Even mothers.



Thanksgiving is bad

“There’s no bed for him,” I said.

“We’ll bring in the inflatable mattress,” Mom said. “Just like when Tommy sleeps over.”

“But he’s my friend!” I said. “Chip is different.”

“Chip’ll take up less space than Tommy,” Matt said. “You’ll barely notice he’s there.” He gave me his classic evil older brother grin. He knew Chip drove me crazy.

“He’ll mess everything up!” I protested.

“He can’t,” Mabel said. “Your room’s already a mess.”

“Matt, Mabel, please stay out of this. Charlie, you can put away the things you’re worried about,” Mom said. “And you do need to clean up your room.”


Now I not only had to let Chip sleep in my room, I had to clean it up for him!

mattandmabel“This isn’t fair,” I said.

As soon as I said it, I knew what was going to happen.

Matt and the Squid sang out together, “LIFE’S NOT FAIR!”

They thought they were being funny.

Ha ha ha.

“That’s not funny,” I said.

Matt grinned. “Oh, yes it is.”

The Squid started to laugh.

“That’s enough,” Dad said. “If Charlie’s going to let Chip stay in his room, we can at least be nice to him about it.”

“But I didn’t say he could stay in my room!”

“I think it’s best for everyone if he stays there, Charlie,” Mom said. “He likes being with you and—”

“It’s not best for me!” I said.

“Calm down, Charlie,” Dad said. “It’s going to be okay. It’s only for a couple of nights.”

“It’s going to be okay, Charlie,” the Squid said, copying my dad. “That’s spelled with an o and a k.”

My whole family was teaming up against me. They were going to have a great Thanksgiving, and I was going to have to put up with that doofy little turkey!