A couple months back, 5K called me. Kathy Keysor Kryptonite Kookaburra Kellar is the fetching and hubba-hubba wife of SClarita city councilperson, and, more importantly, my pal, Bob Kellar. 5K’s real name is actually 3K. Kathy Keysor Kellar. These are phantasmagorical climes, where half the country believes werewolves exist and cats are the spawn of Satan (I’ve warned you about that in previous columns). One can’t be too careful. Mrs. Kellar couldn’t be a Kathy 6K because, well. Do the math. Six divided by two and what do you have? Not one, but TWO KKKs.
Before the Days of Riot & Quarantine, Santa Clarita’s lovely local chapter of The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints kindly asked me to speak, as one wag put it — “briefly” — at their annual SCV family expo. Topic? Duh. Family. Mostly? I’m pro. Unless they own cats.
Because of überflu, the event was cancelled. Still. Mrs. 5K INSISTED I haul my sorry heinie over to the LDS’s Valencia HQ and have my family tree checked and tires rotated at their crackerjack genealogy center.
I told 5K: “Genealogy? Kath. I’m not particularly interested in minerals.”
Mrs. 5K noted, arguably: “John. Genealogy has nothing to do with rocks, save for the ones in your ugly old wrinkled ancestors’ heads. You know. The ones with the giant skeletons?”
Modern science can attest: There’s no known way to say “no” to Kathy.
While I’m the local beloved historian, curiously, I’ve never had the remotest curiosity where the tufts of fur are stuck in the branches of my family tree. I’m still hoping The Boston Clan will evolve from the apes in the next 20 minutes. 5K dragged me out in the rain a while back to meet a future best friend, Harry. Harry’s an absolute peach of a guy, walked the Earth while the Old Testament was being chiseled and runs the Saints’ crackerjack genealogy center. Harry spent the next three hours explaining, “No. You’re not related to THAT monkey. You’re related to THIS monkey, and we’re not talking like 16 million years ago, we’re talking when your easy-to-please Grandmama Vivian Claire Marie jumped ship and married that chimp in the sailor suit and exposed her gums in Cape Cod in 1903.”
I have to admit. I was shocked. My mother, Crazy Katherine (another K?) told me her side of the family stretched back to pre-Revolutionary War times in New England, home of the Patriots, and that I was an English-Irish mutt.
Dad’s side? Polish.
Have some cabbage. Don’t attempt math, you’ll hurt yourself. Let’s go bowling.
That darn Harry. He discovered mom’s parents were both French Canadian. You know. The people, along with Elizabeth Warren’s Indian ancestors, who burned our American ancestors alive like 400 years ago?
This answers so many questions. Like why I could speak fluent French since birth. And why there’s a dog sled team in my garage.
NOTE TO SELF: Feed dog sled team tomorrow. Take them on a 600-mile run in the snow.
“Je suis français. Je suis un fromage à pâte molle manger singe reddition.”
For our English-speaking subsribers: “I’m French. I am a soft-cheese eating surrender monkey.”
You might as well have slapped me and revealed that I am Nancy Pelosi’s and Satan’s lovechild. Born in a city run by Democrats.
“Putes peintes de Babylone.”
Or, as we say in Polish-American: “Painted whores of Babylon.”
Worse, I’m part Canadian. FRENCH Canadian.
“Je me sens honteux. Je ne peux pas patiner.”
Translated from the Quebec: “I feel shame. I cannot skate.”
As I type, I’m violently scratching chest and head, trying to tear away this invisible beret, this white mime shirt with the fat black vertical stripes and these damned, dreaded, overly gay Espadrilles.
Since finding out my ancient shame, during long, sleepless nights, I silently walk against the wind. Or with a surprised look, navigate around an invisible glass wall. Or race down the hall, headed for a hockey net that is not there, which is hell on the carpet. The other day? I spit out steak because it was covered in American ketchup instead of an insufferable white wine cream sauce with enough calories to kill a hyena.
“Hyène aux truffes et les bagages. Le plat national de la France. Eh?…”
In English: “Hyena with truffles and luggage. France’s national dish. Doncha know?”
On the bright side, I still wear my cowboy hat. I have no urge to lease a Citroen. No joneses to mincingly sip bad coffee served in teeny Barbie saucers. I don’t want to see, or smell, Paris.
What on Earth is there to do in France?
I could query my pal, Harry.
Or, if I ever visit Paris or Quebec, ask a local:
“Pardon. Prenez une minute pour arrêter de rêver du festival du film de Jerry Lewis. Pointez-moi à l’endroit où vos terroristes puants amoureux de chèvre font leurs bombes primitives.”
“Hey Marcel Marceau in the smelly Nordiques hockey jersey, Gérard Depardieu called and said he wants his nose back. Take a minute to quit dreaming about the Jerry Lewis Film Festival and point me to where your goat-loving stinky ISIS tire burners make their primitive bombs…”
John Boston peut écrire le pantalon de Voltaire et vit à SClarita. Or, in English: “John Boston can write the pants off Voltaire and lives in Newhall.”