"If it were that easy or quick to figure out how to do what feeds and fires you, you would have done it by now."

Thank you to my dear, long-time friend Patty who told me that, and also sent me this.

If the quality of one’s friends and family are the measure of a person’s wealth, then you all should be buying stock in me, because my profits are off the charts.  Also, fearlessly mixing metaphors, I’d put my family and friends against anyone’s in a game of Red Rover.  We’d win every time because of the wild array of unexpected weapons we have. Three examples that barely scratch the surface of our mightiness:
My mom could take out at least half of any opposing team using the vastly underrated weapon of hospitality. I remember scraggly dudes coming to the house to have god-knows-what sort of transactions with my older brothers, and my mom would answer the door with a big smile and invite them in with offers of cookies and something to drink.  Every time.  “Uh, what, uh, yeah, sure, uh, okay, uh, thanks.”
In junior high, one of my brothers got into an argument on the school bus that spilled out into a neighbor’s back yard.  Now, mind you, the greatest affront to my kind is dim-wittedness, or even worse: no-wittedness.  So this poor no-witted boy screamed at my brother, “Come on, we’re havin’ a street fight right now!  I’m street-fightin’ you NOW!”  My brother smiled, snorted, and said, “What does that even mean – a street fight?  What, you’ll pick up a piece of pavement and try to hit me with it?  REALLY??”  The other boy looked really confused, the assembly of adolescent onlookers burst out laughing, and everyone sort of trailed off to their respective houses.
One of my brothers-in-law tells a story about dating some girl in his younger days who made the mistake of revealing her deeply ignorant prejudice by saying something about how the apartheid system in South Africa (I told you he was young) was really good for blacks, just like slavery was here in the US.  My brother-in-law retreated to the kitchen in horror with a friend (or two, the story is a little fuzzy in my head) and they emerged from the kitchen banging on cookie sheets with wooden spoons, like riot police.  And THAT was how he announced his breakup with said girl.
All I’m sayin’ is, don’t mess with my tribe.  We came to PLAY.

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