Monday, January 15, 2007

Appalling Christmas story.

Some of our guests arrived 2 days early this year. They were to have come through just before New Year's Eve... but we knew plans had changed when we rang them on Christmas day.

"I'm sorry, Rupert and his father had words last night & the family drove South at 2am..."

We didn't ask for details, but wondered at the gifts for Rupert's children lying under his parents' tree in Napier.

A swift call to a mobile revealed that Rupert & loved ones drove to Taupo to spend Christmas & a few days there. No further update (about which we were scrupulously disinterested) on the cause for the dispute.

Eventually the story did come to light, and it is an appalling tale, but briefly:

Rupert's father is a curmudgeon who regularly battles with his family, and routinely threatens one or the other with being cut from the will should they talk to one or another about various & historic family issues...

But no worse than that, I mean, lots of families have these in their midst.

This year though...

Christmas Eve, 2006, a big family dinner, at least for those of the family being spoken to at that time, drinks, festive music, grandparents, parents, step-parents, children, grandchildren. Alcohol. And I'm guessing (but guess it merely is) prescription medicines of some sort.

All was going swimmingly, the women folk were dancing, some of the men folk were talking.

Over in the corner Grand-dad, not all that elderly, by himself, deemed this the appropriate time to get the family jewels out & show them around.

Words ensued. Heated words.

Families drove away.

Is it wrong that I am both appalled & strangely amused by this?