April 25, 2024

Family Reunions


Guess what? It’s time to start planning for that event that strikes a chill in the heart of every true guy. The dreaded Arizona Family Reunion! WOW, what a thrill. Here we go again, or do we?

Remember last year when the kids had the famous lemonade fight in the back seat of the car? How about the time you took the wrong turn because your wife was holding the map upside down and you ended up in the middle of the desert? All those memories pale in comparison to the time you waited in a three-hour detour in 100-degree heat to ride the MegaSnake Charmer at the amusement park so your 5-year-old could throw up a whole afternoon’s worth of treats when you finally made it back to the car!

If memories like these run screaming through your mind, you’re probably just about normal. Isn’t it nice to know you can look forward to another ordeal this year?  Well, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are alternatives.

In my never-ending quest to impress you, I’ve gathered a menu of off-the-beaten-track excursions sure to thrill even the most bored, jaded and hard-to-please family. If you’re at the end of your reunion planning rope, forget Aunt Edna and consider one of the following adventures for a memorable experience.

Get into a real down-home country experience at the annual Hardin, Kentucky Hog Hoedown! This is a real wholesome family event where you and your family can compete in a range of events tailored for the hog fan. Some popular highlights include: vocal chord tuning for hog callers; teaching pigs to fly (this event could be VERY useful); the sculpture contest featuring busts of famous Americans carved from pork loins and, finally, the ever-popular pig shoot. The last event is not at all like the traditional turkey shoot. Here, competing teams fire hams from black powder cannons competing for distance, accuracy and team style.

How about a vacation on the river? Several options are available. Good Ol’ Days, Inc. recreates a traditional Tom Sawyer/Huckleberry Finn river trip, sure to please the adventure-starved traveler. For a mere $7,000, you and your family are launched on a week-long raft trip on the Mississippi where you can paddle, laugh, forage for food on the riverbank, hunt rabbits, whitewash fences, and spit whenever you want. Don’t worry about getting lost. Each raft carries the OnStar System.

River Heritage Vacations provides an excellent course on the importance of rivers in the westward expansion of our country. Learn the significance of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (when Lewis and Clark put out contracts on each other) and study the life and times of Big Mike Fink of Walt Disney fame. The highlight of the course is the mapping of the best places to find high quality Mississippi Mud (your feet will thank you). Advanced graduate journeys are available through the Caveman Adventure series. For a whole week, you live in a cave, wear animal skins, eat nuts and berries, hunt mastodons, and drag your wife around by the hair (guys tend to like this festivity more than women). The week’s adventure is capped off with a wild wooly mammoth roast on Saturday night. All you can eat, of course.

Finally, I’m pleased to present the WORLD’S GREATEST MACHO GUY VACATION! It’s called the Ultimate Physical Challenge: Scuba, Skydiving, Rock Climbing, Windsurfing, Tour de France. This competition is not to be taken lightly or entered on a whim. This is really serious stuff.  It costs $78,000, including the physical. If you choose to skip the physical, you can still compete if you sign waivers and post a security insurance deposit of $4.8 million. At registration you receive complete scuba gear, a parachute, plane ticket, climbing shoes, ropes, carabiniers and crampons, snowboard, windsurfer, competition bicycle, a week’s rations and 10 gallons of Gatorade. Anyone who successfully carries all this stuff to the starting line receives a certificate of participation and a trophy.

As for me, I’ve been informed that I’m scheduled to spend my time off feeding tuna morsels to Aunt Edna’s cat, Buckshot.

See ya around,


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