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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: In-Law(s) (05/08/08)

TITLE: "Out Law In-Laws!"
By Frank Salerni


“Out law In-Laws!”

If you don’t think God has a sense of humor then why did He give us In-Laws?

Oh, I’m sure that if your fathers parents read your writings they don’t fall into this most unique category, or if your wife’s parents are watching you, as you progress to become a sought after writer, they also would be exempt. As a housewife with a lot of time on your hands (Yeah, right,) or a husband who wants to travel by dreams to exotic places, we are under the scrutiny of those helpful eyes, ever watching, always critiquing, and lovingly helping. These are the ones working overtime for our own good. They are the relatives. A special breed of people called… In-Laws.

We know that they are of God, because He has gifted them with being able to put a finger on an emotional pressure point, and keep it there indefinitely. At least until their daughter or son becomes the perfect mate for their child. This is God’s way of not having to always be everywhere, so He can take a well-earned holiday.

Not only do they have the ability to correct mistakes like a collage professor, but also they apparently learn instantly to simulate all circumstances regardless of the complexities of a given situation.

Like the time our daughter brought home her report card bearing straight “A’s.”

Who would have thought we were displaying parental suffocation, by putting her through the torment of the unlikelihood of ever accomplishing social normality?

Or, when Tommy broke his collarbone trying to skydive off of the neighbor’s second story roof. How were we to know his destiny was in the military? By stifling his need to advance his leadership abilities toward tactical distraction, we may have damaged his frail inner self. That is why we shouldn’t rebuke his daredevil attempts to fly. (How silly of us.)

How about our complete lack of comprehension displayed in buying a mini-van with seats that face each other in the back of the vehicle?

I didn’t know that, as siblings, they would grow up believing they are inferior human beings, because others would see them as backward children.

And, I am certainly glad that my wife is finely learning to make pot roast the way my mother knows I like it… instead of how I THINK I like it.

I never knew that blue-gray drapes can’t exist with black leather couches, or that my wife needs a separate vacation to unwind from my overbearing attempts to earn a higher yield on our CD’s.

When my daughter grows up and gets married I hope to abandon myself from the curse of “In-Lawism…” Unfortunately, I love her too much, and I’m sure I’ll want to pass on the wisdom of the ages that I currently possess as well.

I’d better pray before we start to, “out law In-Laws.”

“God, please help me to teach my children all there is to know about life… while I still know everything!”

God bless In-Laws… the Lord’s way of teaching me I know nothing, as I ought to know.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/15/08
I enjoyed the irony in your story and especially liked the narrator's prayer at the end.
Gregory Kane05/17/08
There were some great lines in this piece such as “This is God’s way of not having to always be everywhere, so He can take a well-earned holiday.” I wonder if your writing isn’t a little too dark. It does in well in capturing the narrator’s frustration and the suggestion that he in turn will be just as bad is suitably comical. But it’s hard to be truly sympathetic to a narrator who quite so negative.