there are so many sub-plots to the dysfunction of the family that my wife has escaped from that i’m really glad i’m not still in contact with my own family. when you realise that her father and mother were not married to each other, but that her father was, and currently still is married to the same “other woman”, is just the tiniest tip of the iceberg, you’ll probably get the drift of what i am talking about. at the same time, i also realise that i belong to my own dysfunctional family, but i have – mercifully, i suppose – been purposely, deliberately and repeatedly excluded from family things like the celebration of holidays by my mother and father. i’m certain that, were i actually in contact with them, there would be at least as many sub-plots to my own family’s dysfunction, and very likely i would be portrayed as the antagonist in about 99.8% of them – which is why i say “mercifully” above… 8/

but, at the same time, spending 3 days and 2 nights visiting the in-laws is enough to drive anyone totally batty. actually, the thing that drove me the craziest was when they said they had internet access, but couldn’t get on internet… so i booted up their WXP computer, which automatically logged on to a broadband connection of some sort, automatically started MSN chat and logged into someone’s account (with two unread messages) and automatically opened some sort of IE/browser-like thing to an MSN homepage. when i wondered aloud what they thought the problem was, my mother in law said that they couldn’t “log on to internet” and pointed at the internet explorer icon, so i double-clicked it and internet explorer launched with a yahoo homepage. again, i wondered what they thought the problem was, and i was informed that, somehow, it comes up with a yahoo page, rather than the MSN page that they were expecting…



the irritating part is that nobody who lives in that house had the first clue that, not only were they already “logged on to internet”, but that their only real “problem” was that they had inadvertently changed the home page of probably the worst browser in existence, and the really irritating part is that, because their MSN homepage didn’t come up the way they expected it to, “for some reason” they “couldn’t log on to internet”… as though microsoft owns the internet, and yahoo is something totally unrelated.

that, if nothing else, would not be happening at my family’s gatherings… 8/

oh… also their virus protection is out of date… 8/ i didn’t bother to check and see if they had any virii, because if i had, and they were infected, i probably would have spent the rest of my time there as a free tech support geek trying to get the boneheads straightened out… 8/

i didn’t get anything from my My Amazon.com Wish List, but i wasn’t really expecting them to, considering their level of computer sophistication. if anyone else wants to try, it’s there.