Sunday, 3 January 2016

2015 - The Year of "Barb and the Italian Chef"

The year was 2015...well...it was just three days ago...and it goes something like this...loosely.

On August something, in their not-so-collective wisdom, my family renamed our family pet. (Actually, I'd like to see the official stats on the success of renaming pets. But I digress.) You see -  our cat, Smartie, began to sneeze in uncontrollable fits. These fits lasted so long that she could not finish her food or even sleep, and she became lethargic and 'un-catlike'. In fact, things like running up the stairs and leaping on to the top of our fridge - a.k.a. her lair lookout - became impossible feats for the four-footed, flea-less feline. Smartie, in her dopey state, wasn't so smart...and one of my kids, whom I will mercifully leave unnamed, decided Smartie was having a mid life crisis and needed a new name! And on one summer day, this child announced unceremoniously, I might add, that Smartie shall be called 'BARB' for she shall come, go, and sneeze as she pleezes! So, in the summer of 2015, Smartie became Barb. Frankly, I haven't heard any complaints from 'Barb' on this matter...except for the occasional litter box 'miss', which is probably more about her than us!

And what about the Italian Chef? Well, didn't you hear? He pasta-way! Yup. That's it. I've got nothing more on this mysterious, mustachioed, Mediterranean maschio. But for a week or so this summer, the same, previously mentioned, unnamed child spoke kindly of this fictional character, and at every opportunity reminded those who would listen of his unfortunate fate! The answer never changed - he always pasta-way!

And then came along Apple, iPhones, and group chats! Just around the same time as Smartie became Barb, and when we would hear of the Italian's demise, a group family chat was formed.  We couldn't just go with 'The Vanderlaan's', or 'HWKAJ', or anything normal. Nope - the same child (who will still go unnamed) decided that our group name shall be 'Barb and The Italian Chef'! And as life has a way of adding humour along the way, the name stuck!

For me - this family chat name is more than an ice breaker or funny story. It's more than that - it's about family. It's what connects me to my wife and children. I'm forever grateful that God has blessed my life with these remarkable, intelligent, beautiful, and funny people...and cat. In 2015, amid some major life changes and trials, God has also awarded me with irreplaceable moments of humour and laughter!

As for Barb - after a few trips to Dr. Albert, she's back to lurking us - enjoying her lavish, lazy lifestyle atop her lair lookout whilst uttering the occasional lewd and lascivious laugh...uh...meow.

Oh, what was that noise?

"I'm coming, Barb!...And what would you like, m'lady?"