Every young man must find his calling in life. But only a lucky few will walk the sacred path of a Crazy Uncle. Now that your more successful brother Todd is a father, this Thanksgiving will be your official Crazy Uncle christening. Cherish it. I know I will.
I remember the first Turkey Day I ever spoiled. My poison? A “Bush Did 9/11” joke. It may seem rather meat and potatoes now, but it was cutting edge in 2001. “Too fucking soon” for your Aunt Jan who blasted me with three fistfuls of crunchy mac and cheese before things de-escalated. It was electric. Although if you ask her now—and I hope you will—she would never admit to defending the Bush administration.
After I called your dad “Castro” while he tried to calm me down, the whole table was against me. Except, of course, my uncle, your great uncle, Crazy Uncle Donnie.
Yes, the same Crazy Uncle Donnie who put LSD in the Waldorf Salad at Turkey Day ‘77. The perfect segue for discussing mind control conspiracies. I don’t give a damn what Aunt Jan says, Donnie knew no one would actually eat the Waldorf. May God rest his soul.
This family has a rich history of Crazy Uncles ruining Thanksgiving. A tradition that you are now responsible for.
Extending back to Crazy Uncle Pilgrim Batholomew who had a seat at the first ever Autumn Harvest. There are no official records proving how much controversy he created that day. Although we are confident he said something along the lines of, “I wouldn’t take these guys at their word when it comes to peacefully sharing your land. After smallpox, typhus, cholera, whooping cough, STDs, and a bunch of other stuff, dishonesty may be our #1 worst disease,” while passing gravy to the guest Wampanoag Tribe.
Bartholomew was my north star for a well-rounded Crazy Uncle body of work. We predict and assume far-fetched ideas. Sometimes you will miss big. But other times, you will hit big. And in rare cases, you will be ahead of your time like when I said 3G would cause a global pandemic. Only 2Gs too soon!
I’m here to mentor you. But I will not handhold you. You’ll need to find your own Crazy Uncling niche. Remember, you have no obligation to pick sides, politically or otherwise—your allegiance is to chaos alone.
Perhaps you’ll lob hot takes few would ever agree with like, “Only drag queens can have military-grade weapons! Also, Mike Pence is hot!” Maybe your practice will take a toxic masculinity slant with sayings like, “I miss when men were men,” after you tackle too much during the two-hand touch football game. Not your fault little Cousin Stevie can’t handle the blitz.
Don’t worry about being the next Crazy Uncle Donnie or Bartholomew. Be the best Crazy Uncle Bryce you can be. But under no circumstance can you be basic. Moon landing. JFK. Emails. Laptops. These things are expected, and off-limits. You want to be a Crazy Uncle. Not a cliché one.
I can’t lie. The work of a Crazy Uncle is lonely at times. But without you to bear this sacred responsibility, crazy will spread to each family member one by one ‘til no one trusts anyone.
It turns out, everyone has trace amounts of Crazy Uncle in them. And idle hands are the devil’s workshop. It isn’t that you’re causing everyone to turn against you, Nephew Bryce. You are keeping them from all turning against themselves.
Crazy Uncle Glenn