The Inmates have been beach-ing it this week...happily parked at a resort on the Gulf coast. (Obviously, there's an expense account involved here somewhere.) I can tell you now that if you have plans to head in that direction anytime soon, you need to have a hankering for shrimp. Because I ate all the King crab.

The trip started out as touching family gatherings usually do...with The Not Nice Kid getting her ass beat. At 5:30 in the morning. In the front yard, before we ever even left. Things sort of escalated when we stopped for gas, everyone got out of the car and I realized...TNNK had cut her hair. Again. THIS time, she had trimmed the scragglies that hang down around her face, when her hair is in a pony tail. No damage that can't be undone but THAT'S NOT THE POINT. Luckily for her, ass beating is forbidden in gas station parking lots in Birmingham Alabama so we settled for A Tirade. Which didn't accomplish shit.

Four hours into the trip, I had to threaten to throw The Nice Kid's fancy new cell phone out the window if she texted ONE. MORE. TIME. I'm not sure what part of "quality family time" she doesn't get, but hopefully the sight of her mom throwing shoes in a moving car on the interstate emphasized just how damn lucky she is. To have such moving moments.

When we got down there, the laptop had a "fatal error." Or some such dilemma. Which was inconvenient for me but REALLY cramped The Big Boy's style since he was sort of supposed to be working. Using the laptop. Pisser.

But the condo was spectacular, the food was lovely, the fireworks heavenly and the bicycles comfortable. Good friends. Interesting marine life.

On the way home my mom called. My first cousin and her husband were at a beach 30 miles east of where we were Wednesday, and he drowned. And now we're all trying to figure out how you conduct a memorial service without commenting on the fact that the deceased went swimming in the Gulf of Mexico under two red flags.

He was a good man. Who obviously, just didn't think.

Given that The Big Boy and I leave in two days to entertain our way through Southern Louisiana, I think I'm going to go light a candle. Like, a safety candle. They let Methodists do that, don't they?