Posts Tagged ‘the triplets’

You win! Can we go now?!?

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

By Tiber

Mom, the triplets’ grandmother, took the three to some Halloween party across town and only then did she realize that she’d left their spooky costumes at home.

So she dropped the kids off anyway and came back home to retrieve their outfits.

By the time Mom returned to the party and went up to the house to ask for help in bringing the costumes inside, the other kids had already awarded the street-clothes-dressed triplets the prize for “The Scariest Children at The Party!”

Anyone who knows the triplets will hear this with a complete lack of surprise.

Mom, of course, was horrified and yet Mom, as you know, is the most polite person on the planet. So she left the costumes in the car, smiled warmly at her grandchildren and went on and on about how clever they were. “Wow! Well done! Winning a contest using only your imagination!”

Actually, I think it was a lot more the other kids’ imaginations that had given the prize to the triplets. That and reality.

When you care enough to send the very best

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011


By Tiber

I haven’t mentioned this because, frankly, it was too damned disturbing.

The triplets worked forever on my brother Duncan’s Father’s Day gift. Then they unveiled it and the entire family went mute.

They had created a life-sized replica of some demonic entity that clearly worked full time as Satan’s primary henchman.

Mom didn’t know what to do with it.

On the one hand, the kids were so proud of their art. They’d worked so hard on it. Plus, they’d actually been considerate enough to give their Dad a present.

Still, Mom wouldn’t have the thing lurking in a room where any of us spent any time.

So the sculpture ended up in the front hallway, near the door, where only visitors are now suddenly jolted into thinking they’re about to be personally escorted into some fiery vortex to hell.

Today, though, finally realizing they were a little short in the “thanks” department, one of the triplets asked Duncan,

“Didn’t you like your Spiderman statue?”

“Spiderman statue?…OH! SPIDERMAN! Yes! Yes! I love it!”

We all jumped in with our own gratitude, of course.

It’s much better to accept that some relatives are just massively untalented rather than confirm that nagging fear that they really are small minions of Beelzebub.

Mummy on a stick

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

By Tiber

Last year, on May Day, my sister Iris Nell built a maypole with streamers for the triplets to dance around.

I’m pretty sure this goes back to some pagan custom but then again, no one would be surprised to find more than one Druid in the old family tree.

Anyway, last May Day, I looked outside and was admiring the blue sky, the green plants, the mummy on a stick, the birds in the- wait, go back. We hadn’t had a mummy on a stick in the yard before and I didn’t think we’d ordered one.

It turned out the triplets had conned Iris Nell into climbing up the maypole. As I said then, it’s not that hard to get my sister to do anything. (“Look, Aunt Iris Nell! There’s a bug up there! And I think it’s in trouble!”)

Once they had my sister up there, the kids raced around so fast with the streamers that before she could get away, they had Iris Nell lashed to the maypole like a mummy on a stick.

When the kids wanted a maypole this year, Mom agreed but only on the explicit condition that they not wrap their aunt up in it.

So they just wrapped up Nestor, the gardener, instead.

We all flew outside and barely managed to save him. And even then, he said it was always important to have patience with the children.

Well, sure. That and an escape route.

Let’s not kid ourselves. We’re all grateful that the triplets came fully assembled but compared to them, there is no tech item, furniture piece or appliance that has ever been in more acute need of an instruction manual.

Two’s company, three is AAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!

Sunday, February 20th, 2011


By Tiber

In another case of one of our family members racing out into the world to embrace embarrassment, my sister-in-law, the so often inappropriately named Honor, threw a mega-fit this weekend at a little local photography studio.

She had entered the triplets into the studio’s “Magnetic Multiples” cute kids contest and, to no one else’s surprise, they had not even made it into the finals.

I’ve always been sure that the kids could do voodoo but maybe this time, their mother had convinced them that their personalities would win the day.

She should have gone with the voodoo.

So she let those poor photography people know in ripe terms how fixed she thought their contest must be since it left out her three clearly superior munchkins.

The people got Honor a chair and tried to calm her down. In the meantime, the triplets got bored sitting in the car and came inside. When Honor turned and saw her kids right there, she shrieked and leaped up, knocking the chair over and twisting her ankle, all in a frantic effort to get away.

I think she sort of made the studio’s point herself.

Of course, she told the kids they’d just surprised her. But we all know the triplets would have the same effect on anybody, even if they issued one of those screeching civil service messages on TV warning the populace of their exact time of arrival.

She’s not stealing mail, she’s just resting her chin

Friday, January 14th, 2011

By Tiber 

We got a call that one of my brother Duncan’s triplets was stuck. Again.

This time it was Shirley who’d gotten her head wedged in a neighbor’s mailbox. The other two siblings, surprisingly for them, were at least trying to pull her out. Mostly, though, they were just stretching out her neck.

Somebody called us, since even neighbors who don’t know the triplets personally, all know of them.

My sister-in-law hurried over. She also took Mom, the triplets’ grandmother, which was smart since Mom, unlike the rest of us, actually possesses some actual, if vague, charm.

Mom assured the neighbor, whose mailbox her granddaughter’s head was stuck in, that a frightened little bird had undoubtedly flown into the box accidentally and the children were trying to free it. And I think Mom may have even believed that.

It’s always better if the kids’ mother, Honor, doesn’t speak at all. She did try to smile at the neighbor, which was disturbing enough since Honor’s “pleasant” face tends to resemble the Frankenstein monster posing for modeling shots.

The emergency guys soon arrived and they freed Shirley and her head.

Since Duncan actually named his three children Lauren, Shirley and Bo and since this is easily the 4000th time that the emergency squad has had to free a triplet from something stupid, I wouldn’t blame them at all if, instead of referring to their invaluable “Jaws of Life,” they simply went ahead and started saying that, for us, they’ll be bringing along their necessary and all-too-appropriate equipment, the “Jaws of Stooge.”

To the great Scottish poet, Robbie Burns: We will never forget your “Auld Lang Syne” and we will never know what it means

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

By Tiber

Since the whole family stayed home  last New Year’s Eve, I didn’t realize that, this year, everybody had plans. Except for me.

And just as Santa sped away wishing “all a good night,” suddenly my brother Duncan and his wife were speeding away, yelling back, “You don’t mind taking care of the triplets, do you?” In their case, they were speeding away because they knew the answer would be, “I’m a normal human being, so yes! Yes, I do!” But it was too late.

I learned long ago, when babysitting the kids, never to ask them, “So, what do you want to do?”

What they want to do is clock your MPH when they push you off the roof in a greased sled.

What they want to do is calculate how large a living creature they can slip into your underwear before you start to scream and dance.

They also want to know if they can make it to Carmel or Cleveland or Cairo before you can escape from the cocoon they’ve sewn you into (made from Grandma Noni’s quilt) while you were napping.

So, instead, I said why don’t we play something passive, like Monopoly? This elicited their Damien/little girls from “The Shining” stare we all know which made me want to take the “Go Directly to Jail” card out of the Monopoly set and use it.

Knowing that tryptophan can make people sleepy, I begged Cook to make three turkeys before she left but she just laughed all the way to her car.

So, finally, I got the kids to admit that they’d like some music and I proceeded to sing songs from the “One Hit Wonders.” They didn’t realize there are hundreds of these and at last, their sweet, beady eyes began to close.

Unfortunately, they woke up just in time to see the New Year’s Eve Countdown in Times Square. Dammit! I know now they’re going to figure out some way to construct a giant ball as a school project. And then, they’re going to drop me.

Until then, however, whether you’ve had feast or famine, fortune or failure, fine wine or Funyuns, we wish for you an even happier New Year – where you make the world a better place for everyone that you meet.

The Four Horsemen of the Applesauce

Thursday, November 11th, 2010


By Tiber

Since we had our little fire scare, I didn’t write this week about the triplets’ Halloween. Normally, we throw a big party here for everybody but, this year, we had to beg off and all that was left was just the triplets going out trick or treating.

As you know, the terms “docile” or “manageable” or really, let’s face it, “human” are seldom used in any sentence alongside “my brother Duncan’s triplets.” And before Halloween, everybody was debating costume ideas for them.

Since Duncan was taking them out and the triplets are approaching 11 and are slightly taller now, Erin said dryly, it was obvious they should all go as The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Duncan would be “Death” and two of the triplets would be shoo-ins for “Conquest” and “War.” As for the third triplet, well, going as “Famine” might just score more candy for everybody.

Mom, however, who is still making a brave attempt to love them – oh. all right, she does actually love them, said no way were her son and grandchildren going dancing around the neighborhood dressed up as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

She said no again, even when Kru mentioned that he knew a woman who might even loan them some of those tiny horses.

Finally, somebody had the inspired suggestion of the kids dressing up as a big Saguaro cactus. You know, those tube-shaped, three-pronged ones that grow out in the desert. Each triplet could have a tube on the top, where their face could stick out but, best of all, all of their feet would have to be pushed together into the bottom tube. They could walk but they could never run. Brilliant!

On the night, though, I thought they really looked more like a condom display. Obviously, I didn’t say anything in front of the kids.

And actually, I didn’t say anything in front of Duncan either. We may have our differences but I know there probably have been times when he’s thought about condom displays himself, and wondered why he didn’t  stop by one some 11 years and 9 months ago.

Donner party, table for six…Donner party, table for five…Donner party, table for four…

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

By Tiber 

My father called the family together for another of his recent pep talks.

“So,” Dad said. “As you know, we’re not quite as…snug in our little financial bed as we once were but-”

“Biggest euphemism of all time!”

My father eye-lasered his oldest son with a “Thank you, Duncan.”

Duncan’s 10 year-old-triplets, maybe in an attempt to defend their father or just because genes are irreversible, spoke up in their usual synchronized monotone.

“Donner party. Donner party. Donner party…”

“Now see? There’s good news right there!” Dad said brightly, causing everyone else to head for the door.

“No, no, I mean, that we’re not in as much trouble as the Donner party!”

“For the moment, ” Duncan replied.

“So we can, at least, savor the moment,” the ever-optimistic Iris Nell added.


Dad was so relieved to find someone sort of on his team.

“And I promise you this. If we ever do get as desperate as the Donner party around here, how about if I ring a bell and everyone can get a running head start?”

This caused my mother to actually express some emotion.

“That’s not remotely fair! I’m bound to be one of the slowest runners in the whole family!“

“Oh, for God‘s sake, Gwen. I was joking! We‘re just…penny-challenged right now. That’s all.”

The triplets started up again, “Donner party. Don-” which Dad mercifully interrupted.

“Come on, kids! We’re not going to end up like the Donner Party at all! You’re old enough now to know the kind of family you come from!”

The triplets then looked at each other and they did proceed in a much more believable direction.

“…’Lord of the Flies’…’Lord of the Flies’…’Lord of the Flies.’”