So here it is, in all its glory. This kind of explains why, when we travel, some of us are tempted to claim that we are from Vancouver.
The last eight years, for me, have been like being in this big family that had been getting on pretty well lately, things had been looking up. Yeah, your dad, who just passed away (due to term limits), was kinda sleazy, but he was a shrewd guy. The family generally got along, things were prosperous. You got on well with your neighbours and family friends, working with them side by side.
Then mom falls for this guy named Bush.
A lot of people seem to like him, but he's kinda thin skinned and he's run every business he's ever had into the ground, getting bailed out by his rich daddy. Next thing you know, mom's married this guy—well, he's moved in anyway. It wasn't a legitimate marriage and most the family was against it, but it looks like he's here to stay by court order.
"New Dad" Bush at first just seems like a lazy asshole. He spends most of his time relaxing, not paying attention because he's honestly pretty dim, and you worry about his creepy friends, who seem to be too interested in the family business. But at least he seems fairly harmless, if an ineffectual boob.
Then it happens—the horrible tragedy that sends the family into shock and grief. All of the family's friends want to help, they give you sympathy. The whole neighborhood pulls together, wanting to help your family rebuild.
Then New Dad pisses it down his leg.
The family agree that they should try and find the people responsible, make sure they can't do this again to anyone, but that wasn't enough. New Dad Bush chooses the time right after the funeral to pick a fight with the jerk down the street who beats his wife and kids. Yeah, he's an asshole, but he's got nothin' to do with what needs fixing.
New Dad's shouting to everyone that "his" family is going after him, that he's responsible for what happened too, and you cringe. Some of your relatives you never liked anyway hoot and holler and drink beer and yell across the yard about "ass kickin'". No one can hear the rest of you asking if this is anything like a good idea.
It gets worse when the family's friends start to pull away. It was increasingly obvious that New Dad started this whole feud and thought it would be over soon and then, I don't know, maybe magical unicorns would make everything better. But now that family, the one down the street you just left without a head of household, is dependent on your family and your finances are looking grim. It's a money sieve.
New Dad's buddies are obviously embezzling money from the family business, but there's no way to stop them. You also find out that said buddies have been beating the shit out of people they don't like and worse, real Mafia style stuff. You've also noticed them opening people's mail and listening in on their phone calls.
Your neighbors start to shun you, and you can't blame them, even though its not your fault. You feel powerless and ashamed. You wonder why it seems like no one else ever notices these things, the questionable book keeping, the abuses, the lying. But, the minute anyone brings it up, someone shouts "What? Don't you love this family?!"
But it can always get worse.
Mom briefly flirts with a new boyfriend, but Daddy Bush's cronies make short work of him. Daddy's not going anywhere—even if he's too dim to do it himself, his pals have gotten to like power they have in this house to do as they please.
You notice that your yard is dying, the foundation is cracking on the house and the dog ain't lookin' too good either. New Dad says there's no money for that—got to keep after all those ne'er do wells down the block, you know, plus you're still paying to repair your neighbor's house and their doctor bills after the big fight. That's only fair, but still...you worry.
You wonder, then, where all the money is coming from that some of your gambler businessman uncles have. The kids have stopped going to school as much as they should. You worry that the whole family is getting dumber and they don't care. The water tastes funny.
Then one day, everyone's yelling. The family business is starting to go under, bit by bit, and the whole neighborhood's welfare was tied into it, one way or another. You want your uncles to pay, somehow, for this mess they've gotten into, but you know they won't. Everyone yells at everyone else. Money gets moved around, but everyone's nervous and edgy. Your brothers and sisters and cousins can't afford to go to the doctor and they hope they won't be next for the unemployment line.
Your neighbors and family friends always tell you it's not you, personally, that they have a problem with. Then they joke about how ignorant, obnoxious and arrogant your family is and you laugh along because what else are you going to do? You don't feel like standing up and proclaiming your pride in your family. Not any more. Why should you? But while you're laughing, deep down, you feel a little sick and try and remember what it used to be like.