By Saluting Mi Familia, we became the powerful force behind one another that motivated, drove, pushed, shoved and screamed at the others because we knew that they weren’t making themselves work to achieve their goals. For We Are The O’Chunkys’. My family and I are a family that loves one another that has ceased firing ammo at one another and shelling the shit out of our bubbles. And we have delivered each other olive branches that have now mass produced little olive trees that grow on a daily basis as our love for one another continues to grow.
In a funny way when I reflect back upon my life, I would say that at one point my family was like the cast of The Fast and The Furious.
We walked on set and hung out for a couple of hours, doing a scene before leaving and not communicating with the others off set. As the years have come and gone, the cast of Fast and Furious relationships have developed while our relationships with those that we consider to be family have changed dramatically. Now branded as the Fast Family, us O’Chunkys have branded ourselves in a way that basically states: Do Not Fuck With Us, Fucker!
The motto that has particularly stuck out like a sore thumb for me within the past four years with the Fast family, is a quote that Dom says. After getting warned that he should watch out for his friends, he replies with “I don’t have friends, I got family”.
It was in that moment of sitting in a crowded cinema room, with my ex partner sitting next to me completely engrossed in the movie; he didn’t notice us four kids turning to one another and linking hands. For we knew our motto amongst many others would be based upon those lines because unlike others, who feel the necessary need to have plenty of friends. We feel the necessary need, want, desire and fulfillment of maintaining our friendships with our siblings.
“I don’t have friends, I got family” is still today often said around the dining room table, as we torture Dad with the uncomfortable subject of sex and the ever rotating question of “hows your sex life going, Bridget?”.
Lois and I can be found in one room of the house, chained to the sink and definitely not pregnant and cooking up meals for the rest of the family. While Kaffy is locked away in her batcave doing batcave secret business, Frodo is saving the gaming industry with his jokes and laughter while Pablo and Mr. H, not mention Ducky are no doubt racing around the backyard, chilling.
When I started writing this blog, I didn’t think I would be sitting here some nine thousand plus words, describing the kind of relationship I have with my siblings, both blood and adoptive. At the end of the day, I can say that we truly do have the Aussie way of lifestyle when approaching anything in life.
The whole vibe of being ultra laid back with a corona in hand, men tending to the barbie as us women flitter through them, placing food one the table and looking at the manly gods tending to half the beast on the barbie. Before coming together at the table, bowing our heads as silence takes over the place, except for the occasional whine from The Humog and meow from Minion. When then we thank the Lord for what we have here today. As we say ‘Amen’ and consume with our usual banter, I often think about how our relationships with one another have arisen from the burnt ashes.
Unlike many families that we have been included into, witnessed as passers or asked fair to many questions, we have a relationship with one another that is built on compassion with no peer pressure. We have come together and as a result, have accepted the fact of who we are as individuals/group and we are accepted for being so. Because of this, the only time we ever fight or argue is one of us is being a pig headed, stubborn twat who isn’t listening to the what we have to say. Otherwise 360 days out of the year, my homes and I are choice as, bro.
As much as we can be sometimes (most of the time) in your face with our laughter and one volume (loud) pitch, we have been known to sometimes kick back and observe how other families work. I for one have been known to sit there after being in the same room as someone for hours on end, go home and inform my parents: “holy shit! What the hell did I just witness and I am never going to do that with my children”.
This has either resulted in both my parents rolling their eyes in sync with one another, making a comment or just staring at me. It is in even more interesting when it has been a family reunion (death & wedding) and I secretly wonder how I could be possibly related some of these people.
But when it comes to Lois’ side of the family, I can understand how I am related to them. However at the end of the day, we may share blood but we are nothing alike/ therefore I do not consider them to be relatives.
Relatives and the occasional friends, Lady Blacksnot and Dollface; which I would introduce to Mr. Cristina Yang. Legendary God of whatever he does and otherwise shall be known as Mr. Darcy. Who will hopefully come from a family who believes in having children, sustaining the marriage grounds one would undertake when marrying me and understand my love for all things bloody, surgical and involves the human heart. And what would be a double bonus of me declaring that he is not stupid is the fact he is not an only child, doesn’t have a brother who is 10+ years old.
And actually comes from a semi-tight knit family, just like mine.
Only then shall I ponder as to whether or not he is normal, doesn’t consist of all-over body scales and when he doesn’t, I shall start fantasizing about how we met. Before completely doing a 360 and start wondering about what my dress is going to look like, flowers and the story that is going to be told at our wedding of how I wore a tiny, irresponsible shirt to the office and he fall madly in love with me. Wait…that was from Bridget Jones.
But I suspect that at the end of the day after working a large amount of hours tending to sick, ill and injured patients either as a nurse or a Doctor, that when I come home smelling of hospital bleach, my hair standing up on end so I look like I have been electrocuted and I look, feel and smell like shit; he will bend down and give me a kiss. Before standing at his normal gigantic height, asks me how my day was at work all the while stripping off my clothes because I no longer have any energy.
If I can find someone who can do that without thinking he is going to get lucky 24/7 in the bedroom department, cheats, steals or is abusive. Rather he is someone of value, self worth, accepts the term ‘NO!’ when I say it and doesn’t throw a fit, accepts my need for learning both via book and hands on, understands my desire to be around my family as they are important and loves me for me, even when I gain/lose a few pounds and treats me equally as I would him; expect me to marry him quickly and love him for a life time.
Now due to a wide range of influencing factors overs the years, my family and I have changed our thoughts, feelings and physical reactions to one another. Not only as siblings, parent and sibling but also mother and daughter to a furball with four legs and a tail. As a result, we have realised you do not necessarily need blood to be known as family but rather, you need courage, faith, love and honor to be known and accepted as family.
With that, our family motto has changed over the years.
There has always been that one continuous message that is not only displayed in each and every photo we have together, but it is shown every time we see one another. It is written and linked to our DNA and is felt and held within our blood.
Our pictures of us standing beside one another and you know that even though the words are not put in writing, they are there. To be witnessed, taught a lesson and to be soaked deep within the layers of the heart as you realise that what you are witnessing and bearing is not something that is fake, purchased or styled.
It is something of purity, it is unselfish and can only be described as Ever Thine, Ever Mine and Ever Ours. In other words, it is perfect.
Our family motto is not something that has been brought down through the generations and we get the family crest tattooed somewhere on our body. But has only been produced within the last 8 years. It is something fragile because of it being new, but at the end of the day, it is stronger than titanium, steel and the man can pulls a semi-truck. This family motto has been raised and nourished between Lois and Red as they sat on that beach back in The Land of The Long White Cloud, promising that they would full fill their obligation as parents to their children.
That their children would grow to love one another, there would be no sibling jealousy and that each child would be their own person. This has lead to us children being raised with a somewhat firm hand but a very loving hand. We were allowed to be our own individual with individualistic talents and beliefs (particularly with the Twins). And we were made to
believe, live the code and cherish our motto so much that Pablo has it tattooed on his forearm that ‘You don’t turn your back on family, even when they do. And you Honour Thy Familia‘.
Most people I know would assume since we aren’t exactly your average family but rather a bunch of petrol heads, our motto would be ‘ride or die. As we tend to have lead foots that don’t understand the difference between 112-130 k’s per hour.
But I know this at the end of the day when I am in Siberia thanks to Cruella and Clayton and not bowing down to dictatorship and Communism; that I know who or what my true family are. And that they aren’t going to turn their backs on me and that they would do anything for me. Even if it meant stepping in and taking a bullet because I know, I would do the same for them.
For creating the catch phrase of ‘For We Are The O’Chunkys”, I can say it happened by pure accident.
It came to mind one day after sitting in a tutorial where I was asked what family lifestyle and unit I lived in. Unlike most people who rattled off that they were ‘tight’ with their siblings, parents, cousins, Aunts and the little old lady across the street with a cat who had one eye; I couldn’t think of a way to describe my family. So I blurted out the first thing that came to mind and that was, “I have two parents, three siblings, a cat and a dog”.
Well done Scarlett and might I say, this is pretty descriptive.
In fact, it was something you would say as an automatic response on a blind date when asked about your family. After saying that and putting my quiet hat back on, I received strange looks like ‘that wasn’t descriptive, okay you have parents’ and ‘wow. Round of applause for Loser over there!’. That’s when I realised what I had said out loud and that indeed it was your typical blind date speech. It was only then that I started thinking about what my family as really like and how I could describe them all over again if I had the opportunity.
Sure enough, six months later I was driving down the hill to the flat lands between Redneck county town and its sister Tasmania, the saying ‘For We Are The O’Chunkys” was moulded and created.
Someone at work had decided to big note themselves as you always get from someone who has a God complexion. As I was eating my lunch, they made a comment about a family member of mine. Not knowing that I was indeed related to this person, I silently listened to the conversation being held about them and before I left the staff room, I dropped the atomic bomb onto their laps.
Defending my family, the cause we had and why we were so much better than their family, I not only massacred this person but I also annihilated their family lack of ethics. That was the day ‘For We Are The O’Chunky’s‘ was put into action and still to this day, it has the same effect as it did back then.
It is nothing something that I pull out of my magic hat, like a magician pulling out a rabbit or throw it into people’s faces. Because they are too stupid to realise that you don’t just get me.
And if you do decide one dumb morning to fuck with me, when I am finished with you as I am more than capable of finishing my own fights; you get my 6″ tall sister and my equally as taller brothers. All ranging from an impressive height of over 6’3″ and finish at the height of ‘don’t fuck with us’.
And if that isn’t enough for your stupidity and lack of ‘I should probably shut up now’, there is Red. Who isn’t exactly on the short side of life and comes in at an impressive weight of ‘I’ll cut you into butterfly steaks’ and finally, there is Lois.
Ah yes, the Matriarch of this family who not only rules with an iron fist, can make a smashing chicken noodle soup but the words: “Her bark and bite are worse than her height’ comes to mind. Plus when you fuck her off enough and when she wields that knife, which is not blunt but rather has been professionally sharpened by her butcher husband for your little visit; you know you are fucked. But then, you aren’t just dealing with the other five as you are now having to deal with The Fairy Godmother.
The words that I can describe the scenario currently floating around in my head can only be described of something completely British. No, I am not talking about a scene from Mr. Bean where his teddy has gone for a wander but rather the scene of burning flesh, dictionary thrusted up your backside after being hit repeatedly over the head and a stern, British telling off comes to mind. All the while you are taped to a chair as a bare, swinging light bulb is over your head and out steps from the shadows both The Fairy Godmother and Lois.
The Godmother has belted you across the head with a very thick, heavy and slightly aged dictionary where Sympathy can be located between shit and syphilis as I was once told. Much the horror upon my face when I did indeed look it up in the dictionary when I came back from my travelling journey of light house climbing, fainting spells and my absolute fear of heights. All the while Lois has the persona of The Rock, complete with ‘stay the fuck out of my way’, as both you and I are shitting ourselves from fright. You because you realised that two demon possessed women are holding you hostage.
Now Lois and The Fairy Godmother get like this when you fuck over their family, both by blood and adoptive. And to top it off, if both of them find out that you have upset one of us kids, I can only suggest one thing: RUN!
Which is exactly what my first dick of a boyfriend discovered when Lois and The Godmother were on the phone, calling the artillery in. Only then did I discover that when they both meant business, they meant business and I had to talk Lois down from wanting to commit mass murder to allowing Karma to have its toll when it was due time. Besides, I don’t think jumpsuit orange would suit her in the slightest but if it was a burnt copper or a nicely done orange, than I believe so.
Trust me, I know colours.
So how do I become an O’Chunky?
Do the words: walking through hell, over burning hot coals, throwing yourself in front of bullet, stab a vampire with a wooden stake like Sookie from Trublood did to Bill. Going to war and fighting hand to hand combat with nothing but a rubber chicken and then walk back around Bills resting place, leaving the bullet lodged and then walk through the coals again and hell sound something of your kind of dream date?
If so, please feel out an application form and standards T&C’s apply; and we may just get back to you. Also it should be noted that we require a full bill of health including blood count, STI/D check before you come anywhere near us (in bed), mental health issues be notified and a full criminal history. Also we would like a fully detailed document as to what your parents do for a living, how many siblings you have, how close you are with your siblings, if they have children, if you wish to have children (if not: please rip up application) and your ideal thought of how women should be treated.
Please note the words: punching bags, slaves, servant, whores, prostitution, dole liver, bare, foot and pregnant every nine months and sole income earner believers shall need not apply also. Also if you don’t think you can provide any of the following or don’t wish to provide certain information due to impending criminal charges, then please do not feel the need to fill out a form. And a word of warning, if you list under ‘occupation’ as a horticulturalist and then stick marijuana in the same sentence, you not deemed as a gardener.
However if you do get nominated to be within a close proximity of us or you are invited to the Motherland, this is your one and only chance.
So in other words: don’t fuck up.
When/if you touch down to the sacred lands of The Little White House, you will be blown away with how we seem to almost rotate around one another. In a way, our parents are the sun and us children are the planets. And The Humog, Ziva and Lulu rotate us in the hopes of gaining love, affection and the ‘accidental’ slip of food from our plate. Now do not get me wrong but The Humog does need a little loving of late as I have gotten a phone call from Lois, saying the lump on the back of his leg could be malignant. This of course made me burst into tears because he is not only a beloved family pet but he is also part of the family as well as the Minion and my annoying furball of a daughter. Who prefers her Aunty over me.
When it comes to 2 legged animals, we know within one visit to the Little White House of bringing a potential partner home whether or not he/she will be welcomed back past the gates again.
Like any child of parents, we have become professionals at reading and understanding all the while critiquing our Mother/Father’s body and verbal communication. We have come so good at reading their body language, that we know with a simple flick of the hand, an eyebrow lifting slightly at a comment that has been made or the steady Siberian air, that we know the outcome. If our mothers offer you a hug, you may give yourself a little pat on the back.
However, if she offers you a handshake or refuses to maintain eye contact with you after coming out to greet us, we better go back to the drawing board and think heavily upon our list of ideal partners. I know that in my family home, if Lois stares at you from head to toe than looks me and back at you, this is a somewhat good sign.
When it comes to the smorgas board of food Lois has whipped up because ‘she was bored’ and raises an eyebrow at the amount of food you put on your plate; there is normally two things that come with it. If she makes no comment, you are fucked and I will probably make some excuse as to why I can no longer see you.
Because you can only eat two peas and a corn, I’ve realised you are not exactly the one for me. And no, it is not because of the eyebrow raising comment but simply for the fact I have been brought up in a home where the men have more on their dinner plates, due to their job they work in. And the fact they are the men of the house and that we show our respect by doing that.
It is like the society of wild cats: the women grab the food, serve it up. The male eats first and than the women eat second, only for the children to consume their dinner. We have brought this into our household and as a result, I don’t cook for tiny little dinners but rather something that drowns the plate and makes you feel nourished, warm at the heart and your stomach actually full. In other words, I cook for the British and Australian Army.
But if you consume more than two peas and a corn and ask for seconds without Lois having to tell you, all because you are growing a family inside of your balls; consider yourself somewhat semi-accepted. And then she informs everyone excitedly, “Dessert!”
Should have probably pre-warned you to starve yourself for at least 24 hours with the occasional sip of water. Because when it comes time to leaving: you walked in normal and you leave waddling. And finally, when it does come time to say good bye and I head off back to Brisbane: do not laugh, point a finger or make some crude joke like ‘where are you going Alice?’ because I while cry.
I cry each and every time I leave my parents because I know it is going to be a while before we see each other next, for various of reasons.
Rather pointing a finger or making some snide comment, stand there and rub my back while making polite talk with my Father and brothers as they put away their weapons of defence. Ask Kaffy what she is going to draw next, how university is going and what jobs are lined up in the future for her. And for Lord’s sake, do not ever ask why Kaffy is so quiet and prefers to stay in her bat cave. For the simple answer is she’s naturally shy and does not deal well with large people. By the end of the day/night and you have survived so far, the words “You are welcome to come back with Scarlett” means we can continue seeing each other for another month.
However if you pushed your food around the plate and constantly reach for the glass of wine, Carrot, you will not be asked back again. And no doubt, Lois will have a massive bitch session about lack of eating and how many hours she had slaved over a hot stove. As to getting into her good books and ours, I can’t give away that secret but I am sure that you are not 2 cents short of a dollar to figure it out for yourself.
Hey, I am not here to confess everything and give away the secrets.
As to parnters, particularly life partners where we hitch the bitch and officially become known as Man and Wife, as we never do anything half arsed in this family; this is a completely and entirely different story. Unfortunately, you do not become an automatic O’Chunky just because you decided to strap a ring onto this finger and come home at 6pm on the dot, to dinner waiting on the table. Seriously, you expect me to become that fifties housewife that cooks, cleans, has the kids in bed by 5.30pm and then blows her husband? Get real.
Give me a scalpel blade and call me Cristina Yang, thank you very fucking much.
The only thing that I can think of after sitting here and saying that, is to not apologise for being blunt and somewhat in your face as you should know by now that I am like that. Both in person and well, through here. But when it comes to marrying one of us children, you better understand that you are not only marrying me but you are also marrying my siblings. Because my brothers and sisters work on the basis that we are family, you marry into the family so therefore you inherit brothers and sisters.
It is almost exactly what has happened with the Fast family. Once upon a time they were simply a cast that had been casted for an action fuelled thriller that kept people lingering on their seats.
Now in 2015, they openly describe themselves as a deeply entwined family that consists of petrol heads that love a good old american muscle compared to those that drive an import. And in fact, are known to share their thoughts and feelings towards their Fast family members upon a movie completion, inspirational thoughts about their members that have not only been placed in their life for a reason but has brought comfort to the soul.
When they lost Paul to a tragic accident that was felt throughout the family but also those who had watched it from the dusty back alley streets of LA, as much as they were grieving for the loss of a partner, friend, entertainment actor but also they were grieving over the loss of a brother.
Someone who had been tragically taken before his time due to unforeseen circumstances but made the whole family, come together in a time where all of them needed one another. To know that at the end of the day, they had plenty of shoulders to lean and weep tears upon while a comforting hand has been placed around their shoulders to support them.
We O’Chunky’s faced a similar event last year when The Godfather passed away. It was exceptionally hard for The Godmother as it was her first Christmas is a while since she had been alone. As a result, she went to England to spend it with her brother and sister in law while we spent it sweltering in the heat, being criticized for the family life we live and essentially being told in a roundabout way that us children would be nothing but losers. I believe that was the day I sat there and discovered what the true meaning of ‘For We Are The O’Chunky’s’ meant when I stood up to those bullies and truly showed them what we were like as a family.
And that was the day the motto of: ‘Ride or Die’ was brought into effect.
If you haven’t gathered by now after writing for nearly three years at great length, the overall factor that I genuinely give a shit about is my family. Because like Lois has always stated to me as a child growing up amongst the hippy filled eras and socialising with political intentions of world peace: “friends come and go but family always stays”. And I think this has been proven on more than one occasion within the last 8 years or so as to who my true family is and who has allowed themselves to be known as being somewhat related to me.
With this final parting words, my timing has come to an end. Not an ending to salute mi familia for being who they are, rather than what they are, but for allowing me to humbly tell you about what an amazing family I have and am part of. I know that most families sit there and tell us how lucky we are to be blessed with a family and they wished their family just so happened to be like mine. But in an essence, not everyone can have nor deal with a family like mine that is in your back pocket and is often described as time consuming. For what we have, has not been delivered on a silver platter but rather we have fought, destroyed, rebuilt and created what who we are today as a uniting family front.
Because at the end of the day, I know a few things about my family. We are brave, incredibly courageous and yet sometimes stupid when it comes to our decisions of self-determination, smart, empowering. And simply an O’Chunky. And I knew that when my head rests upon my pillow and when it rises again the next morning, I am loved, thought of and cherished.
That my family will continue to improve in ways that will outshine those around us For We Are The O’Chunky’s.