"It's giving me a tumor!" These were the words I shouted as the extended family continued to make more and more permutations of our group for photos to remember the occasion.
From behind me, I heard the admonishing voice of my son: "Dad!" He was scolding me because the occasion for which we were taking all of these pictures was the memorial for his great aunt Rita, who had just recently passed away. From a massive cerebral hemorrhage.
He was right, of course. What I said was totally without thought or merit to the situation, and it fit in well with my history of inappropriateness. I once scolded a little girl at a party for launching her bouncy ball onto a pan of brownies, telling her, "Now you're just going to have to eat all those brownies."
Her shocked mother replied, "But, you know she's a diabetic."
"Sorry. Actions have consequences."
The little girl was not forced to eat any of the brownies, but I was briefly marginalized by the crowd for my over-commitment to comedy, regardless of the taste.
Back at the memorial service, the photo-ops continued. My son sat and watched his little cousins hang from their older uncles and fathers, and out of mild concern for their safety, he called out, "Don't die!"
Just as there wasn't a break in the action after my tumor comment, the crowd continued in their busy way to get the requisite number of memories for the moment. But I stopped for a moment to make eye contact with my son. He looked at me with an embarrassed smile. Welcome to the gaffe patrol, my son.