Category: South Park
Authors: John-SP150 and NoseBridgePinch
Fan Art: John-SP150
Rated T for swearing, violence, perversion on Kenny's part and underage drinking on Stan's part.
Synopsis: The Marsh family is having a reunion for the holiday. Stan's realitives are causing him a great deal of worry. In additon to dealing with his parents, sister, grandfather, Uncle Jimbo and Ned, Stan must also deal with his Uncle Dean, Aunt Joanne and cousin Stephanie. Hopefully Kenny can help ease things, right?
Randy was working not far from Stan when his phone rang. He stopped working with the food to answer, "Yellow? Oh, hi, Shar. Uh-huh. Yeah. Right. Whoa, whoa, whoa, what the hell did I do? Well just because your brother's wife is a bitch doesn't involve me- hey, having the whole family over was your idea! Oh, oh, so I'm a bad person for inviting my son's friends over? Oh, well excuse me for thinking of Gerald like family! Look, I owed the Cartmans a fav- look; will you get off my back? I can't come out to the garage; I'm in the ki- hold on." Randy put the phone down,"Stan, could you go out to the garage and help your mother bring in the big table? The one Daddy usually saves for poker night?"
So his mom was away from Kenny's wandering eye. Good. Stan got up but saw his dad pull a large tub of chocolate frosting out of the pantry. "Sure dad, just don't do anything else to the food while I'm gone, please. I think the Broncos game is starting now; you don't want to miss the opening, do you? The cheerleaders or the praying?"
"You're right, son; he really is the pride of the Broncos and Colorado."
Stan forced a smile to his dad as Randy quickly got up and left the room, can of frosting still in his hand, much to Stan's annoyance. Oh well, that solved that problem, onto the next one. He made his way to the garage to meet with his Mom. Sharon was busy trying to pull the large, heavy poker table out of the corner of the garage, grunting and mumbling under her breath as she struggled to make the table budge as strands of her usually neat hair were starting to come askew... Stan was so glad Kenny was also distracted right now; he didn't need any more comments. She stopped when he entered.
"Need my help, Mom?"
"Oh sweetie are you sure? Your face still looks terrible."
"It's not that bad, Mom. It was an accident. Shelly's gotten me way worse than this and she means to do it. You've never been like this when that happens and you shouldn't let Aunt Joanne mess with your head to cause you to treat me like a helpless little kid."
Sharon stopped struggling with the table and looked at her son, brushing the strands of hair from her tired eyes. "But sweetie you're my youngest child, my little boy and I just hate seeing you get hurt."
"But, Mom, I'm not helpless either, and I certainly can do things on my own, watch." Stan crawled under the table into the area it was stuck and started to push it out of the corner it was wedged in. "See I can help you, Mom because I am the smallest. I know you love me, Mom. You love all our family and even if we don't always appreciate you, we love you too. But you shouldn't let unconditional family love cause you to be a pushover. You have to take back control of the house."
"You might be right, Stanley..." Sharon sighed, "But what the hell am I supposed to do? Kick my brother and his wife out of the house? They mean well, they really do. I just wish they'd learn not to baby MY son and have a kid of their own." she rolled her eyes. "Look Stanley, I can handle this myself. You're only a child, don't put yourself in the middle." she insisted suddenly.
"I'm already in the middle." Stan replied, "Uncle Dean and Aunt Joanne are trying to baby me, and are fighting with you about me. I can't stay out of it if it's all about me." Stan nosebridgepinched, "Ow!" he retracted his hand, "Look, Mom, if you just keep sitting and taking it, you're not going to get anywhere. You don't have to kick them out of the house but be more assertive."
Sharon sighed, "Stanley, I still don't know... they really do mean well, they're not trying to cause trouble, and besides it is Thanksgiving. It's about family. Maybe we should give them another chance..."
Stan almost nosebridgepinched, "Let me put it this way, Mom. Let's look at some animals." he explained, "What happens when the alpha animal in group is challenged? It fights back. Wolves, Chimpanzees, Lions, they all do it. When the social ladder is challenged, you fight the challenger. You need to fight to assert your dominance as the alpha leader." Sharon still looked unsure, "When everything changes, you need to press that reset and make things go back to normal, Mom."
Sharon's clenched fist rammed into the palm of her other hand, "You're right, Stanley. I can't let this go on anymore. This is MY house, not Dean's, not Joanne's, not Jimbo's or Ned's or Randy's..."
"...well, Mom it is kinda Dad's house, too..."
"I need to go inside and assert myself as the alpha female, whether my brother likes it or not!" she punched into her palm again and went to the garage door, her voice going back to its usual sweetness, "Stanley, do me a favor and finish taking care of the table for me? Thank you." And then she walked out.
Stan gave his first genuine smile since he had woken up as he easily pushed the poker table towards the kitchen door. He straightened himself up; happy to once again prove to his own sister wrong that watching Animal Planet for hours on end was not a waste of time. He felt more confident as he carefully turned the table on its side to slide it carefully into the kitchen and pushing some more, the sides of the table making a horrible screeching sound against the linoleum. Stan stopped again to try to put the table right side up when he was met with another loud sound, this time shattering Stan's eardrums with more of a wail. His mom was probably finally putting crazy Aunt Joanne in her place. He didn't want to miss that. He left the table on its side and headed up the stairs to where his father was still on the couch licking chocolate frosting off his fingers.
He expected the confrontation to be coming from where he last saw Aunt Joanne but stopped when he heard crying coming from the guest room.
"Daddy, please, I don't want to stay after today. Tomorrow is important to me and I wanted to spend it doing some family time."
Stan stopped and once again put his ear to the door to hear his Uncle chuckle. "Scarlett, please, you are having family time. The best thing we could do for you is to give you a peer you can socialize with and learn positive behaviors from."
"The best thing? I didn't want to say it out loud but you did forget my birthday, again! Why can't you call me by my given name? I'm sorry I can't live up to other family members you'd rather spend your time with but why can't you just love and accept me for who I am?" Stan could hear her sobbing grow more frantic; he put his hand on the door knob to see if he could help but the next words made him stop.
"You have to stop with this unnecessary emotion, Scarlett. Did Stan cry when a football hit him in the face? No! He took it like a man, even shrugged off medical care. Boys have remarkable resilience to pain and injury and you cry over nothing, sweetie."
"But Daddy, I'm not a boy! I'm a girl who gets sad, who expresses feelings and just wants reassuring that her family cares about her! I don't want to have to turn into the son you never had in the ways you want me to!"
"Stephanie Kimble, I am your father and you will do as I tell you. Sometimes we have to do things we don't want, okay?" he said, "You think my parents just showered me with everything I wanted and liked?"
"No! I'm sick of you treating me like I mean nothing to you for that stupid boring jock!" Stephanie said, "Maybe I'd be more like him if I was raised by Uncle Randy and Aunt Sharon instead of you and Mom! All you've done is try to mould me into someone I'm not!"
The door flung open and Stan quickly put up a hand to keep from getting smacked once again in the face as Stephanie rushed past him in the hall. "Stephanie, please let me and Kenny try to help you!" He reached out to grab the sleeve of her jacket but she shook him off and shoved him against the door.
"Fuck you. If you're going to try and sweet-talk me and tell me nothing is wrong I don't want to hear it again. Stay out of things that are none of your business!" Stan held up his hands in defeat as Stephanie continued down the hall, slamming the door to Shelly's room. Stan was left with his gawking Uncle, urge to nosebridgepinch rising.
Uncle Dean walked up to his nephew and clapped a hand on his shoulder. "Don't mind her, son. She's just being irrational."
Stan shook his Uncle off, noting the deep violet pencil skirt he had on. "Don't call me that."
"Call you what?"
"Son. I thought my dad was bad but you're so full of shit you can't see you're fucking up your own kid for some psychological experiment. I admire Stephanie for at least being able to seem okay when you're doing an even shittier job than what I thought my dad was doing. You must have gone to college to be a stupid as you are. You don't even think of people's feelings. Get the hell away from me."
Stan glared at his uncle and continued down the hall to his room.
"Now that is what I'm talking about, Stan."
"That is the right way to respond to something negative."
Stan simply rolled his eyes; already well aware everyone was out of their minds and walked into his room. He slammed the door to be met with his aunt who was shuffling around though the giant box in the corner marked "Stan's Toys" grumbling and shaking her head.
He came up behind her. "What are you doing, Aunt Joanne?"
"I'm just surprised at the choices you made in toys, Stanley." Spread out before her was army men, action figures, many sports balls of all shapes and sizes, a spaceship, some plastic animal toys, and half of an old train set.
Stan grabbed the caboose of the train set protectively. "Why? Because they're boys' toys?"
"They're just so violent and unsafe, the army men and action figures have small parts you can choke on, those animals aren't scientifically accurate at all, that train set has electrical parts and you getting hurt earlier is proof enough that football is a very dangerous activity I can't believe your parents let you have this stuff."
Stan started scooping up all the toys he could to get them away from her. "I love these toys. What do you think I should be playing with then?"
"I've just expected more plush animals, maybe some educational Discovery Channel toys, some Ponies, a Clyde Frog doll or two... "Aunt Joanne said, "A lot of kids your age like to play with plush toys, some people like to collect them, it builds self confidence."
"Oh I have those." Stan picked up a green squishy football and held it in front of her face, squeezing it so it squeaked, "See? It's a plush toy, Aunt Joanne."
"Stanley, no need to get so defensive. I'm only asking questions. Has your asthma acted up lately?" Joanne asked, raising an eyebrow.
Joanne held up an inhaler that had also been in the toy box. "You know it's a serious medical condition, right Stanley?"
"Oh that, I snagged that from the suitcase of my friend's cousin since he was getting pissed off we kept calling him a faker and he wouldn't let us take a hit off it. We were trying to ship him off to Connecticut."
"Stanley! You just don't know what goes into treating a condition as serious as asthma. There are inhalers, nebulizers, and signs to watch for! You could have killed your little friend!" Aunt Joanne held the stolen asthma inhaler to her chest as a tear fell from her cheek.
Now Stan started to feel bad. "Look, we were just screwing around, all my friends were doing it. That's what we do, that's what all kids do."
"Don't you tell me how kids should act; I've spent my life studying how kids behave and act and how to fix behavior problems. I don't know what's happened to you or my daughter. You were both so innocent, sweet and cute, sure you'd get into minor trouble that was easily forgiven but now you talk back and hurt others. I could blame your parenting since you didn't act this way the last time I saw you, when you were six."
"But I'm not a little kid anymore and I never will be." Stan put a consoling hand on his aunt's shoulder which made her bury her head in her hands and cry harder. Some people needed to be yelled at when they were being ridiculous but at times people needed kindness, no matter how blind. "I'm sorry, is there anything I can do?"
"No, Stanley." Joanne said, "I-I just wish you kids could understand... you can't just run around trying to hurt people. I mean, okay, a little cute kid trouble is okay but you used to be so different and..." she continued crying.
"Look Aunt Joanne, I know things get tough sometimes but you have to understand... things change... and you know, we may not like it but, we have to accept it, because change opens up whole new worlds for all of us, so our lives don't get boring and we don't end up doing the same shit week after week. I'm growing up, I'm changing, and maybe you need to change, too." Stan suggested.
"Children are our future. They're all so beautiful, innocent and sweet. I'm well aware of changes in life Stanley, that you're not perfect but you're an adorable little boy too young to understand that adults always want to give you the world and always know what's best for you."
"Yeah, adults know what's best for me. Uncle Jimbo made us drink beer in the woods, my teacher calls me a pansy, my counsellor thinks I have a social development disorder, the police never believe a word we say, the newsman can't get our ages right, the Mayor used us for news stories, my grandpa tries to make me kill him and my dad, well come on, I love my dad, but when has he ever been even slightly responsible? Adults are stupid, Aunt Joanne, okay? The problem is they always think they know what's best, and then they get pissed off when you disobey them, even when they know they're wrong. That's why adults are stupid."
"That is my exact point, Stanley. All those figures that showed bad behavior in front of you have all been male. This is the exact reason why I encourage you to explore your feminine side. If you looked to female figures for positive reinforcement you'll learn to trust more and go back to that sweet little boy we all know you really are. . At your age the person most important to you should be your mother and only her."
"Oh, that's funny. You know who else really loved his mother? Norman Bates from Psycho. Do you know who he is?" Stan asked, crossing his arms, "Nothing's wrong with looking up to a male figure, I mean look at Theodore Roosevelt, he was President and he started national parks and conservation efforts to protect animals and he didn't make a single decision without thinking about what his dad would do, just like I always wonder what Brian Boitano would do. Plus he was totally badass." Stan went on, "I mean, you want me to be like a U. S. President, or a murderer?"
"Honey, that's going between two extremes. You've got to think realistically. You're just so sweet you get confused easily, oblivious while things, important things slip by you. You should only listen to your mother; no relationship is more special than the one shared between a boy and his mother. You're lucky your mother has never done anything wrong, despite your father's unruly behavior."
"For fuck's sake, Aunt Joanne, my mom tried to dig and hide a bunch of dead bodies in the backyard and tied up a police officer in the basement when she thought I was a murderer!" Stan said, losing his patience now, "What a great female role model - at least she's not beating the shit out of me like my sister though, right? Or starting wars with Canada? Or being a crack whore? Oh wow, look, a bunch of bad deeds WOMEN do in this town!"
"You...don't understand a mother's love. Your mother would never do anything irrational and if she did it was for your sake. You seem to admire Norman Bates so much; you shouldn't even be allowed to watch stuff like that. I won't believe it."
"I hate how people seem to assume I'm oblivious when they use that to make their own shitty behavior legitimate. All I've ever told people is don't say or do something without real proof. I know why my mother did all that, but the point was she was a fool and I was innocent. If you want your own proof take a shovel from the garage and go digging around the tree in the back yard, you should find about half a human skeleton under there."
Joanne's eyes searched the room. Instead of replying she simply handed Stan the asthma inhaler and left the room without another word. Stan slammed his bedroom door after her and pressed his back to it. It hurt but calling people out was always the best option. He went to his window to see if Aunt Joanne would go digging around back there or if Sparky had eaten all the bones by now. He looked at the inhaler in his hand and uncapped it, taking a hit of it and almost gagging at the harsh medicated taste.
He couldn't remember what possessed him to steal it other than Cartman had called him a pussy until he did it. Suddenly he got an idea on how to get Aunt Joanne off his back; he threw the inhaler back into the toy box and grabbed his iPhone to send Cartman a text message:
To: Fatass (BigBoned)
From: Stan (loves2spooge)
Dude, you and your mom are still coming for Thanksgiving dinner, right? I need you to do me a big favor - sit by my Aunt Joanne, the thin woman with the long brown hair, and just be yourself. Rip on Jews or whatever, I don't care. I'll totally owe you for this.