Sunday, November 29, 2015

“You’re Starting To Annoy Me!”

Lynda Gibson, who lives with her husband Ron in Paradise, brings her flair for the dramatic and “never say die” optimism to the harsh realities of growing up in a dysfunctional family.

She’s collected eighty-four humorous and oddball vignettes in “You’re Starting To Annoy Me!” ($18.95, self-published; available at Kathy’s Book Store in Paradise, at the author’s speaking engagements, or $24.95, including shipping and handling, from the author directly at

“My folks divorced when I was ten years old,” she writes. Yet even though her alcoholic parents abused each other, Gibson and her siblings always seemed to find the bizarre humor of daily life. “Each day at our house was chaotic,” she says, but “Christmas season was insane.”

Obsessed with winning the town’s Christmas decorating contest each year, a little accident with a rooftop Santa sent her dad to the hospital. Later he announced to the family: “I have some good news and some bad news. The good news—I won first place again. The bad news is the cash prize has to pay my medical bills.”

Gibson’s middle name was “illness.” Plagued for a time by polio, Lupus, and a host of knocks caused by her own prankish nature (“even though I wasn’t always guilty, I always was the first accused”), her consistent attitude has been “Hurry up, get well, I have no time for this nasty stuff.”

A born salesperson (she sold penny candy for two cents), the year she tried selling cookies didn’t go so well. “I ate all the chocolate chip cookies before the buyers arrived.” Then there are memories of the 1946 Buick; encounters with oh-so-holy relatives and officers of the law; a drunken uncle trying to stab a mouse on the kitchen floor one Thanksgiving (the mouse escaped); sticking “my fist right in the middle of the lemon meringue pie; and going to a revival meeting (“enough energy to power two cities”).

“I’m sure you are wondering how I could be smiling,” she writes toward the end. “Let’s just say it was anything but dull and boring, and I like the person it has molded, even if I am a little rough around the edges.”    

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