Some time had passed since we gave my stepson his DNA kit. But my wife was adamant that he come over and complete the DNA test. So, we resorted to bribing him with a Mexican dinner and Jell-O cake. He eventually wore down.

When I came from work on the agreed upon day, my wife was already coaching him on how to correctly spittle. It took him awhile, but he persevered and finished. Sealing up his vial of spit and forever binding himself to even his most primitive ancestors.

To memorialize the event, we made good on our promise of a Mexican dinner. The rest of the night was a straightforward proposition: to enjoy ourselves sans drama. A dinner free from the dreary business of business itself and politics. We spent quite a bit of time at the restaurant idly chatting the night away.

After dinner, we returned home to generous portions of Jell-O cake or, as some people call it poke coke. A delicious dessert made with red raspberry Jell-O and some lemon juice-based frosting. Towards the end of the evening when we were coming off our sugar highs and running out of our words, there was a moderate pause in our conversation and that’s when I took the opportunity to softly and slowly sing an old Danish lullaby— Hej nu, graed du ikke…

Once the family figured out I wasn’t joking the evening quickly turned awkward. By the second verse— Baby, lad mig tor dine ojne— family members started to come up with some lame excuses for leaving or going upstairs. I was slightly taken aback but then again I was getting sleepy and it had already been a good evening. And, like my Dad always used to remind us, nothing good ever happens after midnight.


“When neither incompetency, nor intentional wrong, nor real injury to the service is imputed—in such cases it is both cruel and impolitic , to crush the man and make him and his friends permanent enemies…”—Abraham Lincoln