by Slo Mo
Here are the ten most important things not to say to your irate cousin when you pick her up at the airport after she had to fly home from Europe because you electrocuted her dog with a pair of faulty hair clippers:
This isn't a welcome wagon. Just shut up and carry her bags to the car.
2. "Did you have a good flight?"
Apparently, business class sometimes gets oversold, so important, loyal customers are bumped to economy, where the headsets don't work and no one arrives with the amaretto for your coffee. Also, the seats in economy cause migraines, which is why you should stop talking and just drive, for Christ's sake.
3. "What huge stains on the car upholstery?"
Fake innocence never works with angry relatives. But it works better than saying...
4. "That? Just a bit of puke from when Dog accidentally ate a few pounds of guava-"
5. "Um, so anyway, how are things at work?"
As a matter of fact, this trip has caused her to miss a very large, very crucial, very important presentation, which could adversely affect her relationship with her clients, not to mention the entire future of that lucrative contract she fought so hard to win. Glad you asked? And what did you just say about guava?
6. "Here, have an Altoid."
Everyone knows she's allergic to peppermint. She could DIE from eating an Altoid, just like Pookie-poo could have DIED from that electrical shock. God, you're such an asshole.
7. "Speaking of Dog, let's drop your bags at the house before I take you to see him."
STOP CALLING HIM "DOG"!!!!
8. "On second thought, let's go straight to the animal hospital. Visiting hours may be over soon."
Actually, that was a pretty slick way to postpone the nervous breakdown she'll have when she sees the condition of her house. But you get major demerit points for using the word "hospital", because...
9. "Calm down. I know it sounds bad, but Dr. Heckle assures me everything will be fine. And you'll see that Pook is in a very comfy ICU suite, with unlimited chew toys and his own bed from home. Why, he's having so much fun that he hardly notices the IV tubes and heart monitor!"
10. "Also, keep in mind that his hair will grow back, eventually. And the singe marks will fade with time. And his nose won't always have a weird, red glow."
No matter how hard she tries to push you out of the car at 82 mph, be sure to keep your hands on the wheel. Keep your hands on the wheel, keep your hands on the wheel, keep your hands on the wheel...