Family Meeting About Jason, Who is Back From the Dead, by Matthew Johnson

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Hello everyone. I’m glad we were all able to make some time in our busy schedules for this family meeting. Are we all comfortable? Did you get a sample of the new baked macaroni that we are going to be taste-testing for dinner Tuesday and Thursday this week? Your sister, my princess-star Lucy, is passing out the agendas for today’s meeting. As you’ll see, we will begin with Opening Remarks and then move on to Greeting and Open Agenda. After that, I’d like us to get to our first item of the day, which is making a switch from Capri Sun pouches to mini-PowerAdes at Blake’s soccer game this Saturday. From there we need to move to room-cleaning regulations. I know! I know! We just discussed this. But it’s not coming from me. We have your grandmother coming in next week and we cannot risk another Thanksgiving ’09. Finally, we will need to discuss your much older brother Jason’s move to the attic because he is now a ghost and has returned home.

On that note, I am going to pass out some “Thought Journals” so you can document your feelings of Jason’s return from the dead, per the suggestion of my therapist.

First, Opening Remarks. I want to say thank you to everyone for pitching in at your mother’s Spring Cleaning event this past Sunday. We cleaned out the attic and were able to rack up $56.67 in tax-deductible donations. The house looks much nicer, feels less cluttered, and we were finally able to take care of those Christmas lights. I’m sorry if the cleaning took everyone by surprise, but since your brother Jason has returned from the dead, your Mother uses bleach and a toothbrush on the baseboards as a coping skill.

Next, your Mother has informed me that some things will be changing about post-school snack time. As you all know, your mother is generally here and provides you with an afterschool snack; marshmallow fluff sandwiches have been trending as the most popular. However, because of Jason’s shocking return as an apparition, she will be returning to Dr. Simmons for her bi-weekly therapy sessions. Your brother Jason has offered to distribute the snacks as long as they are pre-made, because he is unable to manifest the energy to make a PB&J with no crusts the way Lucy likes it.

Now, to Blake. First of all, Blake, way to go this past Saturday. I was told you scored the winning goal against Richard Oliver’s Mobile Mechanics. I’m sorry we were unable to be there. How did the tangelos go over? Also, Blake submitted that he would like to from now on bring mini-PowerAdes to soccer games instead of Capri Sun packets. This will be fine. It’s also important to single Blake out for his role in helping to bring Jason back from the dead. Blake happened to be playing with a Ouji board and made a connection, like a spiritual friend request. Speaking of “friend requests,” our Wi-Fi will be down for some time as Jason’s presence causes our signal to be non-existent; we are exploring installing a hard line. We will update you at the next family meeting.

Some of you have asked how this will change the distribution of chores in the home. As of right now, we will keep everything the same. Blake, you will clean the guest bathroom weekly. Lucy, you will make sure the living room stays tidy. I will talk to Jason about dusting and outside chores. It seems with his newfound powers that he would be a real asset to dusting in high places, as well as cleaning out the gutters. He doesn’t seem to be bound by time and space any longer, so we won’t put the same time constraints on him as we do with you. You are still responsible for completing your chores each week.

All right. As I mentioned earlier, your grandmother is coming to visit. So, we will need a clean home, and Lucy, she will stay in your room. You will sleep on the air mattress in your brother’s room. We want to avoid bringing up your brother’s return from the dead. We are still unsure if anyone outside of our immediate family can see him or not. We haven’t tested it yet, for fear of Father O’Donnell finding out and trying to get himself published in Exorcism Quarterly. I have asked your spirit brother to remain in the attic. He in turn asked if that was “a little too on the nose,” and we laughed, just like old times.

Finally, your brother Jason has asked me to inform you of a few things. He doesn’t eat. He apologizes for some of the electricity problems, and if any of you would be willing to read aloud Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time to him, he would greatly appreciate it. He has narrowed down his unfinished business on Earth to either reading that book or paying back his student debt from his semester and a half of art school studying Experimental Cinema.

Matthew Johnson lives in L.A., recently bought a pair of pants, and tweets @johnsonspeaks.

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