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A cherished tradition

For the last few years, one of my uncles has consistently shown up on Christmas with a new crackpot belief, and I am always eager to see what it is. For instance, in 2007, it was Kabbala. (He recommended that I study it, as it would help with my research; when I replied that my specialty is Christianity, he said, “But Kabbala is Christianity.”) In 2008, much to my disappointment, it was merely televangelism.

This year, less than five minutes after we arrived at the get-together, he was talking about when the hyperinflation would hit, and I was sure I was dealing with a goldbug — but when I brought it up to another uncle, he said that it was actually the silver standard that my crackpot uncle was into, as gold had been monopolized by the rich. If things had been insufficiently awkward, I would have mounted a spirited defense of fiat currency, but fortunately the seemingly interminable white elephant gift exchange kept the awkwardness quotient sufficiently high.


December 24, 2009 - Posted by | family values


  1. Sixteen to one, the heaven born ratio!

    Comment by jms | December 24, 2009

  2. I thought everyone’s crazy uncles were on the internet by now…

    Comment by engels | January 5, 2010

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