Imagine your least favorite relative. It's that person that makes you want to punch a hole in the wall, or at least throw an expensive drink in their face. I know you have someone in mind. Well, for Andy, the poor protagonist of our story, that person was the dreadful Aunt Donna. Now Aunt Donna knew that Andy was a computer geek, and she absolutely took advantage of him to "support" her daughter, who didn't want any of this drama. No matter what the occasion was, Aunt Donna would show up to antagonize literally everyone and take what she wanted. You know these sorts of people, there's no way you can tell them to their face what they're doing is terrible. Their skulls are like brick walls, refusing to let any logic into their heads. Well, there's only one solution to vanquish these fearsome family members, but it's not what you're expecting.
Aunt Donna wasn't just terrorizing poor Andy and his parents on a regular Tuesday. Oh no, this was Andy's birthday, which Aunt Donna certainly invited herself to. Now birthday cake and blowing out candles are fun and all, but that wasn't what Andy was looking forward to at all. More than anything, he wanted to build his own gaming computer. Imagine your favorite LEGO set, but you get to make your own instructions and customize it exactly just how you want it. Want to make the computer neon green with flames on the front?! Why not, you're the one building it! Andy had already accumulated almost all the parts he needed, and his parents had helped out with a few extra parts. he didn't know when everything else would arrive, but building his dream computer was the best birthday present Andy could ever ask for. He wasn't the only computer whiz in the family though. His thirteen-year-old cousin April wanted to get into designing her own computers. Sure, Andy claimed this passion first, but he was happy to mentor his younger cousin. It was great to have someone who actually knew the terms he kept talking about, since his parents were totally clueless!
Unfortunately, April was Aunt Donna's daughter, and seeing his favorite cousin meant dealing with his least favorite human being. Seriously, this woman was the worst. She was entitled, arrogant, snooty, and she wore way too much perfume for anyone to ever stomach. Seriously, how could April put up with this dreadful woman as her mother?! While Aunt Donna chatted with Andy's parents over drinks, Andy and April were upstairs in Andy's room, gabbing about all things technology. Andy was showing off all the parts he had meticulously collected for his dream computer. April mentioned how she was looking for a few parts to upgrade her laptop. They were both basking in their mutual nerdiness. Unfortunately, the fun was cut short when Aunt Donna barged in. Aunt Donna's official job seemed to be terrorizing and manipulating as many people as she possibly could, at least according to Andy. Turns out that wasn't too far from the truth, because Aunt Donna had a wicked scheme in mind for these terrified teens!
Aunt Donna practically burst down the door, loudly asking the two teens on whether or not they wanted any snacks or drinks. Let's be honest, Aunt Donna didn't really care about the snacks and drinks, that was just her way of "gracefully" entering the conversation. Aunt Donna would soon reveal her real motives, she just had to get through some uncomfortably forced pleasantries. Aunt Donna proclaimed, "Oh hey! Andy, are these your new computer doohickeys?! Much too technical for me, I'm sure!"
Hoping to turn the volume down a few decibels, Andy muttered out, "Uh, yeah, these are all the things I picked out."
Aunt Donna eyed one particular piece as if it was a diamond ring. "OOOOH! What's this one?!"
Andy mumbled, "Oh, that's the power supply. It's sort of like a battery pack..."
Aunt Donna turned to both of the teens and stated, "Wowee! You kids are very smart if you know all of this stuff!!"
Andy had literally no idea what to say to that. Receiving a compliment was one thing, but it was like Aunt Donna took every word she uttered and shoved it into Andy's ear drums. He just stared at her grinning face, trying to think of how to get this bizarre creature away from him. April wasn't any help either, since her best defense was just to be quiet until Aunt Donna got bored and went away. Why hadn't the family gotten a restraining order on this woman yet?! Thankfully, just at the perfect moment, Andy's mom called from downstairs that dinner would be ready. Thank goodness, Aunt Donna's perfume was starting to get to Andy's head. Unfortunately for Andy and April, their family nightmare had only just begun. Interrogating the teens was only the first step in her plan, and the rest of the family would quickly encounter the next dreaded phase.
At last, the family birthday dinner could begin. Naturally, Aunt Donna was dominating the conversation, awkwardly pinching Andy's cheeks like he was a toddler and burping very loudly at the table. Aunt Donna exclaimed, "So I heard that our dear Andrew was building a new computer! How cool! Actually, April is upgrading hers, right April?"
April looked like a deer in the headlights who wanted to desperately escape. She replied, "Oh yeah, I, uh, wanted to upgrade my graphics card. I noticed that Andy had one from a really great brand, something like that would be cool."
This was it. Aunt Donna had been eyeing Andy's computer parts a little too closely, and now Andy knew exactly why. Aunt Donna uttered, "Oh WOWEE! So Andy already has the one you want?!"
April looks sheepishly at her mother, also realizing what was going on. April tried to say, "Sure Mom, but I don't-"
That was enough for Aunt Donna, who continued on as if April wasn't in the middle of her sentence. "Well you know how slow shipping can be! Andy, what if April took your graphics card or whatever it is, and you can order another one! You don't even have all the parts yet, so you wouldn't be using it for quite some time! And don't worry darling, we would pay you back for the cartridge too!"
The rest of the family exchanged a dark look. Aunt Donna was known for "paying people back", which usually meant completely forgetting to do so and ignoring questions about it for the next few months. Aunt Donna was terrible with money, something Andy's parents had firsthand experience with. Andy's dad tried to interject, "Well see here now, Andy worked really hard to pick out and get all the parts he needed, and there’s no telling when the rest of the equipment would arrive-"
Once again, Aunt Donna paid literally no attention to anything her relatives were saying. She declared to the table, "Well, it is the EASIEST option! Just think about it!"
Once Aunt Donna made up her mind about something, there was no way to convince her otherwise. The rest of the family was completely trapped. How were they going to get out her trying to steal Andy's hard-earned computer part?! Aunt Donna was determined to destroy this birthday if it meant getting what she wanted.
The rest of the family tried to make the best out of Andy's birthday dinner, quickly wrapping things up. Andy's parents could sense the distress on Andy's and April's faces, so they told the two teens to go back upstairs and talk computers again. It was quite possibly the best gift Andy's parents could have given him: a few minutes of peace and quiet. Andy's parents tried to distract Aunt Donna with more drinks, but that could only work for so long. Upon seeing Aunt Donna creep into his room, Andy noted how, "She looks angry, but I still keep rejecting all her tries to take it. Eventually, my parents come in and try to get her to leave."
Andy's poor parents were no match for this increasingly irate and overbearing aunt. Andy dad mentioned, "Look, if you want it so badly, we can order one for you. April's birthday is coming up, and I wouldn't mind gifting her a new graphics card, as long as it isn't too expensive."
April loved a sane, rational adult talking to her for once. She replied, "Thanks, I really don't mind waiting. I'm saving up my money though, I could buy it myself!"
But Aunt Donna didn't like her own daughter agreeing with her brother. Donna needed to get the last word in and to take control of literally everyone around her, so she exploded, "No, no, NO! I am NOT leaving this house without that card thingy!"
Aunt Donna turned to Andy's dad and burst out, "You little toad! You were always such an ugly cheapskate! And dumb too! Seriously, there are no flaws in my logic, why can't you see that?!"
Aunt Donna spun away from the speechless man to face her fearful daughter. "APRIL! Come here, which part is it?! We are going to grab it and leave, COME ON!"
This was the moment of truth. Andy and his parents couldn't do anything without Aunt Donna breathing fire onto each of them. She was somewhat sympathetic to April though. April had the best chance of fixing the situation and taming her wild mother. Fortunately, April was quick on her feet and thought of a wickedly clever plan. Aunt Donna would never see this coming.
Instead of grabbing the graphics card, April hastily picked up the old computer mouse on Andy's desk, which he coincidentally had been meaning to get rid of. Aunt Donna clearly had too much to drink, and she barely understood how her cellphone worked. There was no way that she would be able to determine which computer part was actually the graphics card. Aunt Donna, complete with a wicked grin and a cackle, stormed out, practically dragging April by the hand out the door. The two of them got in their car and sped off. Andy and his parents could see Aunt Donna laughing in triumph even through her tinted windows. There wasn't even a goodbye. Andy figured that April would get so much grief for pulling this stunt once Aunt Donna uncovered what really was going on. Once the car turned the corner, Andy explained what had actually happened to his technologically illiterate parents. They were quite impressed with April's resourcefulness, and they all went back inside to enjoy some peace, quiet, and leftover birthday cake.
Andy figured that he would wait a day or two for April to smooth things over with her mom before he called her. Andy recalled how, "[April] said that she didn't get chewed out, but she doesn't know if a punishment will happen yet. I'm afraid the money she had been saving would be taken away."
Aunt Donna still had not caught on to April's savvy solution, but she was like a ticking time bomb was counting down to its last numbers. It turned out that April also had a secret weapon that would come in especially handy!"
April's secret weapon? Her dad, Andy's uncle. Apparently, when April got home, she explained the entire commotion to her dad. He laughed at April's resourcefulness and completely understood. This wasn't Aunt Donna's first family outburst, and it definitely wouldn't be the last. April's dad knew just what to do. He never revealed to Aunt Donna what the "graphics card" actually was. Instead, he tried to talk her down, and he made sure it would be awhile before Andy and his parents had to visit Aunt Donna in person again. If Aunt Donna ever learned the truth, she would have completely lost her mind. The risk was too enormous for everyone else involved. April continued to save up her money, and Andy got to help April pick out the parts she needed to finally upgrade her own computer. The rest of Andy's parts finally arrived, and he got to build what was definitely the coolest computer ever created in the history of the world. Aunt Donna had been held at bay, at least until the best holiday or birthday. But for now, everyone else got to enjoy a little bit of victory.
And that's where our story ends. Seriously, who knew that a single part of a single computer could create this much chaos and scheming?! I'm sure everyone around Aunt Donna never took a quiet moment for granted. I also seriously hope that Aunt Donna got therapy, she clearly had some larger issues that she needed to work out. So how does this compare to your own family explosions? Do you have an Aunt Donna in your life? How have you dealt with her? Who knows what other secrets the rest of the family had been keeping from this petty, manipulative dragon. Andy would never forget this birthday for quite some time, but maybe he would try to celebrate with just his friends next year.