I write domestic grotesque fiction, which is a term I think I made up, but is quite suiting to the themes and content of my stories and books. The most famous short story that I think would fit into the domestic grotesque genre is “Good Country People” by Flannery O’Conner (visualized quite creepily in this short film from the 1960s and quite cheesily in this student clip). Take a family situation—usually some sort of broken family dynamic—mix in something grotesque—possibly morbid but not necessarily—and you’ve probably got domestic grotesque.
As you can imagine, Christmas is a fun time for my family.
I’ve given quite a few quirky gifts. Though none could be tagged as grotesque, they are representative of the type of mind that would write a domestic grotesque story, I think. Tis the season and all that, so I figured I would share a few that I’ve so graciously given over the years.
Lucky Recipient: uncle
Yep, it’s a real kangaroo scrotum. I bought one for myself years ago and still use it to this day. Quite durable, those marsupial nut sacks.
Lucky recipient: sister
Elegantly simple. Place bear near unsuspecting grandmother. Press remote button. Watch rest of family pretend to ignore what they assume is just a more audible version of what grandma does all the time.
Lucky recipient: sister
Elegantly simple. Place bear near unsuspecting grandmother. Tell grandmother to hug bear. Watch rest of family pretend not to be embarrassed as we hear an audible version of what grandma is thinking all the time.
Lucky recipient: mother.
My mother refused to tell me what she wanted for Christmas, so I taught her a lesson by giving her a bunch of stupid crap. This table is probably the stupidest. Lesson learned, mom. I actually gave a zebra table (sans the tiger), but I couldn’t find a picture of it anywhere online. Though I think I like this one better. 2011 gift idea!
Bath towel with my giant face on it
Lucky recipient: mother
I specifically made sure to call this gift a bath towel, rather than a beach towel or dish towel, so as to enhance the creepy factor. That face is actual size…if my face suffered from Elephantiasis. that face is actually about the size of a couch cushion. Bonus funny: I’m my mother’s only son.
Way-too-old child footprints
Luck recipient: mother
You remember those cute infant-to-toddler foot print pictures that children often make for their parents. This is kinda like that except instead of ohhh-ing and awwww-ing there was much ewwww-ing and therapist calling. I actually think this was a Mother’s Day gift. Either way, ha!
Might I recommend you do the same? Creep out your family by gifting one of the items above. Or, better yet, mix in some bookage and give a copy of one of my books. Click below to go to heaven.
- As a Machine and Parts
- Stranger Will
- Charactered Pieces: stories
- Murmurs: Gathered Stories Vol. One
- I Didn’t Mean to be Kevin (forthcoming)
Subscribe to my amazing, hilarious YouTube channel. Just click the button below.
Consider sharing this post on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Think of it as a way to tell a friend “I’m thinking of you.”
About Caleb J. Ross
Caleb began writing his sophomore year of undergrad study when, tired of the formal art education then being taught, he abandoned the pursuit in the middle of a compositional drawing class. Major-less and fearful of losing his financial aid, he signed up to seek a degree in English Literature for no other reason than his lengthy history with the language. Coincidentally, this decision not only introduced him to writing but to reading as well. Prior this transition he had read three books. One of which he understood.