A study released today finds that 80% of the Johnson Family of Smyrna “strongly object” to having lunch at “Aunt June” Wilson’s Hendersonville residence. These findings are in sharp contrast to a similar study only one year ago which found the Johnsons to be an overwhelming 100% in favor of the annual family tradition.
“To see a shift in opinion over time is expected, but such a dramatic change in a single year’s time is startling” explained Perry Burkhalter, a Belmont senior studying Statistical Anthropology. “What I think we see here is a confluence of several disparate factors, all contributing to an anomalous circumstance in which a historically-disproportionate sampling of subjects regard going to Aunt June’s as a complete and total pain in the ass.”
The report lists several findings which they believe contribute to the Johnsons collectively wanting to abandon the yearly lunch with their extended family. Among the contributing factors listed in the study are:
- patriarch Bill Johnson not wishing to be drawn into a heated political argument with people he only sees once a year, as well as knowing damn well that he would be asked again by cousin-in-law Jerry for a loan.
- eldest child Lily wishing to avoid being prodded for details about her relationship status by Uncle Max and being compelled to discuss as-yet-unmade college plans with Aunt June.
- middle child Ben having no interest in watching football with his second-cousins and a growing certainty that all adults are stupid
- youngest child Sara wishing to avoid the strong odor of ointment which Great-grandmother Mary invariably emits.
Burkhalter noted that the study did find some support for the luncheon in family matriarch May Johnson, though that support was found to be only partial. “May did go on the record as saying that it had been a family tradition for so long that not going would be awkward and cause a lot of questions and hurt feelings with her sister. However, our sampling data also indicated that this opinion isn’t held with much conviction, and that May isn’t thrilled with the idea of being practically required to try some of her brother’s inexpertly-prepared side dishes.” Researchers indicated that May’s suggestions that the family “could stop at Rivergate on the way home” appeared to ultimately have negligible effects on the results of the study.
When contacted for comment by The Rhinestone, the Johnsons explained that unanimity could be found in that none of them are eager to drive from Smyrna to Hendersonville, especially on a holiday. May noted “Bill and I agree that the drive will take up more time than we’d like, particularly having to go through all that construction bulls**t at the 24/65 split past Trinity Lane. Going through that on a good day is like accompanying Dante through Hell, but on big travel day like today… I mean, I might as well just start drinking now.” 13-year-old Ben voiced his agreement, noting “Man, I hate going all the way up to Henderslovakia. We should just stay home.”
Analysts with the Belmont study conclude a 74% likelihood that the Johnsons will ultimately decide “Screw it” and have lunch at Cracker Barrel. According to Burkhalter, “the saved time driving will be lost waiting for a table, but May will be able to do some holiday shopping and Sara always loves the little peg game.”