Graphic by Eiji Boga

There was a television show by that same name that used to air on one of the major Spanish-language networks here in the states not too long ago.  Carmelita Salinas was one of the three hosts and aside from exposing a constant parade of dysfunctional families from one extreme to the other, the show was also well known for utilizing grossly made up characters, from midgets to circus folks, all exaggeratedly stereotyped, and for the most part, all fiction, as the jury of rhyme and reason in this chaotic makeup of a show.  I’ll admit it now, though I wouldn’t have before, that on some days when there was nothing else to do, or when it felt like the kind of day when my mind didn’t want to think anymore, I’d sit back on my sofa and just watch the craziness on screen.

There was always someone crying, someone yelling at the top of their lungs, people throwing punches, and of course, the little people jumping out of their chairs and running across the stage with an oversized pencil in their hands to try to call order on the set.  I never really understood the need for those humongous plastic pens… or the existence of a jury at all for that matter.  If it was strictly for the ratings, well it obviously didn’t work.  The show hasn’t been on the air for a couple of years now.

The thing is, somehow, for some reason, anytime there is any amount of chaos in my life it always comforts me to think back to the premise of that show: Hasta en Las Mejores Familias.  As if because my problems haven’t landed me on a similar television talk show yet they might not be as bad as what they seem.  Perhaps it’s the idea that all of the drama on that show was way worse than anything that’s ever happened to me.  In a lot of ways it was, but then again it was mostly make-believe… for the “magic” of the small screen.  More often than not though, on some days I completely understand the need for that excessively large pencil, the running around in circles on stage, the yelling, the crying, and yes, even the buenas cachetadas.  It’s not that my life is so stressful, or that the things happening in and around it are that chaotic tampoco, just that sometimes the freedom of going a little loco doesn’t seem all of that crazy after all.

They did always say things do happen “even in the best families!”

I’m beginning to think there is a lot more truth to this notion than I once believed.