home Family, Humor, Society I play Grandpa Joseph

I play Grandpa Joseph

Why, hey there, boy! Good morning! And where are you off to? Why don’t you sit down for a few minutes with your grandpa? Oh, oh, sure. Your friends. Well, I’m sure I’ll still be here when you’re done playing Barbies with your little buddies.

No, of course you aren’t! Grandpa‘s only joking. No, you go right ahead, and I’ll be here when you get back. Or… I might not. Who knows? Now I don’t want to be one of those burdensome old people, so when it does happen, I’ll try to fall forward.

That way the cat won‘t be able to eat any of my face, and we can have a nice, open-casket affair. Would you like that? But here I am, babbling on. You were on your way to play with your little friends.

You will stay? Oh, why, that’s great. Sweet of you, staying just to talk with your old grandpa. So tell me about school. Hm. Interesting. And you’re in, what, the third grade? Well, well. So, answer me this: what would you do if you were in the middle of the ocean, and a whale was about to eat you?

Really? Well, then what are they teaching you?

You listen to me, son: if you ever find yourself out in the middle of the great, wide ocean, and a starving whale is rushing up from the depths to swallow you whole, you let him swallow you. Well, and then you cut your way out from the inside! Of course! What do you mean, with what? Your knife! Hey, no sass!

Do you mean to tell me that you leave the house without your knife? Why, I carry a blade with me everywhere I go. There’s nothing more useful than a knife, my boy. You can open windows with it, slice bread with it, eat soup with it… why, I could go on all day. Well, that’s nonsense, every school allows you to carry knives. How else would you open your locker, or tie your shoes? … Really? Your fingers?

Well… why that’s just… it’s easy! You kids have it much too easy these days. Don’t have to work for anything. Tying laces just as bloodless as you please. It was different, back in my day. We had to work for what we had.

Listen, I’m going to give you a little advice, a little motto I just happened to live by back in my day. I’ve always said, “if there’s an alligator in your pool, throw your neighbor’s dog at it.” Well, now I never said it was easy advice, now did I? I want you to think on that for a little while – if thinking isn’t too much trouble and all. Ha! Grandpa loves you anyway, though.

So tell me, boy, do you have a girlfriend? No? No surprise there, I suppose. Your mother’s influence, really. I told her to build an obstacle course in the backyard, but she insisted on teaching you to read instead.

Never mind, then. We’ve got to get you a lady friend, my lad! Why, when I was your age, I must have had at least 6 girlfriends. Maybe 13. I can’t really remember.

Now, it’s probably too late for you to hear this, but I’d like to share a little wisdom with you about the gentler sex. Yes, yes, I know, I said “sex,” but if you keep giggling, then Grandpa might get all distracted and forgetful and pee on your Xbox. Now listen close, boy: any girl worth having, is worth chasing.

Sometimes, girls like to play shy. Why, they’ll reject you right and left, but what you have to remember is, they don’t really mean it. Why, I loved a girl once; I asked her out every day. I once knocked Mr. Larson the literature teacher out with a golf club, stole his suit, and tried to teach her class, just because I thought she might be into older guys. I once spent 8 days making a giant, papier-mâché pony for her – only I got too attached, and sort of kept it myself. Why, I even once disguised myself as a sandwich and tried to hide inside her lunch box, just to surprise her! I tell you boy, I looked delicious.

The point is, boy, you’ll do crazy things for love. But just remember this motto, because it’s the motto I’ve lived by my whole life: Love conquers all. It really does. It conquers war, and famine, and even sexually transmitted diseases. In fact, love out-maneuvered Rommel in Africa, and turned the tide of the war for us back during ‘Nam.

Of course, you don’t understand. You’re too young for love, and you’re certainly too young for war. Have I ever told you about my time in the war? The biggest war of them all, son – don’t they teach you about anything but Harry Potter, Pikachus and the Facebook in that school of yours?

Now I’ll have you know, your grandpa is one of the greatest heroes of World War II the world has ever known. I personally slapped that Mussolini punk right in the mouth. What do you mean? Of course, really.

He cried like a girl scout that I made sit in the yard while I ran the sprinklers that time because she was overcharging. Well, of course your mother never mentioned me in being in any wars, boy! She was raised by wolves until she was in the fifth grade, so she wouldn’t remember. Besides, her casserole tastes like it was left in a humid outhouse, and she never lets me rummage through her purse, so who are you going to trust?

What? Oh. Sure, your friends. They must be waiting, so you just hurry along. What are you boys planning to do? Oh, well, well. Building a clubhouse! A secret clubhouse, you say? And what does your club do? What? Why, every club has to have a purpose, my boy! You have to have a goal, something to accomplish. Listen here, no grandson of mine is going to be a directionless little ballerina. And stop that crying!

Now, I’m not as up on these things as I used to be, but if there’s one thing your grandpa understands, it’s business. In fact, there’s a little motto that I’ve kept to my whole life, and it’s served me just fine: “Kill all the Crips.” See? I’ve even tattooed it here on my knuckles. Ah, I see you understand.

After all, a man without money is… well, hardly a man at all. He’s just a party boy in tiny clothes, hanging out on a street corner asking Johns and Sues if they want to party… until finally an undercover officer threw me in chokey for two weeks. Two weeks!

Anyway, son, what I’m trying to say is that your little club needs more than just a clubhouse with pretty drapes and a throw rug. It needs direction. Tell me, do you know what a “still” is? Ha, why, it’s what this neighborhood needs, that’s what it is! A little of the hard stuff, and a place where a man can be a man for a little while without his daughter and her do-gooder husband interfering or complaining about me turning this house into “a speakeasy” or “an opium den.”

Well, I’m sure that’s enough for today. You run along and play with your buddies now, ok? Yes, yes, go ahead. Wash your face and enjoy some of that sunshine! Try not to skip through too many fields of daisies, but I’ll understand if you can’t help it. Grandpa loves you. Now shoo!

Joe Sapien

Joe Sapien is a regular columnist. He is currently floundering through grad school and running up debt. He never got to be a bully as a child, but he would have been pretty good at it.