My Uncle Richard stopped by today. I didn’t know it was him at first because I don’t know his truck, and he drove up in a big silver pickup with McCain/Palin stickers on the back windows. I thought: Why is there a scary Republican in my driveway and what does it want?
He took three large, empty plastic buckets out of the truck and said that Dad wanted to take them home (Dad — his older brother — is coming here in a couple days for a visit from NH… more on that in a moment). We were on the porch and he said, “Maybe I shouldn’t leave them out here, it’s supposed to get pretty windy. What about the barn?”
“Dad will forget them if they’re in the barn. So will I.”
“Where would you like me to put them?”
“Can they go in the house?” I couldn’t see the labels because they had dried white stuff dripped on them, and he had all three in one hand.
“I mean, what was in them, is it safe?” I was thinking about Pickle and what if she licked them or something.
“Of course it’s safe.”
“No, what was in them, any sort of, I dunno, poison?” I was thinking maybe lawn fertilizer, who knows.
“Yes, poison in this one, three dead bodies in that one — of course it’s safe, they’re empty spackle buckets!”
“Okay, now they can go in the house. Jeeze.”
I love my Uncle Richard.
So yeah, Dad called me a few weeks ago and said he wanted to come down from NH and take me out to dinner for my birthday. I was puzzled. Usually he calls me on my birthday. Come all the way from NH just to take me out to dinner? Well, okay…
It wasn’t until after we’d hung up that I realized he was mistaken about my birthday. I turned 50 last April, got the usual phone call from him. So if he’s wanting to take me out to dinner all the way from NH to CT, he must have forgot I turned 50 last year and he thinks this is the year to make a big deal out of it.
So he called today to confirm all that, and it went like this:
“…blah blah blah, so how does it feel to be old, etc…”
“Well, I’ve already been through 30, 40, and 50, so 51 is no big deal.”
“What — wait!”
“I knew it.”
“That’s why you’re making a big deal about coming down here and taking me out to dinner: because you thought it was my 50th birthday. Which you MISSED last year.”
“Senile old coot.”
“Oh, god! Well, make sure you pick a really nice restaurant, I have a whole year to make up for!”
And I’m not getting any younger.