You can know anything. It's all there. You just have to find it.

-Neil Gaiman


Monday, July 20, 2009

Grandpa and the Mule

I have many things in common with my dad. Same hair color. Same eye color. Same near-sightedness. The same ability to flame up with righteous indignation about all the morons in the world who running around being stupid. Doing stupid things. Making stupid rules. Stupid people...they're everywhere! And no one smart is doing anything about it. Dammit!

My father will listen to political talk radio just to hear himself scream at the blowhards, who are ALL STUPID IDIOTS!

I can get pretty worked up about all the stupid people too, until I remember one small little detail.

I'm stupid.

I did so many stupid things when I was a kid I can barely believe I'm still alive and have all my extremities. For a while I thought it was just me. Then I learned I descended from a long line of relatives whose famous words are, "I don't know...It seemed like a good idea at the time."

So when baby girl is old enough to start being really stupid, I will have to tell her the story of my father (her grandpa), who even though he seems pretty smart now, was really just a stupid kid once, too.

It's called: Grandpa and the Mule

Baby Girl,

When your grandpa was your age (eight-years old) he and his friend Peter decided to go for a bike ride. In those days (the 50's) eight year-old kids didn't have any cell phones or video/computer games or parental supervision of any kind, whatsoever. Really, a lot of people didn't even have T.V.s, I know, hard to believe. And there would only be a few channels to watch if they did have T.V. Yes, yes, it was absolutely terrible. Kids back then had to entertain themselves. Outside! So your grandpa and his friend decided to ride bikes. They rode their bikes (without helmets) eight miles out of the city. On the highway. And eventually they came to a farm. A farm with horses! And your grandpa decides he's going to ride one of those horses, because well, isn't that what horses are for? So he climbs the fence and walks up to a horse. Except it isn't a horse. It's a mule. What's a mule, you ask? Well, a mule is kind of like a horse, except smaller and meaner. So your grandpa walks right up to the mule, grabs its mane to pull himself on and the mule turns his head right around and bites grandpa. Right in the stomach! Can you imagine getting bit in the stomach by an angry mule? I know, it sounds terrible.

So your grandpa, who has no cell phone to call his parents (and wouldn't if he did, because he would have gotten into big trouble for being so stupid as to try to ride a strange mule), has to ride his bicycle home, one-handed, blubbering and clutching his stomach in pain, and you can bet that was probably the longest bike ride of his life. Luckily, the bite didn't break his skin or he'd probably have to go to the hospital. Instead he had huge teeth marks on his belly that turned black and blue and stayed like that for a whole week.

So did you learn anything from this story?

That's right, don't ever try to ride a mule.

Why don't you go ask your grandpa to tell you about the time he sprayed his high school gym class with the fire extinguisher and got suspended....

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