Well, Lucy ratted me out today.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure I deserved to be ratted out, but this one warranted a phone call from her mom. It started with her mom saying, “Lucy was talking to her teacher today, and she said, “My Poppa reads books to me, and he changes the words and makes them funny.” To which, I’m sure her teacher thought, isn't that cute. Little Lucy has a Poppa with a great sense of humor. Truthfully, Lucy has two Poppas who both have a somewhat unusual sense of humor.
Rockville, Md. grandfather always takes care of stuffing the Christmas stockings for everyone, and when I say everyone, I pretty much mean everyone. It’s his holiday thing. My stocking this year from her Hoppie had a fairly eclectic collection of things that were, well, unusual. There were several memorable gifts like the Elvis Presley Pez dispenser, a complete sewing kit, Irish Spring shampoo and conditioner, a container of Kleenex and some lip balm, but the most memorable gift was an air horn. Everyone should get at least one air horn for the holiday.
Honestly, Hoppie is a funny dude. He has a very active sense of humor that has spread to his kids and now his grandkids. Once when I stayed in the bedroom that he usually uses, I opened the closet door and saw that he had made a sign that had literally been wrapped around the clothing bar inside the closet. When I read the sign, it said, “Zoot Simms slept here.” It’s also not unusual for his chip-off-the-ole-block son to bring a can of whipped cream and some paper plates into the room so that the girls can “hit him in the face with pies,” and the middle girl, Aunt Lindsay is a real card.
Well, if Lucy had just complimented her Poppa with the my Poppa makes my stories funny by changing the words statement, we would all have been relieved, but then she volunteered that, “And he always says a bad word.” Okay, let’s get this straight, I might have said H-E-double hockey sticks, but it wasn't really a bad word. It was kind of a descriptive word. Problem is, with a 5 year old, that was pretty much the only word that she heard, and her teacher responded with a concerned look toward Lucy’s mom which inferred that, maybe she should check out this grandpa’s vocabulary more closely.
In the past, all of the ratting out had occurred from a different source, Lucy's older cousin. When he was younger, I was in trouble more than not. He'd come home from visiting me and say to his mom, “Poppa gave me a sip of coffee,” or “Poppa gave me gum.” “Poppa let me sit on his lap and steer his car down the driveway,” or “Poppa taught me how to scare my sister.”
He ratted me out so often that I made a solemn promise never to take that kid to Las Vegas with me because what happened in Vegas with him along would certainly never have stayed in Vegas.
OK, so I was busted. But believe me, it was not nearly as bad as the word I almost said when I saw my gas bill last month; now that would have been a really bad word. In fact, this whole bad word thing is always interesting to me. Who decided that some words were good and some were bad? I've heard people say things with no bad words present that are a lot worse than any bad word in my vocabulary.
Well, the next time I read about that %#@& Ant, Gil, and his ^%$* friend Ana and what’s his ^%$#@ name, the fat worm who forgot Gil’s birthday, I’ll just say something like, “Lucy, those blankety blank bugs are causing trouble again.