Monday, June 1, 2009

The Behavioral Chasm Between One Grandfather and the Other Is Like The Canyon of the Crescent Moon

My Grampa turned 93 this weekend. Not Poppy, the other one. Despite the walker and near-blindness, he's a goddamn five-foot powerhouse. In fact, he's thinking of buying a house, because his apartment complex will not allow him to keep a certain kind of plant on his porch that he can't pronounce, but he knows it's green.

Grampa is not a gardener. He's a peaceful, bitter, sovereign hermit, like Obi-Wan Kenobi, who reheats day-old cold coffee in the microwave and refuses to follow rules that infringe on his basic goddamn rights to own garish, porch-consuming potted plants that he doesn't want or need in the first place.

And he's got this harem of elderly bitches in his apartment complex that call him "Eddie" and make him play bridge every Tuesday. He feigns agitation, the sly old coot.

So I guess he's not like Ben Kenobi.

No, fuck it, Kenobi was a total pimp, and you know it.

But yeah, it was his birthday, and I gave him a hug, and he took his old man hands and gently shoved me into a door and gave me an ancient label-less handle from his liquor cabinet.

"Now you share that," he wags a hand in my general direction, with the other firmly gripping his walker.

I open the jug and smell it. "Grampa, no one I know drinks gin except for me."

"Your grandmother drank gin. And she was nearly as much trouble as you, oh boy."

"Do you have any olives?"

"Do I look like a market? Oh, boyohboyohboy."

"No olives? Jesus, Grampa, what are you, a communist?"

"If you're lookin' for a knuckle sandwich..."

"Does it come with olives?"

"How about you go heat up some coffee for me like a good little girl, and save that gin for when you go home and I don't have to listen to you jabbering anymore."

"How about you go sit in your rocking chair and hum to yourself until you're a hundred? Huh?"

"Oh, I'm not going anywhere until you've learned to be quiet for a day."

"Oh yeah?"

"Yeah."

"You've got years and years left, sir."

"Don't I know it."

...

22 comments:

The Ambiguous Blob said...

Ahhhhh... I like your grandpa!

Red said...

I'm glad to know your other grandpa is good. It would suck if Poppy was it, or if your other grandpa didn't rock.

Betsey Booms said...

Your grandpa is a Ben Kenobe-esque pimp.

Good genes you come from.

Ooh, that was all Yoda. Sorry, wrong Jedi.

daisyfae said...

only day old? she-eeeit. i can make a pot last almost a week.

he's rockin'... makes me want to get old and be a complete nutter!

A Free Man said...

I've been feeling kind of shit avbout getting older these days, but this has made me OK with it.

hereinfranklin said...

One time my mother dropped a giant bottle of duty free Bombay Blue gin in customs in Dallas. Apropos of nothing, I know...

Melissa Anne said...

I love the relationships you have with your family.

Nothings aplenty said...

Awesome! and i understand how wonderful it feels to have grandparents with spunk who do exactly what they want...
my gramdma is turning 90 in a coupla months, and its completely unbelievable how, among other things, she keeps track of Everybody in the family when i dont even know beyond my first cousins.

formerly fun said...

A-your grandpa is a pimp
B-You write awesome dialogue, you know this, I've told you so have others, you just need a plot for your screenplay and then we'll all be like,

"yeah remember Rossi/Rassles, yeah, remember when she used to reply to our emails, yeah, that was before she was famous. Do you remember when she brought back Teenwolf? Have you seen her new movie?"

You need to stop helping poor kids and just write. It's perfect,you are already used to being pretty poor and you're already borderline alcoholic--you were born to do this.

gullybogan said...

"Does it come with olives?"

Hilarious.

Formerly Fun is right: you capture dialogue *so* well.

nursemyra said...

He sounds adorable. Can you clone him and send ten to the gimcrack? We've got spare beds

sid said...

Damn your gandpa is 93 and a smartass. Awesome.

wolf said...

Am I the only one who knows that Ben Kenobi is spelled with an 'i'? For shame, fellow geek.

I dig your grandpa, though.

Blues said...

I second FF. Your dialogues never seem forced or sound to pre-planned. Which either means you're brilliant or you have an unbelievable capacity to remember exactly how a conversation went down. I'm such crap at dialogue.

Erin said...

Gin is so good, I think. I like it alone sometimes. Mine never comes out of an ancient, unlabeled jug, though. If it did, I wouldn't drink anything else.

Das Meems said...

My freshman year in college, my parents went to Hawaii.

My younger sister and brother (Senior and Junior) had a PARTEEEEEEE.

The cops got called. Of course.
Brother called me to bail him out of trouble. When I arrived from my college town to the house around 10:30 that night, it had a half full keg and 3 handles of Bombay Saphire gin.

So I did what any freshman in college does.

I called all my friends to come over and finish what the youngsters could not finish.

I don't drink gin anymore.
(long story short).

Thanatos said...

Knuckle sandwich. Ha. Gotta love the misogynist generation.

Gwen said...

Ok, your rapport with your grandpa is just precious. I envy you because I love feisty old people and I just don't have any in my family any more. All the funny ones have "passed on". Todd's grandfather is pretty awesome and sort of reminds me of your granddad. He's always making crazy alcohol concoctions and making us drink them. At Christmas his specialty is egg nog. Well, at least he calls it eggnog. I think it's just straight rum. I LOVED this post in a big way. I think I could read a whole book of dialogue between you and this feisty grandpa!

Gypsy said...

You know who he reminds me of...? You.

Kitty said...

I love your stories about your grandfathers.

At 92, this one sharp.

Ginny said...

You make all kinds of sense, now.

That was perfect, top 5 favorite things I've read on your blog.

Rassles said...

Ambiblob: Good, because I totally dig him.

Red: And still, having one rocking grandpa is luckier than some.

Boomer: Fucking Jedis, getting all bojangled.

Daisy: Well he drinks a lot of the stuff, you know?

Freeman: Kidding me? I think my goal in life is to be ancient and cantankerous.

Franklin: I would laugh hysterically. Or maniacally? Doesn't matter. I only have one laugh, and it's really loud.

Meems: Me too, sometimes.

Nothings: Some people's knack for thriving relationships blows my mind.

FF: This weekend I wanted to go to a workshop called "Drinking and Writing" where some Chicago authors hang out and drink and talk about how alcohol makes you a better writer. Awesome. I know.

Gully: For the record, it did not come with olives. Crap, I tell you.

Nurse: He really is a kick to have around. And when he's not making conversation? He hums.

Sid: Very awesome.

Wolf: God DAMN it. I fixed it. Because you're better than I am. At knowing things. Fuck.

Blues: If you would like to list more wonderful things about me, I am perfectly willing to hear about them. Or read them. Whatever.

Erin: Nah, I tasted that shit and it was nastles. I need to by a brita filter thing and get it all nice and smooth-like.

Meems: Your brilliance astounds me.

Thanny: I know, right? Too bad the other grandpa is the misogynist.

Gwen: Unfortunately, this conversation is about as long of a conversation as he's capable of, because he gets all distracted and starts talking about three musketeers bars. Like the candy.

Gypsy: Well, that's about as high of a compliment as I can get, so thank you.

Kitty: Ninety three, now. Credit where it's due. And I'm glad you love them.

Ginny: Just thinking about having a top five makes me giggle. And thanks.