Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Years ago, when I was about 10 years old, my grandparents had a family reunion (on my granddad's side of the family). We called my granddad Pappy.

Now I just happened to be spending the weekend with Pappy and grandmother. You know how it is staying with grandparents. Great food. Late curfew, late night TV, and -- did I mention? --great food. Also there are stories of when they were young and on the farm or out chasing cows and working ranches.

Well Pappy's relatives showed up Saturday morning. And, I'm like, who the hell are these people!? I don't know them. Pappy was all excited. I guess he hadn't seen these people in awhile. In fact, he said, it had been about 20 some odd years. He never talked about any of them, so to me they were stangers. My dad showed up, and he didn't know who they were either.

So my grandmother talked my dad into staying and wanted him to cook lunch on the grill. So he and I ran off to the store to get stuff for hot dogs, hamburgers, and all the stuff you need to pull off a good BarBQ. While we were in the store, I asked him who these people were. He said, "I don't know who the hell they are, I've never seeen them , or heard Pappy talk about them."

So after getting all we needed at the store, away to grandmother's house we went. When we got back, my dad started up the grill and grandmother made up the hamburger patties. I had to help set up the tables and put out paper plates and plastic silver ware. (I still do not why you call plastic forks, spoons, and them flimsy little knives silverware.)

While all of this is going on, Pappy is talking up a blue streak with all of his relatives. After about 20 some odd minutes of him flapping his gums, (thats one of Pappy's sayings) he announced that he had to go to the bathroom. So up he jumped with his smoking pipe in his hand and headed for the house. (Never could figure out why he had to smoke while using the bathroom, unless it was to mask certain odors.)

Pappy was gone for about 5 minutes and came back out to take his seat. And of course, as a 10 year old, the first thing I noticed is that his pants are unzipped. Before I can say a word to him, this kid who is like 18 or so shouted out, "PAPPY! Your barn door is open. Your mule is going to get out!"

Now, as a relative, would you shout something like that out to your family member when there are others around that you do not know all that well or just met for the first time?

Pappy didn't miss a step or blink a eye, but responed right back to this kid (I guess he was a cousin or something). Pappy said, pretty loud, "Damn mule can't get out if it can't get up."

My dad dropped the burger he was flipping, grandmother spilled iced tea all over the table, and I tripped over a chair. I think one of his older relatives swallowed his chew! And everybody just burst out laughing.

Now, how often have you embarassed grown ups when you were a kid? And when you did, didn't you catch hell about it? And here I was, with all of these grown-ups, and my face is as red as a fire truck. Now, I knew about the saying "your barn door is open," and most people, when you say that to them, look down and zip up, never giving you any kind of response.

But, oh no, not my grandfather. And whenever we said that as kids we never had anybody respond. I guess no one could come up with anything to say. But now! Now I had an answer to "your barn door is open."

Come to think of it, you know, I got to see a lot of the inside of the office at school for that one!

1 comment:

  1. I love old geezer stories. This was a fun one. I could just see it in my mind.


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