After almost six years, we've finally gotten together, my two brothers, the wives and husbands and kids. We sat round the table playing Apples to Apples, laughing hysterically at the choices being made about words. In this particular round, the word to match was CUTE, and the closest word I had to that was COMMUNIST. In fact, none of the words tossed in the pile were remotely close to CUTE, the others being forgotten for the moment, but just let me say on my own behalf, that EVERYTHING PINK IS CUTE! How can you not understand that?
But I digress.
Brother Tim has 3 kids. Harve is the eldest son, taller than me, at a mere 11 years of age, followed by Josh, who is 10, and bringing up the rear is 6 year old Rea, whose sweet little face is framed in a mahogany sea of curls with a constellation of freckles marching across her cheeks and nose. When a large and crunchy beetle landed on the table, Tim was reminded of the following Harve story:
Harve, the Beetle and the Scared Dancers.
Tim, who worked as a sound man for a number of years at the Country Tonight Show in Branson in the Nineties, took the wife and the number one two-year old son to the end of season barbecue at the theater.
As the family sat at a table surrounded by dancers, a rather large disgusting beetle made its debut. Panic ensued. The girls screamed in fright and disgust, and the boys screamed in fear and disgust, and nary a one of the dancers, paralyzed by panic knew what to do. So they scrambled to get away from the table.
Harve stood up on his booster chair and looked at the large bug crawling on the table before him.
Looking with fascination at the slowly moving insect and then at the scurrying dancers, he picked up his foot and brought it down decisively on the intruder, firmly establishing his sexual orientation for life.
And now, a Josh story.
Josh is an überchondriac. That is like being a hypochondriac only more so. I suppose one could analyze why a child becomes a whiny, perpetually "sick" person, risking humiliation at the hands of bullies and ew, girls... but again, I digress.
Josh was jumping off the neighbor's furniture with his friend, when he landed on his wrist, breaking it.
The friend went and got Josh's dad, who brought the boy to the emergency room and the doctor, gently took the boy's hand and told him,
"Now, Josh, you have a broken bone, and it is out of place. I have to put your bone back into the right place before I put a cast on it. I'm going to give you a shot that will make the pain go away, okay?"
Dad took Josh's pale and panicked face into his hand and said, "Josh, you just look at me, 'kay?
As the doctor proceeded to give Josh the shot, Josh screamed out,
"Daddy, I...I'm BLIND!!!!! I can't SEE!" The doctor stopped for a moment and looked at the boy.
Dad shook his head and the doctor continued. Again, Josh screamed out.
"Daddy! I....I....I can't HEAR! I'm DEAF! I CAN"T SEE OR HEAR YOU ANYMORE! DADDY!!!
Again the doctor paused, perplexed while Dad just rolled his eyes and signaled for the doctor to continue.
This time, Josh grabbed his chest and gasped, "Daddy....my lungs.....I can't BREATHE.....They're FILLING UP WITH ENGINE FUEL!!!!" This time, the doctor, quite worried, asked if everything was okay, and Dad said, "Oh, he always does this whenever he has to see the doctor."
I am sorry I have no Rea tales. Not that she doesn't have any, mind you. I just haven't heard any from mom or dad yet. The week is young.