Gut Rumbles

August 15, 2007

Quinton, Jack and the Beav... all fine young men

Originally published May 7, 2002

I received a phone call about 8:00 last night from one of my neighbors informing me that my son's playmate and my adopted nephew, Jack, had tumbled backward from the bleachers at the Effingham County Recreation Center during a baseball game and landed from a height of six feet right on his little head on a concrete sidewalk. Jack was being rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. I worried about the little sucker all night. When I went to work this morning, I saw all the proper cars in his driveway, so I knew the family was not holding a death-watch-vigil at his bedside, which relieved me somewhat. But I wasn't certain until I came home today and Jack came running across the street to show me his war-wound and tell me his story. His face appears to have been attacked by a belt sander armed with a coarse grade of paper, and he was KNOCKED OUT by the fall. He woke up in the "ambalant" and enjoyed the ride to the hospital because the "ambalant" had its lights flashing and the siren wailing. It was all a big hoot to him. He's six years-old and all boy. He remains obvilious to the fact that he scared the living crap out of his entire family.

Jack is a tough kid and I like him a lot. I once threw him a football from about 25 yards away and watched it go right through his hands to hit him square in the forehead. I saw the bottoms of his shoes as he did a semi-backflip into the dirt. I thought I had killed him. I ran up to see him blinking furiously. "Are you all right, Jack?" I asked, wondering how in the world I would explain to his mama how I MURDERED HER SON with a football. "I'm fine, Uncle Rob," he responded. He got up from the dirt. "Throw me another one. I'll CATCH IT this time," and off he ran, looking for another pass.

I am happy that Jack was not hurt badly last night. I am delighted that little Jacks exist in this world, just as I am delighted that he and my son play so well together. Jack's mama remains amazed that he minds me better than he minds her. I guess she's never bonged him into semi-consciousness with a football before. He has felt my wrath from a distance.

My boy will be here tomorrow to spend the next four days with me while his mutha goes off on another business trip. I suppose taking up my offer to allow him to stay with me while she travels makes her feel all warm and fuzzy about the divorce. I get to keep a realtionship with my son, so her conscience is assuaged about treating me like absolute shit for the first weeks when I was laid up after surgery. That would be true if she had a conscience, which she doesn't. She will climb far up the corporate ladder, because she is unencumbered by any emotions besides personal self-worship.

If that's the key to success, I don't want it. Call me old-fashioned. Call me a trusting, naive Beaver Cleaver, the way my ex-wife does. Call me anything you want, but I remain convinced that some things are more important than money and power. I spent fifty years learning the rules I play by, and I am content with them. I am far from perfect, but the world would be a much better place if EVERYBODY thought the way I do. Everybody would want play musical instruments, nobody would have to lock their doors and this world would be Merlefest every day, with lots of three-part harmony.

I'll take that over the way it is, any day.

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