After much wrangling and argument, I was able to convince my son to guest blog for me using a paper he recently wrote for his dual enrollment class because he fantastically amazing like that. The agreement is as follows, I am only allowed to refer to him as MY SON and no clever blogosphere nickname is to be utilized in any way. At all.
So here's a lovely tribute from MY SON, of whom I think so highly, who maintains a B average and is a boy after my own heart...
Men Don't Ever Grow Up: Their Toys Just Get Bigger
My mother has a father and he's an excellent and interesting man, loving father and husband, and a completely outspoken and sometimes ridiculous 'hot rod' enthusiast. From head to toe he stands as a symbol of rebellious attitude towards growing up. One occasion quite recently we went to dinner, he approached our table in a way that made my mother's as well as my grandmother's eyes roll. There he was standing at 5 foot 8 with a bleach colored, mechanic suit, a driving hat, as well a pair of John Lennon sunglasses that came from the clearance rack at a halloween store a few years previously. He expounded on his idea to create a sign that reads: Grow up? Sure. Act your age? Never.
Without my grandma's help, my gramps' house would be (I hate to be blunt) extraordinarily messy beyond comprehension. She lets him have his garage to himself though. There he keeps his many cars that he bought at a bargain (My gramps loves bargains!) or built with his own two calloused hands. He has hot rods that he feels fondly of. They are covered with rat fink decals, flags, and obnoxious little horns that he honks for us to recognize him as we drive beside him. He once kept a jail cell made of bamboo on his trunk to tote around people that wearing black and white striped jail suits. He has a shed full of tools I don't know the names of. That expression isn't just saying that I'm not a car guy, I also mean he has a lot of tools. Across his fence, there are many humorous signs such as the "Sarcasm Society" and inscribed on the sign it says, "Like we need you". Along with signs, he has junk. Another man's trash is another man's treasure, they say. That couldn't be more true about my gramps. He keeps little objects like an old lawn mower, a pair of horns, and a massive trunk full of costumes. Across the yard, there lies a flying saucer, an antique tricycle, a door that had been carved into a tree, an outhouse, and a trailer.
Gramps is tough a guy too. One night, a man under the influence of stolen pain medication broke into their home. He had Gramps find all the things he wanted, including money, and he also tried to call and get help to steal the TV but Gramps said, "No, we're not gonna do that." The man also tried to go downstairs to where Gramps' dad lived and see what he could find. But Gramps retaliated with the same "No, we're not gonna do that." Luckily, the criminal was doped up enough to not continue the robbery without giving any thought to the barriers set by his victim. But while watching closely and staying calm, my Gramps saw a pattern of the thief putting his pistol in his back pocket. Gramps grabbed the gun from him and took the situation over. My grandmother fixed him something to eat while my gramps (with the gun in his hand) gave the man career advice! Well, Gramps did the right thing and called the police and the thief was inevitably incarcerated. Not very long at all after that my grandparents took a visit to the gun store and ended up very satisfied with their purchases.
When there aren't any tough situations, my gramps goes back to his usual routine. He sits back in his lazy boy with a handful of trail mix and watches Justified, his favorite TV program. My brothers and I don't like Justified but we love trail mix, especially if it has M&M's in it. We're always after poor Gramps' candy but it comes at a price. One day, Michael and I were at Gramps' house and he called us into the living room and made us watch a National Geographic presentation called "The Meth Epidemic". Throughout the video, Gramps pointed out the disgusting and somewhat disturbing meth victims and said things like, "You don't wanna look like that now, do you?" He always said, "It's just stupid" when conversing about drugs either to my brothers and I or at the politically stimulated and southern style dinner table.
One occasion, despite my howls for rescue from my grandmother, I was sent to shovel rocks out of wheel barrel with Gramps. I was shoveling gravel. It hurt and I could barely lift the shovel. My body ached and I was ready to give up. However, Gramps didn't complain even though I'm sure he would've liked to. He later confessed that his back hurt as well. After a lot of hard work and some silence Gramps said, "Now you wouldn't wanna be doing this 8 hours a day, 7 days a week, would you? That's why you gotta go to college." After that kind of work (and I was a skinny guy!) I would always agree and college is definitely my plan thanks to good people like Gramps in my life to motivate me.