Growing up, our house never lacked sarcasm. We were not a house full of stand-up comics by any stretch, but humor was always lurking. My mother’s parents, Irish folks, had a pretty unique sense of humor, right up until the end and my dad’s family had some characters as well. I sure do wish I had video of those times or of some of those parties we had.
I remember as far back as the mid-1970’s that my parents had a few records (vinyl!) from stand-up comics. The memories are a little fuzzy, but I know for sure we had records from Cheech & Chong, Redd Foxx and of course, Bill Cosby. My sister and I had the Bill Cosby records memorized and I bet even today we could still recite some of the bits. Those were our favorites. The Redd Foxx and Cheech & Chong stuff was probably a little over our heads at the time, but the Cosby records – right up our alley. We knew every word, every intonation and every perfect little pause in Cosby’s impeccable delivery of a story.
When I look back at some of my old report cards (and I have them all, in their glory and non-glory), I see comments going all the way back to 3rd grade about how I liked to try make the other kids laugh and how, sometimes, it interfered with my school work. In 5th grade, the teacher comments got a little more serious regarding how I was applying myself more to the art of being a goof than to schoolwork. It’s true. I’ve always been like that and while it did occasionally cause problems at school, I sure am glad humor and sarcasm have ridden sidecar with me for all of my life.
Anyway, over the weekend my dad sent me a text message that contained a photo. I never got it though, so the next day he called me and asked what I thought of it. I said I hadn’t seen any photo and he said “oh, ok, I’ll send it again, when you get it, call me back.” My mind started to race. Did my parents get another dog? Did my dad buy an old muscle car? Did they sell the house and buy another one?
No, no and no. The picture came through on my phone was of a large tattoo on someone’s arm. I wasn’t sure what was going on until I saw the accompanying text that said “my new tattoo.” Of course, given the humor and sarcasm in my family while growing up, I was sure it was a prank. I called my dad and he swore up and down that he indeed had been thinking of getting one for over a year and finally did it. Do I believe him? Yes. 99%. But there will be 1% disbelief until I finally get to see it in a few weeks.
So anyway, the tattoo is in Greek and it says “Life is Love of Family.” My dad is 63 years old and while I was initially shocked to hear about him getting a tattoo, I’m glad to see he’s still throwing curveballs. I love that. Every day, we craft our own biographies. We may not write them down in traditional book-like fashion, but living your life every day and keeping yourself alive is obviously the most important part. I don’t mean keeping yourself alive as in maintaining a heartbeat, I mean it like ALIVE. Eyes wide open. Some of us choose to be alive in different ways, that’s all. Some of us like to buy things. Some of us like to exercise. Some of us like to view a summit after a climb. And some of us get their first tattoo when they’re 63.
Dino rocks, but he’s gonna be one pissed off Greek dude when he reads you used a BASEBALL analogy in reference to him. Maybe “he’s still slashing where there’s no padding” might have been more appropriate for the ol’ Gumper…
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