Harmony County

2011 & 2009 Winner of "Best Humor Column" awarded by the SC Press Association

Grandfather’s skills

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My son John is scheduled to come back from Afghanistan in May. The planners say it might be anywhere between the 10th and 24th of May. (Please do not get me started on the ability of Army planners to set a schedule. Just think of the havoc if General Eisenhower said D-Day was going to be between June 3 and June 17.)

John asked if I could sit on the babies while his wife, Erica came up to Knoxville, Tenn. while he out-processed. I suggested that they take a few days extra to get reacquainted.

I realize that Knoxville is not on par with Paris or Venice, of course, I am speaking of Paris, Idaho or Venice, Utah, but at least they would be alone.

I told them I would be more than happy to do so since I had some grandfatherly responsibilities to fulfill and would use the time to do so.

Education and the passing on of skills to the future generations are on the top of the Grandfather’s To-Do List.

There are the usual outdoor skills. The lads will need to learn basic knot tying, proper choice of bait, and how to cast. They are a bit young for firearms, but tracking and learning the habits of various critters is important. How to set up a proper camp and canoe safety are also necessary abilities.

Just looking over the above list, I’m exhausted. I’ll just enlist them in the Boy Scouts and we can concentrate on the true McGowan education.

Geometry and its application comes in handy. A three-rail bank shot is a game winner, but takes a good deal of practice. Mathematics is very useful. Card counting in a blackjack may be frowned upon by the house, but until they throw you out you have the edge.

Basic mechanics is a life skill. We will start with how to remove a hubcap without making noise thereby attracting unwanted attention. Later we will move on to other automotive skills that do not require keys, but a familiarity with a car’s electrical system.

The laws of probability must be learned. If not, one can do foolish and costly things in a seven-card stud game. The difference between an Exacta and a Trifecta must be learned or it will be a long walk home from the track, therefore statistics comes to the fore.

Let us not forget chemistry. Making a Perfect Manhattan is no easy thing and becomes progressively harder with each consecutive attempt.

Obviously the kids are going to go through their lunch money before they get the hang of things so, I need to brush up on my peanie boo and jel-jel sandwich skills.

I related all of my intentions on to their father and this is how he replied, “Thanks Dad,

It means a lot to me. You can teach the kids anything you want, as long as it isn’t explosive and they make it school on time”.

I guess he knows his old ‘da’ pretty well. © 2012 Jim McGowan

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Written by harmonycounty

March 8, 2012 at 4:42 p03

Posted in Americana, Humor

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