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Friday, May 22, 2009

An Afternoon With My 98-Year-Old Grandfather ...

He's old and frail. His mind is there but it's inpieces. He can remember a story from 1920 when he ran away from home by hopping a train and going to El Paso. But you tell him your name five minutes later he'll have no idea who you are and he'll get confused. He forgot me a few times but he told a few jokes and laughed and smiled and kept complimenting me on how goodmy moustache looked.

He said I had gotten old. That I was catching up with him. And with a smile he called me "the old man from the rio grande."

I liked that.





When we got there he kept asking me where his wife was.

We didn't have the heart to tell him she was dead. We told him she was in the hospital but she would be okay.

It hurts to lie to a 98 year old man.

But we're on the road now and we're about to stop by THE THING, the mystery of the desert, the American southwest's best cheap roadside tourist trap.



And a trip to the so-called "mystery of the desert" always makes me feel like a kid again.

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