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JIM MYERS has never been to Germany in his life.

Occasional Thinker
Installment #29

or Who Are These People?

I recently arrived back in Los Angeles after a two-week vacation in New York. The first night in town I stayed with my youngest daughter and my two grandsons. I slept in the boy's room and they took the couch. Seniority rocks. The first morning I woke to a screaming household. It turns out the boys discovered their piggy banks were empty. Their mother tried to blame it on me but I dared her to find the money on me. She passed. So I sat Ronnie and Nicky down on the sofa and explained to them what a valuable lesson they were learning today.

"Listen guys. I'm not going to sit here and give you some load of horseshit about how fun it is to get ripped off. It's not fun. Wait until you get older and have to deal with a bunch of toads called the Internal Revenue Service. You'll look back on this day and laugh."

They didn't look convinced. As a matter of fact ever since their mother had given me the third degree about the missing piggy funds they had been looking at me a bit strangely.

"How much money was in the banks, Ronnie?"

"I'm not sure," he answered in the little boy voice of an eight-year old as he rubbed his teary eyes.

"If you're not sure what the hell are you complaining about? If it was an important amount of money you'd know exactly how much was in there."

"It's how much money I would have put in there if me and Nicky put our allowance in there for the past two years, Pop Pop."

"Yeah, Pop Pop, dat much," said Nicky, the younger and seldom heard from younger brother.

This brought up another issue which I needed to address and I could think of no better time to talk about it. Indeed, it might help to get their minds off of this lost money which was really nothing more than crying over spilt milk.

"Listen guys, I want you to start calling me Jim, okay?"

"Why, Pop Pop?"

"Well, sometimes Pop Pop needs to get laid and if you call him Pop Pop around a possible throw-down it might quash the deal."

"What's a throw-down?" asked Ronnie.

"Yeah, what toe-town, Pop Pop?" enjoined his brother.

"Someday you'll know and you'll be grateful your grandfather let you discover it for yourself. Now, I'm off to the golf course but I'll see you guys later."

At this point their mother comes out of the kitchen where she's been dying her hair with some wickedly nasty smelling stuff called, "Wish I Were Blonde for Real".

"You said you didn't have enough money to play golf."

"Me? I said that?"

More than her hair starts to lather as she latches on to her misguided suspicions.

"You son of a bitch! You took their money and now you're going to spend it on golf!"

"Contraire, mon ami. I found a coupon."

"You found a golf coupon?"


"Where did you find this golf coupon?"

"In the paper, of course."

"I don't get a paper here!"

"I can't wait to see what a lovely sight your hair is going to be when you're done."

She turns to the boys.

"He's right, don't call him Pop Pop. Call him scumbag!"

"What's a scumbag, Pop Pop?"

"Yeah, what's a sumbug, Pop Pop?"

"Get out of my house! I'm not kidding this time, get out and don't come back."

"If I don't, are you going to attack me?"

She did an about face back towards the kitchen. That's where all the sharp utensils are. She learned that from her mother.

The good news is I shot 14 over that day and took forty bucks off a couple of teenagers who wanted to learn the rules of the skins game. The bad news is that the local Motel 6 got sixty-five samolians a night and if you find chocolate under your pillow it's probably not chocolate and whatever you do don't smell it.

As I lay in my motel bed I thought of my own grandfather and realized he never took the time to teach me that you can't trust anybody, and that goes double for family. In a year, my daughter will have cooled her jets and I'll be welcome back to visit my two favorite little men. This time I'm going to teach them how to impress their adversaries by taking a beating.

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