Apologies from Uncle Harry.
May 17, 2012 § 11 Comments
The guy whose stories you know so well you can anticipate the cheesy grin.
The pregnant pause.
He smells like cough drops and, lord love him, he never shuts up. As he likes to say, “I can’t exhale without talking.”
Get ready. He’s about to exhale. “Did I tell you about the time…?” And of course he has, but you smile. You pretend to listen. Good thing you love him or you’d never put up with him.
This is my hundredth blog post. By now you probably know me as well as you know Uncle Harry. “Did I tell you about the time…?”
Even if I haven’t told you the same story twice you’ve surely noticed I like certain words, even phrases, that I’m a sucker for metaphors, that my view is that the world is filled with joy, or as Uncle Harry would put it, “This old planet is one helluva fine place.”
A young reader of my books once told me, “You know we don’t need happy endings.”
“Tough,” I said. “I do.”
But I’ll admit, it isn’t all roses. Like Uncle Harry, I know how to complain. I don’t like waste, excess, pomposity, religiosity—or most of those other “osities.”
By the end of his run on 60 Minutes Andy Rooney regularly used his time to rant about the inconsequential. Zippers and child-proof medicine bottles and the difficulty of finding a good shoehorn all drew his ire. He was our national Uncle Harry, one who had gone slightly stale on the shelf.
No longer amused by life’s small foibles or stunned by its magnificent vistas, he used a medium that reached millions to tell the world he was irritated. His latter-day performances were a little like booking Shea Stadium for the public slapping of a mosquito.
Slow Dance Journal is a more appropriately scaled forum for an Uncle Harry like me. The audience that sits on the furniture (which is a bit shabby but comfortable) is modest, as is the hospitality. I’ll gladly serve you whatever you want to drink as long as it’s ice water, and then I’ll tell you the one about…
Forgive me if I repeat myself. I explain the world through stories, some of which I’ve told so often they run on greased tracks.
Uncle Harry likes to hear himself talk. I do too. But the stories and comments you add are what makes Slow Dance worth the weekly effort—you often give me fine wine in trade for that glass of ice water.
And lucky for you I haven’t yet been stuffed and mounted like good old Uncle Harry. The unpredictable, like my recent car accident, happens, giving me new material.
But please, when I begin talking about shoehorns and zippers (I came close last week with a post about the life cycle of mylar balloons) feel free to gently say, “Good night Uncle Harry.”
Until then, thanks for listening.
And did I tell you the one about…?