My friend, Tom, decided to write a family memoir as a legacy since he was getting on. One day, he came to my house, visibly upset.
“What’s wrong with you? You look like you’ve been researching your family tree and found out you don’t exist!”
“It’s not a laughing matter, Dave. My cousin is very mad at me, in fact it’s bordering on hate, since I showed him the first draft of my memoir.”
“Hold on Tom, it sounds like we need a couple of strong cocktails before we continue.”
When I brought the cocktails into the lounge, Tom continued:
“Well, it was the section about Uncle Ernie, my cousin’s father, that ticked him off. Uncle Ernie was in the Korean War and received a couple of medals for valor, he was a war hero.”
“That’s great, what was wrong with that?”
“Nothing, but I decided to write how he appeared to me as a child. He wore a deer stalker cap and loud checked shirts, shorts, knee length socks and walking boots. It was quite a comical sight. And his wife, Aunt Kate, would nag him to change his outfit.”
“It seems to me, you are showing the intimate, human side of a man who goes on to become a war hero.”
“Yes but, my cousin says, I’m mocking his father, the war hero, making fun of him. And further more, he also accuses me of making his mother look like a horrible person because she nagged him.”
We both drained our cocktail glasses.
“Tom, it sounds like your cousin would like to hang you from the family tree!”
“That’s only the half of it. Now, I’m not invited to his daughter’s wedding and he’s going to tell everyone at the wedding how I made fun of his father and mother. The whole family will hate me!”
“Tom, my friend, you made the mistake of showing your cousin the first draft before preparing him about the comedy that leads eventually to stories about his father’s heroism. You should have engaged him in the storytelling process. He might have then realized you were using the comedy to establish a wonderful character, his father.”
“But how do I reconcile this with my cousin now?”
“Ask him to tell you some stories about his father and get him involved in the writing process, it might appeal to his ego. Get him in on the revision also.”
“I’ll try it, but right now he thinks it’s in my genes to be insulting. I hope I can save face in the family.”
“Well, Tom, that’s the problem with the gene pool, there are NO LIFEGUARDS!”
Look out cousin Jim, I’m catching up to you. Dave is now making “Tom” one of his charactors. I think that makes me feel good. Maybe. Thanks Dave. I owe you a cocktail.
I like this one! Good line at the end, too.
And it only took two cocktails to tell it!
Writer Dave’s latest blog has him counciling long time Chicago friend Tom on a matter of Family Hate. Tom, all 6 feet 4 of him is concerned about a cousin’s reaction to his written description of his cousin’s dad and mom. Further, the cuz threatens to let the entire family know about this “malicious side” of Tom. The big man is more than hurt by the accusation. As usual, Dave has some good advice in a well written piece of fiction…or is it?
I like the story but whats the big idea of replacing me your long lost cousin with Tom, maybe we do need a lifeguard in our gene pool.