The 7-year-old hurricane boy continues to plough through life unabated, leaving a path of destruction and mayhem wherever he goes.
I’m reminded of the movie “The Outlaw Josey Wales.” The union red-leg troops are tracking Josey all over the West and one of the trackers says, “Not a hard man to track, leaves a trail of dead bodies wherever he goes.”
Thankfully, he hasn’t left dead bodies, but there are plenty of broken lamps, destroyed china and the like. As soon as he destroys yet another priceless heirloom, he always says, “Sorry, dad, I’m sorry.”
I always reply, “I’m glad you are sorry but sometimes sorry is not good enough. Sorry ain’t going to fix that 1842 crystal pitcher.”
Well, last week for breakfast I heated up a pancake his mama cooked and poured syrup on it for the hurricane. He came pounding down the stairs, saw the pancake and said, “Dad, that’s way too much syrup. I can’t eat that pancake.”
I must admit the pancake looked like it had been doused in syrup, so I said, “I’m sorry, son.”
Before I could say anything else, he said, “Well, sorry isn’t good enough. Sorry ain’t going to make this pancake where I can eat it.”
I hate it when my own words come back to haunt me.
As a teenager, a buddy and I had a favorite saying, “Going bald is a fate worse than death.” We both had thick, wonderful hair. I even won best hair by the school paper my senior year in high school.
Some 30 years later, I can state rather confidently, it was not, after all, worse than death, although it probably did reduce the chances of my being on “Dancing with the Stars” or “Survivor.”
Really, one should watch what they say or it can have devastating effect. One Christmas when I was about 13, I asked only for a mini-bike, a Honda CT70 to be exact. Nothing else on Earth would do. Christmas Day rolled around and under the tree were lots of presents, but clearly none were large enough to be a motorcycle. I could barely conceal my utter contempt and disgust. Had no one heard my plea for a motorcycle? Was the entire family a group of brain dead lichen?
I opened each present, gritting my teeth, rage festering, muttering a barely audible “thank you.” With each new opening, frustration mounted. Finally, only one small box remained. Whatever it was, it most definitely was not a motorcycle.
I was beside myself. I decided I’d stand up, shoot everyone a two-finger bird, tell ‘em they were all pathetic losers and I was no longer a member of this sad family. I know that sounds extreme, but my family has a history of overreacting.
As I opened the last pitiful present, I was set to come out blazing and then, in the box, was a shiney red helmet. Being as I was not then on a football team, I decided the gift might have other meaning, so I shifted gears and said. “Thank you, thank you.”
Soon, I was outside where my shiny Honda CT70 sat. For once, watching my mouth paid off. I’ve often thought, what in God’s name would the family have done if had I risen up and pontificated?
As for the hurricane, he ate every tiny morsel of that syrupy, soggy pancake. Sorry may not be good enough, but the threat of a super-size whupping does wonders.
Contact columnist T. Gamble at firstname.lastname@example.org.