After nonstop viewing of the IMAX screen representing the mosaic of our so called life I have to take a break. My son Scott, his wife Dionne and their two boys are visiting form London. Talk about out of the frying pan into the fire. I am referred to as the Padge which is short for Padre. Consider it a fact that these two and our five other grandkids are incredibly special to Kathy and me.
Eleven year old Harper once exclaimed to me that I was the craziest grandpa anyone could have. I asked her if this was good? She replied,”Are you kidding? I love it.” Out of the mouths of babes. Unfortunately for most of you this is not a persona I adopt it as a normal state of affairs. If I am not creating some sort of mayhem I feel I am not doing my job.
Now many of you may take exception and look askance at a 71 year old acting, dare I say, childishly. Think what you will, I will hold out that until you are outrageous you haven’t lived. There is a bit of impishness involved but when I am me I could never feel more alive. And therein is causing me to ponder. Is it really that difficult? Or even better is it something we all aspire to in our Walter Middy minds?
With the kids here we decided to use a gift we had purchased at a charitable event…a ride to get ice cream on a 60 year old Denver Fire Engine. A retired fireman named Dan showed up in front of my daughter’s house in a gleamingly restored Ward La France pumper, outfitted with benches in the back. We climbed aboard and rang the bell, turned on the lights and of course gave a quick blast of the seen. So much for quiet residential streets.
Danny took the long way around to the Little Man Ice Cream place on the West side of Denver. Seizing the moment I could not resist as we roared through the canyons of downtown. I stood up with my Titlest floppy hat protecting my bald pate and started waving and shouting hello to all the tourists and worker bees in the Mile High City. My 12 year old grandson wanted to hide but there was nowhere to be found. He later admitted that the first few blocks were gruesome but he knew Padge was not to be denied. In the end he thought it was pretty cool. Another disciple!
Some responded including a couple of pretty girls. They were probably far sighted. But on a glorious summer afternoon maybe we brought a bit of laughter to just a few Denverites. I greet people warmly on the street, at the gym, at the club and even in church.That is what I am all about.
To put it bluntly I do not take myself or for that matter anyone else very very seriously. If you do you become very conscious of faults and foibles. You worry about how you look and how people will react to you. Did I phrase my thoughts just perfectly or was there room to be criticized? It just doesn’t matter. No matter what you say or do you cannot take it back. In the long run who is going to remember in two weeks, a month or a year?
I love practical jokes. One of the best ever was back in my Wall Street days. A buddy of mine had a neighbor who of course knew all there was to know about anything. He had purchased a VW Beetle when they first came out. They didn’t have a gas gauge but a lever near the accelerator to turn when your tank ran low. Simple and efficient.
The neighbor bragged and bragged about mileage to the point of absurdity. My compadre decided to start adding gas to his neighbor’s tank on a regular basis. Voila, this egomaniac thought he was getting over 150 miles to the gallon. He boasted to the neighborhood and was driving the dealer’s maintenance department crazy with his rants. This went on for awhile and then my friend started removing gas via syphon. You can just imagine our mark was now getting 10 miles to the gallon. Need I say more. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.
Point being, life can be a lot of fun if you give it a chance. I am irreverent. I love to catch people, especially self indulgent ones off guard. We are all of the same cloth. If you think you are especially gifted or smart consider the fact that we are in the Lucky Sperm Club. We could be living in a hut in Somalia or have a penthouse unit in Aleppo, Syria. Chinks in the armor are healthy. You don’t want to be carrying all that weight around. We all put our pants on one leg at a time…even Hilary. Somebody has got to burn that pea green pants suit.
Someone described me yesterday as a disrupter and I was flattered. Status quo is boring. Seems we spend our lives climbing ladders. Executives, sports figures, performers and clergy. If they all look the same and progression is preordained what good is that? We are all at a cocktail party. Do we want to engage each and everyone to find out how the other one ticks or do we just throw air kisses and look over their shoulder to see who we want to talk to instead of this mere peon? Think about that some time.
Well Ta Ta for now and let’s get together soon. I will have your people call my people. Let’s set our sights on six or twelve months from now. Kind of busy until then. Still crazy after all these years. And loving it !
Ted The Great
Too random for that.