Grampy Grumpy has accused me of forgetting his birthday, which is absurd and absolutely untrue.
I'm not going to tell you how old he is, because you could use his age and some math to figure out mine. Also, because he'd likely be annoyed with me, and I've only just gotten back on his good side.
Grampy claims I forgot his birthday because I didn't call him on his birthday, while my brother, Davey Crockett, who lives all the way out in Kentucky, did. (Thanks, Davey.) And our sister, Foo-Dog, came to visit, but she lives across the street, so that doesn't count. Much.
I would like to point out, in my defense, that I'm the one who told Davey what day Grampy's birthday is, so he could call him. So I should get partial credit for his call. Also, it would've been impossible to forget his birthday, as Foo-Dog posted a photo of him opening his birthday present from her sons on Facebook.
So I didn't forget his birthday. I just didn't call him, because I got home late, and everyone knows that Grampy's sacked out on the living room couch by 8 p.m. I wasn't being neglectful, I was being considerate.
However, the next day, Grandmama called me.
"You forgot Grampy's birthday," she said.
"I did not." I explained I was being considerate of his beauty sleep, but she wasn't buying it.
"He thinks you forgot his birthday."
"I'm coming down tomorrow. I'm bringing an ice cream cake. I did not forget his birthday." Grampy loves ice cream cakes, and I was sure one would usher me back into his good graces.
Only not. Well, maybe a smidge, but not enough to worm my way back onto the good side. I'm not used to not being on the good side. It's an uncomfortable feeling.
Since Grampy's birthday was less than two weeks before Father's Day, I knew my Father's Day gift had to be thoughtful. Brilliant, even.
I was so totally sunk. Also, broke.
So I did what I always do when I'm in desperate need of inspiration: I asked the kids. Of course they came up aces - I should have a large print made of Grampy and his grandkids and frame it.
I knew just the one. Last year, I wasn't broke, so we took all the dads to PNC Park to watch a Pirates game on Father's Day. Grampy decided it was time to pass his "21" jersey down to the Professor, and, just before the game started, I snapped a photo of Grampy and all his grandkids, decked out in Pirates gear.
I was ready for Father's Day. I had the perfect gift, and Grandmama called to let me know when Grampy was getting off work.
"I didn't tell him you were coming, so it will be a surprise."
We arrived and waited for Grampy to show.
And waited some more.
And waited even longer.
Maybe we should have told Grampy we were visiting.
I'll give Grandmama this: He was surprised when he got home. The kids gave him his gift and his card.
And his smile made the wait worth it.
(Wallace-Minger, The Weirton Daily Times community editor, is a Weirton resident and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)