Well, here I sit thinking it is time to write another blog. What should I write about, though? It seems I used to have much to say about very little, but I find the older I get, the less I have to say. Of course, this is a source of consternation... I mean, the older I get, the more life experiences I have, right? With that comes more wisdom, more anecdotes in the cookie jar, more observations, and more, more, more slices of prosaic pie putamen to ponder. Hmmm...why don't I have more to say?
I mean, I know people who wake up one morning with crow's feet, sagging upper arms, increasing recollections and waning memory, and they are a fountain of words. Take my father, for example. In his youth, he was a man of very few words (which was a good thing, because with a wife and two daughters, it was problematic for him to get a word in edgewise). He bided his time, though. These days he is a conversation stalker. He will ruthlessly chase people down to talk at them. He will corner his prey and begin a story that may have a basis in truth, but an avalanche of embellishments. He will lick his lips and rub his palms together as he recounts countless tidbits of titillating information from times so long gone that no one dares argue the facts. (And make no mistake, facts are a nuisance for my dad, God bless him). As many spinners of yarns will tell anyone who crosses their paths, facts can really get in the way of a good story. So, it is with a grain of salt and a pound of doubt that we give credence to tales of our fathers...which is not to say they lie. Rather, they know how to tell a good story.
Having said this, I remember a Christmas dinner a few years ago. We sat at the table, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, and the cherished collective acquaintances, all relishing the joy of the day, aglow in the amiable familiarity of family and friends. The food was palatable and the wine freely flowed and so began a tale by my father...a tale that came out of nowhere and quickly enthralled us all. It involved a Christmas from many years past and the memory of a family pet, Pygmalion the Pig. All was well as long as Pygmalion was a sweet, tiny little porker of a pig. Problems ensued, though, as Pygmalion grew. Alas, that sweet little porcine pet became a surly sow, wont to wreak havoc on the unwary. Woe to the milkman, the post man, the deliverymen, and unsuspecting solicitors. Woe to the neighborhood children and their better behaved pets. Eventually, Pygmalion became so mean, that she had to be dealt with most severely. Here, my father wipes a tear from his eye as he tells us of the decision to put that poor pig to sleep. We all sigh, wipe at our own tears, and try to swallow the lumps in our throats. It is precisely at this moment that dear old Dad says, "You know, it took seven bullets to put that pig to sleep." You could have heard a pig...errrr...I mean pin drop! And, of course, you guessed it -- Pygmalion the Pig was the Christmas ham that year!
Conversation came to a halt. We all eventually picked our jaws up off the table. Needless to say, none of the kids wanted Grandpa to tuck them in that night. As for me, I still shudder to this day if anyone says "sleep tight" to me. Poor Pygmalion...
Anyway, I digress. Maybe someday, when memory mingles with reality and delusion, I will have more to say on all topics. My father, who was until recently a man of few words, will be my inspiration. I love his stories and, God help me, I will speak in the tongues of those who tell tall tales and, like my father, maybe I won't let facts get in the way either!