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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Payback time

It is a truism that no matter how old you are, when you see someone you knew from high school, you basically become a high schooler again. This also applies to people you knew from pretty much any stage of your life.

(This may have something to do with why "Old friends are better than new friends." When I talk to young people these days, I'm very conscious that I'm supposed to be playing the role of an elder. But when I see old friends -- I'm young again!)

My son is back home for his last leave before he deploys to Afghanistan. He spent the previous five months up in Ft. Wainwright, Alaska, acting like a professional soldier, saying "Yes sir" and "No sir" to the officers and trying to get along with his squadmates. But now that he is with us, he has regressed to age fifteen or so; any semblance of good manners he felt obliged to show at the base has disappeared entirely.

At one point I told a story about a guy I'd met right after college who'd been in the KKK. Johnny replied in a bored voice, "Dad, I've heard all your stories so many times they're permanently implanted in my brain. I just wish I could clear them out to make room for some interesting stories."

When he first returned home, after we roughhoused a little, Johnny said, "Come on, you have to admit now that I could take you in a fight." I, of course, replied, "No way." (He could, easily.) Johnny just laughed, which was pretty much the most insulting thing he could do.

When his mother told him to make his bed, Johnny objected, "I'm an American hero! You can't tell me to make my bed! That's unpatriotic! I'm an American hero!"

Yesterday I showed Johnny an email from Guy Davis, a friend who happened to go to Oxford. Guy had sent his kind wishes for Johnny to have the sort of experience he wanted in Afghanistan, and also for his safe return. When I started reading the email to Johnny, he interrupted me to say, "Wait a minute, you're reading it wrong -- I bet he talks in a faggy British accent."  

When I was having trouble with the VCR/TV, he suggested, "Dad, seriously, don't you think it's about time for you to go to an old age home?" 

At dinner tonight, Johnny mentioned that wolverines had long been thought to be extinct in Michigan ("The Wolverine State"), but that one was sighted there just recently. I added that although California was known as "The Golden Bear State," no golden bear (another name for a brown bear, or grizzly) had been seen there since 1948. Johnny responded, "Great Dad, I just told a little known fact and you just had to come back with something we all knew already."

At one point during dinner tonight he asked, "Can I have the salad dressing?" His mother asked him to say the magic word. Johnny replied, "Please pass the salad dressing," then as soon as she had handed it to him, added "goddamn it."

While we were watching a news show, Johnny, in an effort to further endear himself to his mother, said, "You know the great thing about this round table discussion? They don't feel obliged to include a woman. Usually when there's a woman, after the guys give their opinions, she just recites the pc interpretation."

Later this evening when Rebecca told him to stop bothering her and let her do her homework, Johnny just kept teasing her. When she finally lost her temper and hit him, he told her, "You're attacking an American soldier! Do you want to be sent to Guantanamo?!"

His mother finally told him that he had to respect his sister more. Johnny responded, "Why don't you just ask me to walk on water?" 

At one point Johnny was even kind enough to offer his opinion of this blog: "Dad, you call your blog 'Just not said' as if you're going to be really daring and talk about really taboo stuff, but basically it's just a slightly less politically correct version of the Wilton Villager. And actually, given your readership, you know what would be a much better name for it? 'Just not read'."

Johnny added, "Oh yeah, and don't write about me anymore."

Hence the title of this post.


Anonymous said...

Some good laughs here! Savor the days, insults included.


John Craig said...

Thank you Julie. I am.

dgh said...

Please take heart that someday Johnny (and George) will get "their" payback when they have their own children!They think they are so smart but there is so much for them to learn:)

John Craig said...

Donna --
Thank you; I'm afraid that they're going to be learning about stuff in the very near future in the Army that we never had to learn about.

Anonymous said...

Ha! But that accent is what makes me sound smart.

John Craig said...

Guy --
It makes you sound smart for about ten seconds, then it's what you say -- and you do say it -- that makes you sound smart.