Old, Wrinkly, and Eats Spam

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Meet my grandpa

My grandpa used to be a smoker until he had a heart attack fifteen years ago.  He gained a lot of weight after that.  Unfortunately, smoking wasn’t his only risk factor.

Grandpa eats out twice a day, often the only two meals he eats besides a spam sandwich every once in a while.  There was a time when he would go to Golden Corral every day for dinner.  He would show up at three o’clock to get the lunch price but stay there until seven, socializing with the workers, all of whom knew him as Trouble.

Anyone who catches Grandpa on a somewhat normal day would be exposed to his playful personality.  He has a nonsensical response to anything and everything.  “Good morning,” I’ve said to him.  “Good afternoon,” he responds, though the sun has only just come up.  He is amused by making random noises, or shouting, “You lost!” for no apparent reason.  He tickles anyone who sits beside him on his long couch, whether they’re ticklish or not, and those who aren’t ticklish pretend that they are, for his only satisfied by the appropriate reaction.

Grandpa loves to argue.  He will talk about music, television programs, religion, or politics -- anything it takes to get you to argue with him, for he won’t be satisfied until you do.  Arguments are dangerous, however, because he must come out on top every time.  Yes, he loves to argue, but more than that, he hates to lose.  When he loses, he gets angry.  Then he spits out every word with such purpose that it’s a wonder most people don’t notice.  Most think he’s still playfully arguing, and the fools egg him on.  I made that mistake once when he was visiting, and he left days before he and Grandma had planned.

When he visits, Grandma tries to keep him on his best behavior, and usually succeeds, though I’m not sure how she does it.  Nevertheless, Grandpa does not like to deviate much from his daily schedule.  When he comes, he sleeps on the couch in our living room.  He likes to be asleep before nine o’clock, but most of us don’t wander off to bed until after ten.  But when Grandpa gets tired, he gets cranky, to the point that, as a guest in your home, he will tell you to go to bed.  And you go to bed.

At home, Grandpa is not kept on his best behavior.  He likes control, and within his house, he will exercise it all he can.  I’ve watched him raise his voice at his great-grandchildren for moving one of five T.V. remotes out of place on the coffee table.

Considering this, it’s hard to remember that the old man has an almost tender side to him as well.  He and Grandma never believe in the “what’re yours is mine, what’s mine is yours, and all is ours” philosophy.  Grandpa did with his money what he liked, and Grandma paid the bills with hers.  Because he retired years ago, Grandpa has plenty of money to spend on his little toys that line the walls.  If someone is in need, or a grandchild is in want, of something however, he doesn’t bat an eye to pick out the most expensive model of whatever they want and place it into their hands.

Submitted: January 03, 2010

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