Y'all are getting me in trouble with Grampy Grumpy. Stop it.
To begin with, I'm referring to some of you cousins in particular. You know who you are, you're probably laughing right now. Stop picking on Grampy. If you don't, he won't let me write about him anymore. At the very least, he'll grouch about it, and you know that he's already grumpy. We don't need to make it worse.
You might remember that, back in June, I wrote about Grampy's attempt to join the ranks of smart phone owners. You may also remember he couldn't answer said smart phone - I'm still baffled they let him leave store without being able to answer the phone - and my Sassy Saint had to take him to school and teach him to answer the phone.
Apparently, some of you cousins - not saying it was the Miller boys or the guys down at the mine, but infer what you will - have given him some grief over it. It's cool, y'all, but you know I'm going to remember that at the next family reunion, so you'd better be on your best behavior.
Now, for the rest of you, I thought we had a tacit agreement you were pretending you didn't know who Grampy was - I gave him a code name and everything! I know you haven't been holding up your end of the bargain.
I learned this when I called Grandmama during the recent cold snap to check on her and Grampy.
"Your father wants to know what you've done now," she said.
"I don't know what you're talking about."
It could have been any number of things. I wasn't admitting guilt until I knew why I was guilty.
"What did you write in your column this week?" she asked.
"Um." I heard Grampy grumping in the background.
"People have been coming up to him on the street and asking about the boys' foam dart guns."
" ... I might have mentioned it in a column."
"What did you say?"
"I can't remember. I think I only mentioned it in passing." It was in passing if "in passing" means "devoted an entire column to it."
"Someone said something about your comparing him to Snidely Whiplash?"
"Don't be ridiculous. I wouldn't do that." Now that I think about it, Dr. Claw would be a more apt comparison. "How did they know it was him?"
"Is your name on it?"
"Well, yeah, but you don't understand, I didn't use his real name. I disguised him. He's totally disguised. How did people figure out it was him?"
"Your dad's family has lived in (redacted name of town to afford poor Grampy at least that much privacy) for 200 years. If your name is on it, then they're going to know it was him."
"But I disguised him. I gave him a code name." In the background, I heard Grampy complaining that he isn't grumpy. (He totally is.)
"He isn't disguised. That isn't a disguise."
"Yes, it is!"
If y'all keep outing me to Grampy, I won't be invited to the next family dinner, so remember: This is just between you and me. Especially the cousins.
(Wallace-Minger, a resident of Weirton, is community editor of The Weirton Daily Times.)