So my parents are on to me. Apparently, they are picking up the paper to see what I'm saying about them. I blame this on all the people who should have pretended they didn't know who Dad was and kept calling and asking him if he was the notorious Grampy Grumpy.
Don't do that. Let's just agree on this: If you think he's Grampy Grumpy, he's probably Grampy Grumpy.
Just assume he is, know that you're in on the secret and - for the love of fuzzy puppies and kittens - don't ask.
This week, I'm trying to convince Grandmama to go with me to Kentucky in a couple weeks to visit my brother, Davey Crockett, and his new(ish) wife, Glinda the Good Witch. They bought a house, and I'm determined to drag a rhododendron bush down there and put a little West Virginia in their yard. (With Glinda's permission, of course.) I also am bringing a gnome, because a house isn't a home unless it has a gnome.
Grandmama hasn't even hit 60 yet, and she's always complaining that she's too old to do stuff. (On the other hand, she also complains when I refer to her as old or as a mischievous old lady. You can't have it both ways, Grandmama.)
As my Sassy Saint says, "Grandmama always makes for good columns." This is true, but not the reason why I'm trying to drag her to Kentucky. I'm trying to rope her into going with me because it would make Davey happy.
And also because I'm afraid of getting lost.
"You've got to come," I told her. "I'll end up in Indiana."
"No, you won't. It's only four hours."
"Yes, I will. I'll end up in Indiana." I've never been to Indiana. I picture it as the edge of the map, complete with the warning "here there be monsters." Driving across Ohio, with all that flat ground, makes me edgy. I need hills and curves. I imagine that Indiana is a vast wasteland of flatness. Like Mordor, only with corn.
"Let the kids navigate."
"Sass couldn't navigate her way out of a paper bag with a map, two hands and a flashlight. She thought Charleston was in Ohio. And the Little Professor will get lost on some tangent ... "
"You'll be fine."
"I'll be wandering around Indiana in the middle of the night. I'll call you at 10 p.m., crying because I'm lost in Indiana."
"You better not. You'll wake up Grampy Grumpy," she said. "Call your brother instead. He'll be closer."
"You want me to get lost in Indiana." Maybe going for the guilt would work.
"Pull over and stay at a hotel."
"With my luck, it will end up being one of those places where people are selling drugs and stuff. You want me to end up at a drug den in Indiana."
She started laughing. Apparently, the thought of her child and grandchildren, miserable, lost and shivering, holed up in some wretched Hoosier den of iniquity was hilarious.
"I can believe you're laughing. That's awful."
"I'll think about it."
She's totally going.
(Wallace-Minger, a resident of Weirton, is community editor of The Weirton Daily Times.)