Last Thursday was Grandparents Day at Providence Hall Elementary School in Herriman. My wife and I went to visit our youngest grandson, Tate, who is in the sixth grade.
There were lots of grandparents in attendance, including a few I suspect were young enough to be my own kids. Damn, I’m old.
The place was crammed with geezers looking for the treasure of their hearts. We finally located ours in a small classroom on the second floor. Tate and Ms. Kidd’s class were doing fractions.
I didn’t want to go in at first. Tate’s only 11, but he’s already better at math than I am. I am only capable of adding single digits, and even then only if I have enough time to think about it.
Little good could come from Tate finding out at such an early age that his grandfather is stupid. I want him to instead focus on my being interesting — a grandfather who takes him to blow stuff up, shoot cannons and figure out ways to annoy people we don’t like.
We went in and huddled around Tate’s desk while he showed us how to figure out the diameter, dimensions and volume of various things.
I helped with the volume part. I grabbed a bottle of hand sanitizer off Ms. Kidd’s desk and cautiously handed it to Tate.
Me: “Says right on it that it’s 2.5 ounces.”
Tate: “That’s cheating, Papa.”
Cheating? I looked at my wife. Whose grandchild was this? It had to be the first time in the history of my family that anyone had ever balked at such a thing. Must have gotten the honest gene from his grandmother’s side.
After the math problems, there was a formal interview. Tate asked us questions and wrote down our answers. I liked this part because it was easy and nobody could accuse me of cheating.
Tate started by asking, “Where were you born?”
Wife: “Ontario, Canada.”
Me: “Fontana, California, also birthplace of the Hell’s Angels.”
Tate: “Did you have a nickname when you were younger? How did you get it?”
Wife: “Rene. It’s short for Irene.”
Me: “Ace. It’s the initials for ‘anti-Christ evil.’ I got it at Primary.”
Tate: “Did you have a favorite toy?”
Wife: “A doll.”
Me: “My grandpa’s German Luger.”
Tate: “What was your favorite/best subject in school?”
Me: “Reading at first. Then smoking.”
Tate: “What is your biggest accomplishment?”
Wife: “Our family.”
Me: “I punched a murderer in the face.”
Me: “Well, it’s true. I also dragged him across the road by his hair and took him to jail. I was gonna shoot him, but there were too many people in the way.”
We had to wait until everyone in the classroom stopped looking at us. If you’re going to ask personal questions, then some interviews should be conducted in private. There was one final question.
Tate: “If you could teach me one life lesson, what would it be?”
Wife: “Try to have better manners than Papa.”
Me: “Marry up, kid. As high as you can. With my DNA, you’re going to need it.”