Uncle Keith, he's my favorite everything. I tell Mom, When I grow up, I’m gonna be just like him. She says, Don't even think about it. Then she tells Dad, Does he have to keep coming over here? He SMELLS.
Dad says, No, he doesn't. C'mon now.
Mom says, Burt, he wreaks. Can't you smell the B.O.?
Dad says, Aww, c'mon.
I don't know B.O. I know it's a smell thing. But I don't know what it is. But who cares?
Uncle Keith does EVERYthing like how I want to do it when I'm a grown up. He drives a sports car with the top all the way down. It can go up or down. Down is way more fun, so thats how he always keeps it. It's a MG. It’s red. It’s dark maroon red, and when he takes me for rides, I sit right next to him, and he has yellowy-brown hair that's long, and the wind makes it go like super-fast waves in the air like a cape behind him, and all over I feel the wind on me, on my face, on my hair, on my mouth, it's the only time I ever felt wind like that, and it's in my hair, and I lift my hand up and down and let the wind keep it up there like it's a sailboat, I don't have to lift it now, it's just the wind blowing that's keeping my hand up, this is amazingness. This is amazingness of life again. This is it.
Sports cars don't have a backseat. Only two people can ride in it. Me and him. Uncle Keith says it's a bachelor car. That's what I'm gonna be when I grow up. We always go to the liquor store. He always gets me something when we're here. They have drinks here you can’t get at a big store. They have red soda and green soda and blue soda, and tons and tons of others, and all kinds of candy you can't find any place else. Liquor stores are way better than big stores. This is the BEST place ever!
Uncle Keith says I can pick out a couple things. I already picked out three. My Big Red soda and these Bottle Caps and these round things that say NECCO. He says "couple" means two. I say to him, I thought it was the same for when you say "few." I thought couple meant more than one, but when you don't know exactly, so you just say couple or you just say few. I made him smile and he gets it, that's what I like about Uncle Keith, he always gets it. He says again when he calls me Buddy, couple means two, and I can tell in his voice that he knows it, he knows for sure it's two, so I just learned a new word that I didn't have right. Now I know. He's my greatest teacher. But he lets me get all three still.
Okay, just this time, he says. And he smiles like he's my brother. That's how it feels like. Like he's my older brother I never had.
I put my few, not my couple, up on the table so the man can do the money on them. The store man says what a nice uncle I have to get me all this stuff. Uncle Keith says, Heyyyy, as long it doesn’t go over a couple of bucks.
But then the DING happens when the guy does his buttons and I can see, it goes over. That's more than a couple. The store man looks at Uncle Keith, and that's a grown-up look, but Uncle Keith says, Heyyyy, man, it's only money. Then he's my brother looking at me and it's funny. It's funny 'cause he was way off on the money, it was more than just two bucks.
Then we go back to his MG car and I get in with him, then there's the VrrRROOOOM and it's more and more wind in my face, I love it, it's all over my hair again till I can’t control how it goes and it's fun, everything's fun, fun is everywhere right here now, and it gets funner everytime Uncle Keith grabs the stickball thing sticking up, he pushes it forward, then he goes back, then he does it this way and up, then he goes back down with it, and everytime there's another vrooom when he pushes it, everytime we go faster, everytime we get more wind again, till I have to close my eyes, it gets too good in here with all this wind.
When we get back home, Uncle Keith says if Dad got 'er done.
I say, Dad, Dad, what a great ride we had. Me and Uncle Keith. We had a GREAT ride.
Dad says, Ha, looks like everybody went riding today.
Then they do a great big laugh together. And I'm just like them. I can do grown-up stuff too.
I love it when Uncle Keith comes over, and if he sticks around, he and Dad talk about grown-up stuff in the front yard. Uncle Keith is Dad’s little brother. He looks the same as Dad, but his hair is not as brown and it's long, and his nose isn't big like Dad's.
He says, Heyyyyy, man!
He says, Farrrrrr out!
He says, Riiiight on!
Uncle Keith makes records. Mom says he's a bum. He doesn't want to work. He just wants to figure the easy way out. Uncle Keith cleans carpets of people’s houses. He also has a van. His van I LOVE riding in. He puts stickers on his van that are magnets that he takes on and off. It depends if he's at work doing carpets. The magnet stickers say the name of his company for doing carpets, and every magnet sticker has a different number. Mom says he's trying to trick people, he makes people believe he's got a bunch of vans, but really it's just him and his one van he has. But I just think that's smart.
When he doesn't come over, sometimes he's making records. Uncle Keith wants to do a hit song on the radio. I gave him all my song ideas. I wrote them all down and made a list. I stayed up all night and did it and he liked two of my ideas. He liked my song called “Boogie-itis.” And he liked my song called "The Brightest Star in the Universe." I told him, the "Boogie-itis" one is just perfect, because they already have a song on the radio called “Boogie Fever.” So they might as well have one called “Boogie-itis" then, because "itis" also means sick, just like "fever," plus they both have the word "Boogie" in front of it.
He said, Riiiight on, Buddy.
He said he liked where I was going.
Uncle Keith and Dad talk about when they were kids. They do that out by the gutter. When they were kids, their dad would take them fishing. That means Grampa, my Grampa that is dead. So that's what they can talk about a lot is places they used to go for fishing, and all the fun they used to have. One time when Uncle Keith came, they were talking grown-up stuff out by the gutter, and there was a mud puddle of water in the gutter from Dad washing the car before, and me and Dad and Uncle Keith were standing, and Uncle Keith got down low when he sees the puddle all of a sudden, and he makes a fishing pole sign with his hands, and looks up to Dad, and flicks his hand and he goes, Zzzzzzzzzzz! That's the fishing sound, like he was casting his pole out there. Like he was gonna catch a fish right there in that little mud puddle. Dad got it, so he laughed. I also got that he was pretending, so I laughed. I can do just like them. I know what they're saying.
I just want to go fishing with Dad and Uncle Keith. You don’t have to be a grown up. You just have to know how to cast. That's what I remind them. They say that they will.
I say, Farrrr out!
But Uncle Keith and Dad just go back to talking grown-up stuff. No more fishing. Just boring. But I watch them and I stay right here, because it's Uncle Keith.
When I grow up, I want to be just like him.
Sometimes if I tell him, he gets it and he likes it. He goes, Riiiiiiight on.