Fanfare for the Common Man: It’s Big Pappy time

  • Wednesday, October 23, 2013



By the time you read this, I will be a grandfather.

It is Thursday (Oct. 17) as I write this and my daughter Sarah called me during lunch to tell me my grandson was coming this weekend.

Whatever it is OBGYNs use as a benchmark on when a baby will be born, they used.

Carter Thomas Gilstrap should be here sometime Monday, Oct. 21.

Big Pappy is the grandpa name I picked for little Carter to call me when he reaches the ability to develop vocabulary skills. Of course I’ll answer to whatever comes out of that darling little mouth.

I will rock it as a grandpa.

Look at all this sage wisdom I have to impart upon that young, impressionable mind.

The first thing I will do is pass down all the neat tricks my grandfather showed me.

My grandfather was big on flatulent humor.

I idolized him, and called him Poo, so you can see the correlation. Which should give you a good idea that as new grandparents you will gladly accept anything your little grandchild decides to call you.

I thought Poo was the most amazing man I’d ever seen. When I was two-years old, he showed me marvels I still find amazing to this day.

You see … Poo didn’t have any teeth. He wore dentures.

So as a toddler, when we do as toddlers do, such as stick your hand in your grandfather’s mouth and give a good yank on his teeth, imagine my somewhat horrified amazement when all his teeth came out in my clenched fist.

When Poo put his teeth back in, of course I wanted to do it again.

After he grew tired of having me yank out his lower plate over and over again, he made me earn the privilege by playing keep away with his dentures. He would shove his teeth out of his mouth, both plates, beyond both lips, fake gums and all, then offer for me to grab for them.

When I did he’d suck them back in his mouth and I missed the grab, but thought this was so funny, I’d laugh until I wet my pants.

I know this about the pants wetting thing, because five cousins followed behind me and he played the same game with each of them and I saw some pants wetting from each of them. I had to fight it myself, though I knew the routine. Even as I grew older and had a full set of teeth of my own, I tried to stick out my teeth like Poo. I didn’t get the trick until I was in my twenties and saw his teeth one night floating in a glass.

I had to stifle the scream on that one.

It almost made me want to pull all my own teeth so I could have false teeth by the time I had grandkids.

Growing up, Poo was Superman to me.

He could do anything.

He invented the game “Pull My Finger.”

I thought Pull My Finger was hilarious and played the same trick on my siblings. Mom was not the least bit amused, especially riding in a closed car on our way to church on Sunday mornings.

I’m not sure Moms appreciate Grandpa humor.

I kept hearing her say to my dad, “You need to have a talk with your father.”

Yeah, I’m going to rock this grandpa thing.

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