A Christmas story!
Now in a time honored tradition of many American men I waited until the very last minute to even go on the hunt, let alone bag, Christmas presents that would both surprise and delight, in this case, the grandson and his Dad, two gentlemen with particular tastes as well as everything material, already. The chase inevitably led me into Dick's Sporting Goods Store as I had in mind anything whatsoever left among the, plunder and pillage of earlier more pragmatic shoppers that might bear the logo and insignia of The Pittsburgh Steelers, this family's Knights Templar! Not finding anything of the sort, my Impatient eye fell upon the camping department with its many environs, and what should I spy but a serious thing, a long honored thing, a tool to feed not just the stomach but the next most cherished thing thereafter, freedom.
Yes, my eye had fallen upon the sleek and sexual form of "The Remington", and with that, a light went on. I had found the father and son. perfect gift a grandfather could pass on down the line. I could feel the benevolence of ancestors, no less my own father's spirit, leading me on into this special rite. With the help of an experienced, slightly, hunched backed, keeper of Dick's sporting, slash Safari Hunting Department, I was soon out of there and on my way to wrap and proudly present these presents, that very same night.
That evening in that half hour of the festivities when at last "Little Sam" could fully see what already he had deftly, managed to tear and partly reveal, after a stern, but plainly not meant, admonishment from his grandfather, both "Big" and "Little Sam", at last were at it, the careful and polite ripping open of the Christmas quarry.
Now, with hushed breath on my part, there followed a brief pause and then a gradual realization and affirmation of all this good largesse entailed, and soon, we were giving our first lessons, heartfelt warnings, and massaging of what we hoped would never prove to be more than sport and, God forbid, nothing ever so much as a bit beyond it, I swear upon my war worn heart!
But, wait. The best and not unanticipated was yet to come, because you see sitting through all of this were two slightly smug and feisty, granddaughters, both feeling sorely used. Now, what should the oldest, but by no means always the boldest, finally question, just as I knew in my pride's heart she would? "Why was the gun reserved for a boy, and not a girl?” The implication hung on the air where I let it take flight for but a second before winging it with the retort that I had reasoned that because their excellent, unbiased, and noble father had already singled out not just she but recently her sister to go both hiking and camping to the exclusion of their tike of a little brother. There, then followed a brief but well aimed shot across my bow from her younger sister but the event was too fresh, the facts too true , and I soon silenced both with the knowledge that I knew very well the implication, indeed the accusation, was that I could ever be a sexist grandfather. I was puffed up in all my righteous, indignation!
The rest was silence, and so ends my Christmas story. Game, set, and match, for the men in the family this Christmas, holiday evening!
© 2011 by E.D. Ridgell