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On nephews and uncles
By CHRIS TRAINOR
, Special to the Index-Journal
Sunday, April 20, 2014 12:00 AM
Easter is here and spring has (finally) arrived.
Now is a time for all things new.
That is especially true in my family, as my brother Matthew and his wife Becky welcomed a baby son -- Jack Thomas Trainor -- into the world on Thursday night. He weighs 6 pounds, 1 ounce.
Perhaps I’m biased, but I think he might be the cutest baby boy in the history of mankind. He’s bound for the silver screen, no doubt. (Though it remains to be seen whether he’ll have his uncle’s proclivity for hyperbole.)
Jack is named after my late grandfather, Jack McElrath, a World War II veteran. I never met my grandfather, but I’ve heard so many stories. Little Jack will hear those stories, too.
My brother and his wife are first-time parents, and I’m a first-time uncle.
Uncle Chris. I like the sound of that.
Everyone has a crazy uncle. For young Jack, that’s me.
Remember that scene in “Uncle Buck” where they made the giant pancakes and had to use a snow shovel to flip them? Yeah, that kind of thing will be normal business with Jack and Uncle Chris.
What’s that, Jack? Dad and Mom won’t take you to see that new movie with the brain-eating zombies and flesh-munching monsters and the scene-chewing Steven Seagal? Call your Uncle Chris.
Mom and Dad sent you to my house to spend the night and said you can only have seaweed tofu chips and organic passion fruit juice? Hop in the car with Uncle Chris. Let me introduce you to a little place called the Dixie.
In all seriousness, there aren’t enough words to describe all the ways in which I’m going to spoil this kid.
Nor are there enough words to describe how much I’m going to love him. He has been long-anticipated.
He is a blessing.
JACK, THIS PART OF THE column is addressed specifically to you. Your mom and dad likely will cut it out of the newspaper and put it in a scrapbook for you to read later. Or maybe they’ll save it digitally in “the cloud.”
Or maybe one day it will be beamed straight into your brain through some device that was not yet invented when you were born back in 2014.
However you are consuming it, I’m here to offer you some tips and facts to help you through life. Now, this isn’t necessarily the type of stuff your parents are going to teach you or the kind of things you are going to learn in church or at school.
This is just little stuff that will help you fill in the gaps. Trust me, these will come in handy.
• Always close the cap on a two-liter soda good and tight. It will stay “fizzy” a lot longer if you do this. Also, if anyone ever offers you a cold Coca-Cola in a glass bottle, you should accept. Coke is approximately 146 percent better when consumed from a glass bottle.
• Basketball referees are, in fact, a subspecies prone to lying and outright cheating. They should be treated as such. When in attendance at a basketball game — particularly at the college or professional level — make sure to do all you can, short of cursing, to remind them of their ineptitude. It is wholly appropriate to disparage their eyesight, question their moral character and imply they have received illicit payment in exchange for calls.
• Superman is greater than Batman. That is all.
• Always wear your seat belt when riding in a car. There’s actually no joke or anecdote there. Seriously, wear your seat belt. And if anyone ever tells you a story about how another one of your “uncles” — Uncle Iceman — once stood up in a convertible Camaro going 70 mph on the Anderson Highway and tossed a strand of lit firecrackers onto the hood of a van we were passing, ignore it.
• One day you will fall in love with a girl, and she with you. You will propose and she will agree to marry you. She will begin planning a wedding and will start trying to pick out a date for the wedding. You must not, under any circumstances, allow your girl to pick a wedding date in the fall on a day when South Carolina and/or Clemson are playing football games at home. Unless you want every man (and some of the women) at the service cursing you under their breath.
• Read lots of books. Real ones, on paper. They’re better that way. Newspapers, too.
• Always get to the movies in time to see the previews. If you don’t see the previews, then you didn’t go to the movies. Also, if you sneak a canned drink into the show, be sure to cough really loud when you pop the top.
• You should visit every Major League Baseball park at least once. Trust me.
• Never, ever, under absolutely any circumstance, ask your Uncle Chris for help with your math homework. Never. Talk to your dad about that stuff. We want you to be able to actually, you know, learn math.
Jack, I hope this helps. You can take these tips to heart, or you can choose your own path. That’s what is beautiful about life.
The world is yours, and it is what you make it.
Just know your uncle loves you, very much.
Trainor is the senior staff writer at the Index-Journal. Contact him at 864-943-5650; email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow him on Twitter @IJCHRISTRAINOR. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.
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