Sunday, May 15, 2011

Grandpa's False Teeth

When my parents asked if they could come by the house for the afternoon to see the baby, it was not a big deal. However, what they didn't tell us is that they were bringing grandma and grandpa, and that's a game changer.

God love him, but my grandfather has somehow putzed his way through nearly 90 years of life, and it's only by the grace of God he hasn't, to my knowledge, seriously hurt himself. I've heard stories of the man almost having his head taken off by parts flying from machinery, putting diesel fuel in a vehicle with a gas engine, smacking every one of his fingers at least 40 times with a hammer, almost burning down his house on accident, almost burning down someone else's house on accident, and sawing off a tree limb that he was standing on, among other things. In short, he's like the anti-McGyver; he doesn't intentionally try to build a bomb out of toothpaste, an Etch-a-Sketch and a DVD player, but he does it anyway. Oh, and there's also the time he told me to pee on the electric fence when I was about 5 years old so I would have a proper frame of reference for not doing it again. My dad saw the crime unfolding and rescued me from a fate unbefitting of any crime I may have committed prior to that or would commit after that.

These days, grandpa avoids machinery for the most part and doesn't saw the limbs off of trees. In spite of this, the man still manages to transform himself into a human wrecking ball when he visits our house. Every time he comes over, there is inevitably a point where he gets up from wherever he is and walks downstairs to look for a bathroom. There is no bathroom downstairs. Never has been, never will be. There are no hookups and nothing that makes you say to yourself, "There may be a bathroom down here." Sure enough, I'll get up 5 minutes later and find grandpa walking in and out of rooms muttering about a bathroom. One time I even found him in the garage. Because one of the cats also has a tendency to pee in the office, we'll never be able to pin it on grandpa, but Tori's pretty sure that, at one point or another, he has defiled the room. Another time, we caught him trying to walk out with my camera; it's not a great camera, but it's mine. Tori also walked in on him one time eating straight out of the cake pan that people were cutting their cake from and licking the fork. The conversation went something like this:

Tori: Grandpa, are you licking the community cake fork.
Grandpa: (Sets the fork down) Nope.
Tori: Grandpa, I saw you.
Grandpa: (Walks away)

My grandmother is not clumsy, just occasionally cheap. She has always been a big fan of the Goodwill. I'm not knocking Goodwill, but there are some things that should never be placed on a resale rack. For a proper comparison, my grandma is one step above the grandma in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation who wrapped her cat and a jello mold. Almost every Christmas that I can remember, I've received either used Stetson or Brute cologne. For Tori's first Christmas with the family, grandma gave her used hand lotion, and nothing says "Welcome to the family" like used hand lotion.

So out of the car rolled grandma and grandpa. After Tori digested that we would need to batten down the hatches from the impending storm that was grandpa, something else caught her eye. "What the Hell is that?" I couldn't see what she was talking about, so I didn't know. "Is that a toilet training potty chair?" I stil couldn't see what she was talking about, so I still didn't know. Sure enough, there was grandma and grandpa getting out of my parents car carrying a beaten up toilet training potty chair. It was missing parts and covered in dirt and bugs. It looked like something you would see in one of the nuclear ravaged houses in The Hills Have Eyes. It looked like my mom had tried to talk her out of it to no avail, and alas, it made the journey. Immediately after seeing the potty chair's pitiful condition, I immediately knew that Charlie Sheen had a better chance of making a guest appearance on Two and a Half Men than my daughter's bare bottom did of touching that chair. It also didn't help that the missing parts looked like critical components, for example a seat. Needless to say, it found it's way to our recycle stash after everyone left.

After what could be called a successful day for grandpa (he wandered around upstairs instead of downstairs in his neverending quest for the bathroom, didn't drop the baby and only made an attempt to catch one of the cats) he found his time to shine. Somehow the conversation shifted toward teeth and we couldn't remember exactly how many teeth are in a person's mouth. In perhaps the fastest grandpa has ever moved in his life, he popped out his false teeth out and started counting. There was a moment of silence where all you could hear was grandpa rattling off numbers and clicking his fingernail against each tooth before he proclaimed "Thirty-two." It took us roughly two minutes to get the old man to put his teeth back in, during which time he extolled the greatness of his false teeth while holding them in his hands like he was showing off a trophy he'd won at a shuffleboard competition. Now I just have to check the couch and make she he didn't forget them.


  1. Funny! Very funny! I look forward to being just like your grandpa one day. :)

  2. Awesome story. Hope grandpa's has settled to his dentures now. It's easy to be bothered by the notion of having one; though it does have it's uses, especially in our advanced years.

    Houston Smile Docs

  3. Hilarious! Grandparents are awsome XD