My Three Nephews On Whitey Bulger Look-Alike Day
Humbled and exhausted, we try to form up our ranks after the Eating season. People have actually gone to airports and gone somewhere on an airplane, not spending endless nights sleeping on cots in the airport. Hereabouts in Michigan yesterday was Airport Day, or, more realistically, Remember-To-Wear-Clean-Underwear-Day!!
Yes, we have come full circle from the days when our mothers told us to be righteous in our choice of briefs on the far off chance we may be in an automobile accident and be taken to the hospital and the ER personnel may have to remove our outer clothing to swab our wounds, discovering to their dismay - and it takes a lot to dismay urban ER personnel!- that we wore our underwear on bi-diurnal cycle: changing every other day.
Nowadays there is a very good chance that the TSA will touch and view your undergarments... while they are still on your person! Had our mothers only known what a baneful breed their monitory cautions would grow into one day.
60% of the flights leaving DTW were on time, 30% were late, and 10% were really, really late. I was not flying myself, thank heavens ( May God turn away such plagues!), but the numbers game did not instill much enthusiasm. I had noticed that etymologically this was the very same "really, really" that George Bush had used to justify the Iraq War, saying Saddam Hussein was a "really, really" bad actor. I had a sense that someone was about to steal one trillion dollars from me, as well as wiretapping my phone and forcing me to wear clean underwear with a relentless intent.
As is the case in the popular mind, what goes around, comes around. This is a philosophy which stands us well and is perennially verified by all of us, having been based on the Farmers' Almanac's observations of a whirly-gig or weather vane back in the day when maiden aunts still believed soon-to-be-General George McClellan to be quite a catch for their as yet unmarried wards.
As some airplanes took away, others landed and brought gifts. As I stood on the tarmac and noted these things in a desultory way - thinking that this may have been a cognitive state similar to that of St. Joseph who noted a lot of things in the first couple years of his marriage and kept them under his yarmulke - it dawned on me that this was the type of logic that gave rise to the Cargo Cults during World War II: on Polynesian islands certain inhabitants prayed for the airplanes to come back down from the heavens bearing gifts (war supplies, weapons, and Hershey's bars) and angels (US air men).
They even used driftwood to build crude idols resembling the remnants of balsa-wood gliders I used to play with. I know this. I saw it all in the film Mondo Cane back in the 60's.
This airplane brought the gift of Nepotism; nepotism being derived from Latin nepos, meaning nephew... all three of them - Ayden, Austin, and Aloysius (pronounced a-LOY-shus for all you who are not Sons of Hibernia). Once again they had flown in on Lucky Airlines. All this lines' craft had a picture of a winking card sharp - one hand holding a royal flush, the other on a glitzy lady's anatomy - painted on the vertical stabilizer and rudder. I had to admire it all since they had just come out of bankruptcy, and I had expected that Lucky Airlines might have changed their logo to "The Busted Flush" or something along those lines, along with a suitable icon on the fuselage. But they had come out of bankruptcy better than ever, and were a real success story of the period of the "Financial Unpleasantness".
Ah, I thought: good things come in threes, shortly followed by three on a match is bad luck. This got me into the suitable mood of feckless befuddlement which people have come to expect of me and are mightily disappointed if, perchance, I show up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed: they say afterwards that there was something wrong with old Montag, didn't seem himself... wasn't properly spaced-out; displayed unsettling signs of being-with-it, and so on.
We embraced with avuncular joy - on my part - and nepotistical joy on theirs. (By the way, nepotistical is the only word that rhymes with nepotistical. It is unique that way. Look it up in a rhyming dictionary if you don't believe me; it is considered mono-rhythmistical, as they foppishly put it.)
We bundled into the venerable VW - which I now refer to as The Hindenburg, referencing the General, not the Dirigible - and prepared to run the gauntlet of the various devices in parking lots, airports, and toll roads which suck currency and specie from one's pockets.
They had been some time at their Aunt Sophronia's in England, and had welcomed me with a number of endearing sobriquets. In the space of five minutes, I was quickly and seriatim referred to as "old puddingstone", "old stub", "you-old-soak", and "great Booley"!
I did not recognize any of these, but I was not deceived, either. I knew my nephews, and if they were to refer to me as "The Boss", they would not mean it in the sense of "patron" or "chief" or Springsteen; they would mean "boss" in the sense of a massive protuberance, such as are often on the intersecting wooden ribs of a church roof whereon medieval artisans sculpted grotesques and gargoyles.
We drove home to Linden Lea - as the goodwife calls it - to be met by an designedly artful display of joyful barking and slavish fawning put on by Cymbalta and Zoloft who well remembered Xmas three ships, three gifts, and three the kings... or three nephews bringing treats for the canine palate.
They will be here for a while. I shall issue an update.