THANKSGIVING WITH RONNIE
I think I have mentioned before that my Uncle Ronnie has a little bit of a hearing problem. To say that he's deaf as a stone is an insult to stones. Many years behind a pneumatic drill have rendered his ears as little more than decoration for his head.
Recently, Ronnie bought himself a new truck. And not just your average truck, a fire engine red, big jammer with all the bells and whistles that one might expect in a loaded 2011 pick up - IPod Dock "I don't know what to do with it." CD Player 'I can't play nothin since all my CD's burned up in the old truck." Sirius/XM Radio "I cancelled it. See no use for it." Digital odometer - '"Can't seem to get my mileage to display." And the biggest feature of all, its mammoth size. So mammoth in fact that I think he has had a problem parking it, because it has a couple of dents and dings. We keep asking where the damage is coming from and he keeps laughing it off and not answering. Typical Ronnie.
When Thanksgiving rolled around, Ronnie was with us at my brother's house in his Sunday-best flannel shirt. As we sat in the living room enjoying some pre-dinner noshes, the talk or perhaps what is best described as screaming, turned to Ronnie's truck. My brother, who was sitting directly across from Ronnie was yelling questions at him about how he liked the truck and Ronnie was answering. He gave us the run down of the sizable list of features in the truck that he doesn't use and he told us how much he liked the truck, overall. I was sitting to his left and tried to ask him a couple of questions that he could not hear. He kept staring straight ahead, eating chips and dips as if I had never said a word. I guess if he's not looking at you to read your screaming lips, he can't make out what you're saying. So I proceed to have a discussion with my brother about how I am going to buy a pair of truck nuts and sling them around his trailer hitch when he's not looking. Then we can take bets around how long it will take him to realize that there is a scrotum hanging from his truck. He never heard a word of it as he proceeded to completely disrespect the layered Mexican dip in front of him.
After dinner we were passing around my sister-in-law's IPad and showing him pictures of our family, including one of him and I from 1967. One thing I can say is that his vision is as good as his hearing is bad. He took one look at the picture from 1967 and said "My hair looks the same." never pausing to mention the adorable three year old at his knee. Then we showed him a video of my son playing acoustic guitar and singing Me and Bobby McGee and he immediately dismissed it as "Oh, that's not for me, that modern music." A comment that had all of us doubled over in fits of hysterical laughter. But what can you expect from someone whose CD collection consisted of Eddie Arnold and John Phillip Sousa. That's it. For Ronnie, the music industry is frozen in carbonite as of 1948.