Consider yourself warned: Piquing the curiosity of a recovering journalist may lead to strange google searches, chain-smoked cigarettes, and lengthy random message chains from phone numbers you ever seen before that you probably won’t find until much later in the day, long after you forgot you actually asked said question, but answer it thorough and complete by old radio show slogans…
At least that’s what happened to a poor fellow I met for the first time today, someone I’ve heard about for decades but never had the good fortune to meet. Until today, when me and my bride made the drive out to Gonzales–our old hometown, as it were (Come N Take It! Let’s go Apaches! Class of 1990, the both of us)–where some of her closest kin had gathered to celebrate her father’s 68th birthday. Among them was a fellow I’ll henceforth refer to as Uncle Charlie. Why? Because that’s what my bride calls him, and I probably should, too. Seems like polite thing to do anyway, especially after I blew up his phone earlier today. Believe me, he’ll probably be the first to heed said words of warning from here on out. He just didn’t know any better today.
Now, don’t get me to lying about how those familial ties twixt he and I might actually bind us. But as many of you are already aware, I tend to be … well, a bit on the “touched” side when it comes to tracking down things I don’t know. Now, that may be a slightly archaic descriptor, perhaps, but I truly can’t think of a more apt description, either. Besides, if the boot fits, sport that bad boy like you own it. If that’s that worst I get called today, everybody’s being suspiciously nice to me for some reason…
Anyhow, we got to visiting about, of all things, weddings. Despite just meeting him today, it wasn’t our first visit on such matters. You see, Uncle Charlie was practicing this Fall Guy routine over at his place right about the time my bride and I were getting ready to tie the knot last November. Seems he dodged left when shoulda ducked right or something — i don’t know all the details exactly — so he wasn’t able to attend. He did, however, send us one of the best letters I’ve seen in some time. One of my favorite parts:
Once you begin to fall into the routine of married life you need to NOT let it become routine. Add some variety, do something different occasionally. . . read more and watch less TV. Just don’t get so busy that life passes you by. . . what is lost is lost.
Right uncle-ly advice, I don’t care who you are. So he and my bride are checking out pictures, from the event itself as well as our adventures afterward on our Hill Country Honeymoon in the days that followed. Those of you who follow my Facebook page have probably run across that little video gem at some point already. Still, it’s not every day you get to see a grown man commit to a pantomime quite near as — shall we say, passionately? See what I meant about “touched”?
In checking out said pictures, however, he came up with a question that quickly let me know my powers of observation ain’t quite where they once were: Why’s it called Henry the Hyvee Horse? Until he asked that particular question, I can’t say I’d even noticed those particular words before, I’m sad to report, and I’ve seen this picture dozens of times now.
Curiosity piqued, I tore off on my search. And while I described his letter to me as one of the best things I’d read in some time, I can’t help but imagine him finding what follows, the strangest he’s probably gotten in some time. And now everything you never wanted to know about Henry, the Hyvee Horse:
Of course, a single message couldn’t possibly provide all the answers needed. Not even in something that long. I better drain that battery as best I can… I probably left out something important, like who the hell is speaking? Or maybe toss random corrections at him. Or may I could simply restate the obvious, again.. Once more, for good time’s sake. Always the gentleman, though he never called me what I deserved.
I’m betting actual sanity wasn’t exactly what he said I should change up every so often. How bout you?