I’ll take stinky pickles for $200, Alex

FATHER’S DAZE
Emmitt B. Feldner  for The Review

EDITOR’S NOTE: Our columnist is slacking off this week – at least, that’s the best we can figure out – so we’re filling this space with one of his previous gems – or duds, depending on your point of view.

With grandchildren around, it’s hard not to be entertained.

They’re glad to do it for their grandparents, without even trying hard and without even knowing that they’re doing it.

With three grandsons, we’re pretty well assured of fun diversions time and time again.

Our youngest grandson, Nolan, for instance has apparently discovered the speed dial numbers for Grandma and Grandpa on his father’s cell phone.

As a result, one or the other of us is likely to get a phone call from Nolan literally from out of the blue.

At least, we have to assume that it’s Nolan, since he’s not very loquacious on the telephone just yet.

He is a good listener, however, at least for his grandparents — we can’t say if that’s true when his parents are talking to him, but then again he’d just be taking after his father if he weren’t listening to his parents as attentively.

I’m sure he’s doing plenty of interesting stuff every day, being just a few months shy of his third birthday, but Nolan seems to be more content listening to what his grandparents are doing — even though a lot of it seems dull and boring to us.

It does make for some one-sided conversations, but it’s still fun just to talk at him.

It probably means he won’t grow up to be a radio talk show host, because those people never seem to shut up and listen, whereas Nolan does exactly the opposite.

It may just be that Nolan has a hard time getting a word in edgewise at home with his older brother Ty around.

Ty was a late talker, but he’s been working hard at making up for it since then — and doing quite well.

Their cousin, Aiden, on the other hand, being an only child, is quite adept at holding conversations, which can be entertainment of an entirely different kind.

He’s already coined a few memorable phrases and made some noteworthy statements.

There was the time I took him with me to the grocery store and, in the middle of one of the aisles, he told me I should buy him some pickles.

In my best “Treasure of the Sierra Madre/ Blazing Saddles” style, I told him, “Pickles? We don’ need no steen-keeng pickles!”

What he heard, apparently, was stinky pickles, which he repeated to me through the rest of the store — and I repeated back to him.

Since then, I’ve taken to calling him Stinky Pickle from time to time, to which he quickly replies, “I’m not Stinky Pickle, you’re Stinky Pickle, Poppie!”

I’m not exactly sure what a stinky pickle is, or if Aiden or I would know one if we saw one — although I’m sure we’d both know one if we smelled one — but it’s become a name that’s stuck.

Aiden stayed with us last weekend, including Friday evening, when Terry was at work and Aiden was stuck with me at home.

That meant that he had to put up with watching “Jeopardy” with me, which he didn’t seem too upset with.

As is my habit, I was answering as many of the clues as I could out loud — which is probably why nobody but Aiden will sit and watch it with me.

And of course, following the rules of the game, I phrased each of my answers in the form of a question — Who is Nietschze, Who was FDR, What is North Carolina, and so forth.

He was apparently unimpressed with my depth of knowledge. Instead, his only comment every time I came up with another question was to say, “I don’t know, Poppie.”

At least the stinky pickle was being honest. And it probably won’t be too long before he does know, and more than me.


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