Friday, February 11, 2011

Johnny Crash

So one of my twins says to me this morning, "I think there's a new policy that you can't wear shorts to school during the winter."

"So why are you wearing shorts then?"

That was my question to him. Why are you wearing shorts? In the winter? Why, why, why? Especially now that the school has enacted a policy specifically for YOU, and of YOU, and by YOU, and very likely because of YOU, to protect yourself from YOU?

He looked at me like DUH!, shrugged his shoulders and said, "I don't care about that policy."

Oh me. Oh my. Is this what I've created? Subversion? Father forgive me!

Maybe it's not my fault. Maybe there's a subversive gene in my family line. Maybe me and mine are all simply victims of our DNA. We like to kiss before marriage, wear shorts in the winter, and drink Mountain Dew during Sunday School. And there ain't a thing we can do about it.

I blame it on my great grandfather, Voldemort--the one who must-not-be-named because he had no legal right to be my great grandfather because my great grandmother had no legal right to get impregnated by him because he was already legally and lawfully married to someone else, which in 1923 was neither legal nor lawful, which is why he got busted and did two years hard time in the Utah state prison.

Classic subversive behavior.

Speaking of my great grandfather, I can feel an obsession coming over me. The best way to nurture an obsession is to shush someone from doing or saying or talking about something. Push it way, way, way down, down, down to the dark, dank nether regions of their soul where curiosity is a breeding ground. And then pretend like it doesn't exist.

Why must Voldemort not be named? Huh? Huh? Huh?


It doesn't matter how much my family line doesn't acknowledge Voldemort, his subversive DNA is still illegally running through my gene pool!

Great granddaughters may not have legal rights, but they do have genetic rights, and as Gad as my witness, I will exercise my genetic rights!

The way I exercise my genetic rights to my great grandfather is by Googling his name every so often to see what pops up. Once I found his signature on a parole document. He has an exquisite signature, btw. I can totally see why my great grandmother slept with him.

I've done other things besides Google him, like call his children and demand to be invited to family reunions.


Okay, I haven't gone that far, but I have done a little digging over the years, which I keep on the down low out of respect for his daughter--my grandmother--who now lives in the hundred year old house on Tait Lane in Mt. Carmel where she was born in the pink bedroom off the parlor 87 years ago.

My obsessive curiosity about my great grandfather waxes and wanes, but a few days ago it waxed and guess what popped up on Google. A photo. Of my great grandfather. That was uploaded last week. He was old and he was wearing a cowboy hat. And I think he had a pack of Lucky Strikes in his front pocket.

(Do you think he was a bad boy?)

It was so weird to sit and stare at him and think, "Dude! What were you thinking?" I mean fer reals? You can run, but you can't hide. For long. Maybe your daughter won't Google you, and maybe your granddaughter won't Google you, but surely your great granddaughter will. And then she might blog about you, or write a best-selling novel about you, or maybe even an Academy Award winning screenplay about you, starring John Mayer or Ewen McGregor. If that doesn't make you turn over in your grave at the Provo cemetery, I don't know what will.

So guess who my great grandfather didn't look like?


And guess who he did look like?

Johnny Cash.

That's right. Almost a spitting image. He even had that same angsty look on his face. Like he'd been hardened. By prison. And unattainable love.

Or by smoking too many Lucky Strikes.

I did the math and figured out that if he looked like Johnny Cash as an old man, then when he was starting my secret family line at the tender age of 23, he might have looked a little something like this:

I think from now on, instead of calling him Voldemort, I will simply call him Johnny Crash.


springrose said...

I love that you found stuff on your Great Gandfather on Google! I usually just look up ailments that freak me out!!!! And what is it that makes all people look beautiful from that era! Every picture you ever see look like a holly wood pic! Maybe that is why I have romanticized it. That plus my Grandmother has made WW II very romantic for me. Even though I know how very horrible it was.

Can't wait for more stories on Voldemort, I mean Johnny Cash!!! Hey Cash sounds a lot like Crash!!!!!

Garden of Egan said...

He does look like Johnny Crash!

You are a total super sleuth!

Uh, your kids should probably NOT wear shorts to school. They might get frostbit knees and those are super ugly.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Hee Hee.

You guys know those photos are of Johnny Cash, right? Did I not make that clear? I am not showing the real deal.


That last pic is just speculation about what he might have looked like.

~A said...

Oh this looks like fun.

Let's see what family secrets I can unearth...

T said...

maybe we're related (heck, who knows... except I don't think we have any relatives making ho-made pies) because my 11 year old has been wearing shorts to school daily since mid-November...

and maybe it's only me, but when you wrote Voldemort, Voldemort, Voldemort I was thinking "Beetlejuice"... which I won't write 3 times out of some sort of deep-seeded fear that it'll actually WORK!

never overlook the seductive power of a good signature...

katie t said...

but wait!!! i want to know who he is and how to google him and read for myself!!!


val of the south said...

I'm seriously glad he didn't look like Voldemort!
I've had a few fights this year with my 11year old about wearing shorts to school in the winter. He agreed to pants on the day it was 10 degrees, yet fought me on wearing his big jacket! What can I say, my husband wears shorts and snow boots...quite the fashion statement!!

Barbaloot said...

I'm fighting with blogger right now. It keeps eating my comments. But I wrote something about how your family history is way more entertaining than mine. Maybe I'm a little jealous.

Susan said...

"I can see why my grandmother slept with him." I love it.

DeNae said...

That second pic of Johnny Cash looks a lot like my dad. So maybe we're related! And my brother wore shorts for three straight years in high school. In Salt Lake.

My question is, why is the school enacting SEASONAL policies? And is there a temperature line of demarkation, like, "When it's 67 degrees, you may wear shorts again?"

And who is enforcing these policies? Is public education really doing so darn well in Utah that administrators have nothing better to do than say, "HEY! I'm pretty sure you're too cold! Put on some long pants!"

And finally, are girls allowed to wear dresses, since I'm assuming the issue is one of coverage, appropriate for the weather?