My son, friend of Smitty
It’s the little things that he does. Some will drive you crazy and others will have you laughing hysterically. Facial expressions add to the comedic value, but it’s a “you had to be there” thing. He’s always done it and even when you think he’s being dead serious, he’s likely pulling your leg.
The routines go back as far as I can remember but there are quite a few that stick out in my mind. The first of which is Denny’s…
Those of you who have seen Pulp Fiction would easily remember this scene with John Travolta and Uma Thurman. My son, who was but 4 at the time, had not. That didn’t stop him from busting out in a dance routine of The Swim while seated at our table in Denny’s while we waited for our food. No prompting, no key word mentioned and no music. Just Josh bustin’ a move.
A few months later I would be getting married to my beautiful fiance’. As I’m dressing my son in his little dress shirt and vest, he’s fussing with me as most boys do when wearing dress clothes. After a few minutes, we finally get him situated and I let out a heavy sigh. He looks at me, pulls down his vest to straighten it out and says very matter of factly, “Dad, you know the difference between you and me? I make this look good”.
Josh is not one to have attention drawn to him, unless it’s at your expense. For the longest time, Josh and his friend Jordan went everywhere with us. Having the two of them together was a blast, but by the end of the weekend, you were ready to commit them to speacial care facilities. For the longest time, my wife and I thought they had a friend named Smitty. We stopped believing in Smitty a long time ago as he never was around when the boys said he was. We could be in a movie, at a restaurant or smack dab in the middle of a hot tourist crowd in one of Florida’s many theme parks and “Smitty” would just pop up. At first it was a lot of coincidences.
Josh: “Jordan, there’s Smitty!” as loud as he could.
Jordan: “No way where?”
Josh: “Right there! HEY SMITTY!”
When we’d all look at the two of them, Josh would just say “Dad, it’s my friend Smitty” and point in some random direction. Later, we learned that we were the butt of a long, never ending joke. There really is a Smitty and my son does know the kid. He was just never anywhere we were and thus began a long line of deception and pranks. While it was fun for Jordan, it sometimes took a different turn when he became the butt of the jokes.
Josh: “Dad, Jordan says you’re going bald.”
Jordan: “Wait, what?!? No I didn’t!”
Josh: “Dad, he did. I don’t think that’s very nice of you Jordan.”
Or even worse, just yelling out at random, “Jordan! Stop hitting my sister! She’s smaller than you. I know she can be a brat but…” And all Jordan could do was look at me like “please, you really don’t believe this do you?”
Part of the fun is his randomness. He torments his grandfather with obscure comments, quotes movies he’s fond of and swears you are off your rocker when you try to recall a conversation with him just moments before. It can drive you insane.
Some of his favorite quotes:
“LT. DAN! You got legs!”
“I hid this uncomfortable piece of metal up my ass for two years.”
“Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.”
In all fairness, he comes by it honest. I’ve always been the one to make up wild stories when the kids asked me a question about something like “Why is the sky blue?” or make them apologize to the wall when they run into it. After all, the poor wall didn’t do anything to them. Tina isn’t much better and I blame a lot of my own sarcasm on her. After all, I was this shy, reclusive guy who never would say much of a peep much less give off any sarcastic remark. She’s made us all unbearable (kidding babe).
Josh is much older now, drives his own car, works a lot after school and we see much less of him than we’d like too. But that little boy is still there and apparently, so is Smitty. Josh has been dating a wonderful young lady and she’s perfect for him and this crazy family. She has been known to hack into his Facebook account and post wild messages professing his undying love for her. He deserves every bit of it. I only hope that he one day experiences the same joy I’ve had watching him grow into the young man he’s become. More importantly, I can’t wait for the opportunity to spend my time with his children so I can share my knowledge in the art of pranks and sarcasm. It’s only fair to them right?