Good Morning Sentimental Bunkles,
Three months ago I held my only Grandchild Quinn shortly after his birth. I’m once again privileged to share time with my visiting Daughter and my progeny that is unmistakably the fruit of my loins. As long as I’m sharing this would be private moment, I might as well put a little context around it. You see, my first born was a missionary for the Mormon faith serving in Venezuela just as Chavez took power. There were a few anxious moments but she came through it with an unwavering faith in a prophet and her place among the saints. If there is such a place she no doubt deserves to be there but truth be known she’s been one of them her entire life. She has taught me lessons I’d never have grasped had it not been for her gentle intuitive nature. It was toward the end of her mission we announced our plans to divorce. I could no longer live the double standard I’d been living and had to come clean. Ten years later there’s no denying I was solely responsible for the collapse of my marriage. Unfortunately it took ten years to fully accept that without “telling my side of things.” With only a few weeks left in Venezuela I sat down one evening and wrote her a six page letter (single spaced) doing just that. It made me feel less guilty so I waxed philosophic and laid out my defense. I’ve never heard her specifically address the letter, but it’s safe to assume she was having none of it.
I’ll spare you any more sentimentality but her relationship with me is not as I’d have liked it because of my stupid need to be vindicated. But while here I wanted to buy Quinn a gift my dear Megan would appreciate. Even though I put the task off until the last minute, I wanted her to think it was a great gift and possibly worthy of a prominent place in young Quinn’s ambiance. I bought him a sterling silver piggy bank and engraved it as being from me. I think it’ll be tough for her to hide it.
I hadn’t been to the mall in years! I’d forgotten what a bazaar it is teaming with people wandering aimlessly searching for the ultimate deal. Most times it’s like a movie with people and storefronts in constant motion blowing by with cut outs of Mike Meyers, jewelry stores, and of course the food court. It was going to take 20 minutes for the engraving so I made my way to fast food paradise. Staring at wall to wall serving trays and napkin holders I gazed at the endless rows of tables and chairs. It was genuinely surreal! The variety of food was clear enough, yet at the same time, looked very much the same. After perusing through the many choices, it dawned on me why there was a similarity to it all. Each dish was drowning in enough oil to make Saudi Arabia blush! It was very disturbing!
I sat down with my particular choice of sludge and quietly ate. As you can imagine there were quite a number of pubescent girls hanging in groups of three or four sipping cola or an Orange Julius. I noticed a guy sporting a spray bottle, broom and dustpan an obvious mall employee. He looked to be around 40 with an Elvis (the real one) 50’s ‘greaser’ doo, wearing sunglasses, kaki shorts, flip-flops, and chewing a toothpick. He kept working his way back and forth lingering at each table full of girls saying something to make them giggle. It was definitely creepy. Had one of them been my daughter I would have made the freak feel very off balance and encouraged him to go elsewhere.
I returned to pick up my treasure just as the young woman was finishing her task. With absolute pride she polished the pig buffing it to a high gloss. She handed it to me for inspection so I immediately read the engraving: “Save a Bunkle Love Grandpa Zuki” “What the hell is a bunkle’’ I queried. “It’s supposed to be Bundle” I pointed out unnecessarily as my sales girl put both hands over her face apologizing over and over. I explained I had to take it anyways given the store was about to close so she promised to make it right the next day with a new pig and correctly spelled inscription. I promised to return after I presented the pig to Quinn and his mother.
Sometimes life’s rich pageant delivers a comedy as opposed to the expected poignant moment. As my beautiful daughter opened the gift on Quinn’s behalf, she carefully read the inscription and began to smile. Then she started laughing. Before long she broke out into the uncontrollable guffaw that sucks in everyone else in the room until all are on the floor! Still trying to catch her breath, she said she was going to keep it like it is! “ WHAT?! No no no” I insisted, “I’ll get it corrected!” She wouldn’t give it back and claimed the mistake will always remind her of me!
I’m working on it now, and hopefully in the near future will proffer a definition for ‘bunkle’ and put it in a sentence. Jeez…