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Monday, September 2, 2013


This re-run is from August 2012

There is a tradition in my family of telling tales to the grandchildren.  My grandfather did it, my father did it and now I am guilty.  Children want to believe even though they doubt.  They particularly want to believe in their elders.

I only tell little tales; nothing outrageous.  Surely it is all harmless fun.

Yesterday my 7 year old granddaughter called from North Carolina to ask me a question.  “Grandpa Joe, were you really in the Navy Seals?”

I might have mentioned to her once that I was a Navy Seal and knew how to disarm or even kill a person thirty-seven different ways using only my thumb or pinky; maybe, I’m not sure.

I hated to disappoint her, so I continued the fib.  Then I thought she may get in trouble with her friends if she relays the tale to them (pretty sure that happened to “The Beaver” in one episode.)

Maybe I should fess up and tell her that Grandpa Joe does not know how to hurt a flea, is probably a coward and could not shine the shoes of a real Navy Seal.   Yeah but then she might not believe that I won gold medals in four different Olympics both winter and summer.  She still believes I could win the gold in the catching popcorn in your mouth toss if only they didn’t cancel that event.

I think I’ll just wait on it.  She will figure it out on her own eventually.  After all I don’t think my daughter still thinks there is a shark in Tripp’s Creek Maryland named Sharky that likes to eat little girls.  Do you Mare?  And I know I don’t believe that Killer Whales will attack fishing boats if little boys make too much noise…although my Grandfather once had to kill one with a butter knife when he was eleven…yeah he did…he told me!    


  1. One of my grandfathers used to do this too, he wouldn't real and fake stories and would just laugh enigmatically when he questioned him... I still don't know which ones were true.

  2. Glad to know you were lying when you said you had babies to eat... I thought so.

    HAhaaa killing a poor ol whale with a butter knife. that's an impressive g'pa.

    No tales from my grandfathers. mean older brother said you could sneak up on bees if you held your breath.

    Maternal g'father killed by a Greyhound bus running over him ~ never knew him.

    Paternal g'father blinded by a wagon tongue coming apart and hitting him in the head... BUT he would give me a dollar for each 'A' I received on my report card. I never lied to him.


  3. Too funny, loved this! I remember my ex telling my then 4-yr-old daughter that he built the Muenster Cathedral that we walked by often when we lived in Germany. She was mighty impressed with his expertise, but I'm pretty sure she no longer believes that, or much of anything else he said!

  4. "...could not shine the shoes of a real Navy Seal."

    Those shoes don't need shining.
    They aren't supposed to shine.
    That's why the leather is rough side out.
    So, you're off the hook for shoe shine detail.

  5. It's hard to keep yourself from exaggerating when you have a wide-eyed audience. I don't have any grandchildren yet so i have no idea what I'll say to them. Probably a mix of fact and fiction.

  6. from an upcoming post:

    When I was a kid, I was sure my dad knew everything. When we were in, say, a large auditorium, I would ask him what the huge chandelier weighed. He'd think a minute, turn to me & say, "1,387 pounds." I believed him, not realizing he had pulled the answer directly from his butt. I used the same source (my butt, not his) later when answering the questions of my own children because it at least momentarily stopped their questioning. As far as I know, my children gave this same sort of information to my grandchildren. I assume this system will carry on through the ages.

  7. This is my husband's take:- How do you expect children to grow up to be honest human beings if you lie to your grandchildren.
    No, I do not lie to my grandchildren not even make up a story about my self. I tell them stories and tell them that those stories are imagination of the the writer. Fair enough!!

  8. So you're NOT a Cranky Old Man? You're really a 24-year-old motivational speaker named Biff? What else don't we know about you DOH!

  9. A Navy Seal! Olympian! When you go big, you go all the way.

    I'll bet you felt really good as you saw yourself achieving these enormous feats and being able to captivate your little granddaughter. Why not? :) She'll figure it out some day.


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