Grandpa knew what he was getting into when he stepped on the court, dad. I'm not going to take it easy on him just because he is a 5'6", 140 pound withering man, who is wearing poorly-aged suspenders over a ragged white T-shirt that barely covers up the tattoo of Betty Boop on his right arm he got in North Africa during World War II. The axis wouldn’t have cut him any slack, and neither will I. Now, I will not stop slam dunking on grandpa.
First off, "respect your elders" is an antiquated phrase. The animal kingdom pays this adage no mind, as the younger, hungrier animals, like lions or deer, are encouraged to take charge and show off their power over their weaker elders. It's the circle of life, and even though it is what nature intends, the human race ignores this. We demand that youth bow at the presence of a decrepit bag of bones and that the youth attend to their every whim. "Fetch me my slippers." "Hand me my medicine." "Please don't slam dunk on me." It's all anti-Darwinian nonsense, if you ask me.
Our one-on-one games are building character, dad. For grandpa. As long as he's going to be living here, this is the way it's gonna have to be. Yesterday, I had to spend 25 minutes explaining to him that the three-point line is a real thing and not something that came to me in a fever dream. I don't have time to explain to silly old men the past forty years of changes in the rules of the sport of basketball. The slam dunk is the simplest way to score two points. And to embarrass grandpa.
Also, the amount of heart medicine he's on gives him a clear advantage anyway. He doesn't need to be coddled. I've seen how he spends 10 minutes after breakfast every morning, meticulously taking them out of his pill box, his hands shaking as he nears his mouth, desperately trying to avoid accidentally jamming them up his nose. But he always makes it, and he never slam dunks one into his nasal cavity. He should have a steel heart by now. It's not my fault if he still needs to take a breath after every possession. Is his coughing and hocking up mucus as a ploy to get my sympathy? I don't want to find out the hard way, that's for sure.
He claims to have once almost beaten Bob Cousy in a game of one-on-one when he came to the Springfield YMCA in 1947 and, quite frankly, I'm sick of hearing about that shit. I think we all are. Every powerful slam dunk reminds grandpa that the future is now, and that we aren't entering it quietly. When I'm hanging on the rim, staring intensely into his half-open eyes, I'm sending a message. When I tried to jump over grandpa in order to dunk and ended up hitting him in the head, suddenly sending him into a story about the positives of McCarthyism during which he spoke broken Spanish, I was proving to him that I'd do anything to be the new top dog. My time is now, whether he likes it or not. My commitment to slam dunking on my feeble, osteoporotic grandpa is a noble one. Get off the fucking court, dad.
Okay, your ball, Grandpa. You're up 2.
Brendan O'Hare is attempting to be a writer and comedian while living in NYC. Follow his comedy jokes on Twitter here.