Sunday, August 26

belated birthday tribute to my nephew Jack who is probably not yet a mafia boss

I have a confession to make. I forgot my nephew Jack's birthday again this year. I forgot it last year as well, so it's kind of a time-honored tradition at this point which I think gives it some legitimacy. After all, family traditions are so important in these times of societal upheaval what with the decay of the traditional family unit and whatever's happening with the economy and gay people* and cats on the internet** and things.

In my defense, Jack has not actually been around for that many years. I'm still kind of wrapping my head around the thing where my baby sister has made a couple of whole new human beings. And in fact, Jack has no idea who I am. If you were plotting us on whatever spectrum measures how young people relate to old people, we'd be plotted at completely opposite ends. Possibly we'd be plotted on the part of the spectrum where neither one of us is actually visible to the naked eye.

So I'm working under the assumption that, had I remembered to send him a birthday card, he would've taken one look at it and burst into terrified sobbing because my signature would appear to him to be a gauzy blur indicative of a photographed ghost. But a real photographed ghost. Not one of the fake ones. So it would be incredibly frightening as opposed to merely ridiculous. To offer you some perspective in case you're still not following me, I like to think Jack would respond to a birthday card from me the same way he might respond if a leering stranger approached him with candy on the sidewalk or if he was unexpectedly confronted by the indescribable horror of a birthday cake.

The thing about Jack, however, since we're on the subject, is that he's kind of not really terrified by anything anymore. Since the Evil Birthday Cake Incident of 2008, he has apparently morphed into some kind of  brazen, badass superhero who's not bothered by cake at all. Not even carrot cake***. If a stranger approached him with candy, Jack would pull down his red satin superhero eye mask, grab the candy, yell "You're a bad man!", and throw the candy into the stranger's eyes. The stranger would scream "AAAUUUGGHHH!!!"and clutch his face and contort in anguish, and Jack would make a screechingly triumphant getaway in some kind of a awesome talking car.

Similarly, if I had actually remembered to send him a birthday card this year, he would probably have opened it, asked my sister who had sent it, and then yelled, "Afawel's fwiend****!" and done some kind of five-year-old capering activity around the living room before driving off the balcony in an awesome talking flying contraption.

Please note that, while I'm reading Jack as a superhero, it's equally possible that he's a supervillain. Jack clearly has supervillain qualities. For example, he's half-Chinese. (Ha ha! I'm kidding! I love the Chinese people! I have lots of Chinese friends! And did you know my nephew is half-Chinese?!)  I'm just saying. There's all those movies with the youthful-looking Asian guy in his purple-tinted glasses and his sleek suit, flanked by a couple of sexy yet deadly ladies, making shady deals and generally being lethal, supervillain-style. This is not me making things up. This is the media. (We're cool, Chinese Mafia! We're cool!)

There's also the thing where Jack likes to shoot people with foam bullets a lot and carry around a rubber shark. (You know how supervillains like their toothy sea creatures.)  And the thing where he goes around steepling his fingers and saying, "You haven't seen the last of me."

The kid clearly has supervillain potential, regardless of his mother's opinions on the subject. It'll be fun to watch him grow up. Will he side with Good or Evil?  Just in case, next year when he turns six I'm going to make a concerted effort to remember his birthday and send him something amazing. I hear the Post-Toddler Mafia is not to be trifled with.

* That's not meant to be taken negatively, by the way. I'm a staunch proponent of gay marriage and being gay in general. (We're cool, Gay Mafia! We're cool!)

** I also like cats on the internet. I don't think cats have a mafia.

*** I am kind of anti-carrot cake. Root vegetables have no place in cakes.

****"Afawel" is my nephews' name for Raphael. "Afawel's fwiend" is their name for me. They haven't quite reached a full understanding of who buys the presents around here.
Who wantsta take a little
swim widda shaks, eh?


Anonymous said...

Don't be so sure there's no cat mafia. Just this morning, our neighbor's cat left them a "present" at the foot of their bed. The neighbor described it as "a rabbit with its head ripped off and its heart coming out." And all our neighbors did was go out of town for a week and leave us to care for their cats. None of us said anything against cats on the internet. I'll do what I can and put in a good word for you with Pogo and Mei-Mei. Hopefully they'll pass it along through the network. But just in case, you might want to lie low for a little while.

Jenny said...

...and THAT is why I'm a dog person. Dogs would never be able to get themselves organized enough to have a mafia.