After I Die, My Poor Nephew   I know when I die my beloved nephew will go to the abode, house, or the bridge I am living under, let himself in, look around, and say, “I don’t understand him”.   The kid has plenty of reasons to not understand me. He is the nicest, sweetest, Christian young man I have ever met. In other words, everything I was not at that age. If I was not his uncle, according to string theory, in another universe I would be his Lex Luthor.   He is a good-looking, muscular running back on his college’s football team. His biggest sin is occasionally forgetting to brush his teeth after every meal. It started early when he was a little boy running around in the costume of the Christian superhero Bible Man, a Batman-like crime fighter who punches you with the love of Jesus. He would jump out of the stairway at me, cape flying, and hands on five-year- old hips, to tell me “Stand by the Word, Uncle Trevor.”     I would inform him that I was not his Uncle Trevor, but rather the super villain The Evil Wind. My superpower was that I could make people vanish from a room in the blink of an eye.  Puzzled, he would ask me how my superpower worked. I would tell him to pull my finger and find out. I thought it was funny. He thought it was funny. His mother did not think it was funny.  And I have done countless things like that to him ever since.   But the major reason he will be so baffled by me is because he will be the one that will have to go through my stuff when I kick this mortal coil and he will be clueless. I picture the conversation between my nephew and his future wife, probably a former Ms. Missouri, going like this:  Nephew: May we have a silent prayer before we enter my uncle’s place?  Wife: That is sweet. I am sure he is in heaven.  Nephew: I don’t know. I once asked him if he knew Jesus. He responded by saying yes and then asked if I knew Groucho. When I replied, “No,” he tossed me out and called me a heathen.   Wife: “Oh. Nephew: I need to warn you that my uncle would joke that he was one painting away from being a Nazi war criminal. Wife: He was an art lover; that is nice. Nephew: He had three monkey paintings.   Wife: Monkeys are a good subject matter. Nephew: No, they are painted by famous monkeys and chimpanzees, Koko, Cheetah, and J. Fred Muggs. When I asked him why, he said that only a real artist would bite comedian Martha Raye.  So, both Muggs and Andy Warhol are artists that deserve a place on his wall. He also has a bark painting of a dreamtime fertility creature from when he lived in Australia. It is the ugliest thing I have ever seen. He about put my mom in the hospital when he informed her that what she was looking at was not the creature’s tail.   Wife: Now I understand why she twitches when you say your uncle’s name. Nephew: Also don’t touch or drink any liquids found inside. Wife: Was he like Howard Hughes? Nephew: No, he bought two cases of lutefisk-flavored beer.  Yes, a brewery actually thought that what their beer needed was that cool and refreshing taste of lutefisk. He claimed every culture has a test of manhood that separates the men from the boys, and lutefisk is ours. It was also a good way to tell if your friend had a drinking problem.  He said all the beer got drunk long ago, but I don’t trust him. You cannot convince me there are forty-eight people out there dumb enough to try lutefisk beer. If you see any cans, get out, and call the EPA. They will come in HAZMAT suits to remove it.  I hear there is a salt mine in Nevada where they have been burying lutefisk for generations, but that stuff never goes bad.   Wife: Anything else? Nephew: He has a bottle of snake wine somewhere. It is a bottle of booze with a cobra or some other kind of poisonous reptile in it. Most people do a shot or two from the bottle, but if you are really brave you are supposed to eat the snake’s eyeball or gall bladder. It is supposed to promote virility and health. Wife: You’re scaring me. Nephew: Oh, he has a motion sensor figure of Bill Clinton playing the saxophone figure. You walk by it and Bill starts playing the saxophone and gyrates. I am pretty sure it is broke. For years, he tried to get it to drop its pants, but never with much success. He also has one of those motion sensor talking buck deer heads. They were the rage once, like those singing Billy Bass fish. It looked like a real mounted deer head, but sang cute songs when a person walked by. He reprogramed it to tell dirty jokes; I mean really, really dirty jokes as the president. He did a mean Bill Clinton impression. Between the dropping of the pants and that buck doing Bill’s voice, as a good Democrat, he said it was like reliving the economic Shangri-La known as the Clinton era. All of that was funny until the minister paid a visit. Between Bill’s slacks dropping to his ankles and the joke about a Jew, a Hindi, and a Norwegian having to spend a night at a farmhouse because their car broke down, he set good Lutheran repression back four or five years. It was said that afterwards the pastor would get a slight smile on his face from time to time, but I can assure you that is just a myth.   Wife: Anything else I should be worried about? Nephew: He said in retirement that he was going to make a Richard Nixon or Donald Trump jack-in-the-box, but it was going to be a small casket and either a Nixon or a Trump doll would spring out to scare children. Let’s hope he never got around to making it. Thank goodness, because he said if it worked he wanted to do the same thing at his funeral. As they lowered him down, and as the minister spoke of joining Jesus in that great resurrection in the sky, he wanted the casket lid to spring open and him to fly up into the air. Hopefully causing half the attendees to have heart attacks. He thought it would be a good way to leave the stage. Blasphemer. Let’s go in.   Wife: Look at this place? Wow. Nephew: Just junk. Who is this Kiss and why do they need an army? A leather jacket signed “The Fonz"? What in the world is a Fonz? Junk. A feathered robe signed by some guy named “Ric Flair”? Junk. Who is Tina Turner? Junk. A Fletch signed Lakers jersey? I don’t remember a Fletch playing for the Lakers. Junk. Who is this Olivia Newton-John and why would she sign a poster to my uncle telling him she is hopelessly devoted to him? Junk. Cheech and Chong? Junk. Who is Sophia Loren and why would she kiss and sign a piece of Mexican tile for him? Junk. Who in their right mind would own a surfboard in Iowa? Junk. Why does he have a sketch done by some guy named John Lemon or Lennon? The guy is a crappy artist. Junk. I have never heard of half of these people that he has signed posters, bobble heads, or jerseys from. Just junk! What are these things? He has a whole room full of them. Wife: I think they are called books. I am told they were popular among boring people before everyone was born with a cell phone embedded in the palm of their hand. Nephew: Do you know that he asked me to housesit for him one time to watch his dogs? He told me I could invite a girl over and I had permission to wear his gorilla costume, one of the, not a, Superman capes, and a real wrestling title belt. I was not allowed to wear some woman’s coconut bra that she signed “Dawn Wells” and gave him. I told him not to worry that I would not have any girls over as I was not married yet. He then laughed and said he hated me. It was all very scarring. He claimed he created Shat-fest. No, it was not a celebration of Taco Bell, but rather a party dedicated to all things William Shatner, the guy in Star Wars. That is why he has five things signed by the guy. Junk. There is his Burning Man poster. He went to Burning Man and several Comic Cons, but was never freaky enough to go to the Republican National Convention.  Wife: What is a Burning Man? Nephew: He said it was like a post-apocalyptic world in which only hippies, flakes and cartoonists survived. Naked body-painted hippie chicks blasted out of their minds, old men riding bicycles without pants, and freaks. In other words, like the Democratic National Convention, except with better drugs and less Viagra because Bill Clinton or anyone named Kennedy were never in attendance.  Wife: Can’t we just get out and hire professionals to come in here for us. Nephew: Cover your eyes. Run for your life. Next is the Christmas Story leg lamp. It can’t be….      
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After I Die, My Poor Nephew   I know when I die my beloved nephew will go to the abode, house, or the bridge I am living under, let himself in, look around, and say, “I don’t understand him”.   The kid has plenty of reasons to not understand me. He is the nicest, sweetest, Christian young man I have ever met. In other words, everything I was not at that age. If I was not his uncle, according to string theory, in another universe I would be his Lex Luthor.   He is a good-looking, muscular running back on his college’s football team. His biggest sin is occasionally forgetting to brush his teeth after every meal. It started early when he was a little boy running around in the costume of the Christian superhero Bible Man, a Batman-like crime fighter who punches you with the love of Jesus. He would jump out of the stairway at me, cape flying, and hands on five-year- old hips, to tell me “Stand by the Word, Uncle Trevor.”     I would inform him that I was not his Uncle Trevor, but rather the super villain The Evil Wind. My superpower was that I could make people vanish from a room in the blink of an eye.  Puzzled, he would ask me how my superpower worked. I would tell him to pull my finger and find out. I thought it was funny. He thought it was funny. His mother did not think it was funny.  And I have done countless things like that to him ever since.   But the major reason he will be so baffled by me is because he will be the one that will have to go through my stuff when I kick this mortal coil and he will be clueless. I picture the conversation between my nephew and his future wife, probably a former Ms. Missouri, going like this:  Nephew: May we have a silent prayer before we enter my uncle’s place?  Wife: That is sweet. I am sure he is in heaven.  Nephew: I don’t know. I once asked him if he knew Jesus. He responded by saying yes and then asked if I knew Groucho. When I replied, “No,” he tossed me out and called me a heathen.   Wife: “Oh. Nephew: I need to warn you that my uncle would joke that he was one painting away from being a Nazi war criminal. Wife: He was an art lover; that is nice. Nephew: He had three monkey paintings.   Wife: Monkeys are a good subject matter. Nephew: No, they are painted by famous monkeys and chimpanzees, Koko, Cheetah, and J. Fred Muggs. When I asked him why, he said that only a real artist would bite comedian Martha Raye.  So, both Muggs and Andy Warhol are artists that deserve a place on his wall. He also has a bark painting of a dreamtime fertility creature from when he lived in Australia. It is the ugliest thing I have ever seen. He about put my mom in the hospital when he informed her that what she was looking at was not the creature’s tail.   Wife: Now I understand why she twitches when you say your uncle’s name. Nephew: Also don’t touch or drink any liquids found inside. Wife: Was he like Howard Hughes? Nephew: No, he bought two cases of lutefisk-flavored beer.  Yes, a brewery actually thought that what their beer needed was that cool and refreshing taste of lutefisk. He claimed every culture has a test of manhood that separates the men from the boys, and lutefisk is ours. It was also a good way to tell if your friend had a drinking problem.  He said all the beer got drunk long ago, but I don’t trust him. You cannot convince me there are forty-eight people out there dumb enough to try lutefisk beer. If you see any cans, get out, and call the EPA. They will come in HAZMAT suits to remove it.  I hear there is a salt mine in Nevada where they have been burying lutefisk for generations, but that stuff never goes bad.   Wife: Anything else? Nephew: He has a bottle of snake wine somewhere. It is a bottle of booze with a cobra or some other kind of poisonous reptile in it. Most people do a shot or two from the bottle, but if you are really brave you are supposed to eat the snake’s eyeball or gall bladder. It is supposed to promote virility and health. Wife: You’re scaring me. Nephew: Oh, he has a motion sensor figure of Bill Clinton playing the saxophone figure. You walk by it and Bill starts playing the saxophone and gyrates. I am pretty sure it is broke. For years, he tried to get it to drop its pants, but never with much success. He also has one of those motion sensor talking buck deer heads. They were the rage once, like those singing Billy Bass fish. It looked like a real mounted deer head, but sang cute songs when a person walked by. He reprogramed it to tell dirty jokes; I mean really, really dirty jokes as the president. He did a mean Bill Clinton impression. Between the dropping of the pants and that buck doing Bill’s voice, as a good Democrat, he said it was like reliving the economic Shangri-La known as the Clinton era. All of that was funny until the minister paid a visit. Between Bill’s slacks dropping to his ankles and the joke about a Jew, a Hindi, and a Norwegian having to spend a night at a farmhouse because their car broke down, he set good Lutheran repression back four or five years. It was said that afterwards the pastor would get a slight smile on his face from time to time, but I can assure you that is just a myth.   Wife: Anything else I should be worried about? Nephew: He said in retirement that he was going to make a Richard Nixon or Donald Trump jack-in-the-box, but it was going to be a small casket and either a Nixon or a Trump doll would spring out to scare children. Let’s hope he never got around to making it. Thank goodness, because he said if it worked he wanted to do the same thing at his funeral. As they lowered him down, and as the minister spoke of joining Jesus in that great resurrection in the sky, he wanted the casket lid to spring open and him to fly up into the air. Hopefully causing half the attendees to have heart attacks. He thought it would be a good way to leave the stage. Blasphemer. Let’s go in.   Wife: Look at this place? Wow. Nephew: Just junk. Who is this Kiss and why do they need an army? A leather jacket signed “The Fonz"? What in the world is a Fonz? Junk. A feathered robe signed by some guy named “Ric Flair”? Junk. Who is Tina Turner? Junk. A Fletch signed Lakers jersey? I don’t remember a Fletch playing for the Lakers. Junk. Who is this Olivia Newton-John and why would she sign a poster to my uncle telling him she is hopelessly devoted to him? Junk. Cheech and Chong? Junk. Who is Sophia Loren and why would she kiss and sign a piece of Mexican tile for him? Junk. Who in their right mind would own a surfboard in Iowa? Junk. Why does he have a sketch done by some guy named John Lemon or Lennon? The guy is a crappy artist. Junk. I have never heard of half of these people that he has signed posters, bobble heads, or jerseys from. Just junk! What are these things? He has a whole room full of them. Wife: I think they are called books. I am told they were popular among boring people before everyone was born with a cell phone embedded in the palm of their hand. Nephew: Do you know that he asked me to housesit for him one time to watch his dogs? He told me I could invite a girl over and I had permission to wear his gorilla costume, one of the, not a, Superman capes, and a real wrestling title belt. I was not allowed to wear some woman’s coconut bra that she signed “Dawn Wells” and gave him. I told him not to worry that I would not have any girls over as I was not married yet. He then laughed and said he hated me. It was all very scarring. He claimed he created Shat-fest. No, it was not a celebration of Taco Bell, but rather a party dedicated to all things William Shatner, the guy in Star Wars. That is why he has five things signed by the guy. Junk. There is his Burning Man poster. He went to Burning Man and several Comic Cons, but was never freaky enough to go to the Republican National Convention.  Wife: What is a Burning Man? Nephew: He said it was like a post-apocalyptic world in which only hippies, flakes and cartoonists survived. Naked body-painted hippie chicks blasted out of their minds, old men riding bicycles without pants, and freaks. In other words, like the Democratic National Convention, except with better drugs and less Viagra because Bill Clinton or anyone named Kennedy were never in attendance.  Wife: Can’t we just get out and hire professionals to come in here for us. Nephew: Cover your eyes. Run for your life. Next is the Christmas Story leg lamp. It can’t be….