Grandpa, did you…?

W

hen my grandchildren were much younger they’d ask questions about nearly everything. Most of the time a simple yes or no was a good answer, but a second question usually led to a story. Many times, when they were older, one or more would ask something like, “What did you tell us about…”
I’d try to remember what I’d said when they were younger.



FADE IN
INT. LIVING ROOM WITH CHAIRS, COFFEE TABLE, ETC
Grandpa leaning back in a soft chair. Three teenage granddaughters One teenage grandson, two pre-teen grandsons, and a pre-teen granddaughter lounging and snacking. Parents of grandchildren moving in and out of the room.
GRANDDAUGHTER 1
Any new Buster Bunny stories Grandpa? Have you written them down?
GRANDPA
Which question should I answer?
GRANDDAUGHTER 2
(dipping her head and raising an eyebrow)
Papa!
GRANDPA
No new stories and I’ve only written two – maybe three.
GRANDSON 1
(Standing)
Want a soda Grandpa?
GRANDPA
I’ll just finish my coffee, but if you’re leaving would you get me some chips.
GRANDSON 1
Sure.
(turning to the others)
Anyone else?

The three pre-teens standing in unison with Grandson 1.

GRANDSON 2
Think I’ll get a Pepsi.

Pre-teens leaving with Grandson 1.

GRANDDAUGHTER 2
Papa. Buster Bunny?
GRANDPA
Well, Bu…
TEEN GRANDDAUGHTERS
(In unison)
‘ster Bunny was not a regular rabbit; he lived in a city.

Granddaughters laugh.

GRANDPA
How do you always remember that?
GRANDDAUGHTER 3
(Standing)
We’ve heard the opening many times. Anyone else want a soda?

Granddaughter 3 leaving. Grandsons 1, 2, and 3 returning.

GRANDSON 3
Grandson 1 says you got shot. Was it when you were in the Army or when you were a cop?
GRANDSON 2
Grandpa was a teacher!
GRANDPA
I didn’t get shot in the Army or when I was a reserve officer.

Grandpa pausing and taking a sip of his coffee.

GRANDPA
I was shot before I was thirteen. Probably when I was twelve. Because it was in the spring.


S

hot in the Arm is chapter 17 in my new book Before Grandpa was Thirteen: Stories I told my Grandchildren.

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