by Eric Miller
here, his daughter called out to his two
grandsons: five year old Demmo and
eight year old Lishun.
Grandpa?, both boys asked in unison.
have one Grandpa, Mom replied.
but he flips. Sometimes hes Grandpa and
sometimes hes Grump-pa, came the
singular, double response.
today its Grump-pa, Grandpa said
growling, as he picked up Demmo, twirled him over
his head, slam-dunked him onto the sofa, and
tickled him unmercifully.
breakfast?, Lishun asked.
will make you English muffins. And Dad, dont
let the boys watch television after I leave.
Youre the one who is always complaining
that it makes them brain-dead, decreases their
attention span, and stifles their curiosity and
know how to make English muffins, Grandpa?, Demmo
know how to make Chinese muffins, French muffins,
Nigerian muffins, Brazilian muffins, and
Indonesian muffins, but no, I dont know how
to make English muffins.
you just stick that muffin over there into the
toaster, Lishun instructed.
Grandpa, you have to take some responsabillybee
to know how to make us English muffins.
responsabillyabee?, Grandpa asked. Is he
one of your new friends?
Grandpa, Demmo replied. Its a
thing, not a person.
kind of thing?
the kind of thing youre supposed to have
when you mess up your room, so you can clean it
responsabillyabee. There must be two of them like
there is two of me.
play chase us, Lishun announced.
takes too long for my knees to recover,
just be slow and sneaky and trap us then,
leaving, Mom announced. Dont forget,
Demmo, turn off the television as soon as Lishun
leaves for the school bus. He has to be out the
door at exactly 8:25.
four more minutes, Grandpa said to Lishun,
who lay on the couch in his pajamas watching the
Lishun. Its 8:21. You only have four
minutes to get dressed and leave.
from the sofa like a rocket rising, and in one
continuous, choreographed move, he removed his
pajamas, pulled up his pants, pulled down his
sweater, stepped into his shoes, slipped his arm
through his backpack, and ran through the screen
in the door, leaving a cut-out in it as if he
were a cartoon character.
a good movie youre watching, Demmo,
Grandpa said, as he sat on the couch.
to turn the television off, Demmo reminded
its okay. This is a good movie.
will be real mad if she sees us watching
television when she gets home.
if its a good movie, Grandpa replied.
thought I told you to turn the television off
when I left, Mom screamed when she got home.
pointed to Demmo, and Demmo pointed to Grandpa,
as they both said in perfect unison: He
made me do it.