Last month, my longtime friend, Augie, and I treated ourselves to a golf weekend in Northern California. But before we could leave, we had to promise our wives, our cardiologists, and the executors of our wills that we would abstain from eating, drinking, or smoking anything that was not good for us.
Our first night in the elegant dining room of our hotel — as Augie ordered a second bottle of Merlot, and I wiped a big glob of full-fat sour cream from my chin -— I casually asked if he planned to see his grandchildren on Grandparents Day.
“Grandparents Day? What are you talking about?” he bellowed, as if I’d just asked if he’d ever had a bikini wax.
I explained that Grandparents Day is celebrated every year on the first Sunday after Labor Day, September 7 this year.
“Oh, really?” Augie said, amused. Then, for the enjoyment of the entire dining room, he added, “What’s the second Sunday after Labor Day — National Gastroenterology Day?” Augie always enjoys a good joke.
But he got me thinking. Were there other grandparents like him, unaware of the holiday designed to honor them? So I conducted an informal poll of the other diners, and I learned two things: 1) Most people don’t like taking polls during dinner. 2) Most grandparents had never heard of Grandparents Day.
Especially surprising was one older couple who said, “We’re not grandparents. Why would we know about Grandparents Day?”
“Well, you’re not groundhogs, either!” Augie was quick with a response. “Follow my drift?” Then he howled and walloped the fellow on the back. It was about this time that the maitre d’ suggested that we might enjoy the ambience of the veranda.
While sitting in a lounge chair, enjoying a verboten cigar and some brandy, I had a eureka moment — a gimmick to make Grandparents Day a major holiday.
“A song!,” I said, leaping to my feet.
“Sure,” Augie replied with a shrug. “What would you like to hear?”
I hit him with my theory … What Grandparents Day needs to be a major holiday is its own song! Just like Christmas, Easter, and New Year’s Eve. Surprisingly, Augie stopped being a goofball and readily agreed; and together we created the following gift for grandparents everywhere. You can thank us later. But now, sing it loud and proud to the tune of Don McLean’s American Pie.
A long, long, time ago,
I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile
I’d totally crank up The Rolling Stones
But now I’m into Norah Jones
And Radio Disney is programmed on my Buick’s dial
Every New Year’s Eve we had a blast
But by and large, those eves are past
Now the grandkids all sleep over
And we toast Big Bird and Grover
I can’t recall the specific date
But mmmmm, that breakfast tasted great
And it was only two bucks, ninety-eight
The day of my first senior rate
So, bye-bye, Miss Lucy in the sky
And poodle skirts, and madras shirts, and nuns who could fly
Now I’m a good old grandpa, healthy and spry
Still kicking, but just not as high
And the grandkids think I’m a great guy
Did you read about Dick and Jane?
She claims she’s size six; he bathes in Rogaine
‘Cause Madison Avenue told them so
And can you name all the Mouseketeers?
Not the new ones, like Britney Spears
And did you go ’round the world with your Duncan yo-yo?
Well, I saw the grandkids in your vintage Corvair
They had their iPods, you had no hair
You all started singing the blues
It’s a bond you don’t wanna lose …
I used to be a star in football and track
But today we played touch and I threw out my back
The kids just said, Gee, that’s really wack
But they still say I’m a great guy
So bye-bye, Miss Lucy in the sky…
And now, before Don McLean can kill us softly, Augie and I have left the building. Have a wonderful Grandparents Day.