Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Boys

My mother comes from a family of seven children - or eleven. It depends entirely on whether we're counting half-siblings, step-siblings, and that one daughter of my grandaddy's that  technically wasn't his his daughter because she was born eleven months after he'd already been shipped to Korea, but he apparently didn't want her to grow up thinking she didn't have a father. Out of these eleven children, there are eight boys and they've always been known as The Boys. Sure, they're all in their in their late forties and fifties by now, but if they happen to hear someone shout, "Hey, boy!" across a parking lot, one will certainly turn around because he knows there is a cousin, an aunt, a niece or another sibling calling him.

I would more or less describe the Boys as good ol' boys in a sort of Dukes of Hazzard way. Except there are incredible amounts of drinking and pot involved and jail time served is 99% of the time deserved. They're good people in their own bizarre way. They're the last of a breed somehow raised on the idea that it's perfectly acceptable to beat the hell out of someone if they offend you. They're a rough and odd lot and I think my grandaddy probably ate more nitroglycerin trying to raise them than a normal man would have to, but they have their good qualities. I've had a couple of my uncles offer to beat people up if they needed me to. You never know when you might need an ass beater in life. I wouldn't want to have ever had one of them as a father and probably not a brother, but they make right tolerable uncles in the right situations.

Today's story involves my Uncle Bull. (As you know by now, I don't generally share the real names of my family members, but provide other suitable names. Bull's actual nickname was Bull for many years and described him well enough.) Uncle Bull is a good guy and I have a lot of nice memories of him when I was younger, but Uncle Bull is also an alcoholic who is generally not a good guy when he is drinking and I have some bad memories of him when I was younger. My mother always likes to bring up the time she'd spent a good while cleaning the bathroom once when I was four or so and instead of fumbling his way into the house or using a bush like a normal drunk, he decided to take a piss through the bathroom window.

Bull's been through some hard times. Alcoholics usually have those. He has a recidivism problem, so we usually don't see him for months or years at a time. Also, he has some physical defects going on that have come with those hard times. Around 1997, things weren't going well with a drinking buddy and his drinking buddy, under some impression that Bull was about to beat the shit out of him, opted to pull out a shotgun and use it rather than getting the shit beat out of him.

Frankly, the details are pretty sketchy since the drinking buddy shot him while Bull was attempting to push the drinking buddy's truck out of  a ditch. Bull's kind of a big dude, but I severely doubt his ability to push a truck out of a ditch and beat the shit out of a drinking buddy from over 10 feet away. The reality is, no one was there to witness the shooting and we're talking about two drunk guys. Who knows what really happened?

As it is, Bull's a hardy sort of dude and came out of it essentially intact except for part of his head. He lost the left temporal lobe of his brain, his left eye, and his left ear. The loss of his temporal lobe affected his word recognition abilities for a little while and he would have difficulty recalling the appropriate words he wanted to use in the early days. Ants were sometimes biscuits and a decorative crow figurine was a spider. That has mostly improved over time, however.

In the summer of 2000, Bull was crossing a main highway in a small town in the next county over to buy something from the convenience store and was wearing headphones at the time and apparently thought this town was small enough that he had little to worry about in terms of road safety. His assumption proved wrong and a poor lady in a minivan knocked the ever loving shit out of him. Amazingly, Bull came out of that scrape a lot better than he could have because he suffered no head injuries. He did have a transected urethra, a broken arm, his pelvis was broken down the middle, and, if I recall correctly, about forty stitches across his back. I helped take care of him for several weeks during his convalescence and that is a whole other story.

Bull survived and moved on with his life as usual. His medical issues, however, had finally reached a state that at one point the prison system called and tried to get us to take him back before his sentence was up. We were basically of the opinion that they took him, so they could keep him. If you're going to provide a punishment for a crime, then it's only logical that you follow through with the punishment even if it hurts you as much as it hurts them.

Bull is currently out of the state penal system and is doing well as can be expected for an alcoholic dude missing a few portions of his head. He's gotten a lot better about wearing his eye patch in public. A few people around here apparently still don't know him - I guess because he spends so much time "on vacation" - and have to learn the hard way that he's a person you really sort of want to leave alone. I personally wouldn't bother a 6'2" dude with a big scruffy beard and eye patch, but some people have to learn the hard way.

Just last week, he forgot to lock his backdoor before going to bed. For some reason, he was resting with his one good ear on the pillow, so had it not been for his dog acting like a freak he'd have never heard the dude who welcomed himself in through the unlocked back door.

I never did get clarification on why the dude was walking into the house in the first place. Maybe he was just lost and walked into the wrong house. It's happened before. There was a whole incident involving Bull and some fried chicken in a house that turned out not to be his, so you'd think he might would ask the dude why he was roaming around having been in a couple of those mistaken house situations himself. Bull's an action sort of guy, though. Shoot first and ask questions later - except he's a convicted felon, so I don't think he's allowed to have guns anymore.

A lack of ammunition doesn't bother Bull though. The lack of a telephone was apparently a minor detail to be worked out, however. He grabbed the dude in a headlock, dragged him out of he house, across a four lane street in the downtown area, and into the Jet convenience store across the street wherein he hollered, "CALL THE COPS! CALL THE COPS RIGHT NOW!"

Bull, still holding the intruder in a headlock, dragged him back out of the store, back across the four lane street in the downtown area, and onto the back porch of his house where he then sat with his assailant still in a headlock while he waited for the cops to arrive.

The dude pleaded for his release several times while waiting for the cops to arrest him. (Or rescue him, depending on who's telling this story, I guess.) Bull wouldn't have any of it and would headbutt the dude and tell him to "be quiet and be still until the cops get here!" If I know Bull, there were a lot of "Mother fucker," "shit," and "fuck me running backwards" thrown into the mix, but my grandma told me this story, so I got it without the full Bull verbal force.

Eventually, the cops did arrive and admonished Bull for "taking the law into his own hands." I forgot to find out what happened to the dude, whether he was released under time served or jailed for bothering a one-eyed, one-eared dude while he was trying to sleep. Personally, I think Bull handled the situation rather well, given past incidents. He called the cops and that's always a good move. Sure, maybe you shouldn't hold an intruder hostage, but I reckon that mother fucker will learn about walking into houses that aren't his.


funkymom said...

KAR- I'm still laughing...your narrative is spot on for your story content. Thanks , as always, for sharing a KAR family story with us!

Amie said...

I'm in Boston, and I think we all have an Uncle Bull in one form of another- love it

Guinevere said...

Okay, this story is too funny - and very nicely told. Man. I am not going to complain about my crazy relatives anymore...

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