The Forgy’s did our Christmas shindig on New Year’s Eve at Forgy Funny Farm, my brother Kirk’s place buried deep on top of a mountain in Mid-Missouri. I know you think I’m crazy but my bro is way worse. He told me once that he admires the way I do my own career thing. If I get sick of a company or even an entire field I’ll give it the boot to the head. But that proves how crazy he really is.
Kirk works at the only maximum security psychiatric facility in the state of Missouri. Inside those walls is the most dangerous place in the state of Missouri. Read that again until it sinks in. He goes there daily on purpose. A maximum security prison for crazy people who are even more dangerous than your average garden variety violent criminal. Just the thought of walking through that gate and being inside all that razor wire and evil is too weird for me.
Kirk also calls his place Copperhead Ridge Funny Farm since all they seem to grow is copperhead snakes. I once told him when they legalize recreational marijuana in Missouri I’ll have every inch of his five acres plowed up before he gets home from work that day. He told me he didn’t have a tractor big enough to get it done before supper time. I said his neighbors do. He grinned and said “Don’t hit the snakes or the neighbors.”
I rode to the Forgy Funny Farm with my #2 boy Z and his girlfriend. When we were walking up to the door, she said she could take a nap. I said “I wouldn’t take a nap in there. I don’t trust any of these fuckers.” She didn’t laugh because she thinks I’m kidding, and she knows Z is a little crazy. But Z laughed because he knew I wasn’t kidding. Most of us Forgy’s sleep with one eye open, but Z often slept with both of his eyes open. It creeped out both of my ex wives, even his own mother sometimes, but nobody can sneak up on him, either. That’s a handy skill to have in this family. You can avoid a whole world of doom and gloom by keeping your eyeball on the other Forgy because we absolutely love terrorizing each other on some level or another.
We walked in the door of the Forgy Funny Farm and my favorite oldest granddaughter J was coming down the stairs. She’s as crazy as the rest of us but it’s not all her fault. Her dad is my #1 oldest son D, and her mom is every bit as crazy as Z’s girlfriend. I warned both girls that they were falling in love with grown men who bumped their heads way more than FDA standards allow and they still didn’t run.
So J comes stomping down the stairs, sees me standing just inside the door grinning at her, and she called me by a nickname that would make Norman Rockwell want to paint her portrait. I wait for this every time I see her because even though it might horrify some grandparents, to me, it’s a term of endearment. And when J’s eight year old innocence greets me with these two words, it makes my heart melt.
The chase was on! I run faster than the average Forgy. I had to run from Kirk more than once, and J had a big head start. I caught up with her before she topped the stairs and chased her to the Ping-Pong table where her sister H grinned back. The girls and I got caught up with what was new, and I said I was going downstairs to talk to everyone else. I told J to give me a hug, and she did, a big neck-crusher. Then a Christmas Miracle happened. I told H, who’s never given me a hug since she was too tiny to fight back, “Come here and gimme a hug!” H almost flew across the Ping-Pong table, and I got my second neck-crusher hug of the day. That one meant a lot. I’ve tried to hug on that kid for years, but this time she wanted it to happen.
When we did our gift exchange someone handed me a bag that didn’t say who it was from. I reached in and pulled out the shirt you see right there. I read “show me your tits and I’ll open your beer” and laughed, and then D pointed at the bottom of the shirt. There’s a bottle opener sewn into the hem of the shirt. Perfect!
I looked around the room but nobody was grinning back at me until I turned to D’s wife M. She had a big grin on her face and asked me if I liked it. I told her I loved it, and she said “Good, your granddaughter picked it out.” My mouth dropped open and I turned to look at J, who was sitting on the floor in front of us. I said “You picked this out?”
I turned to M and she said “J can read.”
I was speechless. My eight year old granddaughter picked out a shirt that says it all, and she knew what she was doing! No wonder my grandparents were horrified how quickly we grew up.
If you think I’m not serious when I say Kirk is crazier than I, take a look at this news clip video. By the 37 second mark you’ll be convinced.
Merry Christmas! Y’all come back now, ya hear?