The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

The Whatever Grandpa

Though there are dozens of food carts outside for the Midnight Sun Festival, she sits with Grandma and Grandpa in an air conditioned restaurant with tall tables. She gazes at the World Cup game from time to time, or the bartender, or the waiter. Grandma is looking through photos in a digital camera, and Grandpa is on his smartphone. Their twenty-something granddaughter mumbles and Grandma advises her to, “Speak up, sweetie!”

“I’m bored,” the woman grows even younger as she says it, but her grandparents stick to their gadgets.

Grandpa will include her by showing off shots from an amusement park. He’s pointing to a picture of himself on a ride, “They pull you down like a rubber band and let you go! You go like a rocket, up in the air, shooting up, and everything goes like–” He gestures his best impression of the slingshot movement. The granddaughter nods without really paying attention. Grandpa tries again to explain the sensation of it, how wonderful it was to take the chance, to be sent into the air! And how thrilling it was, even at his age, “Especially at my age!” He’s delighted, but she nods in impatience.

Grandpa turns back to his camera. “Whatever,” he mutters it toward her indifference. “Whatever,” he sighs the word, reliving the thrilling moment by smiling over the picture, wise beyond his years.

-Fairbanks, Alaska.

13 comments on “The Whatever Grandpa

  1. ChaptersofVajraAnanda
    June 30, 2014

    Reblogged this on The Stories So Far and commented:
    Love this.

  2. Kristina Harman
    June 30, 2014

    That really happened? Wow. I thought it was fiction. That reminds me of a short story by Ernest Hemingway. A Clean Well Lighted Place. Good stuff!

    • πŸ™‚ Thank you, Kristina! I was delighted to be at a table nearby. It’s always great to catch sassy grandparents at work.

      • Kristina Harman
        June 30, 2014

        They always say a good writer can turn the mundane into the interesting. Plus, I love grandparents:)

      • I adore grandparents too. They feature in so many of my stories because I miss my grandmas and grandpas! πŸ™‚

      • Kristina Harman
        July 1, 2014

        I can definitely relate to that. I should use your inspiration and write a short memoir about mine one day.

      • Here here! Just let me know where to buy a copy!

  3. oualdeaux
    July 1, 2014

    Hope you enjoyed your stay in the Golden Heart City!

  4. Peter Moise
    July 11, 2014

    The funny thing about this is the contrast. Grandparents on their electonic gizmos and the grand daughter watching what most older or people in the know would be watching , the world cup.Cool little story.

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