Grandpa and the Superbowl

Yes, I remember the very first Superbowl.  Every Superbowl makes me think of that very first Superbowl.  Why?  Because that memory links forever with Grandpa Z.

Grandpa-ZyberWhen I was a little girl, Grandpa  was my favorite.  He did fun things, like make things out of wood, and make stuffed animals come alive, and he gave slobby dog kisses.  He had lots of fun books to read, too.  My favorite was the Time-Life series about the human body.  Second favorite: National Geographic.

Grandpa Z liked to watch TV, too. Most of his TV watching was stuff I hated.  Especially, boxing. No, maybe football was worse than boxing, because football lasted forever, and boxing could be for just a short while.  Especially if one guy got knocked out.

I liked to watch big time wrestling, which is way different from boxing.  Cuz for one thing, wrestling had crazy costumes and crazy people.  Big people and little people, and people in masks, and women, too. Me and Bonita liked to pretend big time wrestling. I could almost always beat her, cuz she was sorta wimpy and cried easy.  One time she said she’d pee on me, if I didn’t let her up. That time she beat me.

Grandpa Z had a whole wall of bookshelves in his frunchroom.  He had all his Time-LIfe series in the corner, in back of a upolstered chair.

The TV sat in its own wood box against another wall, and right across from that sat Grandpa’s and Grandma’s chairs. Grandpa had a recliner made of naugahide.  He liked to lean back and smoke his pipe while he watched TV.  Grandma’s chair was way different.  Her chair smaller, with a doily over the straight back.  I hardly ever saw Grandma sitting in her chair during a football game. Whenever she did sit there, it was only for a moment or two, before she jumped up and did something in some other room.

In between rounds of boxing, Grandpa liked to make Bonita’s stuffed skunk come to life.  He held it in the crook of his arm like a baby, and before we knew it, that skunk started skittering up to his shoulder with his tail flicking in the air. That made me laugh.  But I gotta admit, Bonita made me laughed ’til my sides ached, ‘cuz she got so scared, she ran and hid behind Grandma’s chair.

When it came to saying goodbye, we always, always, kissed and hugged Grandma and Grandpa goodbye.  Grandma hugged us close and kissed us lightly.  Grandpa grabbed us by the arms and pulled us in like he planned to kiss us. Instead he made a puppy sound and tried to lick us all over the face.  That tickled like blue-blazes and made us pull away ‘cuz it was super yucky.  At the same time, that said ‘I love you’ in a way only Grandpa could.

The davenport sat across from the wall with the bookshelf.  Davennports are good places to take naps or fold laundry or set Uncle Gene’s hair in waves on Saturday night, so he’d be suave come Sunday church. Grandma sat on the davenport doing those things.  Sometimes she watched her soap operas while she did those things.  Except for the hair waving. Soap operas weren’t on a night, so she watched whatever Grandpa wanted to watch, which was mostly boxing.

When football came I, on scootched myself behind the chair by the bookcase, and pulled a book down.  Grandpa’s books were waaaaay more interesting than any books I got at school or in the Bookmobile.  Cuz those books were pretend.  All of Grandpa’s books were about Real things. Real people.  And Real places.  I guess, now that I think about it, his books were Noun books.

By the time the first Superbowl came around I was a big girl.  I had a boyfriend and everything. Grandpa gave up slobby dog kisses for dry-cheek kisses, and I learned how to make a stuffed animal come to life.

Anyways, I still like to grab Grandpa’s books when football came on. That’s exactly what I did during the very first Superbowl. Grandpa lit his pipe and took a couple of puffs.

“This is the stupidest idea ever,” Grandpa said in disgust. “It’ll never last past this year.” He went on to say how the teams were ill-matched and no way would the game ever be a good game.  “No one’s going to tune in year after year,” he said.

I hoped, back then, that he was right. I still wish he was. Well, I really like the ads.  I try to get Loved-One to fast-forward through the game and get to the good stuff. My favorites this year: the Prius commercial and the Intel one.  Or maybe second place goes to the Bud Caucus with Amy Schumer and Seth Rogan. (I even like the in-utero Dorito ads, and I usually think those ads are way stupid.)

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I especially liked the Prius ending.  Maybe it’s because I have a Prius.

What are your favorite memories of Superbowl Past?  Do you have a favorite ad.

I stayed up and watched “Downton Abby” just to clear my brain of the football body slamming noises.





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