Mr. Forrest Robinson Gump’s Neighborhood
I love a good story. I remember hearing exotic tales as a kid and imagining myself in those situations. Situations like rescuing people trapped in a car that is perched perilously over the guardrail of a bridge. At the last second, I pull the victims from the car just as it plummets to the ground and explodes into a fiery ball of flames. Wait a minute; that was Gage and DeSoto on Emergency! OK, how about this one; I’m a news reporter working in Las Vegas. By night I chase Vampires, Werewolves and other assorted monsters through the streets and sewers while my editor; Vincenzo, screams at me to; “Finish that story on corruption in the police department!” Crap. That’s Carl Kolchak from The Night Stalker, isn’t it? Well, I think you get my point; you just can’t beat a good story. Unless….
Stories are great for kids because it broadens their imagination and makes them dream of all the things they can be in the world. It’s only later that life slaps them upside the head and says; “Your an adult now; what are you thinking?!” Having someone in your life to tell stories to you is great, especially if they’re good at it. Nukeboy1 and Nukeboy2 have a storyteller at their school. I’ll call him; Mr. Robinson. Mr. Robinson has a story for the kids everyday. Nukeboy2 is an impressionable going-to-be 3rd grader, and he listens in amazement to Mr. Robinson’s stories. In January I began to notice that Nukeboy2 was relating more and more of Mr. Robinson’s stories at the dinner table. This continued until the end of school in June. I don’t have a problem with someone telling stories, it’s just that EVERY story involves Mr. Robinson. Every. Single. One. There aren’t any “I knew this guy” stories or “Somebody told me once” stories, they are ALL “I did this” stories. Again; I wouldn’t have a problem with that if they weren’t so outlandish. We’ve all done interesting things in our lives that deserve to be passed on to the next generation, but be reasonable.
Mr. Robinson’s real name could be Walter Mitty or Forrest Gump for all I know. You know the Great Wall of China? He laid the first brick. The pyramids? He placed the capstone. In 1969 when man landed on the moon, Mr. Robinson was there to pull down the ladder for Neil Armstrong. He tells a story of being a security guard at Martin Luther King’s funeral (this one is most probably true) and climbing aboard a bus to get some air conditioned relief from the stifling heat. Guess who was on the bus? Bobby and Ted Kennedy. They gave him fruit and some water. Coulda happened, but…
I’m sure he’s a very nice man, and I appreciate the fact that he takes time out of his day to try and be a positive example in the lives of young people; but if you’re going to embellish THAT much, then start a scrap-booking hobby. Good Gravy, just because 3rd graders haven’t mastered addition and subtraction doesn’t mean that you can get away with that crap. By the 6th grade they’re going to realize that there is no possible way that he was there to witness the Crusades. If they can figure that out, then that will call his duel with Aaron Burr into question as well. That whole Boston Tea Party incident will draw some scrutiny as well. I plan on meeting with Mr. Robinson when the school year starts. I’ll thank him for his service (to ALL generations) and then ask some pointed questions. Like; was there a second gunman on the grassy knoll? Is Bigfoot real? Is DB Cooper still alive? If so, what is the value of his ransom money today; adjusted for inflation? What would you do for a Klondike Bar? Does your Bologna have a first name? He should be able to answer these with no problem; after all, he’s been there, done that.