Uncle Hugh and I
Uncle Hugh and I have had many adventures over the years. I remember the summer of 1975 when I spent several weeks with my Aunt Mary in Frankford. He would drive over and pick me up for some sort of activity. I should point out that my uncle had some peculiar driving skills. I don’t believe he was a bad or reckless driver, but let’s just say he gave new meaning to the term driving defensively. Before we set off on one of these trips, he noticed that I had fastened my seat belt. “That’s a good idea,” he said, “That way there’ll be at least one survivor that can tell the police what happened.”
I’m not sure what Uncle Hugh’s IQ is, but he is easily the smartest of all my aunts and uncles. He worked many years for Philco/Ford and at one time – or so he admitted to a doctor once – he taught physics. Although I hold a master’s degree in communication studies, I’m no match for his intellect.
We’re able to converse on many subjects – family history, literature, arts, and some science – but every once in awhile we’ll try to tackle some monumental issue. One such occasion happened as I was leaving him this week. I asked my uncle if he had any other plans for the rest of the week. Some weeks he’ll have a doctor appointment or two scheduled, but this time he said he didn’t have any plans. I thought it would seem a shame if he didn’t have something lined up to occupy his time until I visited again, and I made a suggestion.
“Why don’t you solve the problem of world hunger?” I asked.
“There you go,” he replied, “I’d be a hero then, wouldn’t I?”
Then leave it to me to think of a problem to my own suggestion. “Yeah, but then you wouldn’t get a moment’s peace. They’d expect you to solve other world problems too.”
After digesting this, Uncle Hugh said, “You’re right about that, too!”
I said, “On second thought, we’d better scratch the first idea.” With that, we tabled the global hunger dilemma. Sorry world, but maybe we’ll solve this problem next week.
Anyway, when the subject comes up again, I might throw this suggestion on the table. I would start to solve world hunger by giving every child in the affected areas a sharp stick and direct them to the nearest wilderness. It’d be fun to watch the little tykes figure it out for themselves. I know it’s not much of an idea, but as I said, it’s just a starting point.
I’m sure Uncle Hugh has come up with something better, but I won’t know until I see him next week. In the meantime, if anyone reading this is hungry, go buy a cheap burger. Heinz ketchup of course, and don’t forget the french fries.