I'm on vacation with my parents in Oregon, staying at their house on the coast. My grandpa drove down from Seattle to visit us. Grandpa Al is quite a character. I can't really describe him in a way that would do him justice; he's a fascinating man, smart and stubborn, wise but childish, strong but fragile. Instead, I will just tell you some of the things he told us while he was visiting.
First, when he checked into his hotel, he asked the receptionist if she was wearing an underwire bra. "Uh, yeah..." she said. "You should not wear these things when there is lightning. It could KILL you." My grandpa has a thick German accent, so hearing him say this was hilarious. And he was serious! Oh, Grandpa...always eager to help.
At dinner, Grandpa Al was telling us about how his neighbor had to get dental work done and it cost him $2000. "He's so stupid!" He told us. Turns out, part of my grandpa's tooth chipped off and he merely SUPER-GLUED it back, and it's been fine ever since. There you go. No wonder he thinks people who spend money for tooth repairs are idiots. Just buy some super glue. Bada bing.
This last story really tops it off...Washington is a much more environmentally-conscious state than California. You must recycle and they have very strict restrictions about how much trash you can throw out each week. They also charge you high fees to pick up old electronic equipment, like, oh, television sets.
So my grandpa had this old clunky TV for years and years, and it caused him a lot of grief. He told us that he finally bought a new Sony plasma TV and loves it. But...what did he do with the old one? How about DROPPING IT OFF THE BALCONY of his house so it shattered into a million pieces. Duh...common sense, right? All he had to do was put a little bit of the remains in the trash each week, and no one was the wiser. Extra fee? BAH. Take that, Washington State Waste Management!!
Can you imagine seeing your 82-year-old neighbor dropping a huge TV from his balcony? Oh, I can't stop smiling just thinking about it. So, there you go...some quick lessons on resourcefulness from Grandpa Al Birle.