Well, yeah, of course I'm the "Fun Uncle" when it comes to holidays. I've heard our types called "Funcle." But I prefer Fun Uncle. Funcle sounds like a pretty gross foot growth, something belying the nobility in Fun Uncling. I suppose it doesn't matter, though, as Fun Uncles are never given the respect they should be accorded.
It's not like I set out to be Fun Uncle. It sorta' just got thrust upon me. And why not? I'm immature, have a like mind-set with kids, know how to wrangle gas jokes like a seasoned ranch-hand. Kids love me. And, dang, don't they wear me down.
A couple times a year, adults love me for this reason as well. It gives them a chance to hang out, be uncool, talk about dumb stuff like politics and work and who's died recently. Sip coffee, pinky finger extended. Boring big people crap. No thanks.
But. I'm an unpaid babysitter on holidays. I think I'm the only family member to come away from holidays with bruises, a sore back, scratches on my face. Holidays are tough. Worse than professional wrestling. I need a vacation from vacation.
I've been "operated" on, had toy trucks slammed against my head, been buried alive with pillows then jumped on, rode like a donkey, had bacon thrown at me, had food (and things I don't prefer to think about) smeared upon me, had my shoes ripped apart. One time a "little rascal" hid one of my shoes so I couldn't escape my parents' house. Just like old times, grounded again. Children are a joy.
Maybe it's time for Fun Uncles to unionize. Take back the night. Demand better wages (well, any wages would be a nice starting point). While I'm outside, in the bitter cold, defusing two siblings from throwing punches, hurling insults, beating on good ol' Fun Uncle, where are the adults? Sitting inside, warm and snug, taking Fun Uncle for granted, extending those damn pinky fingers. It's like those extended pinky fingers are pointing at me, taunting me, saying, "Sucker!"
And things only get worse. Here's the rub. The hallowed title of Fun Uncle tarnishes with age. Once kids hit a certain age, Fun Uncle begins to look like a dork, a creep. Try telling a fourteen year old to pull your finger and see where that gets you. They're thinking, "Why in the hell is an adult hanging out with kids when there's coffee to be sipped, politics to ponder, pinky fingers to extend?"
I can't win. People, please be kind to Fun Uncles. You can help by donating to my fund, "Fun Uncles Are People, Too." Here's my PayPal address: "FunUncles@PayPal.com." I accept checks, money orders, beer, and mixed nuts. Oh, nachos, too, but be sure to package them properly.