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The Day the World Lost Some Magic

Tags: humor

A childhood memory

My nephew Tristan had come to Denver from Wyoming to visit me on a sunny Saturday. Tristan was in the Air-force and stationed in Wyoming. He would come to visit me when he had time off from his duties, usually on weekends. This particular weekend we decided to go to the Denver Zoo.

I should explain about the relationship between Tristan and me. I was 19 years old when he was born and I always considered Tristan and his older brother Phil to be more of my little brothers than nephews. I was the uncle that when Tristan's and Phil's mother told them to play outside I would help them sneak back into the house so they could watch cartoons. Yes, I was that kind of trouble maker.

Of course it was my oldest brother Chuck that told Tristan, when Tristan was 3 years old, to walk up to his mother and say "Woman, make my dinner!", but I digress.

Tristan was 28 and I was 47 when we went to the zoo. Both of us were having a good time joking with each other. When Tristan and I reached monkey island, Tristan heaved a sad sigh and said, "The world lost some of its magic the day that I found out that I wasn't from monkey island."

I looked at Tristan and said,"Let me guess, you were at the Cleveland Zoo when you were about four years old and your dad told you that you came from the monkey island there." Tristan's father is my second oldest brother Thom. Thom actually spells his name with an "h", I always found that a bit pretentious so I have a tendency to spell my name "Bhob" in any correspondence to him.

"Yeah, that pretty much how it happened."

"I can imagine your dad telling you that the zoo keepers came to your mother and him with a baby monkey and asked them to take care of the baby monkey because there was no room at the zoo. The keepers even removed the tail on the baby monkey so the other kids wouldn't make fun of it as it grew older." I chuckled to myself as I said this. "I bet you even asked your older brother Phil if you had a scar on your back from your tail and Phil said 'Sure you do Tristan.' "

"But Uncle Bob, the really sad part was how I discovered I wasn't from monkey island. When I was in kindergarten the teacher asked each student from where he or she came. I, of course, stood and declared very proudly, 'I am from monkey island!' The teacher asked me to repeat myself and then wrote a letter and told me to give it to my mother when I got home."

"Tristan, when you handed that letter to your mother and she opened it, expecting to read that you did something terrible but she instead had to explain to you that you weren't from monkey island, she probably came close to having a heart attack. She must have given your father hell that night for what he told you." I was having a difficult time not laughing.

"But Uncle Bob, you have to admit that life would be more interesting if some of us had come from monkey island."

I couldn't argue with that.

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