Wednesday, July 6, 2011


My uncle John is my god father, among many other things. He is a father of three, a grandfather of three, a loving husband and a gambling enthusiast.

January of 2009 I went to Las Vegas to see one of my best friends Bonnie perform in Phantom of the Opera. (yeah, she’s a big deal.)  On our last day, we were touring the strip in her car, and at a red light, my phone rings with an out of country phone number. Not being in debt at the time, and me being curious as to this foreign number, I picked up.
Me, tentatively: Hello?
Mystery Number: MAHH-GRETT?!!
Me: Dad?!!
MN: No no! It’s yo-wah Uncle John! I was tawlkin’ to yah fathah and he said you weh in Las Vegas!
Me: Yeah, I am!
UJ: Whe-yah ah yah now?
Me: I’m at a stop light in front of Treasure Island on the strip
UJ: You gotta be kiddin’ me! I’m AT Tresh-ahh Island RIGHT NOW! Wannah meet up?
(after conferring with bonnie and katie, my other friend who came out with me)
Me: Sure! Where are you?
UJ: Hang on one sec, Mahh-grett. (the phone is muffled, and I can hear my Uncle yell to the bar tender: Bobby! Bobby! What’s the name of this bahh?)
UJ: (to me) Mahh-grett?? I’m at the bahh called BREEZES. B AAHH, E, E, Z, E, S. BREEZES. Don’t worry about pahhkin’, I’ll take ca-yah of it all. See yah soon. Isn’t this amazin’??!

So in a five minute span I try to prepare Bonnie and Katie for the entity that is my uncle John.  We get to Breezes, and nothing could have prepared any of us for the sight we saw. 

My Uncle John is at the last stool of the bar, watching some sort of college football on tv with the same enthusiasm as a lion has right before he attacks his prey in the Serengeti. Spread out in front of him at the bar includes his martini, a can of Cheese Whiz, Ritz Crackers, and a Mounds Bar. 

Bonnie, Katie and I go up to him, say hello, he says good bye to Bobby and we head over to a table. I ask my uncle John what’s with the Cheeze Whiz and he responds “I’m hungry, and it’s easy!” Fair enough, the man has a point.  So we’re chit chatting and then the subject changes to one of his three children that just got married, John. (Affectionately known as John L, for Little John)

Uncle John: And I’ll tell yah somethin’ else…John and Kristen ahh expectin’! I’m serious! Us Kellihah’s, we-yah swimmahs! Oh yah!

At this point, Katie, Bonnie and my jaws are on the ground. My godfather just used the term ‘swimmers’ in reference to sperm.

We all decide that at this point, we’re hungry, so Uncle John suggests the buffet, and as we walk over, he drops $300 on a craps table and explains to us “If yah don’t play, you’ll nevah win…” and within 30 seconds, the $300 was gone. “What can yah do?!” he rhetorically asks…

On to the buffet, we eat, we talk, and laugh…as we’re disbanding, Uncle John exclaims: I foh-ya-gott my Mounds Bahh!!”

The man is a true gem and there will be more stories of his to follow. Thanks for going along for the ride with me!

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