“You survived a plane crash?”

“Oh, it was nothing! Not really worth a story. Just me and some buddies screwing around.” He pauses, and settles farther into his beige recliner. “Who told you ‘bout it, kid?”


Gramp scoffs, “when has Nick ever told ye the full truth? C’mere, sit with me, and I’ll tell ya one better.”
Andy approaches the red sofa, and he takes a seat across from his Grandpa Ritch, lifting his legs up to sit criss-crossed applesauce. Before his grandfather is able to begin, Andy opens his mouth to ask questions; he loves to ask questions. Grandpa Ritch knew this, and he braced himself for the jumble of them.

“Did you fly the planes? Like a lot? What’s the coolest place you flew to? You must fly so much higher than birds! Did you ever get to go on one of those jets with the big turrets on the sides?”

“Yes, Dubai, yes, no. Keep askin’ questions and I’m never gonna get to tellin’ ye the story!”

“Nick said you were once stranded on an island with your partner for three days, too- did you feel like eatin’ him by that third day?”

Laughter rumbles from Grandpa Ritch’s belly and he nods his head yes; “ooh boy, yes. But boys used to get lost in the jungles, or stranded out to islands, for days at a time ‘fore captains figure they better start lookin’ for ‘em! It was concerningly common. But at least we ain’t never ended up in any enemy territory– we was just getting lost for laughs.”