When I saw that Kiddo#1 had gotten a package from Uncle Mayhem, I was confused. I’d spoken to him only a week earlier and he hadn’t mentioned an impending package. And trust me, I’m not calling him Uncle Mayhem without good cause.
Uncle Mayhem, in case he’s reading this, is probably laughing his head off at his moniker. He’s from the Italian side of my family, and Uncle Mayhem loves to start a good debate at family gatherings. Given that we’re Italians, it’s a fight. And usually it’s about something none of us really cares about, but we’ll all get strident and argue and it’s great fun for Uncle Mayhem. I’ve seen him moving from group to group at these gatherings trying to get a rise out of someone. He went to my Patient Husband, for example, and tried to start a PC versus Mac debate. It didn’t work. Last time, he tried to get me into an argument about whether Joseph actually married Mary, because it doesn’t say so explicitly in the Bible.
Uncle Mayhem also has a heart of gold, but he doesn’t want you to know that, so I’ll leave that out of the story. He has in the past sent me slides and photos of my family from fifty years ago, which I very much appreciated.
Kiddo#1 got home, slit open the box, and in it he found thirty baseball cards (twenty loose, some from as early as 1968, and one unopened ten-pack.) Here is the letter which accompanied them:
I found out from your grandmother that you are a “Boston” fan. And since I am a YANKEE fan I knew I had some Red Sox baseball cards to give away.
I was quite upset for a while but finally realized that in God’s MASTER PLAN there will be a few lost souls that are going to be Red Sox fans. So that is when I thought of sending you my Red Sox baseball cards.
Now if you do not want them, I can understand since I do not want them either.
But if you are a true Boston fan and keep them, then maybe you will want the rest of the Red Sox baseball cards I have.
Let me know one way or the other. Hope everyone is well.
By the time we got to the end of this, Kiddo#1 and I were crying with laughter. Kiddo#1 wrote him a very nice thank you note that night and said yes, he would gladly rehome any baseball cards that Uncle Mayhem didn’t want. But in my heart, I wish he’d sent this:
Dear Uncle Mayhem,
My condolences. I was terribly grieved to read about your choice of fandoms. You don’t have to do that just because you live near New York, you know. I am glad to rescue your unloved baseball cards and give them a home where they would be appreciated for the treasures they are. If you cannot bear true enlightenment, of course I will take the rest of them, but I would rather you study them to mend the errors of your misguided heart. I will pray for you every day and light a candle before my picture of Ted Williams.
Because, you see, I too can create mayhem.