The Math of War and Piece

Uncle Sam is the family’s synonym for carelessness. Whenever he and Aunt Grace are absent, anyone who makes a blunder is likened to him.

The legend goes like this: they were heading to Gettysburg for a Sunday picnic. Along the way, my cousin Lucy had to use the bathroom. Aunt Grace accompanied her to the gas station’s restroom, while Uncle Sam and my other cousin Jimmy went to the men’s room, engrossed in a discussion about cannon fire and ballistics.

Woman and daughter find the have been left behind

Uncle Sam and Jimmy returned to the car, still immersed in their conversation about the math of warfare. Uncle Sam turned on the ignition and drove off.

He didn’t notice that his wife and daughter were missing until he searched for a place to picnic. He had to drive back to the gas station, which took him almost half an hour.

That’s where the story usually ends, but once my mother confided in me a little secret. Aunt Grace made Uncle Sam wait until she and Lucy had finished their Barbara Fritchie meal and strawberry pie dessert. That took another forty-five minutes.

Image created by Bing at my prompt

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4 thoughts on “The Math of War and Piece

  1. You would think that Aunt Grace would have realized that once Uncle Sam gets involved in a math issue that all sense of space and time (not to mention responsibility) goes out the window.
    When my brother gets involved in his cerebral activities and comes late (or doesn’t show up and all) we all roll our eyes and hopelessly say, “Well, that’s Bruce!” But it took nearly a lifetime for us to reach this level of forgiveness.

    1. Thanks, Mark.
      I got a new version of Family Tree Maker and it brought some old memories back to the fore.
      What’s the latest on the children’s book?

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