PAT NEAL: My crazy uncle

I’VE GOT THIS crazy uncle.

He’s got some bad problems.

Maybe you can relate because you have a crazy uncle, too.

As kids we were taught right out of the cradle to love and respect our uncle because he was the only one we had.

We were told he was the best uncle on Earth.

We believed in him, even when he did some crazy stuff we didn’t agree with, which he did a lot of the time.

But he was family and in this mean old world a family has to stick together to survive.

We were warned that we might have to look out for our uncle.

You never knew when he might pull some sort of scam or a fast one on us, members of his own family.

He had a checkered reputation for being a shady character with a history of shenanigans that made no sense at all even to him, once he sobered up, which was seldom.

We were told that we might have to defend our uncle.

He owed a lot of people a lot of money.

Maybe it was because he was always getting into fights.

Sure, sometimes it was for all the right reasons, to defend a friend or the homestead, but other times it seemed like he got into fights just because he could. That’s crazy.

I mean here he was, always bragging about what a bigshot Christian he was so you’d think he could find a more peaceful way to get along in the world.

Some guys are just that way, though, too ornery for their own good.

But the craziest thing about my crazy uncle is the fact that he has to write bad checks to pay for all his fights.

This is not a sound and secure investment strategy.

Revenge does not pay the bills.

My uncle is always broke and going further into debt even when the economy is booming.

Long story short, my crazy uncle is always after me for money.

I end up writing him a check along about every April 15. Because if I don’t, bad things will happen.

My crazy uncle seems to be able to borrow as much money as he wants. He doesn’t care.

But if you owe him money that’s a different story.

He’s not a good guy to owe money to.

Sometimes I wonder why my crazy uncle doesn’t get money from some of his crazy rich friends who have tons of dough but I guess he doesn’t want to bother them.

Instead he’s after me, a broke guy.

That’s crazy.

Not that I mind.

It’s kind of like paying rent to live here but what really bothers me is what he does with the money.

Giving money to my crazy uncle is like giving money to the people with cardboard signs along the highways and byways of our great nation: You never know what they are going to do with it.

Sure, some of them might actually buy food but it is also likely that you’re enabling some bad behavior.

As Americans we all have the same crazy uncle.

His name is Uncle Sam.

He just had a big Election Day party.

It cost millions, but who cares?

Uncle Sam can always borrow more.

It was worth it to get us all together to vote for the best politicians money can buy.

God Bless the United States of America and Uncle Sam.

He’s crazy, but he’s the only uncle we’ve got.


Pat Neal is a Hoh River fishing guide and “wilderness gossip columnist” whose column appears here every Wednesday.

He can be reached at 360-683-9867 or by email via patneal [email protected]

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