Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Beginnings of Idiocy


OK, I'm an idiot.  I know this, it's no secret.  How does one become an idiot?  Simple... genetics.  I come from a long line of idiots.

My father Raymond "Bud" Bergin, was a highly regarded professional.  He ran a heating/ plumbing business, and was considered the best in the business.  I heard it said many times, "if you want it done right, get Ray Bergin."  This rubbed off on me at a very early age, so while it may be true that I've spent the greater percentage of my life so far as an idiot, I'm a damned good one!

As kids we never knew about his past. We had all kinds of "cousins", "aunts" and "uncles" who were either no relation whatsoever, or related in some way which bore no resemblance to how we addressed them.

My dad, and his various and sundry relatives were rather notorious party boys, however. They would hang a compass from my dad's neck and begin their bar crawl. After a few "toddies" in one location, they'd stumble out to the street. The ensuing exchange would go something like this:

George Pratt: "Bearings Mr. B!!!"
Dad: "Nor' by Nor' East Mr. P!!!"

And they'd lurch off in that general direction until they found another bar. This would continue all night.

My mother, bless her demure soul, grew up in a family of wackos.  She was the valedictorian of her class, a model, a cheer-leader, an over achiever in every sense of the word.  How difficult it must've been for her to live among people like my grandfather, Adrian "Art" Wallace.

I remember going to my grandparent's house on the 4th of July.  While normal families were setting off small fire crackers and lighting sparklers, my grand dad and uncles were loading shotguns with flares, and shooting them at each other across the length of my great grandparent's cornfield. 

This looney LOVED to light an M-80, put a pail over the thing, sit on the pail and wait.  Then the firecracker would go off and the pail with my grandfather on top, would fly 2 feet in the air and hit the ground with him cackling his fool head off.


So, sure I'm an idiot.  How could I have become anything else?

BTW... what in the hell kind of nickname is "Bud" anyway?


  1. Dad was called Bud because his sister, Aunt Helena, couldn't say "Brother" and instead called him Bud, or at least that's the way they told it. Just as I called you "budder pot" because I couldn't say "brother Pat". Aren't you glad nobody tagged you ButterPot forever after?

    And do you remember Saturday bath nights in the chicken coop in the coldest days of winter? I remember being completely shriveled and frozen by the time that particular ordeal was done--the bath water would be floating bits of ice before Mom got us out.

    Do you remember all the plumbing issues that went on in that shack--Dad was a plumber but he couldn't keep the water going in that place. So often we would be without running water for days at a time and the basement drain would back up and flood.

    Do you remember when Flint was struck by that tornado in 1953 and we were cowering in the basement under the laundry tub? Being 3, I had no idea what a tornado was but I wanted Dad to rescue my doll wardrobe, tornado or not. Poor Dad!