The “Greatest Hits” of Uncle Jimmy

Marine Corps Major in dress white uniform, W[o...

Marine Corps Major in dress white uniform, W[orld] W[ar] II (LOC) (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)

He was, in the words of my father, who was his older brother, “a total outrage.”

His name was Jimmy Quinn.  I still remember the first time I saw my Uncle Jimmy.  I was about three years old.  He came up the driveway of our old house in Roselle, New Jersey, on Christmas morning, on leave from the service.  He was wearing a white sailor’s uniform and a smile as wide of the ocean.  He was also carrying a rocking horse, and that turned out to be for me!

I could go on at length about his hilarious way of seeing the world, but I won’t have to.  I’m going to write some of his favorite sayings so that you’ll see for yourself.  Here are several of the “greatest hits” of Uncle Jimmy, and please note, they were always uttered to the accompaniment of his wonderful booming laugh:

To any child in the family that did anything we weren’t supposed to: “I’m PROUD of you!”

Whenever he did something that he wasn’t supposed to: “TEE HEE HEE!”

On his service in the Marine Corps:  “You name it and I’ve done it – all over the world!”

On non-family-planning: “I’ve got children all over the world!”

On his loud, ear-splitting burp: “It took me fifty-eight years to perfect my burp!”

More on the burp: “A psychiatrist approached me the other day at the golf course and he told me I have the most unrepressed burp he’s ever heard!  He was proud of me!”

On my height (five foot one): “You’re a modified midget!  We should put you on a horse and make you into a jockey!”

On gold-diggers:  “Some women are trained from birth to manipulate men.”

On alcohol: “I spent me a fortune getting this messed up!”

On aging: “I may be old but I still am fine and funky – funky and fine!”

On a bar-fly who consistently played hooky from his work: “He told me he held the record for the least number of days worked at the plant.  He was his own hero!”

On my graduation from college:  “Oh, no!  Look out, world, here she comes!”

On himself: “You only wish you could be just like me – you wish!”

Yes – it’s what we all wished, Jimmy, since you were truly one of a kind: you were born knowing how to have fun and never lost the ability.  It’s been fifteen years now since we lost you, but there hasn’t been one single day when I didn’t remember something you said and burst out laughing.  Sometimes it happens when I’m walking along the street, sometimes on the bus.  Maybe I look nuts for splitting my sides, seemingly out of nowhere, but I just can’t help it.  You’d love that, Jimmy: it’s doing something that I’m not supposed to, tee hee hee!  Bet you’d love it that whenever a new child is born in our family, I make sure they get a rocking horse, too.


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