#90 Little Brain
On my fourteenth birthday, Grandpa Joe took me fishing on the Mississippi River in his leaky old rowboat. We floated alongside the high cliffs on the Iowa side. I liked to fish and enjoyed baiting the hook. Grandpa wouldn’t use any bait. I asked him why.
He said, “I love floating on a boat and hanging a fishing pole over the side. It gives me a reason to be here, but I don’t want to catch a fish, and take its life. I don’t believe in killing anything, not even a worm for bait.”
Figured Grandpa was getting senile, but he still knew things I didn’t. I didn’t have a father or any other man I could talk to about girls, so I told him about my girlfriend and how I had the urge whenever I got close to her. Probably shouldn’t have said anything because he went on a rant that embarrassed me.
“By God boy,” he said. “When I was your age my little man ruled. The world was his. He was spoiled and always got whatever he wanted. Together we traveled to pleasurable spots around the globe. We took so many trips he has gotten them all mixed up and only remembers the good times.”
“Hold on Grandpa, you’re saying your penis has a mind of its own?”
“What did you just tell me boy? Didn’t you say whenever you got close to your girl you had an overwhelming urge? Well, that’s your little guy taking control; some call it your little brain.”
“I can’t believe that. I take responsibility for my actions.”
“Responsible or not, your actions will be directed by the little guy.” Grandpa got a bite on his line.
“Looks like a big one. Reel it in,” I said.
Grandpa took out his pocketknife and cut the line.
“Why’d you do that?”
“Fish are driven by urges just like we are. I didn’t want to take its life just because it saw my shiny hook and did what it was compelled to do.”
“Let me get this straight. You’re equating a fish getting hooked with a man’s sexual urges?”
“Got that right, boy,” he said and tied a knot in a new hook he had threaded onto his fishing line.
“If you don’t want to catch a fish, why do you even put a hook on your line?”
“This is the Mississippi boy; never know what you’re going to hook.”
“Ya ever hook anything interesting?”
“Yep. Hooked a man’s body once.”
“Poor bastard kilt himself.”
“How do you know that?”
“Read it in the paper. His wife said he was despondent because he was impotent. So you see his little brain drove him to it.”
“Why do you say that?” I finally got a bite and pulled in a two inch long sunfish. I threw it back.
“He was in his fifties. When a man ages, his journeys aren’t always the ones he wants to take. His little guy was driven by desire and sought pleasure, but he discovered passion and age go in different directions. The little brain drove the big brain to despair because he always wanted satisfaction but could no longer raise his amorous head.”
“How would you know that?” I got another bite and reeled in a foot long pike. I saw the sorrowful look on grandpa’s face, so I cut the line and threw it back into the muddy water.
“It happened to me; that’s how I know. When it did, I laughed in the little guy’s face and told him I was now in control. Boy, did I underestimate him. He showed me who was in charge. Every time he wouldn’t respond, I begged and pled to no avail. He refused to raise his little head unless I returned total control to him.”
“So what did you do, Grandpa?”
“Everything the little guy wanted.”
“Sorry boy, there are some things I can’t discuss with a boy. What my little brain tells me to do is between him and me.”
A double-decked tour boat sped on by; washing our boat in waves that rocked it back and forth so much I thought we might tip over. Grandpa looked away and didn’t say another word. I figured he was embarrassed by this man-to-boy-talk. Since he wouldn’t tell me what his little brain made him do to stay happy, I followed my urges, and bought a pair of lace underwear to wear when I watched porn.
I named my little guy Kaptain Kielbasa to make it more personal when I talked to him. The Kaptain and I get along great. I do whatever he wants, so that when I get old, he and I will see eye to eye.
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