I’m Sorry I Yelled at You About Your Guns, Uncle Jack
Dear Uncle Jack,
How are you? I know we haven’t spoken since Thanksgiving, when we really got into it – hoo boy, did we ever! I’ve been thinking about you lately, and feeling really bad about a lot of the things I said. I know we don’t see eye-to-eye on much, but there probably wasn’t much excuse for calling you a “pig-ignorant backwoods paranoiac who huffs Fox News fumes all day.” That was unkind, and I apologize.
I’m also sorry I mocked you for your food hoards – I’m sorry, I’m sorry, supply stores. I bet *you’re* not out of toilet paper, right? Ha, ha. I know I made fun of the fact that you’d cached so many Slim Jims, but a lot of what you had down there was of solid nutritional value.
When you yelled at me for being a soft, useless coastal elite who couldn’t so much as change a tire, I got angry. But you know what, I’ve had some time to reflect, and you’re right. I don’t know how to change a tire, or hotwire a car, or do anything useful to any form of conveyance. I would love for you to teach me to drive stick, I really would. I mean, I might have made fun of that parody of a monster truck you drive, but at least you know how to fix it if it breaks.
I also had no idea that in the course of your hunting – yes, yes, I’m sorry about yelling you for that, too – you learned so much about what plants are good to eat. I took and urban foraging class one time, but I gotta say I wiped out most of that knowledge with mimosas immediately after. It seems like that would be such useful information! And honestly, any animal you hunt totally counts as free range.
And look, I’m really, really sorry I wen’t after you on the gun thing. While statistics might have supported my arguments before… you know, all this happened, I think we can both agree we live in a different world now. I am ready to cede to your point that there are some things in life you have to protect with a double-barreled shotgun. Like your food stores, for instance. And your children.
Speaking of children, did I tell you Connor’s school is closed? Yep, for at least a few weeks. As you can imagine, the scene at Costco is *wild.* Looks like people really are stocking up! Sure wish I hadn’t dismissed all of that as crazy talk, ha ha ha! Not that you need a Costco for anything but beer, right?
So I guess what I’m saying here, Uncle Jack, is that I would be forever grateful for your forgiveness, and maybe if you could find it in your heart not just to forgive but take us into your home for the next little bit, I would be eternally in your debt. Things are getting weird out here, on the coasts.
I promise, I won’t even roll my eyes when you want to watch Duck Dynasty.
PS – the one thing I really can’t come around on is the coming holy rapture stuff, but I’m willing to disagree in silence if you are.
Emily Flake is a cartoonist, writer, illustrator, and performer. She is a regular contributor to the New Yorker and the Nib, among many other publications. She is the author of a book of essays and cartoons about parenting called “Mama Tried” (Grand Central, 2015). She does a weird hybrid of standup and cartoons on stages throughout NYC and beyond, and is the creator and cohost of a monthly live interview show called NIGHTMARES. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, daughter, and a frail, elderly cat.