Uncle Eddy Versus The Trump Budget

Me:  Uncle Eddy!  Good to hear you.  I got your texts, so I figured I’d call.  I guess this is going to be longer?

Uncle Eddy: Charlie, I been reading that Trump budget and I’m so damned mad I could spit.  My vote has been stolen from me, cause I voted for this crap  and what a damned old fool I was.

Me: Slow down!

Uncle Eddy:  I voted cause I figured working folks would get more jobs, but anybody who’s in bad shape and don’t have no job is going to be in worse shape. He wants to chop 190 billion dollars out of aid for unemployed.   Charlie, nobody out there needs welfare if they’re working.  And that fat ass budget director, Mickey-whoever,who probably ain’t ever worked a day in his life, says it will make people get off their ass and find work.  But, Charlie, there ain’t no work. Zip. Zilch.  You’ve been out of work, kid, I know you have.  You ever wait for a handout?

Me:  Never did, Uncle Eddy.  I guess this is a classic case of the rich thinking the poor are lazy.  That goes back hundreds of years.

Uncle Eddy:  Years-schmears!  I’m talking now.  Some people needs help.  When you put my words on that Reagan cheese giveaway on your web thing, a lotta people read it and tell me I’m right.  Ain’t no way to explain how a man feels when he got to feed his kids by standing in line for a handout, and hope that it’s enough to feed them.  How the hell would someone with a rich daddy – who never done that – know how that feels?  A guy don’t collect no aid unless he’s damn far down on his luck.  It ain’t easy working the mills.  There was always long layoffs. You remember me, old Stan, your old man and Wally we was off months at a time.  No one give a damn, and we was damn glad to get government hand-outs.  Hurt to take it, but I know you remember some skimpy meals, don’t you, kid?

Me: Sadly, Eddy, I do.

Uncle Eddy:  And now these fat asses wanna cut billions out of Medicaid.  Now I got Medicare, and I thank God for it.  But them as got no money, either get Medicaid or maybe die.  Maybe the fat cats figure if enough poor people die they’ll save even more.  But them Wall Street guys get a tax break because of this.

Me:  Eddy, look.  This is only what the President wants to happen.  Congress still has to vote on it.  And I think – I hope – that any politician stupid enough to vote for this will get his fanny bounced out of office come the 2018 elections.   That is, if enough older people get off their asses and vote.

Uncle Eddy:  I hope you’re right, kid.  This time around, no one is stealing Eddy’s vote with damned lies.


Uncle Eddy On the Wannacry Virus

Me:  Uncle Eddy! I was getting ready to call you.

Uncle Eddy: Just callin’ to make a point, kid.  Remember when you wrote about me and social media?  I got flack on that from everybody – kids, grand-kids, neighbors.

Me:  Sorry, Ed.  I didn’t mean to cause trouble.

UNCLE EDDY:  No – it proves my point.  That new virus-germ thing – what’s it called?   Shuttin’ down them hospitals and stuff?

Me: The Wannacry virus.

UNCLE EDDY:  That’s it.  See I was trying to make a point, kid.  So now we can connect everybody on earth to everybody else.  But why the hell is that so good?  My point back then was we don’t need the opinion of every teenage kid in our face all the time.  But everybody else thinks that’s just swell.  And now this electro-germ thing comes along and jams up all that communication and I guess it’s like a kidnapper, right?

Me:  Yep.  They hold your computer for ransom until you pay them.

UNCLE EDDY:  So there you go.  They’re shuttin’ down hospitals and companies.  So we all got connected up, all snug and lookin’ at each other’s party pictures and along comes some crooks and screws it all up.  Life just might have been better the way it used to be.

Me: How do you mean, Eddy?

UNCLE EDDY:  I mean you and I is kinfolk, right?  I call you and you call me, or sometimes you call your Aunt Marge even.  But we don’t gotta crawl up each other’s butts.  I don’t wanna send you pictures of everything I do, and I don’t wanna to see pictures of everything you do.  That’s my point – we ain’t getting’ in each other’s face all the time.

Me:  OK.  I buy it.  But what’s the harm?

UNCLE EDDY:  Charlie – you just seen it.  It’s like all of us is in this giant house now, with a gazillion rooms.  And if one dumb ass forget to lock the door, someone comes in and steals from everybody.  I ain’t no engineer, but I know that much.  If we connect everybody, then if a hoodlum attacks one of us he attacks all of us.  Cause we’re all connected.  You was a systems guy and you know that.   So we connects everybody up but we forgot we connects up every sleaze bag along with ‘em.  And now we can’t lock the door.


Uncle Eddy Remembers Reagan’s Cheese

Me:  Uncle Eddy.  Glad you called.  What’s cooking?

Uncle Eddy: Well, Charlie, I’m waiting on cheese.  See everybody says Reagan was a great guy and they forget the cheese.

Me:  Not sure I follow you, Ed.

Uncle Eddy:  Remember when Reagan had a big-ass mountain of cheese and figured he’d feed the poor?

Me:  Ouch!  I remember.  It was back in the 80’s.  The government bought surplus milk from farmers and turned it into cheese.  If I recall, they had warehouses all over the country and had about 560 million pounds of cheese.

Uncle Eddy:  I ain’t so good at math no more, so how much is that?

Me:  I’d guess it would make about 4 piles, each as big as an aircraft carrier.

Uncle Eddy:  Well it pissed me off then and will again.  So Ronnie plays hero and gives it to the poor who can’t afford no better.  He could have upped their welfare, but Republicans don’t like welfare, so he give away cheese.

Me:  I guess you’re going to tell me about it.

Uncle Eddy:  Damn straight.  Things was slow at the mills,  I got laid off for the winter. Benefits wasn’t much and it was rough keeping food on the table, and I hear about this cheese give-away.

Me:  I think every state could have up to 30 million pounds.

Uncle Eddy:  Yeh.  But imagine this, Charlie – your kids is hungry and you stand in line for cheese, maybe your wife, too, and at the end of the line you get a 5 pound block of cheese.   Charlie, I ain’t a high-class guy, but I got some pride and it don’t do much for a man’s self-respect to stand in line for a brick of cheese.  But kids got to eat, so pride-schmide.  So we stood there and got our share.

Me:  Sorry you had to do that, Ed.  And I didn’t know.

Uncle Eddy:  Well I know you seen your own hard times, but this was the hardest.   We ate so damn much macaroni and cheese I didn’t take a dump until the mills re-opened in the spring.  And kept standing in line until then.

Me: But that’s in the past, Uncle Ed.

Uncle Eddy:  Maybe. I found out the government’s still buys milk from farmers and stores it up, and got millions of pounds again.  And them Congress guys don’t like welfare, cause they ain’t never been hungry. So I figure it’s cheaper for them to give us more cheese.  So the Prez will give it out.  Wait and see.


Uncle Eddy And Social Media

    Me:  Uncle Eddy – haven’t heard from you in a while?

Eddy:  Yeh.  Sorry, kid.  I had to turn that damned cell phone off for a few days.  This social media crap has got me baffled, and my grandkids ain’t helping cause they’re sending me stuff from facebook, and twitter, and smapper-yapper and all that stuff.   It’s crap, Charlie, just crap.

Me: Tell me your problem.

Eddy:  Every time I turn on the damned news now, they all gotta tell me that “social media is all lit up” every time something happens..  Like it’s important I know what them poster-toaster people think.

Me: Well, maybe it’s the voice of the people.

Eddy:  Bullcrap!  It’s too many voices, that’s what it is.  Way too many.  Look at it this way, kid.  From 8 to 6 everyday, most smart people are at work.  Or lookin’ for it.  So the people smart enough to hold jobs,  are too damned busy to be tweety-snapping around.  So you got mostly young people, even high school kids howling about this and yowling about that.  So you see some stuff there and maybe it comes from some lawyer or CPA but probably it’s from some 15-year old who got nothing better to do.  And why  the hell do I care what any 15-year old thinks – or every 15-year old  in the State of Ohio?

Me:  Well, it’s true that it’s a young people’s media.

Eddy:  So then what’s it worth, Charlie?  Now you still do that professor stuff,  right.  So how much time you got to go sticking up pictures of cats and dogs?

Me:  Not much, and  I don’t.

Eddy:  Kids do.  And that damn TV news makes it worse.  While Wolfman Blitzer is talking, they play them damn tweety comments on the screen.  I listen to old Wolf cause he’s smart, but why should I get some damned kids opinion too?  Ain’t right.  If I want a kid’s opinion, I’ll call my grand-kids.   You watch TV the last 2 days and see them kids at Berkeley?  Cost a year’s pay to send a kid there and they’re so damned smart they start riots, set fires, and post it on the internet.  I’d wallop my own kids behind they did that.  You’re lookin’ at Social Media there, Charlie.  That’s what it’s coming to.









Uncle Eddy’s Views On Cell Phones

Me:  Uncle Ed.   I called that new number you left me.  Aren’t you at home?

Eddy:  I am, Charlie, but I got me a cell phone. Everybody was on my case.  Your Aunt Marge, the kids, guys down at the VFW.  So I got one and had the grandkids show me how to use it.

Me:  Hey, so I could text you now.

Eddy:  You do and I’ll thump your ass when I see you.   Look here – it’s good you can be in touch when you need to be in touch.   But I ain’t getting carried away like all them other people.  I got a phone, OK?  But I’m still just Uncle Eddy.

Me:  Not sure what you mean, Uncle Ed.

Eddy:  Cause what I don’t like is it seems these damned things make everybody feel important.  It’s like everybody gets them a phone and right away they got to tell everybody else in the world about what they’re doing.  They’re facebooking and snapper-chatting and posting and fart-smarting and all that whatever.  I’m eating lunch at the diner and some guys taking pictures of his hamburger and texting it to someone.  Like no one has ever seen a hamburger.  I’m in the mens room and some guys in a stall and I hear him talking while he’s taking a dump.  What the hell’s so important he can’t take a dump in peace.   Maybe I should call you when I’m taking a dump.

Me: I think we can skip that.

Eddy:  But it don’t stop, kid.   It ain’t right.  I think it makes kids think they’re more important than they are.  The world don’t care about everything you do.  It don’t want to see 37 pictures of what you bought at the Safeway.  I ain’t the smartest guy in the world, but when I’m watching a Steelers game don’t go texting me “did you see that play?”.   I may not be a genius but I don’t need no help watching a football game.  And Trump may tweet-post all that crap every day but that don’t mean that I got to tweety-post him back because frankly who gives a damn what Eddy in the Mahoning Valley thinks?   Nobody, that’s who.

Me:  Ed, I got to get down to the school. We’ll pick this up later.

Eddy:  No problem. Keep talking. Wedge that sumbitch on your shoulder like them gals in the Walmart  when they shop and we can keep on talking.  Won’t miss a beat.  Just turn the damn thing off if you got to take a dump.

Me:  Bye, Uncle Ed.




Uncle Eddy Defends Meals on Wheels


Me:  Uncle Eddy, what’s going on?

Eddy:  I don’t get down too much, Charlie.  But I read up on the new Budget and the cuts they’re making.   I can’t figure out if I’m depressed or pissed off.

Me: Spit it out.

Eddy:  I don’t give a crap about the artsy-fartsy stuff, although it’s a shame.  But the research cuts scare the crap out of me, especially with your Aunt Marge not feeling so good.  And Medicaid – that really scares the snot out of me.  I ain’t made of money, kid, and I ain’t getting no younger.

Me:  Uncle Ed, I think we have to hope that our local congressmen won’t go along with it.

Eddy:  Yeh – they’d be voting themselves out of work come next election.  But you know what pisses me off the most?


Me:  I guess you’re going to tell me.

Eddy: That they could even think of cutting Meals on Wheels.  Those fat cats are cutting off the only food that some of the old and poor people around here get.  Can you imagine?  They spend bazillions on all kinds of crap, building airports and crap, and they want to cut off food.   That’s crazy.  There’s an old couple who live down the road here, and everybody here tries to give them a baking dish full sometimes.  Your Aunt Marge tries to get them something once a week and Helen next door takes them shopping cause they ain’t got no car.  So they NEED them Meals on Wheels.    

Me:  Man, that is sad.

Eddy:  Here’s the worst part, Charlie.  It’s being done by guys who ain’t never been cold or hungry, or missed a meal, and who eat lunch in them fancy restaurants and you and I is paying for it.  I seen on TV the food they cook in that Congress chow hall and they eat like kings — but will let old people starve.  Bull crap!


Uncle Eddy’s Take On The EPA


Me:  Eddy!  Got your voice mail.  You sound in a good mood for a change.

Eddy:  Hey, Charlie, I’m laughing at this latest bull crap from the White House.

Me:  Better get more specific, Uncle Ed.

Eddy:  That EPA crap.  Trump’s taking off all kinds of restrictions on the EPA.  Says that’s going to bring back jobs.

Me:  Well some industries think the Clean Air rules give advantages to China where they don’t have any.

Eddy:  Listen, it was damned smoky up and down the Valley when the mills was running full blast.  But that ain’t what shut them down.  Might have cost them a few bucks, but didn’t shut them down.  It was prices, kid – prices.  Labor was part of that, I gotta admit it.  But a China guy would work for a buck or two a day, that ain’t what labor here wanted.  You can’t put food on the table that way.

Me:  And that means?

Eddy: It means that you can take away all the smoke laws and them mills ain’t coming back because we need more money for our labor.  I figured the new government was smart enough to see that.  I sure called that one wrong.

Me:  What about Trump loosening restrictions on coal.  He said “the miner’s are coming back”.

Eddy: Coal schmoal!   Nobody burns coal no more – gas is too cheap.  Nobody going to clean out them boilers every day, and haul away ash.  And ain’t no miner’s coming back.  Let me tell you something kid,  nobody ever “wanted” to grow up to be a coal miner.  Guys mine coal ’cause that’s where they was born — ain’t nothing else to do.  I know a lots  of them, south of here, and they all wanted their  kids to have something better.  It’s dirty, it’s dangerous and you only do it if it’s the only way to feed the family.

Me:  So I guess it’s going to get pretty smoky in some towns?

Eddy:  Hell, kid, most smoke’s made when politicians is trying  to blow it up our ass.


Uncle Eddy Slams The Press

Me:  How’s it going, Eddy?  You calm enough to give me your opinion on the way the press handles some DC stuff?  By the way, I put your comments in my blog, and lots of people agree with what you say.

Eddy:  Kid, I’ve always got an opinion.  Only thing is:  them ICE guys ain’t gonna come after me are they?  All this bull crap I read says they tap everyone’s phones and even their TV.  I ain’t afraid of anything, and you know that, Charlie.  But I got grandkids now.

Me: Uncle Eddy, you’re a Vet.  You fought for this country.  I think you’re entitled to your opinions.  So don’t sweat it.  So here’s my question: do thou think the TV and newspapers are being too tough on Washington?

Eddy:  They’re supposed to do that.  It’s their job.  The more heat the better.  Them old guys like Cronkite and Murrow, they knew how to do it.  And them 2 guys that blew the whistle on Nixon.  How in hell do we know what those clowns in DC is doing unless somebody reports it?

Me:  You think they’re being tough enough on Washington?

Eddy:  Hell, no!  You know something happens overseas – and bad stuff does happen – they spend all kinds of time showing it.  Refugees, hungry kids, people all screwed up with some disease.  But why isn’t anyone coming here?  Or to Cleveland?  Or Pittsburgh?  I guess maybe the lines at the Unemployment office ain’t glamorous enough.  Seems only hungry foreign kids are important.  Let me tell you something, Charlie.  Don’t forget your roots, kid.  You remember, I know.  A hungry kid here in Ohio is still a hungry kid.  Who gives a damn about that?  So everyone in Washington is hot to keep them Muslims out.  OK – so how does that help me find work?  The only guys who have steady work are the guys who run around rounding up illegals.  The rest of us – no one gives a damn.

Me:  Too much world news?

Eddy:   I didn’t say too much, I’m just saying look at some of the messes around here before you start showing kids in Syria.  Kid in Chicago ain’t got no shoes for winter, but that ain’t glamorous for them.  They show all kinds of pictures of kids in Egypt, though.

Me:  You don’t think any of that’s important, Eddy?

Eddy:  Not when my grandkids are going without stuff.  Them Washington guys, you better believe all their kids ain’t missing any meals.

Me:  You’ve got a point, Uncle Eddy. 

Eddy:  Damned right I do.  Until people can go back to work and start earning something, the rest of this is all crap.  That’s we voted for all these guys – they made big promises.  So when does it happen?  Maybe the press people aren’t being tough enough.  You get pictures of how bad they live in like Haiti, but you never get no pictures about how good them congress people are living.  The President, he ain’t missing any meals.  He flies to Florida every week and we pay for it.  You know how many TV stations complained on that?  Well I only seen one.  Just one.  I think more of  them TV guys need to grow a pair.

Me: I don’t know, Ed.  We’ll both have to see.

Uncle Eddy and The ICE Raids

Me: Uncle Eddy, I got your phone call.  You sounded ticked off.  What’s the deal?

Eddy:  Of course I’m ticked off.  Big time.  Them ICE guys just pulled off a bunch of raids in this part of Ohio and grabbed up 54 dudes who were working in Mexican restaurants.  Why are they wasting time like that?

Me:  I think they’re just doing their jobs, Ed, and rounding up illegals.

Eddy:  That’s bullcrap, Charlie.  How does that help me?  I ain’t looking to work in no Mexican restaurant, so it ain’t like I’m gonna run down and apply for one of them jobs.   I make steel, not tacos.  So it don’t help none.  You hear what I’m saying?

Me:  I hear you, Ed, but I think it’s all  part of border security.    

Eddy:  Charlie!  You grew up here,  kid.  The border is 1600 miles away.  I’m closer to Canada than that.  How’s that make me safer?

Me: You got a point, Ed.  Maybe  Texas is  safer.

Eddy:  This is Youngstown!  We need work, not raids!

Me:  I understand, Ed.  What should they be doing? 

Eddy:  Instead of wasting time rounding up restaurant guys, how about rounding up some jobs?  Seems to me the government is doing everything else BUT  making jobs.  They fight about who’s talking to Russians, screaming about emails and wire taps, and my grandkids are still getting hungry.   They’re all fighting about who’s going to be on some cabinet and I don’t see anyone who’s like the “secretary of jobs”.  Charlie, I don’t understand all that tax crap, I don’t know all that tariff talk, I don’t know all the embargo crap – whatever that is.  But you name me one person – just one – who is standing up and saying “I’m making some jobs in the Mahoning Valley.”

Me:  So bottom line with you, the anti-immigration move is going way too far?

Eddy:  Damn right it is.  Listen, kid, I didn’t finish high school, but I ain’t stupid.  There’s only so much money.  If they spend big time on all this raid bull,  checking everyone who’s got the wrong color skin, what happens to all the stuff we need?  Tell me that?  What about insurance, social security increases,  the fact that I-80 and I-90 are full of potholes, and some of them bridges is falling apart?  But we got the cash to chase down illegal guys working in Mexican restaurants?  Bull crap.

Me:  And you don’t worry about people from Muslim countries coming in?

Eddy:  I don’t know how much you remember back in the 40’s and 50’s  We was fighting with Germany and Italy.  And then we fussed about Russia, Poland, Yugoslavia, Slovakia, and Hungary.   Now if they had this “detaining” bull crap back then,  you’d have most of Cleveland, Youngstown, Pittsburgh, and Detroit in some kind of camps.  That’s where we all came from, kid.  If I remember,   your Grandma spoke mostly Hungarian.  Nobody tried to round her up.  We all come from somewhere.

Me: Listen, calm down, Uncle Eddy.  We’ll talk some more in a couple of days. 


Uncle Eddy On New Administration

Me: So Uncle Eddy, I know you voted for Trump.  Are there any big changes in your life since then?

Eddy:  I’m disappointed, Charlie.   He promised jobs, jobs, jobs.  But nothing’s  happening.  He spends all  his time on that damned wall for Mexico and I could care less.  If we keep them Mexicans out that don’t mean the mills will rush back in.   We didn’t have no Mexicans here in the Valley anyways.

Me:  So what do you think of the choices for Cabinet so far, Eddy?

Eddy:  Most of them is rich guys – not good.  I mean, will a guy who’s never worked up a sweat help me out?   They got a labor guy who didn’t believe in unions or  over-time, but he didn’t make it. .  I do like that EPA guy from Oklahoma, because that damned EPA helped send the mills out of the country.  This guy seems to like smoke and fumes just fine, so he’s a good choice.  So maybe some mills might come back.  You know?

Me:  What about NAFTA?  Are you waiting to see what’s going to happen?  

Eddy:  NAFTA schmata!   I don’t even know what it stands for.  And I’ll tell you, ain’t no one else in any mill I ever worked at knows either.

Me: But back in October, you told me Trump would destroy it.

Eddy:  Yeh, yeh, yeh.   Because everybody at the rally was screaming about it and I didn’t want to look stupid.  Same with that Wall, you know?   It seemed like a good idea to keep them Mexicans out. But now I don’t care.

Me:  Did Mexicans have a lot of the mill jobs?

Eddy:  Nah – just white guys, black guys.  Never seen no Mexican guys.  They like to work outside, and the Union don’t  like it if somebody brings down visa problems on their heads. So what’s the big deal about keeping them out?

Me:  Well, what about keeping all the Muslims out?

Eddy:  C’mon, Charlie.  You seen any Muslims in Youngstown?  I never seen no Muslim guys around no mills when the mills was here.  I never seen no Muslim guys anywhere.  We’re wasting time.  Let’s get them jobs here.

Me:  Well he promised to get rid of Obamacare.  Are you still in favor of that?

Eddy:  When the mills was  here they took care of all that insurance stuff.   So I don’t know what the deal with Obamacare is.  All I know is if I was working, the mill would take care of it.

Me:  What about the Trans-Pacific Partnership?  When we withdrew from that it was supposed to give back some advantages over China.

Eddy:  Charlie, you’re making my head hurt!  All that stuff is just crap – – – we need jobs.   Hey, my friend, you been out of work and remember.  I don’t care about Hillary.  I don’t care about walls, or Muslims, or Korea, or Wall Street, or Iran, or China, or Russia,  or any of that other crap. I need work, my kids need work,  my neighbors need work, we’re starving here and everybody is screaming about walls.

Me:  Eddy, I’ve got to run.  I hope more mills do come back to the Valley, and hope you’re working.   We’ll talk again soon.