I posted this photo on Facebook for Father’s Day, with a shout out to my endlessly patient Dad, who probably wanted to kill me in my sleep more than a few times. (That’s my sister with us – I’m not contemplating a team change.)
The photo prompted my friend Paul to ask, “How come you’re so tall?”
To which I replied, “We had a tall mailman.”
And it got me thinking: that would really explain a lot of things.
I mean, why am I a (big, fat) head taller than the rest of my family?
Why do I have musical talent when no one else in the Poole lineage can carry a tune with a wheelbarrow?
Why do I love Broadway when the last live show my family saw was Siegfried and Roy in 1992?
And why do I still get excited about mail?
I mean, think about it – that mailman could have been harboring all kinds of cultured interests and star-making talents, which he then passed down to me. (So the talents got watered down a little en route. Shut up.)
Then again, while it was the era of “key parties”, my parents would only have attended one for the social hour, so they could knock back a couple glasses of free hooch. And my mother was far too busy polishing the paneling to be standing around in a peignoir, waiting to invite the mailman in for a highball.
So maybe it wasn’t the mailman.
Maybe I was switched at birth.
Maybe I’m actually the scion of some rich, fabulous St. Louis mainline family. Maybe my birthright is to smell of old money and freshly oiled saddles. Maybe I’m supposed to break champagne bottles against cruise ships and wreck dozens of luxury cars and complain a lot.
“The jet is late again!”
“How can we be OUT of Dom?”
“My allowance is being cut to $100,000 a month? That’s less than welfare!”
Or maybe I’m just an average guy who scared up a little talent in spite of my genes. Maybe my family isn’t supposed to be rich, or fabulous. Maybe I just have one beautiful sister and a super kind, generous dad (and a beloved, holy handful of a late mom).
And when I think about it, I can live with that. ‘Cause I get to be treated like a star by them (the bar is pretty low) and we never have to fight over who gets to sit next to Donald Trump at Mar-A-Lago.
And that, for me, is a total win.