RON HART: A generation of boring, humorless kids will miss Druncle Mac
It is with great sadness that I report that my Druncle Mac has passed. Having written about this piece of work over the years, I felt I needed to tell you. Take a moment.
Everyone grieves in his or her own way. It turns out that a lifetime of hard drinking, carousing and three packs of Marlboros a day aren’t good for you. Who knew?
He taught me many things, mostly that when there is a problem alcohol is not the answer. But that should be my first guess. Mac was an unfiltered truth-teller. There are only three things that will tell you the truth: small children, tight jeans and drunks.
Everyone but my family wants me to talk about him. But in truth, all families are just a generation or two away from an aunt who smoked on the toilet. So here are some of my favorite Mac observations over the years:
- "I have two favorite songs. One is Elvis' rendition of "Dixie," the other is not." Confronted about his "drinking problem," he said, "When you think about it, it's really the police's problem."
- My Druncle Mac said of all the “MeToo” cases suddenly in the news, "I'm lucky to be too poor to have any accusers come forward to say I got grab-ass with them years ago."
His point was that sexual harassment claims are a rich man's problem. He said he might sue his construction company for unwanted sexual advances. I asked him whom he was going to sue, and he said, "Anyone willing to settle."
- Druncle Mac did not have the best relationships with women. I once asked him how he and his then-wife were doing. He said, "Ronnie, not so great. We took out large insurance policies on each other; now it's just a waiting game."
But he was philosophical about women. “If you love someone, set them free, and if they don’t come back, call them a lot when you’re drunk.” He only drank Budweiser heavy. There were so many cans on the floor that he said served him as a home invasion alert. I suggested he drink Bud or Coors Light.
He said, “Son, that is not beer. Coors Light is the official beer of child custody hearings.”
- During COVID, he got into an argument with a convenience store manager because he would not stand 6 feet from other customers and on the “X” painted on the floor. He said he had seen too many Roadrunner episodes to fall for that.
- We were watching a Geico commercial on TV that promised to save 20 percent on car insurance. Mac said that was nothing; he saved 100 percent on car insurance by leaving the scene of every accident he'd ever been in.
- Trying to warn him about drinking, I sent him a poll that showed the U.S. states that drank the most, led by Wisconsin. He said it was likely true.
"Wisconsin drank so much last weekend, it woke up with Arkansas in its bed.” He would proudly say, “It only takes one drink to get me drunk. But I could never remember if it was the eleventh or twelfth drink.”
- He hated Uber. He felt it allowed a whole generation of kids to let their drunk driving skills atrophy, pointing to the fact that he only had one wreck in his life while drinking. He said he had to swerve to avoid hitting a pine tree. It turned out it was the air freshener hanging from his rear-view mirror, but his proud record stands. He never hurt anyone but himself.
- His politics were what you might imagine. When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appeared on TV with her socialist rants, he blamed New Yorkers for electing her and went on to ask “How big a drunk do you have to be to elect your bartender to Congress?’
Yet he was philosophical about his drinking. He said excessive drinking was like watching soccer or opera: It is its own punishment. To this day, he is the only person I have ever seen drinking beer from a bell pepper.
I jokingly asked him if he had gotten up to watch the royal wedding. He scoffed, "Son, I lost interest in the royals when they knighted Sir Mix-A-Lot."
He once got hurt riding a mechanical bull in a bar. He said “Riding a mechanical bull confirms two things: that you are drunk and that you are white.”
Good-bye Uncle Mac. A generation of boring and humorless kids will miss you!