This month marks the three-year anniversary of my column at the Mirror, and it's safe to say that every part of my family has been covered in these pages over that time.
My wife's family, for the most part, has been left on the sideline, most notably, my father-in-law.
Welcome to the game, Butch Kuhn.
Don't get me wrong, though, because this is more a piece on how I have driven him crazy over the years. Despite my ways, he still allowed me to marry his daughter, still baby-sits my kids, lends me his lawnmower and yet has never once tried to get an unlisted phone number or move out of the state.
There have been plenty of cases where he could have turned me in or had me bumped off, but he always tried to look the other way. For instance, there was "The Cow" incident.
When I was dating my wife, I remember going to her farm to pick her up. Part of the fence that surrounded their ground was down and some of the cows had gotten out. He was trying to round them up and asked me to stand near the part of the fence that was broken. He said he would send them toward me and to just stand there and they would find their way over that part of the fence and back into the field.
So I was expecting these really slow cows to come at me, and I figured he was talking like maybe two or three at the most. And regardless of what my father-in-law will tell you after reading this, I felt like a stuntman in an episode of "Bonanza" because it was like a stampede coming after me. I was dressed. I had nice shoes on. I saw tons of raging roast beef coming at me, and I high-tailed it out of there.
But he kept me around.
On the day I asked my wife to marry me, Butch and I went to lunch because I wanted to ask his permission. He told me he approved and that he never would interfere unless, of course, I ever got rough with her then he would have to step in.
Because of how my mind works, I started to think "Are you kidding me?" Your daughter is a farm girl, a beautiful farm girl, but a farm girl. You wouldn't need to step in because your daughter could kick my ---. She could corral horses, round up cows, kill black snakes and castrate swine, and he's worried about me!
Now, imagine if I had said that to my future father-in-law out loud instead of just thinking it. My guess is that this column might be about a different father-in-law.
Good thing I had an angel looking out for me that day because it got Butch Kuhn into the Sunday Mirror.