I’m Related to Ringo

I never say it like that, though. I always say, “I’m related to one of the Beatles.” I hope, they’ll assume it’s John or Paul and let it go at that. They never do. “Oh, really? Which one?” I don’t walk around dropping names. I’m not one of those people. But if famous relatives pop up in conversation, like if someone asks me if I want fries with my Big Mac, I’ll share the information.

It’s a distant relation. A cousin, once or twice or thrice or frice removed — whatever that means — and I think on one of the branches that lead to mine, a farm animal might have been introduced.

I don’t know Ringo, and he doesn’t know me. I think we’d like to keep it that way. Our noses were modeled after a Jewish Indian from an old John Wayne movie, and I don’t think two of them have ever occupied the same room, at the same time, without catastrophe.

In school, many times, I was called a liar because of Ringo. Sometimes, I’d have to go so far as to bring someone, I completely despised, to my house to have my mom confirm my story. I assured the naysaying idiots that they would get the facts from her; she had no dog in the fight; she wasn’t related, except by marriage. Besides, moms always tell the truth. On the walk to my house, I would preface her honesty with the story of her making me return a bag of balloons to the store I’d stolen them from. “She’s honest as the day is long,” I’d say.

One asshole had the nerve to call her and me both liars. Right, to our faces. I was used to being called a liar, but hearing the word used on my mom brought on an immediate, uncontrollable rage. My mom had to pull me off him before I let him beat me to death.

At least I’m not related to a Rolling Stone. Lemmy said those guys were pussies. He said the Beatles, not the Stones, grew up in the rough parts of town and Ringo grew up in the English equivalent of the Bronx.

I’d rather be related to Ginger Baker. Even with his veins pumped full of skag he could drum the socks off anyone from the sixties.

I just thought you all should know.