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A little advice from Uncle Jeff

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POSTED September 22, 2010 2:22 a.m.

“I’m enjoying my baby girl.”

“Wait, what?”

My brother had left a message during school that labor was underway, so when I called back I was a bit surprised that Rachel had answered, especially with the downright shocking news.

Baby girl?

I’d spent the last two months suggesting boy names to my brother and sister-in-law: Sven, Magnus, Thor. Now all of a sudden the little critter changed sexes? Mag ... na?

“’re enjoying the epidural.”

Close one.

Not that I would have loved the 8-pound, 3-ounce future salmon slayer that joined earth a few hours later any less, or that I wouldn’t have expected photos of her in the camouflage overalls and shoes I sent, but I just wasn’t prepared for a last-minute gender audible.

My brother held up the phone to the crying infant, and I told young Benjamin his ordeal was probably a little confusing, but that as his uncle I would be committed to helping him adjust.

Suffering the weight of sudden responsibility, my brain was flooded with copious bits of information I had to give the little guy, but since he was just 30 minutes old and crying I decided to write it down rather than try and talk over him.

So here they are buddy, read them when you can, and re-read them when it makes sense.

The world is confusing Ben — Sven for short.

I don’t know why dudes wear girl pants and chicks love vampires, but it’s best to be nice to them anyway.

I also have no clue as to the reason behind graffiti on toilet seats, or why a gang would claim the area in which everyone else defecates.

Don’t put your face on the stove, dude. It’s hot.

Expect consequences when you do stupid things, and take responsibility.

If you put an electrical clamp on your nipple and get shocked it’s your fault, so don’t sue the teacher like that kid in New Hampshire.

If you run out onto a major league baseball field, expect to get tackled or lit up by an impatient police officer with a taser.

It’s better to be called a chicken than wind up in jail or dead. Know that if you hang with idiots, you will become an idiot.

If by third grade math starts getting tough it’s OK — that’s about par for the course for us Lunds.

So stay calm, because breaking your hand in frustration by punching a couch makes for a lousy story and a lot of itching when you run cross country wearing a cast.

I’ll get you a bb-gun one day, but not until you can at least walk and say, “ling cod”.

I know your parents will go over this with you, but stay away from farmed salmon and there is no replacement for real crab. The main ingredient in imitation crab is pollock, a fish that was thought to be unfit for human consumption until the 1970s.

It’s perfectly healthy, and you can eat it, but if you are patient, and never poop around Uncle Jeff, I will take you out to get some real crab.  

Be sure to work the hesitation when using spinners for salmon, I’ll show you when you’re older. It’s pretty easy.

Sven, if your dad tells you not to set the hook if it’s not a real bite because it could take an eye out, that’s a good one to pay attention to. He is talking about the time I jerked a lure out of the river and nearly into his left eyeball.
Crazy beards are awesome, grow one as soon as you can, especially since your dad can’t.

Listen to your mother, but when it comes time to choose your favorite football team father knows best.

And perhaps most important young Sven, there is no app that will make you a man. That’s up to you; it matters less what you do and more what you become.

To contact Jeff Lund, e-mail

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