There used to be a super 8 movie of my Grandfather suffocating a baby in a basinette with a teddy bear. We would watch it at family gatherings like Thanksgiving and Christmas, and all fight over who the baby was. That's me! No it's me! No, me!
"Who was it, Don?" Nana would say, getting in on the action.
"It was little Billy Macready", GP would say without looking up from his book. Always it was a different name. "He wouldn't stop crying".
We all gasped and sat up and looked at each other. Little heads turning from one cousin to another, hiding smiles, feigning shock. We'd look to Nana who was sadly shaking her head as if to say, "It had to be done". Occasionally she would say, Oh I hate this one, this is horrible, Don! Turn it off! and she was such a good actress I couldn't tell if she was playing along or if she really meant it. Either way, we'd all yell, No, No, Leave it on. Leave it on. Tiny little voices, pleading and adamant.
There was another movie of GP pretending to drown in the pond down the road from their house. Wearing blue jeans and no shirt, he hurled himself into the water with a running start. Then something grabbed his leg and he got pulled under. He battled it. Punching and splashing. Splashing and flailing. Finally, weakened, he drifted under the water; his open hand like a final scream was the last thing to disappear.
Yaaaaaaaaaaay, we all clapped at the beauty of it, and also because GP was a grump sometimes, and he deserved it.