14. “Everyone’s a Criminal”

Q: Years ago I read a poem in a National Lampoon magazine about a kid who went to see his grandfather in intensive care. It was probably the most hilarious thing I’ve ever seen. Any idea of the poem I’m referring to?

A: It’s in the April ’87 issue. It’s a four-page poem titled “Everyone’s a Criminal” by Peter Kleinman and illustrated by the well-known cartoonist Gahan Wilson. The poem is about a boy and his father who decide to pay a visit to his uncle Mel who is dying in a hospital. At the end the boy pulls the plug. (It’s his uncle instead of his grandfather, but no doubt it’s the one you remember.)