Much to the ire of parents everywhere, it seems that every family has at least one uncle that creates a little chaos for the kids. I'm that member of my family. I'm the cool uncle. The fun uncle. The Funcle.

Exibit A: When I was asked to shoot my nieces senior pics a few years ago, we drove around aimlessly looking for neat places to take pics in Tulsa because my super organized sister forgot we'd need more than one place to take pics. As such, we came across a construction zone on a stretch of elevated highway somewhere near downtown. I had an idea, said "Stop the car, it's perfect!" and we proceeded to take pics on the highway with the one and only good looking building in Tulsa as a background. While the parents played cool in the moment, I later discovered this more than likely drove them insane after experiencing the road-picture anxiety of my brother in law. All in all, it turned out good.

Back on topic, I'm the guy that bets money that they won't do something crazy. Nothing life and limb crazy, but bruises and scrapes are right at the limit. It's character building. Funny thing is, a dollar won't buy as much bravery these days. As the kids get older, the standard fee is now a crisp hundred dollar bill, and my own entertainment just isn't worth that much unless I know in my heart, there's no way they'd go through with the dare. Now it's become a lot harder to encourage skill development in my two youngest nephews. Anytime you ask them to do something, they want to get paid.

Exibit B: This weekend, as I helped build a stone patio with my dad, my littlest nephew wanted to hang out with us. He was there to be a helper. We lost a PVC fitting for the drain we were installing and figured it was still in the bed of my truck. Since we were both knee-deep in rock and sand, we asked my nephew to go look. Not to fetch, not to gopher, just to look if we missed one. "I'll do it for five bucks." he says...

Exibit C: My middle nephew is always asking for money. He's 13 and just now starting to understand money, so he does chores. Now I don't know how truthful he was being when he said it, but I have no reason to not believe him. Apparently, his mom was paying him $250 to mow the lawn and weed the flower beds... I couldn't believe it, but then again, that sounds about right. Nobody in that family enjoys mowing grass even though it's the most satisfying thing a homeowner can do.

I'm not sure what the future will hold as they continue to get older. I don't know how I'm going to bribe them either. I'll have to come up with something better than money to motivate them. Doing it "for the story" just won't cut it until their friends start daring them in a few years.