The Ol’ Man’s one-liners from family Thanksgiving as transcribed by my cousin Cara Depew. She calls him Uncle Dingus. It is fitting.
“Is that a natural body odor coming off one of you two, or is that one of the animals? Damn that smells good. Is that Grandma?” -Dingus
“God, I was looking at YouTube last night. I wanted to see videos of chimps attacking people, but there was all these videos of chimps mating. And there was this one of a chimp trying to get with a sheep. The sheep wasn’t having it, so the chimp went around front and started humpin’ his face! You know, I got into a regular fuckfest! I know you’re going to go look it now. They was doing the wild thing.” -Dingus
“If I saw you mating with a chimp, I’d leave…to go get my camera. Then you’d be on YouTube. This is Tina with BONZOOO. Hahaha. No, I’d leave, Tina. So you can do want you want to do. Do you thing.” -Dingus
Also check out our Shit My Family Says Facebook page, curated by us. Because my family is kinda awesome-slash-nuts.
Ten-hour toad trip with TOM to spend Thanksgiving with family in Tupelo, MS. We spot a lady hitchhiking.
Me: Should we help her?
Dad: No, she’ll probably fall in love with me, and I don’t wanna deal with that.
“Uncle Dingus.” Photo by my cousin Cara Depew.
So my dad and I flew into Memphis, picked up my cousin Cara in Tupelo, MS, and headed on down Highway 61, aka the Blues Highway. We made plans to stay at the Ground Zero Blues Club — an old, rundown juke joint co-owned by Morgan Freeman, and little less than a mile from the exact spot where famed blues musician Robert Johnson supposedly sold his soul to the devil in exchange for a gift of guitar. Prior to flying out of Kansas City, a small convo between TOM and I:
Dad: Tina, if I don’t come home one night, do you want me to call you?
Me: I mean, I guess. Just so I don’t worry.
Dad: OK, because that very well may happen. I brought two Viagra.
Dad: I’m serious. I’m 62 years old.
Me: OK. I don’t care. I just don’t want to hear about it.
Dad: You don’t want to hear about your ol’ man and his Viagra prescription?
TOM felt so proud of his little blue pills that he felt the need to declare it in capital letters on the plastic tablecloth of the Blues Club (above).
I’ve been trying to get TOM to quit smoking ever since I discovered my 6th grade health textbook. Sandwiched in between photos of a uterus and a pair of men’s balls was a horrid image of ash-covered, blackened lungs. My dad’s lungs. Losing my mother to cancer only exacerbated the fear that my pop would someday die a too-early death thanks to stogies. Five years ago, I offered to move home from NYC if he quit smoking. I bought him The Easy Way To Stop Smoking by Allen Carr. I said I would pay for patches, meds, gum, candy, robotic cigs, whatever it takes. Needless to say, I moved home a year ago only to wave smoke out of my face.*
A conversation we had last week:
Me: Do you still have that Easy Way To Stop Smoking book I bought you a couple years ago?
Dad (deep sigh): Yes, Tina.
Me: Maybe you can try reading it? It says you can still smoke while you read it…
Dad: OK, Tina. Can we talk about something else?
A conversation we had today:
Dad: I’ve been reading that Easy Way To Stop Smoking book whenever I’m on the shitter.
Me (trying to contain my excitement): Really?! That’s so great!
Dad: I’m still smoking.
Me: I know.
Dad: It’s really interesting. I only read it when I’m going to the bathroom, and I go to the bathroom at least 12 times a day. I’m on page 80.
Me: Wow! It means a lot that you’re reading it.
Dad: Yeah, it’s good. Sometimes I go to the bathroom when I don’t even have to take a shit. I just pull down my pants and sit on the crapper so I can read that book.
* I get that cigarettes are addictive and probably harder to quit than booze, chocolate and prostitutes combined. Harping on my dad doesn’t help. He needs to quit in his own time, when he’s ready. I know this. But nonetheless, losing TOM to lung cancer is a very real fear that keeps me up at night. Don’t worry — I’m going to therapy.
An email I just received from my dad: