After my 62-going-on-15-year-old father blew a hole in his front yard with a miniature stick of dynamite, we went to watch the annual fireworks display in my hometown of Independence, Missouri. As per usual, TOM regaled me with tales of his past:
Dad: Did I ever tell you about the Fourth of July right after your mom passed? I was here watching fireworks alone.
Me: No, you weren’t. I was with you. That was our thing. We always watched these together.
Dad: Nope, not that year. You were off with your friends like you always were back then. I watched them by myself.
Me: Fine, whatever. Go ahead…
Dad: Well, it was two months after she passed away, just before your senior year. I was right here watching these same fireworks. I’d taken two Valium and smoked half a joint. I woke up at two in the morning right about here where we’re sitting, and everybody had left. They all just left me alone sleepin’!
Dad: Then there was that other time out in the middle of Kansas… I was with your mama. We’d taken some LSD, and we were sitting on the hood of my car watching the fireworks. This little piece of paper that had caught fire was floating down toward us. I watched it flutter back and forth until it landed right on the hood of my car beside me. I just stared at it for a few seconds before realizing what in the hell was going on.
Dad: Yeah. Just promise me, Baby Girl, that you will never experiment with drugs. Don’t get into that shit. It will tear your life up.
Me: I won’t, Dad. That single hit of acid I took in college scared me straight.
When it comes to my father, I will believe anything he says. Anything. Remember those boxes of mini chocolate chip cookies from McDonald’s? I loved them with all my heart and soul. When I was 5, TOM told me a kid up the street ate so many of those cookies that he turned into one. A cookie. I imagined a walking cookie with eyes and arms. This terrified me. For the next six months, I would not touch a cookie of any kind. Especially the McDonald’s ones.
Today at lunch, my dad and I somehow got on the subject of hunting. He said he could never shoot a deer. He then said he wrestled a bear once.
Me: You’re lying.
Dad: I am not.
Me: I just saw you smile!
Dad: Yea… because it was one of the proudest moments of my life!
Dad: Yes! An 8-foot-tall grizzly bear. I won. It was a big ol’ bloodfest.
Me: OK, now you’re lying.
Dad: I also had sex with a bear once.
Dad: Yea, that mama bear sure did hate it.
Me: DAD! Can you please not go there, just once? I’m trying to eat.
Dad: OK. I’m sorry.
Sigh. Thirty minutes later… Continue reading
My dad is currently taking online classes so he can get his carry and conceal gun permit. Not going to lie… this makes me a little nervous.
I was chatting with my dad the other day, and as it often does, the conversation quickly turned south. As in the Ol’ Dirty South.
Dad: So, did I tell you I really like my new iPad?
Me: Yes. I’m glad you like it.
Dad: Oh! I didn’t tell you. I was looking at YouTube the other day. And I found animal sex!
Me: Why were you looking up animal sex?!
Dad: I wasn’t looking it up! You know how when you watch a video, it suggests more similar videos for you to watch? Well, I kept clicking and watching a bunch of stuff until eventually I found these dirty videos!
Me: Gross. Continue reading
Sometimes I trudge out of my small childhood bedroom and into the man cave that is my father’s living room. He is often in the same spot on the couch watching the History Channel or Animal Planet or generally something weird that is not Gossip Girl. I plop down on the opposite side of his giant leather couch.
Me: Can we find a movie we both like?
Dad: This here is a movie.
Me: Yea, I don’t like westerns.
Dad: This isn’t a western. That’s Johnny Depp.
Me: It looks like a western.
Dad: They’re in Mexico buying dope. The movie’s called Blow.
Me: Oh. I like this movie.
My father then proceeds to educate me about Mexican drug lord Pablo Escobar and how he, too, dabbled in drug dealing back in the day. Apparently, my dad once counted $300,000 after selling several pounds of marijuana.
Dad: Do you think pot should be legal?
Me: Sure. I think it’s safer than alcohol.
Dad: Do you think it should be OK for people to smoke for recreational or medicinal purposes? I think it would help the pain in my feet.
Me: I don’t know. I think it would help the pain in my ass. Can we watch the movie now?