This Thanksgiving, my dad and I went to Tupelo, MS, to visit my late Mom’s side of the family — my grandma, Uncle Steve, Aunt Becki, Cousin Cara and Cousin Gus. This meant 10 hours straight in the car. Together. Alone. One screaming match, one bout of tears, two threats to turn around and go home, one hug, two coffees, two cherry limeades, 16 cigarettes, and we still had approximately 312 miles to go. This is when I gained a newfound respect for my father.
I’m driving down the highway, my dad in the passenger seat, when some doofus honks at us. I immediately thought I did something wrong. I look over and the man smiles and waves. So we speed up. Do I know this man? Is he just f-cking with us? I’m thoroughly confused. He smiles again and flashes the peace sign. This pisses me off. Now he’s f-cking with me. I think about this for five minutes.
Me: I don’t like that guy.
Dad: What guy?
Me: The guy that honked. I don’t know why he was honking. Why did he flash the peace sign for no reason? That’s weird.
Dad: Tina, let it go.
Me: No! I don’t like him. I think you should moon him.
Me: I’m serious. I dare you.
Dad: OK, roll down the window. Don’t look.
I block my line of vision and do as I’m told. I speed by and honk as my dad definitely flashes his bare bottom. I know this because, well, my dad takes dares very seriously. Continue reading
I wrote a funnyish photo gallery for truTV.com called “12 Dumbest Things About Moving Back In With Your Parents.” You can read it here. It features real-life experiences about my dad. He even comments via Facebook on some of the slides. Sometimes I wish I’d never taught The Ol’ Man how to use Facebook. That is all.
For over 10 years, I have worried that my dad has some undetected form of cancer. He has a headache? It’s brain cancer. His feet hurt? Foot cancer. My dad has been smoking for 50 years, and I am all but convinced there are tumors growing throughout his blackened lungs as we speak. The thought of no longer having access to my dad’s hugs scares the macaroni & cheese out of me. He is 85% of the reason why I moved home. So I can get those hugs while I can. Not to mention the fact that I need quite a bit more time to be a good daughter* to the ol’ man.
This morning, my dad was being quieter than normal. I left my
daughter cave bedroom and inquired.
Me: What’s wrong? Why aren’t you talking to me?
Dad: I don’t feel well. Let me watch this TV show.
Me: But what’s wrong?
Dad: Tina… I fart every time I take a step and feel like I have to take a shit every three minutes. It’s been like this for the past two weeks, I’m sick of it.
Me: Oh. Why didn’t you bring it up to the doctor?
Dad: I don’t know. Let me watch this TV show.
I go back to my cave and frantically start inputting symptoms on Web MD. Colon cancer. There it is. I grab my laptop and run into the living room. Continue reading
My dad is not a quiet man. Nine minutes out of 10, he is making some sort of needless noise. Sometimes it is warranted — he has painful foot issues and bad knees, so when he gets up off the couch, he usually grunts loudly and mumbles, “Goddamn!” He is also a smoker, so when he coughs, he coughs a lot, some of which sounds a bit phlegmy. He also farts. It is OK that I share this with all five of you, because he tells me about his gastrointestinal issues with a big childish grin on his face. Sometimes I even hear him walking around outside my room and with every step he takes, a small fart will come out. This kind of grosses me out, but I know he can’t really help these things.
On the other hand, if his body isn’t emitting some sort of gas, creak or grunt, he is physically breaking into song or making a senseless noise of sorts. Smacking his lips, making unnatural fart noises, talking to himself, composing stupid songs. His favorite song to sing? “Suck, butt, f*ck, screw, cunnilingus.” Verbatim. I hate this song.
My dad suffers from neuropathy of the feet. He compares this to the tingling sensation that occurs when your foot falls asleep. I think that must suck. From what I understand, there is no cure for this condition, which according to my dad, could be caused by any number of things — diabetes (he hasn’t been diagnosed), Agent Orange (Vietnam stuff) or stress (my moving home). Needless to say, my dad has been on the hunt for a pair of shoes that are comfortable. Today, he bought a pair.
*knocks on bedroom door*
Me: COME IN!
My dad bursts into my room as per usual. He sits on the bed and makes himself comfortable.
Dad: You didn’t say anything about my new shoes!
Me: Yea. They’re Crocs.
Dad: I know! Do you like ’em?
Me: Not really. Dad, Crocs aren’t really very cool. They resemble rubber clown shoes.
Dad (with a genuine look of concern and shock on his face): WHAT?! WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME??
Me: I don’t know! You didn’t ask!
My dad’s Yahoo email account got hacked. I know this, because he sent me a link about a Canadian drugstore. I happen to know his password. Knowing that it could take him five hours to figure out how to change it, I went ahead and fixed it. Then I called him.
Me: Dad. Your email account got hacked.
Dad: What?! How do you know?
Me: Because you sent me a link to a Canadian drugstore.
Dad: What?! This is terrible!!! This happened before, I think. That… mailer…
Me: Yes, MAILER-DAEMON. You didn’t change your password?
Dad: Yes! Mailer demon! I didn’t know what happened. I feel so bad.
Me: It’s OK. Don’t worry, it happens to lots of people.
Dad: Even you?
Me: Well… no. I have Gmail. But I changed your password. It’s X.
Dad: So I need this password to get on the Internet? What about my Favorites? Where I pay my bills?
Me: Dad, this is just for your Yahoo email address. Everything else is the same.
Dad: Even my Favorites?!
Me: Yes, even your Favorites. But your inbox is filled with spam. You should really get a new email address.
Dad: How do I do that?!
Me: I’ll set you up with a Gmail account. It’s better. More secure.
Dad: Well, I want to come up with the name.
Me: You don’t want to just use your regular name?
Dad: Like… firstname.lastname@example.org?
Me: Um, no. Like your full name.
Dad: Isn’t that bad?! I don’t want my name out there!!
Me: It’s OK. It’ll be OK. I can switch over your contacts, too.
Dad: Like, my address book? Will you give them my new email address??
Me: Yea, sure.
Dad: But what about the hacker’s? I don’t want him to have my new email!!!
Me: It’s OK, dad. He won’t. But um, you should really take a basic computer class.
Dad: Like, on the Internet? Or where I get in my truck and drive?
Dad: This is the start of you wiping my ass, isn’t it?