My dad and I were having dinner last night at one of those brew pub bar & grills, when TOM proceeded to smear large amounts of mayonnaise on his cheeseburger (pictured, left).
Me: EWWW!!! GROSS. That is so gross, Dad.
Dad: What?? It’s not like it’s cum, Tina. I didn’t bust a nut on my cheeseburger, for crying out loud.
Me: Thanks, the cheeseburger and I both appreciate that.
Dad: Speaking of cum…
Me: Oh God.
Dad: I heard on Howard Stern this morning that people are masturbating to My Little Pony stuff! They call themselves “Bronies.”
Me: I’ve vaguely heard of that.
Dad: It’s pitiful, right?
Photo via The Count.
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.
My dad turned 62 years old today. To celebrate, I took him out for a nice Italian dinner at Garozzo’s in Kansas City. His way of saying thanks? “If I’m ever diagnosed with a rare strand of syphilis that I picked up in Vietnam and they quarantine me to a desert island, all I want are three BB King CDs and a whole lot of spaghetti and meatballs.”
Needless to say, TOM was pretty happy.
Reason #147 why I don’t want to give up my (718) Brooklyn phone number: Getting a call from a very angry New Yorker who yelled for five minutes something to the effect of, “YOU THINK YOU CAN SHOVE YOUR TONGUE UP MY ASS AND THAT’S OKAY?! YOUR TONGUE IS SHOVED UP MY ASS SO FAR! YOU OWE ME AN APOLOGY! YOUR TONGUE IS UP MY ASS, AND I WON’T ACCEPT IT! YOU APOLOGIZE RIGHT NOW!” I mentally went through the things I did this weekend, trying to figure out if I offended anyone on the East Coast or licked any asses. She wouldn’t let me get a word in edgewise or stop yelling for long enough to even notice that I was trying to speak (“I think maybe you have the wrong number,” “Who is this?” “But… what did I do?” “Don’t speak to me that way, Lady!”) She eventually hung up. So I called her back — no stranger goes off on me and gets away with it. (I get this confrontational quality from TOM.) She quickly apologized and confessed that she thought she was calling her daughter.
Nice to know my dad and I aren’t the only ones who have messy conversations. Photo via Tribe.
I flew in from a New York business trip last night, and being Mother’s Day and all, my dad and I decided to grab a bite on the way back from the airport.
TOM wanted breakfast for dinner, so we went to the Corner Cafe. It’s the kind of cafe that doesn’t have an accented é, and the male and female restrooms are named after various fowl. This posed a problem for me, because the bathrooms were marked “Roosters” and “Hens.” I didn’t know which bird I was, so I went in the “Roosters” door. I instantly realized my mistake. Upon my return to our table, TOM quickly informed me that I am indeed a “Hen.” Oops.
Earlier today, TOM and I were having a discussion via FaceTime.
Dad: Your hair looks nice.
Me: Thank you. I hate my forehead wrinkles.
Dad: Well, you could hang a 3-pound weight from your upper lip.
Me: Why? My lip isn’t connected to my forehead.
Dad: Everyone knows that if you stretch your lip out, it will also stretch your forehead. You can start with a 3-pounder, and work up to 10 pounds.
Me: That won’t help.
Dad: Do you see any wrinkles on my forehead?
Dad: That’s because I walked around with a 10-pound dumbbell attached to my lip for years.
My dad called this morning while I was on my way to pick him up for an Easter egg hunt.* I often can’t help but get annoyed when he calls for asinine reasons, considering The Ol’ Man is twice my age and
generally sometimes occasionally smarter than me.
Dad: What’s the weather like outside?
Me: Why don’t you walk outside and see?
Dad: Because I don’t have any clothes on.
Me: Why not?
Dad: Because I just got out of the shower!
Me: Well, why didn’t you check beforehand?! Or look on your iPad? I don’t know! I’m wearing a dress! And boots! And I brought a sweater! Why do you…
This is when TOM hung up on me. I recognize that it would have been much easier to simply answer his question. But dealing with my pop is never easy, and discussing the weather makes me panic. In New York, I would often find myself stranded without an umbrella, freezing without a jacket or sweltering in jeans in 90-degree weather. I do not know how to answer the weather question. If I can hardly prepare myself for Mother Nature’s surprises, how can I prepare someone like TOM?
*It was a children’s Easter egg hung with a friend’s family. Not to be confused with an adult hunt consisting of a lingerie-optional dress code, fancy lattes, Jameson and candy-colored balls filled with cash.