21.7.06

Dad-isms

I feel: like I'm not the only fucked up person in my family, which is a good feeling

Ahem...Do ya'll rate the weirdness or non-weirdness of things that happen to you on a daily basis? For instance: sort of weird, weird, really weird, fuck-me-sideways...

You could have your own categories, I'm just giving these as an example.

I've said all that to say this: In the category of weird things my dad has done, this one tops the list. (Backing up to tell the story right) The day before yesterday, I took a shower, which is not a weird thing, but my tub drain was completely clogged. No draining of the water collected from my shower whatsoever. I told Dad and asked him to get me some drain cleaner the next time he went out somewhere. Cue: Dad cursing about the drain and how he can't afford a plumber. This went on for the rest of the night.

Next morning (yesterday): Dad wakes earlier than usual, gets dressed and then tells me that he's going to the store to get drain cleaner. While he was gone, I got a call from the staffing agency that I've been working with to try and find a job. The lady on the line was not only telling me that she had another translating opportunity for me, but it seems that there was some problem with the company not signing my time sheet. She was telling me, in an apologetic-businessy-sort-of-way that she didn't know when I would get paid for what I did last week, because she couldn't get in contact with anyone at that company to sign my time sheet.

While I'm still on the phone with the lady from the staffing agency, Dad comes back from the store. Assumably with the drain cleaner in tow. I hear him rustling around in my bathroom and then the next thing I hear is, "You might want to come in here for a minute." Without missing a breath, I yelled (even though he was just like one room away), "I AM ON THE PHONE!" Then I realized that what I had just done must have sounded so back woods redneck to the business-y lady from the staffing company and at the same time I realized just how fast I can revert to my teenage angst. An apology from me came forthwith to the lady on the phone. I was hoping she wouldn't hold that little throwback to my teenage years against me too much.

Anyway, I got off the phone with her a few seconds later and went into my bathroom. This is what I saw: My dad with his cane beside him, pouring a whole bottle of drain cleaner into my tub and then sitting on the side of my tub staring at the little pool of the cleaner which had gathered, of course because my drain was clogged, at the base of the drain. (Let me explain: the night before, my dad had me get in the tub, which was still full of water, with the plunger and work on it until all the water had drained out. So by the next morning, the tub had no water in it.) I stood in the doorway of my bathroom for at least 10 minutes watching him watching the puddle of drain cleaner in the tub. So, I asked him eventually, "Are you going to come out?" Without turning his head to look at me, as if the drain cleaner would magically disappear down the drain while he wasn't looking, he said, "I'm waiting to see if this drain cleaner will go down." I thought to myself, "Well, it's not like the draino needs your supervision or anything." What I said was: "It will go down eventually, dad." He said something like, "I suppose you're right," (like he wasn't sure that if he left that the cleaner would indeed go down the drain). He made a move to get up by grabbing hold of his cane, stood up and started to make his way out of my bathroom, but then at the last minute, had to turn around and take another look -see at the puddle of draino in the tub.

I thought to myself, "He called me in here just to watch him watch the draino. This has got to be the most ridiculous thing he's ever done." Then I thought to myself, "Why am I standing here watching him watching the draino?"

So on the weird-shit-o-meter of the things dad has done, this one rates about a 4.

The day he set off the house alarm by randomly pressing the buttons on the console and having me yank all the wiring for it out of the wall (Because he never bothered to read the manual to figure out how to turn it off, or for that matter, how to turn it on. I guess that was supposed to be my job.) still ranks number 1.

Number 2 is the night (several years ago)when the land-line phone rang and he ripped all of the phone jacks out the walls (because the phone rang). We haven't had a land-line phone since.

Number 3 is the time he fell and broke the big bone in his upper leg and was laying in a bed in the hospital emergency room doped up on painkillers and told me that his mother, my grandmother, had run off with the circus to become a hoochy-coochy dancer and that that was the reason he grew up with his grandparents. (When he told me this, I had flashbacks of being in high-school and wanting to go to the county fair, but never without a warning from dad: "Don't you be bringing home any of those carnies!" It sort of gives the warning a whole new meaning in light of that confession.) He's very chatty on painkillers.

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