I inherited my sarcastic and smart-ass humor from my Father. It is only fitting that I reminisce today and share a few memories about the man and his humor.
Dad had two daughters. I don’t think he understood girls at all, and being surrounded and outnumbered by them would have tortured any ordinary guy. Not my Dad. He tortured us instead.
Dad would tell my sister and I tall tales, so embellished by detail, they sounded reasonable. It did not help that we were naive and gullible – us, I mean -Lord knows it helped Dad. We learned to check mom’s expression for some sign that he was messing with us again. If mom wasn’t around we took everything he said as the truth – why would he lie to us?
One of the favorite things we did with Dad was go with him to the dump. The dump was way out of town and it was the road going there that we loved. It had these dips that were paved over instead of filling in and leveling them like they do in a neighborhood. Dad would speed over them and our stomachs flew up in the air, along with our butts.
When we were at the dump, Dad made us stay in the truck. He told us that people were not allowed to pick through the stuff dumped there. One day I saw a Father and two kids walking through the debris, looking for something.
“Dad! Those people are breaking the law!” I told him. Not to be found out, he told us that black people were allowed to look for stuff, but not white people.
I thought that was peculiar, but at age 8 there were many ways of the world that confused me. I didn’t think any more about it.
Eleven years later .. I was in college and I started to ask my black friend and dorm-mate , “How come… -” OMG. It was then I realized my Dad had lied – to keep us from getting out of the truck and getting filthy. For eleven years that had stuck in my memory. I wondered what other things I believed that were total bull. Ar there more of these stories lying dormant, just waiting for me to make a fool out of myself ?
I think I was 13 when Dad told us about the State cutting a hole in the Bay Bridge. Oh yes! Tall ships and barges were always having to go the long way around and this was costing everyone too much money. So, it was decided that they would cut part of the middle out, allowing the tall boats to cross freely.
Sis and I were a captive audience for this tale – in the backseat, as Dad drove home from a trip to the ocean. He explained that because of the hole in the bridge, cars had to get a running start and jump over the hole to the other side. Did we believe this crap? Yes we did. Did we hold our breath and lift our feet off the floor as Dad advised us to do? You betcha we did.
I did manage to figure this one out before we reached home at least.
When Dad would tire of making stuff up, he would simply embarrass us. This was not hard to do, especially when we were teens. I will never forget the day I came along with him to get something at the grocery store. Right in aisle 4, within earshot of the cash registers, Dad rips off a very loud fart. Oh, it gets worse…
Two seconds later he turns to me and exclaims, also very loudly, “Jodi!”. He actually had the gall to pretend that he was horribly shocked and offended. Of course heads turned to see the culprit and he was off the hook. I was the one shocked and disgusted – with him. How could my own Father do that to me? I still turn red when I think about it, thirty-eight years later.
When he became a Grandpa, Dad happily looked forward to having a new victim. My daughter, much to our surprise, was on to him immediately. I was so proud of how smart (and not gullible!) she was. She certainly didn’t inherit that from her mother 😉
Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I miss you so much!