Monday, November 5, 2012

If we pawned America, how much would we get?

I was out to dinner with a friend (hey Terri!) Friday night.  As per usual, I texted my Daddy and reminded him of my plans as he gets irritated if he doesn’t know where I am.  As per usual, he ignored my text.  Had he bothered to open his flip phone, he would have known it was not the morning when he awoke at 6.  Since I wasn’t there to inform him of his error, he thought Friday evening was Saturday morning and proceeded to make coffee and eat his oatmeal.  He also took his morning meds, one of which is a diuretic. 

When I got home about 9:00 pm he was confused as to where I had been and why I was carrying a box of leftovers.  However, he was not confused about his desire to eat the contents of my doggie bag and he happily munched on half a turkey burger with black bean and corn salsa, while I asked to what I owed the pleasure of piping hot coffee an hour before bedtime. 

He said, “It’s almost nine in the morning, boy, what chu talkin’ bout bedtime?”  When I pointed out that it wouldn’t be pitch black outside at nine in the morning, even if there was a storm a-brewin’, he looked at me as if I had stolen the last bite of the burger.  It never occurred to him why I would have a turkey burger for breakfast.  “Food’s food,” was his reply accompanied by the burp one would expect from one as couth as he.

Once he realized that it was, in fact, not Saturday morning he spent the next hour berating himself and wondering aloud how someone could be so stupid.  I told him that it happens to everyone, although usually when one is doped up on cold medicine or hung over from too much partying.  Since he is fairly well doped at night as I save all his “may cause dizziness” medications (and there are several) for right before bedtime, it would have been understandable.  And due to his current physical condition, partying like a rock star would include things like heading to The Wal-Mart without his scooter or walking outside to check the mail more than once a day.

I thought it was funny that he had made an error but I very quickly swallowed that giggle when he threw a look my way that I haven’t seen since my Southern Baptist mother found out I voted pro-choice back in college.  When I reminded him that the time was going to change again on Saturday night, he asked me, “You like messin’ with me?”  When I assured him it was not a ruse to confuse him, he told me, “If you don’t mind, I’ll ask somebody who didn’t eat hippie hamburger what time it is tomorrow.”

He awoke Sunday morning at a bright and early 4:00 AM.  Even though I had changed all the clocks in the house, he was using his watch which he had refused to allow me to change.  His clippity-clopping on his way to the kitchen to make the coffee was bad enough but he decided to fry, yes fry, a steak for breakfast and the ensuing noise was enough to wake the dead, myself included. 

We have discussed before how I cannot keep up with his swirling vortex of filth and funk.  In order to keep some semblance of cleanliness in my home without losing my sanity, I hired a service to come in every other weekend to clean.  And while they are the nicest people, I feel odd sitting there whilst they are there so I decided that we would venture to the outlet mall as they were having a clearance sale at my favorite shop (Robert Talbott) and Daddy was lured by the promise of lunch at Hometown Buffet.

When I got into his truck, which we were forced to take because he refuses to get into my car which he says is too fancy.  It’s a Hyundai Sonata.  And while I think it looks much more expensive than it is, it is still a Hyundai Sonata.  When I asked him to define fancy, he said, “It’s too nice to fart in.”  I would like to think that I am too nice to fart near, but when I posited that question, I was met with a resounding “No”.  Well I’m assuming it was a no; there wasn’t actually a word offered.

So, we pile into the grapes of wrath truck and head toward Gilroy, Garlic Capital of the World.   When I got in I noticed there was a grape tomato on the floorboard of the driver’s side.  As my Daddy had driven himself to his doctor’s appointments on Wednesday, he had stopped by the farmer’s market on campus.  Apparently he had purchased tommy-toes, as he pronounces them, and left one behind.  I laughed and put it in the drink holder of the console, intending to throw it in the trash once we reached our destination.

When we arrived and got out of the truck, I noticed him chewing something.  When I asked what it was he said, “My tommy-toe.  Why?”  Being used to things like that at this point, I just said “alright” and continued on my quest for discounted designer ties.  Inside the store, I searched for fabulous things while he wandered around, loudly excoriating any company that would charge so much for “somethin’ that’s not even clothes”, laying down on their couch, using their Employees Only restroom and making an un-PC reference to people of Hispanic origin having used my trouser seat as a domicile when explaining to the salespeople why I chose to not purchase the chinos I had tried on.  I think the deep discounts they offered were to hasten our exit especially when I told them I thought the loud older gentleman might be homeless and I couldn’t figure out why he was following me around.

After an interesting lunch at the buffet, which he informed me was less-than-enjoyable due to the large number of people also there, including thousands of children.  Okay, maybe not thousands, but when you get a dining room with a maximum capacity of 150 and a full 100 of those are children hopped up on orange ice cream and cotton candy, it can seem like you are trapped on Bourbon Street at midnight on New Year’s.  Not that I would know anything about that. 

I concurred with his discomfort and understood when he was only able to polish off 3 plates (including one of just ham that he pronounced "I've had better") before he was forced, FORCED, to flee to the confines of his truck.  Well, flee in the sense that he walked as fast as he could on feet that work correctly only about every third step.

When we were driving home he asked who I was voting for on Tuesday.  As I voted by mail two weeks ago, I told him that I wasn’t sure, just to avoid that discussion, but wondered who he would vote for, were he registered to vote in California, which he is not.  When he told me that he would pick either Charles Bronson (who is dead) or Rick from “Pawn Stars”, I felt somewhat happy he isn’t going to cast his vote.  Although, a lot of pro-Romney people say we need a businessman in charge and if making a living running a pawn shop isn’t a sign of a business-minded person, I don’t know what is.  So, if you don’t like Obama but aren’t really jazzed about Romney either, you could just choose ‘Pawn Stars’ for President!

Would it really be any worse?  And that is all I’m saying.


  1. that last paragraph had us both in stitches- as we're watching pawn stars RIGHT NOW! a pleasure as always, my brother! love it!

    1. i read the whole thing again before bed when it was nice and quiet in our house... i had to go outside so i could release my laughter. Dustin, i love you. you are one of the most talented satirists of our age - can't wait till you publish again!!! i am so excited to read your next book!!! when will it be - don't keep us waiting!