Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Funk in the 80s means something different

As we have previously discussed, my Daddy is a very generous person.  He would give you his last nickel.  And by you, I mean just that.  You, me, anybody.  Familial connection is not a pre-requisite for this generosity.  Of course, unlimited generosity has its downside.  Recently, he told me that the button had come of a pair of his jeans.  Or whatever you call that metal fastener thing.  It doesn't have an interesting name like aglet (the tip of a shoelace).
                He told me, by way of instructions for disposal, to donate them to “them poor people at the Goodwill.”  My response, “Haven’t they suffered enough?” was met with shock, which I still don’t understand.  Did he really think that anyone would want to own a pair of jeans that have been assaulted with malice aforethought and essentially rendered inoperable? 
                Now, I could tell you that I was simply thinking that Rustler jeans are not a quality garment when they are new, I swear you get a pair free with a Big & Tall underwear purchase at Wal-Mart, but what I was truly thinking was if those pants could talk they would either weep, throw up or beg to be sent to wherever socks hide when they escape from your dryer and disappear.  Someone told me they go to be with Jesus and as I don’t really know that it’s not true, we’ll just let it lay there like other statements that make us unsure whether to laugh or pray for the speaker or in this case, the writer.
                I know I have discussed the fragrance of my father more than is necessary, or so I’ve been told by my boss, but I just don’t understand why there has been little success in that particular department.  I have curbed his natural tendency to judge others aloud and have forced him kicking and screaming into a 60 pound weight loss without any exercise, but I simply cannot make headway in the olfactory department.  And although his new recliner is leather, which does not retain smells like his previous velour one did, I find that I am forced to walk throughout my house every other day, with a Febreze bottle continuously spraying over my shoulder like a dragon fruit scented mosquito truck, ever-vigilant in the fight for a house that “smells pretty”.
                But, it’s the price you pay, I suppose, for housing the elderly, as I have discovered discussing my Dad with others, like ½ of the set of twins who were my best friends 7-10th grades in Texas (Hi, Juliann!).  We were madly in 'like' (also known as 'going together') for somewhere in the neighborhood of 3-4 weeks in 8th grade but as young love does it went out of style right around the time Panama Jack t-shirts came to prominence.  For those who don’t know or remember, Panama Jack was an overpriced t-shirt that was never owned by yours truly, he said with only a trace of bitterness.  We met for dinner on my recent trip to Dallas and in the midst of our laughter, gossip and story-telling, we somehow found ourselves in the territory of older men’s hygiene habits in the absence of their wives.  Old men are simply old men and they have an odd fragrance if you will.  I always assumed my father's particular odor was a combination of bologna, grease and onions with a dash of ornery and a smidgen of righteous indignation at my insistence that he "smells...odd". 
                I assumed that his particular hygiene practices were learned on the turn row, modified in the wilds of Vietnam and subdued throughout my childhood by the sheer force of my mother's will.  That explains why she always seemed wore out at the end of the day.  That has to be it, right?  It couldn't have been her children.  I don't speak for my siblings, but I can assure you, based on my recollections, I was quite simply a joy throughout my youth and remain so to this day.  What?  My Daddy says it's not bragging if it's a fact.
                I did, however, assume that people who are a tinch fancier would have habits that are more in line with what you would imagine.  And as her father is in a much higher tax bracket, I naively felt he wouldn't be gross, to use 80s parlance.  She informed me, over two different kinds of queso, that old men are old men.  As an aside, I love Tex-Mex so much I did inquire about the opportunity to marry it.  When I asked the waiter if he knew to whom I could talk, I was told we "ain't quite there yet, son.  No get on out of here before I commence to shootin'" Aah, the humor of the Texans.
             Apparently it is not directly linked to income, education level or any other arbitrary categories and that is a sad statement indeed.  I thought the great equalizer was Wal-Mart' apparently, for old men, it's butt and feet.  I wonder what age you start to smell?  Is it just old men or is it all men?  I asked my sister, after the two-queso maxi-meal, and her response was “All men, besides you, are gross.”  Well said, sister of mine.  Well said indeed.


  1. It IS true my friend... but I have to tell you - I have an elderly gentleman friend and he does not smell. I've never met an older man who didn't - he doesn't. He did, but now he's in an assisted living facility and it, somehow, does not smell of disinfectant and he smells like a normal person. I think it's the fact that his particular facility does all his laundry, his dishes, takes out his trash and prepares all his meals. Dear, the price is high for good smells. I say let the Febreze mosquito fog truck roll on. And congratulations to your dad for his weight loss and for managing to hold on to what is left of his sanity. Sounds to me like he's adjusting pretty well to the left coast for a good ole boy from Texas. ;)