Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Practical Jokes: Masculinity

My Dad retired from the Bendix Westinghouse right around the time I graduated from high school.  He took a part time job at a NAPA autoparts store driving their delivery truck around town.  Not all of their trucks had the NAPA hat on the roof of the car but a couple of them did.

My Dad liked the guys he worked with the but owner was younger than he was and Dad considered him a stick-in-the-mud.  It didn't help that the guy in question was a Born Again Christian in the pejorative sense: quick to judge and easy to offend.

As the delivery driver, Dad was often asked to run little errands on his route and one day his boss asked him to stop by the post office to get a roll of 400 stamps.  Which my Dad did, knowing full well that Mr. Holier Than Thou would get his homophobic knickers in a twist when he saw that my Dad had gotten a roll of 400 "Love" stamps.  Obviously that would not do for the ever so manly autoparts store.  Dad got a talking to and had to take the stamps back, which I'm pretty sure he'd factored into the joke trajectory.  You could tell by how he told the story that it was totally worth it..

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Childhood Story #7

“My Mom wouldn’t let anyone cut my hair so I had those long Fauntleroy curls.  Back then little boys wore dresses so when they sent me to kindergarten everyone thought I was a girl.  They wouldn’t let me use the boys’ room so I snuck out back and peed on the coal pile.”

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Childhood Story #6

“One day when [I forget which brother but both of them were older]and I were walking home from school, some tough kids from the neighborhood jumped him and beat him up.”

“What did you do?”
“What do you think I did?  I stood there and cried!”

Friday, April 19, 2013

Honeymoon Story #3 [per Sheryl’s request]

My Dad liked picking on my Mom.  Usually it was alright with her—sometimes, tho, he would go too far.  My Mom has always been quick to cry, so you think my Dad would have been a little more careful but I’m sorry to say that wasn’t always the case. Be that as it may, he could always make her laugh and the infamous story of their Honeymoon became one of the jokes that would make her swat him on the arm, half blushing, half giggling.  For all the stories I tell of my Dad, let it be known that my Mom’s comedic timing is just as epic, even when she was relegated to the role of straight man/butt of joke.  The story is as follows:

“Our room had a Murphy Bed—one of those beds that folds up into the wall.  Well, the clerk takes us up to our room, opens the door and the first thing my wife of 12 hours says is, ‘Where’s the bed?!?’ [sideways glance at my Mom] And that’s when I knew: I’d married a Sex Fiend.” [Mom blushes, begins to beat Dad with couch cushion.]

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Honeymoon Story #2

“Our room was like a bridge between two parts of the Inn.  We found out the hard way it was directly over a train track.”

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Honeymoon Story #1

My Mom and Dad were married in 1957.  The honeymoon they chose to take was a drive into New England.  They had a wonderful time once they got there but their first night was epic bordering on surreal.  Again, remember the context: this is my bedtime story and I am probably 7 or 8:

“After the reception we got in my car and started driving.  It was a dark night, rainy and cold, and we had booked a room at a little roadside inn.  By the time we got there it was after midnight.  We hadn’t really eaten at the reception but the restaurant was closed.  There was a bar downstairs and the desk clerk was the bartender.  Turns out he was the cook, too, and he made us hamburgers.  He only had one arm.”

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Religion: The Brush Off

My father belonged to a small percentage of the population that can claim to have out-maneuvered a Jehovah’s Witness.  As I mentioned, my Dad had a couple years of seminary training under his belt and he loved, loved, loved talking scripture.  A very nice lady named Wilma (whom my Dad considered a, “good lookin’ gal”) had been visiting my father regularly, dropping off Watchtowers and stating her case.  This is how my Dad described her last visit:  “I finally told her, ‘Wilma, I’m not going to change your mind and you’re not going to change mine.  But drop by whenever you’d like, you’re always welcome.’” 

And that was the end of Wilma.