|The man, the myth, the legend.|
1) His old school approach to technology. We've already covered this but just one more anecdote.. When we got him a laptop for his birthday a few years ago in order to encourage him to start testing the waters with technology, we figured we'd make it a win-win for everyone and get wireless for the house. So we wrapped up a wireless router with the laptop. When he opened the router, he asked what the hell it was and I explained that now we would be able to pick up internet anywhere in the house from multiple computers. He looked around at everyone, then turned back to me (his tech guru) and said, "You know, we should invest in this. People are going to want to buy this." Just a few years behind the curve, Dad, but I like where your head's at. Let me tell you about a little stock called Google...
Also, he doesn't know how to text. Once his friend texted him lamenting about a Hawkeye loss and he asked me to text back "Ugh." I said, "Dad are you sure you don't want to say anything else.. take advantage of having a texting surrogate here?" "No, just 'ugh,'" he said. His friend's response: "YOU CAN TEXT??" Shocking, I know.
About a month ago, he was coming to New York to visit me. I was at work and didn't want to call so I thought I would see if he'd learned to text in the year since I'd moved. I don't know, maybe I hoped the empty nester syndrome would encourage him to take up a hobby. I simply texted "Do you know how to text yet?" The response? Missed call: Dad. Missed call: Dad. Missed call: Dad.
2) He can't just answer the phone with a simple "Hello?" Yes, thanks to a little thing called Caller ID (I'm sure you can imagine his shock when that one rolled out) whenever my dad sees his brother, his bestie Charlie, or me calling, he answers the phone with something like "Yeah, Sal's Pizza. What can I do for ya?" with a ridiculous accent. If he's caught off guard and hasn't come up with anything he just answers with "We don't want any." Never just "hello." If I call the house phone and I'm talking to my mom, sometimes he thinks of something he wants to tell me and just picks up another phone in the house and starts talking. Like this memorable conversation:
Dad: Hello? Hello?
Dad: Hey, did you know Tracy Morgan had a kidney transplant?
Dad: I think it was like a year ago.
Me: I don't think I knew that.
Dad: Ok, well I'll put your mother back on the phone.
3) When my brother wears his hood up, my dad tells him he looks like Eminem.
4) Sometimes he is totally Mr. Weir from Freaks & Geeks. Last summer, all my friends came to Iowa City for a Hall & Oates concert and a few of the guys were stretched out on the couches in the ninth inning stretch of a group hangover. My dad came home from work and without missing a beat, said "What've these guys been doing? Smokin' pot all day?" Sooooooo Mr. Weir.
5) He has no filter. I flew home for Memorial Day weekend as a surprise for my dad's birthday. My mom picked me up at the airport and the plan was for my sister to take my dad to breakfast as a birthday treat, and my mom and I would surprise him there. My sister called while we were on the way back from the airport and said he knew something was up. Apparently he thought it was strange that she just wanted the 2 of them to go to breakfast so he asked if she needed to talk to him about something she couldn't talk to my mom about. She said yes and then when he went to shower and change, she called us for a suggestion as to what she should "talk to him about." I told my sister she should tell him she was a lesbian but she responded, "I can't. He already asked me. In front of all my friends. Over dinner." In his defense, he only asked so that he could tell her that he and my mom were totally fine with it if she was.
On this same topic, his concept of where to draw the line can probably be found alongside his discarded filter. Apparently in the car one time, my dad was teasing my mom, and my mom said something along the lines of "You know, I'm going to smack you in the head if you say that again." My dad's response? "Well, I'm going to rip out your small intestine, wrap it around your neck, and choke you with it." Umm... yeah.. "too far" was when her digestive tract got involved.
Sometimes this lack of filter gets him into trouble. My parents were having friends over for dinner and my dad asked my mom to pick up some wine and nice beer. After some of the people had arrived, my dad went to the fridge to get one of them a beer. Upon opening the fridge, he turns to my mom and says, "You know, no matter what I ask, why do you always have to buy such shit beer?" Umm.. the beer my mom bought was outside in a cooler. The beer in the fridge was what one of the couples - who was standing there witnessing this - had brought over. Oops.
He also taught his children to abandon our filters at a young age. My dad was always interested in the performance arts and thought I had natural theatrical talent. When As Good As It Gets was released in 1997, he got me to memorize the scene where Jack Nicholson tells Greg Kinnear "Don't knock.. not on this door" and perform it at family dinners over the Christmas holidays. I was 9 years old and definitely had no idea what a fudge packer was but I totally nailed it.
6) This text from my sister: "You know dad has been drinking when he says that he could hang with John Tesh and that they could bounce shit off each other."
7) He loves this commercial and says it makes him want to cry:
Well, these are just a few of the reasons my dad has succeeded at being awesome, but the most important is that despite the fact that I rip on him and his receding hairline all the time, he loves and supports me unconditionally, and if I allowed him to know I was writing a blog, I'm sure he would be my third - and most loyal - follower. Love you, Dad!