Monday, August 16, 2010

What Doesn't Kill Us

... makes us hate our parents.

When I was really young, my mother didn't drive, so my dad would drive the family everywhere. And for a guy who didn't like to go anywhere, that probably made him pretty miserable. So he was surely thrilled years later when my mother finally got her driver's license and could bus the kids around in his absence.

But before those golden days, my mother would food shop every Thursday of every week, and she'd need my dad to drive her there. My brother and I would tag along and we'd usually drop my mother off and my dad would drive us somewhere nearby. One time it was a cemetery right down the road. There was a creek and an old train bridge behind the cemetery. So we started walking along the tracks. As we approached the bridge, my dad started walking across the old ties. Some were missing and he was taking wide strides to clear them. The bridge was above a stream with lots of big rocks - pointed rocks. It doesn't take long for my dad to realize that his sons aren't with him any longer. We were still back at the start of the bridge, watching him as you'd watch someone crossing a mine field. And I knew that wasn't going to be very popular. And it wasn't. He stopped, turned, and issued the orders for us to start across. Being somewhere around 9 years old, and my father being somewhere around an angry Harvey Keitel, I started to walk. Slowly.

He yells that insane thing that is yelled in a million movies, and never obeyed - "Don't look down!" As a general rule (unless your life depends on it), if you're giving that advice to someone, you probably should be doing something else. So I looked down. And my knees locked up. Literally. The only time in my life that I was physically frozen with fear. So my dad storms across, grabs my hand, and yanks me to solid ground. It made me wish I dropped through the wooden ties and took one for the team. That would have fixed him.

Back at the grocery store as we helped load up the car with the bags of food and stuff, I'm sure my mother must have asked where we went..."Did you boys have fun?"

I hope I said something like "Your ape tried to kill us. Did you buy toilet paper?"


Image source.

12 comments:

K.O. said...

Awesome writing!!! I'm sorry that happened to you, but it sure ended up making a great story.

bean said...

An angry Harvey Keitel...I total see that in him.

Shouldn't this also be tagged "My Life Will Be A CSI Episode"....or something like that?

Rot said...

: )

Thanks.

He's still kicking too. Last week he called and said he'd be up in his attic doing some work on a leak and wanted to ask if he could move some of my old props that I'm storing over there. It gets HOT up there in the summer. Before he hung up he said "Your mother's out right now and due back in an hour. If she calls looking for me, tell her to call the police and that I'm dead in the attic."

I told him I'd tell her to give it a few more hours, that I'm sure he'll show up eventually.

Rot said...

you know, I actually had that tag in there, but took it out...figured it was overkill.

I'm going to put it back in.

Rot said...

Wow. After adding that tag, I clicked on it. A lot of entries had that tag...

I need help.

amy said...

Your dad and my dad sound suspiciously familiar... But thankfully mines been gone nearly twenty years...I ran out of a 30 foot high tree and when I cried because my broken clavicle was poking out he told me not to be such a baby lol . I was 7.good times good times lol

Jay's Shadow said...

Ha! Great story. Thanks for making me laugh after I just woke up!

Pam Morris said...

that was a good one--the Harvey Keitel bit really polished it off! h

Jason-v said...

LOL!! Great write up Rot!!

Andrea said...

"That would have fixed him"...
Ahh, the epic childhood dream that, in the end, even by our death, THEY learn the lesson. Ha. Never.
"Soap... Poisoning!".
Great story- you witty fellow.

ShellHawk said...

If he didn't show up immediately, he'd make a great prop. Hopefully you could arrange the libs properly before rigor set in...

Kidding! :o)

LJ said...

"Your ape tried to kill us..." ROFL. Awesome story!