Enlightenment, by Jim

My dad stops by almost every morning to have a cup of coffee and enlighten me on some matter of life, whether it be how they manufacture bolts, to how to study for a test, to how pigs give birth. All these conversations happened this morning, so I'd like to pass on that enlightenment to you all today.

First let's talk about how they manufacture bolts. The first thing they do is who cares. I wasn't listening to that part. My eyes were glazed over, and I was just nodding my head as my soul died right there inside me. I'm soulless now. Thanks Dad. Next.

According to my dad, anybody can make a good grade on a test if they study the right way. I don't know why we were having this conversation, because I'm pretty sure I'm done taking tests, but if I ever do find myself having to study for one, the secret is, apparently, to growl and get mad at it. That's right.

You look at your subject matter, get pissed, and actually growl at it....GGGGRRRHHHH. According to dad, this is how you study properly. He did demonstrate the correct technique for me so I wouldn't mess it up, and I apologize for not providing a video. In short, you have to grit your teeth, tighten your shoulders, ball up your fists and growl. Now, my dad is almost 80 years old, so it's been awhile since he took a test. I think he may be confusing studying with taking a shit, though I've never growled as I pooped. But to each his own. Anyhow, if any of you are test takers, please try out this technique and let me know how it works. If it causes you to have a bowel movement instead, then I guess we have our answer. Moving on.

My dad LOVES baby pigs. They are clearly his favorite animal since he's been going on about pigs for the last forty years. The qualities that make a pig the best animal, according to dad, include being cute, being cute as a bug in a rug, and lastly, being so cute that you just want to bite them. This is logic that can't be refuted.

Today was a special moment though, when he shared the story of the beautiful experience he had as a child watching a pig give birth. He lived on a farm in Iowa as a little one. He had to walk uphill and listen to terrible tales of how bolts were made. Times were tough.

Anyhow, there he was, hanging out with the pigs, when out of the blue something thumped him on his side. He looked down to find a newly born baby pig. Well that baby pig got up and took off running to "a spicket", otherwise known as a nipple, on its mother. My dad watched in amazement as the pig's cannon vagina shot several more babies out like cannon balls. Pqew!! They made that noise when they shot out of her, and when they hit the ground and rolled they made a throoomp! sound. Then, they'd get right up and take off running to a spicket. 

This whole story seemed suspicious to me. Cannon vaginas? Fully operational brand new babies? I started to Google "pig birth", but then I closed that window down. If this story isn't true, I don't even want to know it. I want to believe a pig's vagina is a weapon, and brand new baby pigs can do shit right out of the box.  After all, I wouldn't want anyone questioning the truthfulness of my stories, because, pft. NO.

Writing requires embellishment, as do my dad's stories. That's what makes them good. My niece is always telling me that I exaggerate eeeverything. Well no shit, Sierra. Writers are big fat liars. My whole job in life is to sit around and make shit up, or at the very least embellish the truth. Funny because people hate liars, but those same people love writers. My dad's stories pretty much drive me crazy, but if he were to write them down I'd think they were fucking brilliant.

His fabrications have rubbed off on me over time, causing me to look at every ordinary situation and wonder how I can make it more interesting. This makes life more fun and writing a whole hell of a lot easier. Revisionist history, if you will. If you want facts, watch the news.

Facts......news...see what I did there?

Stay tuned for more big fat lies and remember; no fact checking allowed.

Close encounters of the dad kind

My dad is a notorious story teller, and always has been. If he could spell, he could write some killer children's stories, though the publishing companies would have to edit out all the instances of "those sombitches" when referring to the Democrats ruling Fairy Lake. Until I got older, I always bought into his tales, but the following is one I had to call bullshit on about three-quarters of the way through. *Keep in mind my dad is an apple-shaped seventy-eight year old man.

Dad: You won't believe what happened to me this morning.

Me: What happened?

Dad: Well, I got up to have my breakfast and morning coffee...<my dad wakes up about 1:30 am to have breakfast and coffee>...and while I was sitting out here on the porch, I saw these bright lights up in the sky.

Me: What was it?

Dad: Well who's telling the damn story? Now listen. Here I am having my coffee when I see these lights off in the distance, and as they get closer I see that they're cylindrical in shape like a saucer of some sort.

Me: No shit.

Dad: No shit. So as it gets closer and closer, I realize, well sombitch, it's coming down to land in our yard, and it's the biggest alien spaceship I've ever seen!

Me: You've seen many alien spaceships?

Dad: Now look shit ass. Do you want to hear what happened or not?

Me: Yes. I want to hear what happened.

Dad: So as I was saying, it's coming down to land down there near the pond at the bottom of the hill. So I head a little ways down the hill to get a closer look. Now keep in mind I've got my pistol on me; you have to always be aware of your surroundings and be prepared for anything. You never know what can happen, see.

Me: What happened all the other times you saw spaceships?

Dad: You're a bad listener. A very obstinate listener. You'll never be successful in your career if you can't listen and soak in what the speaker is saying, kid. You want an example? This same thing was a big problem with Eisenhower when that sombitch -

Me: Get back to the aliens. I'm listening.

Dad: Well anyway, I've got my pistol out, and as they land, all this thick smoke barrels out. I can't see shit. But when it starts to clear, I see these little human-like forms standing outside the ship.

Me: Whoah...

Dad: Well YEAH whoah. So I move a little closer, and one of those little fuckers starts to make a move, see...

Me: Like...it busted a move, or it was going for a light saber? What kind of move are we talking about?

Dad: <gives ultra dirty look> Are you going to take this serious or not?

Me: I am taking it seriously, but aliens probably like to dance too. I thought maybe it could be his way of breaking the ice.

Dad: Well no. He wasn't trying to break the ice. And light sabers are science fiction. Jesus. <shakes head in disgust>. You think Star Wars is the real deal? C'mon kid. Get a grip. The aliens have much more advanced technology than that.

Me: Oh. Sorry.

Dad: So he makes a move for his laser apparatus, and keep in mind it's bright as shit out there, so I can see everything these shady little bastards are trying to do. See, I ain't stupid. I was on to them. Before the little one in front could get me, I got his ass. When I shot him, purple blood spewed out, and that's when the rest of them started shooting. You outta seen it! Sparks were flying all over the yard, so I hid over there behind that barrel.

Me: The barrel with no holes in it?

Dad: You don't even know what you're talking about. Do you understand laser technology? I didn't think so. So anyhow, there must have been seven or eight of them, and I got most of them - there were purple pools of blood everywhere, but then I ran out of bullets...

Me: Oh shit...

Dad: Yeah. So the closest gun I had was up the hill in my shed. So I take off running up the hill...

Me: Stop there.

Dad: What?

Me: This just got a little far fetched for me. You didn't run up any damn hill. This whole story is bullshit.

Dad: Shit ass.

I never did hear the end of that story, or see any evidence of purple blood, but he assures me I'm too simple minded to get it. Instead, I heard the story of how all of Eisenhower's problems stemmed from not listening. Halfway through that story I killed myself, so I never got to be a better listener.

Stay tuned for the next installment, when my father enlightens us as to how my mother's rear view window got busted out. Happy hump-day everyone!

The fundamental problem with the jitterbug

This past weekend I happened upon a conversation my husband and dad were having about gay men.

Dad: Yeah. I knew a bunch of those gays back in Hollywood. You outta seen 'em do the jitterbug. Jesus.

At that point he gave his very best gay man jitterbug impression. If you ask me, it was a little too spot-on, especially for a 78 year old right wing extremist. Makes you curious about a guy's extracurricular activities, if you know what I mean. Just kidding dad. No I'm not. But seriously, no I'm not.

My husband eyed him closely.

Husband: So I wanna make sure I understand what you're saying.

Dad: It's pretty straight forward. <looks at husband like DUH>

Husband. Okay. So you're telling me that gay men should do the jitterbug like - what - real men?

Dad thinks about that for a second.

Dad: "Shut up."