If Daffy Duck and Yosemite Sam had a love child, it would be my Pop… minus the red hair and feathers, that is.
For the longest time, he seemed normal enough, but as he aged, things started showing up that I’d never noticed before. Things like a higher pitched voice with an odd slur that sounds suspiciously like a cranky black duck, and an attitude that sounds a lot like a certain red-headed hot-head who hates rabbits.
Also, the man is not picky about some things, which is why I get the .99 lecture almost every time we visit. “I won’t go to those fancy places like Sonic when I can get a Carl’s Jr for ninety-nine cents!”
Ok, that’s what he means, but what it sounds like is, “I ‘on’t go no fncy plcs,” pause to adjust teeth again, “ol’ Sonic ‘en I cn get a Caaal’s Jr. for nine-e-nine schenss.” Add your own saliva and adjust your teeth as necessary.
“But Pop, the onion rings at Sonic are awfully good.”
“Gibs me gazz.”
“Everything gives you gas, Pop.”
“Yer ma’s cookin’”
“Yeah, me too.”
His mother was a hypochondriac of the highest order, and her doctor was happy to oblige her with whatever pills she felt she needed. Actually, her doctors (there were several) were happy, since she was of the belief that when one wouldn’t give you “that med-sin what got Miss Clara all better” she’d go find Miss Clara’s doctor and get it from him.
That woman loved her “med-sin.” “Med-sin” is spoken with a prim and proper, tight-lipped mouth and slightly clattery dentures. There’s a soft “click” in the middle of the word. When I was young and really, REALLY stupid, I said something to the effect of, “Gosh, with all your med-sin, I guess you must be too full for breakfast.” That statement was followed by, “OW! Leggo my ear!”
Pop has taken on the mantle of family hypochondriac by doing his best to take as many pills and have more ills than anybody. A few years ago my mother found a lump behind her knee and had to have a biopsy. My father took the opportunity to throw himself down the front steps and get to the hospital first.
When the results of the biopsy came back as cancer, she was slated for surgery. My father tripped over a dust bunny and found blood clots in his leg. The man is a champion of one-upmanship and being completely pathetic.
When my mother had to go in for a hysterectomy I warned her to not tell Pop or he’d want one too. She thought that was pretty funny.
But Pop taught me a lot of important things, because I was an only child and therefore the only one he could pass his skills on to, he taught me about car repair (although now I can’t find the dipstick on my new-fangled car), how to change a light switch, a light socket, a door knob, and various other handy-man tricks. Of course, he was not the one who taught me the importance of flipping the damn circuit breaker before dinking around with wiring; I learned that one on my own.
Boy, did I learn that one… I have a feeling my father is one very lucky dude, after all, he’s smoked for a thousand and one years and it hasn’t killed him yet (although my mother just might if he tosses another butt into the burn barrel and doesn’t tell her), he tinkered with electrical things and never got seriously zapped, and he worked on cars that were parked on a slight slope and never had one roll over him.
He never quite figured out what he was supposed to do with a daughter, after all, he had counted on getting a son. Maybe that’s why I like girls…
He tells inappropriate jokes at the worst possible moment, says the same damn things to every female food-server he’s met (even those he’s met a thousand times), and tells the old tall tales every chance he gets, even though I probably remember them better than he does now.
He’s an awesome dude and I’m really glad he’s my Pop.
I love you, Old Man.