Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Mount Rushmore of dads

Parents.  They're the best.

Sometimes you think you know them so well -- their dislikes, their... other dislikes, which things you should never tell them under any circumstance, and exactly what to say to get them to kick in a few extra bucks for groceries (vacation, shoes, etc.) without having to directly ask.

And then sometimes, it's as if they aren't your real parents at all, but rather part of some top-secret experiment.  Aliens, planted by the government and made to look like your real parents.  And you are just a pawn in their game, kept alive only to make it appear as if they are an average American family.  You know, so the Soviets won't catch on.

Here's a for-instance:  My sister called a few months ago to tell me Dad was posting pro-gun propaganda on his Facebook page.  OK, fine.  Dad and I have never been completely in agreement on politics, and a lot of people post crap like that.  So not all that odd, right?


We never had anything more than a BB gun in the house, ever, for my entire life!  I wanted to comment and say exactly that, but you know how parents get if you post all the time on their Facebook wall.  They think you're hovering.

Then a couple weeks ago, I was conversing with a lady whose husband played music with my father in the seventies.  As in, the nineteen-seventies.  I knew Dad had played music most of his life, so again, not a big shock.


She started telling me that Dad's band had a manager who booked them gigs around the area.  In her opinion, the reason they never got any bigger was they refused to play places which served alcohol.  AND, they wore matching "uniforms."  According to her, they were leisure suits -- silver jackets and green-and-white striped pants!  It sounds like they were basically the white Temptations!

How did I get to be this age and never know this about he who reared me???

Now for the latest adventure in the My Dad Is From Mars saga.  I was talking with my alleged father the other day, and he informed me he and his wife are thinking of taking another trip.

Let it be noted here that my dad, who used to complain about going anywhere farther than out to eat, has in his recent years become a veritable Kerouac.  Except without the drinking.  Or the writing.

Last year, they visited North Carolina.  The year before that, it was the Grand Canyon.  And this year?

"We're thinking of going to South Dakota."

What I thought was, "To get ready for some sort of doomsday scenario?  Is the end upon us???"

What I said was, "Oh, that'll be nice.  I've heard there's lots to do there.  Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills...."

He replied, "Yeah, and there's that mountain with the Presidents' heads."  Dad doesn't hear so well anymore.

He continued.

"And there's Sturgis, where they have the big motorcycle rallies."

Uhh..... what?

I think my feeling at that point could best be described as one of bewildered confusion.  Suffice it to say, at that moment, I was confildered.  I'm fairly certain I gave him that you-just-sprouted-a-second-head look.  And not just any second head, but one that looked like my Dad and spoke alternately with the voices of Dog the Bounty Hunter and Wink Martindale.  You know the type.

How does my dad even know about Sturgis?  And why on Earth would he think of going?  Maybe he watches Full Throttle Saloon.  Or maybe this was some sort of joke, like how he used to drive across the river pretending he was going to Huntsville (then the nearest place) to buy alcohol until I would cry and beg him to turn around.

Or maybe, just maybe, my father has a Harley I don't know about.   And chaps.  And quite possibly an "NRA" do-rag.

Oh well.  I can only hope and assume his pro-gun rhetoric will serve him well there.

Godspeed, my enigmatic longtime legal custodian.  May Charlton Heston be with you.

Oh, and you're probably gonna need a new name.  Something tough like Tex, or Maverick, or Sea Bass.

God, I hope he knows it's motorcycles, and not bicycles.  A son worries.

"You can just turn in your ring and your tie tack 'cause Coy, you are out of the Shrine! You're gonna be blackballed, Coy!  That's right.  You may have to pack your bags and leave town. What do you mean, you might join the Hells Angels?"


  1. Sturgis will be held August 5-11 this year, in case that helps them plan :-D

  2. Maybe he's going to see the "Biker babes" *cough cough* I hear they are "lovely"

    Better get Jackie Chiles on retainer...ya know in case you need to post bail. ;)

  3. Too funny. Although with the creation of Facebook, I'm really glad my parents aren't alive. I can't imagine being Facebook friends with them. *shiver*

  4. I never owned guns either. That doesn't mean I think they should be made illegal.

  5. A great way to learn things about your parents is to lube up your grandparents some evening while they are on an overnight visit. My only regret was that I didn't tape that conversation so I could remember all the things they told me!

  6. Why are you so critical of leisure suits?

  7. TC ~ Thanks. Uh, yeah, you're not helping.

    Renee ~ Right? It's outrageous! Egregious! Preposterous!

    Murf ~ And this could be part of the reason I haven't posted a Facebook status update in over a year.

    MarkD ~ I think you may have missed the point. Just by a smidgen.

    Ed ~ Unfortunately, all my grandparents are gone. I do occasionally get a good story out of my aunts or uncles though.

    Cami ~ OK, that made me laugh. You should do that more often :P

  8. Oh Bone I totally cracked up! We weren't allowed to play with guns but there was a BB gun in a drawer we were welcome to look at

    Another masterful post by Bone

  9. Facebook FYI - put your parents in their own special category and then when you post certain status updates (or all of them, for that matter), just choose them as 'restricted'. And while you are dilly dallying in Facebook, send me a friend request. ;-)

  10. I don't know...NO ONE could be more pro-gun than my Dad.I've begun to think it's a generational thing, and while I have no objection to them in theory, in practice they terrify me. If it's any consolation, a few years ago, my late 50's (at the time) father rode his motorcycle (he later sold it to buy a flat screen so he could watch Full Throttlesque programs )from Fl all the way to Connecticut and back. I think mainly so that I could try out acid reflux and panic attacks simultaneously, as I waited for the phone to ring with law enforcement on the other end! I think at some point, with prayers and misgivings, you have to let em' go and hope you raised em right!

  11. That's a hoot. It's funny when parents turn out to have a life that our kids know little about. ;)

  12. Pia ~ Thank you. Whatever Bone is paying you for these comments, you're underpaid :)

    Murf ~ OK, but I should warn you: I am the worst Facebook friend ever. I do very little dillying on Facebook. And almost no dallying :) But your comment does raise a question I'd not thought of before: I wonder if my parents are restricting certain posts from me?

    Jill ~ I think at some point, with prayers and misgivings, you have to let em' go and hope you raised em right!

    Exactly! I swear, I had something nearly identical to that as one (of six) possible ending(s) to my post. Another was me writing and recording an extra verse to "Cats In The Cradle," accompanied by a kazoo. But in the end, it wound up being a little sad for the tone of the post.

    Hilary ~ In recent years, I've often thought my dad has a more exciting life than me. I'm a walking Venza commercial, without the Facebook addiction.

  13. Great post--I laughed at the visual image created by the "White Temptations" in those silly 70s leisure suits. I often wish my dad was on internet--he saw no reason to keep it after he quit work for good (he did continue on consulting for a few years after he retired, until my mother's illness became too much for him to continue). Since then, if you want to hear from him, you have to call... But I can only image what he might post on Facebook!

  14. Ha! I bet they are restricting you. They are probably in therapy over how in the world they could have produced such a fun sucker for a child. ;-)

  15. I love these little incongruous details you find out about family members as time goes by. Reminds you that your parents are people as well as parents - not always the most comfortable thought, but still...

  16. Sage ~ I sometimes envy the people who still manage to live most or all of their life without the internet.

    Murf ~ I'm not sure exactly what all "fun sucker" entails, but I'm going to assume you just paid me a huge compliment.

    J Adamthwaite ~ Excellent point. That's easy to forget sometimes. Makes me curious what I would've read if they had blogs back then :)

  17. White temptations... I have the visual but still ...you need to find a picture of him! Such a fun read!!

  18. The best place to find out stuff about your parents (without having to ask them outright) is at family reunions. My dad's cousins DELIGHTED in telling me all kinds of stuff about him, which I then gleefully relayed back to him. And being my dad, he was unapologetic about any of it.

    I'm curious to know what exactly your sister thought you should do about your Dad's pro gun propaganda stance.

  19. odspeed, my enigmatic longtime legal custodian. May Charlton Heston be with you.
    Two of the best sentences in the history of sentences

  20. What a thought! If only they had done...