Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Original Badass

My dad, for all the shit he gave me as a kid, for as embarrassing as he chose to be (or as we thought he was), Dad was a badass.

Dad had a temper, consequently my life was spent looking for ways not to piss him off. He was given the wrong TV at a loading dock once, and when he tried to return it, threatened bodily harm to the clerk when he was told all sales were final. When the Pondarosa gave him a four-ounce sirloin and tried to pass it off as the King Cut, the scene was epic. The dialog that will always stick in my mind is the district manager asking my father "Now sir, please don't make a scene", to which Dad replied "I'll make a scene if I G**-D***ed well want to!" Now I itch to make a scene and dedicate each and every one to my Dad.

I cut myself or walk into things from time to time, and I try to just walk it off, but I wasn't always that way, and I'm sure it irked him horribly to have a sissy for a son. You'd walk up to my father with a cut, and he'd spit on it and tell you it was better. Hey, spit is antiseptic, right? Just like when your mother would lick that napkin to wipe your face, you sloppy drooler. Walk up to him and ask what he did, why he was bleeding profusely and his response would always be 'Am I? I didn't notice.'

Now he's on blood thinners, and even had to switch to an electric razor so he wouldn't bleed out in the bathroom in the morning.

The standout badass moment is something I'll refer to here as the 'Infamous 48 hours of punishing bloodiness', or IFEHPB. My father worked maintenance for most of my life, and one day at work, he and another guy were moving a ladder into place. The ladder slipped into my father's pocket and scratched him, but he thought nothing of it. It wasn't until 30 minutes later when he went for change for the soda machine and came out with a wet, bloody hand that he thought something might be amiss. Of course, the city being paranoid about such things sent him to the hospital, where he got a tetanus shot and stitches. Yes, that's right, Dad walked off a cut that required stitches.

Cut to dinner the following night. Dad was slicing something while dinner cooked, and he opened the cabinet to get a plate. A platter slid out of place and launched toward him, so his instinct said to put up his hands to catch. Had he put the knife down first, this probably wouldn't have been such a bad idea.

So Dad and I pile into the family truckster, him with his hand wrapped in a blood-soaked kitchen towel, and me with my learner's permit, and we drive to the hospital. In a moment that made IFEHPB history, my father and his blood-soaked hand was still able to get out, disapprove of my parking and re-park the truck before going into the ER.

How badass is that?

***You should have seen the look on the ER attendant's face when my father proudly responded that he'd had a tetanus shot the day before.


the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

I dunno. Your dad should have driven. That would have made him king of the badasses.

My kids are whiny and freak out over the smallest bit of blood. It kind of irks me. But then, I realize they're just kids and I need to try and calm them down. Although, half of the time I'm angry with their fit, half of the time I want to laugh. I guess I'm not so good at soothing.

Samsmama said...

Alright, your dad wins. That is way cooler than faking a limp to get good parking.

And I agree with mjenks, him driving would have ruled. That, or giving himself stitches. He's still a badass though.

The Hyperlexian Aspie said...

sounds a bit like my dad (when he was drinking). he told off my grade 1 teacher at meet-the-teacher night. on monday my desk was in a different class.

he also would never want medical attention for anything. my dad bleeding all over, with a sad little bit of kleenex on an open wound, was a familiar sight (alcohol + power tools = fail). even when he had a massive heart attack at age 39 and was passing out on the kitchen floor, he insisted he was fine and didn't want my mom to call an ambulance! same generation i guess.

i'm a semi-sissy. sissy for small pain like paper cuts, tough chick for major pain like childbirth or getting my fingers crushed in a safe.

Elliott said...

I'm pretty sure my father would have driven myself, but surprisingly, he gave in to my mother and let me drive. I suppose she figured that his track record during IFEHPB didn't bode well for him to drive while bleeding.

MJ - Fathers aren't supposed to be caring nurturers, we're supposed to toughen our kids up for the real world. You're doing fine.

Smama - Don't think for a second that my dad didn't joke about limping in for the good parking, the fact that your dad actually followed through is kick-ass. Of course, now he has the handicapped permit and won't take the spaces unless he's having a really bad day.

HA - LOVE the teacher story. And heart attack at 39? Looks like I better start eating more saturated fats if I want to celebrate my next birthday properly.

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