Sunday, June 19, 2005

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From The Tree

Happy Father's Day!

I want to spend a moment thanking my father for molding me in his image.

An overweight middle aged balding Italian.

I loved my dad because, well, he was my dad. I think I got my sense of humor from him. Or at least from observing him.

My dad taught me that everything wrong in life can be blamed on the communists. The weirdest things used to get blamed on the communists. I remember once we went to an Italian restaurant and my dad was incensed that they no longer had cloth napkins.

"It's the work of the communists. First cloth napkins and the next thing you know they'll be bottling water and we'll have to pay for it."

In my fathers mind there was only two kinds of music, classical music and Opera. That's the only thing we ever were allowed to listen to or watch. To me Opera was just fat people singing to classical music.

I didn't know that skinny women with small breasts could sing until I was twelve.

Up until the day he died I think he believed The Beatles were communists.

You could never win an argument with my father. I know now that most of the time he was right anyway. But on those few occasions when I actually won he would never admit defeat.

He would however do odd things to make it up to me. Like have my entire house recarpeted.

While my wife and I were at work.

Without telling us.

Then he would pretend he knew nothing about it. That was his way of saying he was wrong.

He used to love to play practical jokes. I remember the time he sent the 80 year old stripper to my office, during business hours, for my 30th birthday. He never came inside but he and three of his cronies had their faces pressed up against the windows while "Lola" proceeded to writher around me in the middle of the lobby.

Even he had to be a little shocked when "Lola" didn't stop at her bra a panties.

God I never wanted to remember that.

He never acknowledged that one either.

He used to call and leave messages pretending he was with the IRS and that I was scheduled for an audit. That's not funny when you're Italian.

At Christmas he would lavish gifts on my wife and his grandsons. I always got the same thing every year. A $20 gift certificate to Penny's. I used to save it and give it back to him for his birthday. I still have the same gift certificate.

My father never spanked me or hit me. He shot me once, but hey, like I said, we're Italian. He only shot me because I shot my sister. It was just business. I was only eight, and the gun shot plastic bullets, but I got the message.

He loved his grandsons and would take them to the most expensive places in town for dinner. It was really tough when my wife and I would take the kids to Denny's and our five year old would get indignant because they didn't have lobster tails... or cloth napkins.

Anyway to all you dads and granddads have a great day!!!

I'm going to spend the day teaching my 2 1/2 year old grandson how to say "Bada Bing Bada Boom!!!"