Sunday, November 04, 2007

Dad's Prose or Where It Comes From

Well, time wasters, it's been awhile since your old FooDaddy done posted on The Blog. I have to come clear with you and admit something that may, at first, seem shocking. I know most of you look to me as your moral leader; someone whose shining platinum example can be used as a yardstick to measure the yard of your own life, but try to keep in mind that I am only human. An exceptionally strange human, but one nonetheless.

There was once a time when I thought this would never happen to me. *takes microphone from stand and wanders meaningfully through the crowd* I was all like "pfft! That'll nebber happen to me! I's immortal, like the Easta Bunneh!". And folks? I said it just like that too. *grabs random person about the biceps and, vibrating with emotion, directs laser of pure mental anguish into their nostrils* Just. Like. That.

*scampers lightly back to podium, replaces microphone* But I'm proud of it now! No longer must I shuffle through the darkest and backest of alleys, with my head between my knees and my feet in my pockets! No more will I shy away from conversation at parties I've somehow sneaked into!

I speak of joining an elite social group, time-wasters! I am one of Them! Of They! I'm a member of The Washed, of The Bathed! Of the No Longer A Stinky Man with a Personal Cloud of Flies!

It's exhilarating, although I miss my flies. Especially Edward.

So that's why the posts have been few and far between. I promise I'll crank it up as soon as I learn how to do this whole "showering" thing quicker (it's always hard to condense a brand-new routine).

Who planted this heretical idea in my head, you might ask? Why, my father! He leaned across the table, into his curry chicken, and swatting flies and apologizing to the other diners, said:

"Boy. There is a way..."

And he said it all mysteriously, too, which got my attention. He told of the wonders of "soap" and how the almost magical "surfactant" properties of this wonder goo turn water from something that one squirts at one's cats to keep them from destroying things into something that greatly curbs one's odor emission. I listened raptly and stinkily, and when he was done, I was a changed blogger...

Dad's a beardy man. Always has been. As a child, I can remember it being full of candy. That probably says more about my current state of mind than it does about my upbringing...we'll come back to that later, maybe.

Candy-bearded or not, my father was always telling me things.

"Don't sneeze or cough on your hands--do it in the elbow of your shirt. You wouldn't believe how many people think that spewing evil microbes all over the hands they use to touch other people and their possessions is somehow polite. If I catch you doing it, I'mma grumble at you."


"Always make sure there's a nightlight on in the bathroom. You cannot achieve lock-on in the dark, so you'll wee all over the floor. If you turn on the big light, you'll get blinded, and then you'll wee all over the floor. Here's a replacement bulb and some paper towels."

Then there's the writing advice I've had occasion to satirize. This was not his first piece of writing advice, though.

He found this email he'd sent back in 2004 for some reason, and I doubt I gave it the attention it deserved. I post it here because it is (a.) interesting, and (b.) informative. Anyone who knows me well enough will be nodding and making some form of "mm hmm!" noise when they've finished reading.

As I was peeing, getting ready to go home, my body, ever up for humiliating comedy, did one of those "dying duck" farts-- you know, the kind that musically does a descending third, from E down to middle C, or maybe farther (heh). You never can tell with farts; it would be difficult to notate them. Anyway, this fart sounded so sad, so resigned to its fate, that a phrase popped into my head, which could be the ending of a short story:

As she said this, he realized it was the end of the world, and he'd have to start facing it immediately. No one spoke. All the happy yellowness that had been part of the day suddenly drained from it. Again there was a crushing suffocating pause where neither of them could think of anything
encouraging to say.

Then, he farted.

It was a dying duck, it was Shakespeare's "dying fall", it was the ultimate Oh Darn, it was the horn call from a Requiem Mass; it sounded like nothing so much as the Fart of Utter Despair, or perhaps the angel
Gabriel, astride the planets, blowing the Fart For The End of Time.

It stank like it, too.

She ran away, and was never seen again. A stunned owl fell out of the sky.

'Why am I still standing here like a stunned owl?', he thought. And he took off his glasses."

That's it. Based on a true fart.

True story? I'd bet my cats on it. There's owls in that library, I have no doubts.


Paul FooDaddy Brand said...

Wow. Three discreet fonts in this post!

Anonymous said...

But only two cats.

Still, a feartwarming story from a straight-from-the-feart kinda guy. The story may have been made up, but the stunned owl was rescued and can be visited at the Blandford Nature Center here in Grand Rapids.