August 2008


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Archive for August 22nd, 2008

There and back again

Posted in Life on August 22nd, 2008

A few weeks ago the Old Man called me up and told me he was going to be back in the old hometown for a week camping at a nearby park, and I should grab the kids and come on down. Since Ma and me Brudder are still both in town, and Grampa P is there now too, it seems like this would be an easy way to roll up a quick family reunion of sorts.

A noble idea and all, except for a few small factors.┬áThe Ratboy is a busy guy, and he couldn’t make it. Pookie was already scheduled to be camping at the beach with her Mom, so that was out. Third, gas is damn expensive.

And I really wasn’t all that hip on seeing the Old Man.

See, the Old Man has never exactly been what you would think of as a good father. Luckily for me and my brother, he hasn’t been a BAD father, just not a good one. Mostly, he was just indifferent. (I largely blame Grampa C for this, he’s a cold fish and was probably a bad father. every time we saw him for 10 straight years the first words out of his mouth were “when you gonna get a haircut?” But that’s another story.)

Anyway, let me give you some examples of his not-so-bright moments:

When I was 7 and crashed my bike, resulting in internal injuries, it took mom 2 solid hours of nagging before he finally gave in and drove me to the hospital. Another 2 hours and I probably would have died. As it was, I was in hospital for the next two weeks.

When I was 16, I decided it had been a few weeks since I had seen him so I hopped in the car one Saturday and drove to his house, only to discover he was moving and hadn’t bothered to call and tell me.

You get the point. I didn’t really want to drive down to GP to see the man, and i begged off blaming gas prices and whatnot since the kids couldn’t make it… and then he has to open his mouth and say he’ll spot me a C-note for fuel.

Hell and tarnation, now I gotta go. Shit.

Through dint of fast talking (and because she really does love me) the WBGF agreed to come along and meet the whole fam damnily in one fell swoop. Here’s the rundown:

Friday: drove 4 hours to GP on the hottest day of the year. Arrive at the campground and my nephew gives me crap for only having one ear pierced. I magnanimously refrain from explaining to him that when I was his age, a hole in your right ear meant you were gay, hence only the left was pierced. He’s sporting 2 in each lobe and a labret besides. Manage to deal with a bunch of mostly-drunk people I barely remember until we can finally scoot off to my brother’s house for some sleep. Sleep badly due to heat and the sinus infection I had already been fighting all week.

Saturday: Over to Ma’s for a nice chat, when my niece and her boyfriend manage to swing through for a quick visit. I like my niece, she’s a good girl, and it seems she found a decent guy for herself. Ma’s cat monkeyface takes up residency on Tolerant’s lap – I was worried I might not get her back.

We troll around town for food, and eventually settle on Applebee’s just because I can’t for the life of me figure out what else might be good to eat – I haven’t eaten anything other than fast food in GP for 18 years. I’m bummed because the County Fair is in town, but now Saturday is the hottest day of the year (104 degrees) and the hell if I’m standing around in that. We go back to my brother’s to while away a few hours before going back out to the park.

Later that evening we head back out, and it is much quieter now that all the old friends have gone home. The Old Man is also blissfully sober and pushing water to make up for all the alcohol over the past week, and we manage to have a decent visit while watching lightning hit in the next valley over. I’m still glad to get away once 10 o’clock rolls around. Slept badly again – not due to coughing this time, just a strange bed with hot muggy weather.

Sunday: Nice leisurely breakfast, then it starts raining so I decide we should hit the road and outrun the storm. Swung by Ma’s on the way for a quick g’bye, and then blazing trails up the highway.

About average for a family reunion, I suppose. And Tolerant got out of all of her seeing the BF’s family duties for another 5 years :)