Monday, November 17, 2008

Precious Moments with Dad, volume I

I went to see the new James Bond flick today with pop, which made me happy because we had quite a blowout last Friday. I called Saturday to see if he wanted to see Boind Monday, and true to form, the blowout never came up, and I think dad was happy to move on.

It is so easy for me dispense advice on avoiding conflict with parental units, much easier than it is to follow my own advice. I usually do a much better matador job, sliding by confrontation like a turn style, moving with the flow of silliness, but I stumbled last Friday. After 10 or 15 minutes of sitting quietly during idle ranting about gays or blacks or the world problem of the day, I stupidly responded when asked repeatedly about the target of the day.

One blunder I make over and over is just that- responding. I foolishly get amnesia and think there is some sensible answer that will change the way dad sees something, and once I utter even a word, I realize I have done it again, and it is too late. There is no escape once the man is engaged. I sometimes get a little concerned that he gets too worked up and excited, and constantly spend everything after my first reply trying to end said conversation amicably, or at least, to end it without further carnage.

These attempts always fail.

This time my stupidity began with, "dad, you have a particular view..." which was the last thing I said for about five minutes.

Pop's reply came in the form of a pterodactyl-like scream, "my view is WONDERFUL!" followed by a defense consisting mostly of expletives.

I figured it was a good time to say aloha.

The beauty of dad is that he realizes what's important, and has an amazing ability to move beyond even the ugliest implosions... inside, he knows the important thing is enjoying each other and that we aren't both going to live forever.

I screwed and up and dropped a can of coke I was planning on smuggling into the theater to drink with my popcorn, puncturing the can and spraying it all over the inside of my windshield, as a result of this blunder, I was a little late for the movie. We would have missed the first couple of minutes, and I hate that, so we waited for the next shopwing, thirty minutes later.

One of the most annoying things about movie theaters today is the moronic idea that people paying ten bucks a ticket should be subjected to commercials...and not even fun, creative commercials, but the same ads television at home is inundated with.

After about ten minutes of commercials, dad yells, "C'mon!" to which I got a chuckle. I leaned over and said something like, "This is my fault, buddy. If I was five minutes earlier, we could have gone to the last show.

Still feeling a little dicey about the verbal assault from last week, dad was doing everything he could to cut me slack, and shrugged it off.

A few minutes later, commercials still flowing like a river in spring, Frank Caliendo had a commercial. There were only about five other people in the theater, but two of them were sitting in the row behind us.

Perhaps the most entertaining moment of the entire day for any of us came when after the Frank TV commercial my father said rather loudly during an unanticipated silence, "This guy is a fucking idiot."

Which is today's special moment with dad.

The guys behind us concurred, corroborating dad's viewpoint with laughter and nodding approval.

I have to say while I think Frank Caliendo is a talented comedian, I have had about enough of the commercials myself. They are practically running non-stop for pete's they've gotta get you at the movies, too?

The move started shortly thereafter and we both enjoyed it.

As they ran the opening credits, dad said, only half-kidding, "I can't believe I'm still awake."

It has been a while since we have seen a movie, as pop just hasn't felt rested and well enough to attend, so I was very conscious of the blessing that is getting to go see a movie with dad, and soaked it up... every bit of it, from his lambasting of Frank Caliendo, to tossing pocorn at him from two seats away, receiving a wave and a scowl, to his one word reviews of whatever we've just seen... short and sweet.

Stay tuned for Precious Moments with dad, volume II to be published shortly after I see him next.


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