No Idea

Tuesdays are “grampa takes the ballet lesson girl home after he gets off work” day. Except the girl who can usually talk and sing about nothing for half an hour in rush hour traffic was quiet and mopey, even after a pack of assorted princess fruit gummies. When the car rolled up in front of her parents’ house and stopped she worked her way through the back seat, drug out her backpack, let it drop to the the curb. All just barely four years of her completely dejected.

“Was ballet lesson a bummer?”

“Ballet class. No. At school. I wanted to be first.”

“Yeah? That first thing doesn’t happen all the time.”

“Even for princesses?”

“Even for princesses with lime green tutus.” That didn’t sit very well. “Here, I’ll get your bag, you go show me the door lock code again. I forgot.”

“‘Kay. You get the mail.” She shuffled up the driveway and grumped her way through the door lock code, left a trail of shoes and tutu and tiara in the living room.

“Want a cookie?”

“NO. I wanted to be first.” She was pacing around the family room of her parents’ house, arms folded, hrumphing, toe kicking random stuffed animals and floor pillows. Or pillows that had found the floor and maybe shouldn’t have been there. Telling the dogs and her brother both “NO.”

“You get to be first a lot. It’s okay not to be first every time. And you need to get used to it because nobody gets to be first all the time. Not even grampas. I’m gonna eat your cookie if you don’t ungrumpy.”

“NO.” She let one arm of the folded pair out, took the cookie. “I wanted to be first. You were never not first, papa?”

“I was not first a lot. I told my grampa about this guy I went to school with named Kent. He could play everything better than me. Run faster, kick the ball farther, go across the monkey bars better –”

“What’s monkeys bars?”

“Where you hang by your hands and climb all over –”

“Like playscapes?”

“Yeah. Playscapes. And Kent was always better than me, at least most of the time. Sometimes I got to be better. But I told my grampa all about Kent and he took me to meet the bear wrassler. That’s where I learned it’s okay not to be first all the time.”

“What’s bear wrassler mean?” Her arms were still folded and she wasn’t buying it yet.

“My grampa took me out in the woods in this place called Missouri to meet the bear wrassler. Because I was complaining so much about Kent not letting me win all the time. He took me waaaaay off in the woods where the wrassler man lived in this funny house made out of rocks, and he was sitting on the porch smoking a long pipe, waiting for us. He was kind of scary looking. Let’s get that cookie off your hands before your mom gets home.”

“Scary like a monster or a spider or like Beast?”

“Not as scary as Beast, but close. He had a black patch on his eye like a pirate and a big, long scar on his face where –”

“What’s a scar?”

“Where a really bad bo-bo happened.”

“Ohhhhh…”

“And he had on old overalls and no shirt and was all hairy, and he had big brown boots.”

“Like Garcon?”

“Sorta. So my grampa says to him ‘Tell this boy ‘bout b’ar wrasslin’ ‘cause he’s driving me nuts whining about some kid not lettin’ him win all the time.’ And the scary man looks at me with his one eye, sets his pipe down on a table made out of an old piece of wood carved out like a bear, blows smoke in my face and says, ‘Boy, you look kinda short in the britches to hear ‘bout wrasslin’ b’ar.’ He meant maybe I wasn’t big enough. Like you, maybe.”

“I’m big! I can do all kinds of things now that I’m,” she worked her fingers, planted the thumb in her palm. “Four! You can tell me!”

“Okay, I guess you’re big enough. The bear wrassler man says to me his job is to get up every morning, early, and go out looking for a bear to wrassle. You know, he and the bear go after it like you and your brother sometimes.”

“I wrassle better than him ‘cause he’s a baby. And only, only because, um, he takes my stuff that he, he, um…that’s not his. Does the bear look like my brother?”

“Probably. With better manners. Anyway, the wrassler man goes out to find the bear every day so they can do their job wrasslin’. I thought the man was crazy going out to do that, you know, fighting with a bear? Crazy. But that was his job and I asked him why did he do something crazy like that and I hoped he kicked the bear’s booty or else it would eat him. He pointed at his eyepatch and said, ‘You got to be on your toes and ready to wrassle b’ar with all you got, every day. Some days I kick his butt and some days he kicks mine, but this eye patch is why I get up and go lookin’ for him. ‘Cause this here eyepatch is what happens when you expect to win all the time and whine about it when you don’t. You act thataway and the b’ar, he’ll just come up on you and RAWRRRR all over you standin’ there thinkin’ first is yours just because you’re some kind of princess. And that ain’t how it works a’tall.’”

“Were you a princess, too, papa?”

“No. He was saying that because even princesses don’t get to be first just because they’re princesses. So I’d understand the story he was telling me. Everybody knows princesses are special, but they have to fight the bear like even people who aren’t princesses.”

“Like Brave? She fights a bear!”

“She does, but it’s her mom, and your mom’s not a bear, is she?”

“Sometimes!”

“Yeah, I can see that. So after the bear wrassler told me that, my grampa shakes hands with him and I gotta tell you, that man really scared me. We get in my grampa’s old truck and he looks at me for a minute and scratches his chin before he says, ‘You gonna be a b’ar wrassler or you just gonna keep complainin’?’ And I said I was gonna be a b’ar wrassler ‘cause I didn’t want him to think I was a weenie or anything and the wrassler man was so scary and I sure didn’t want an eye patch. Grampa took a drink out of this flat bottle he kept in his overalls and he says to me, all serious. ‘Good. S’long as you understand that you don’t always get to be first. Because I’m tellin’ you, like he said, some days you get the b’ar, and some days the b’ar gets you. But you gotta get up tomorrow and wrassle him again, win or lose.’ So at school tomorrow if you’re first, great. You got the b’ar. If you try and you’re not, that’s how it goes. Because some days you get the b’ar, and some days?” The tickle monster came out, she squealed and took off.

“Some days the b’ar gets me, papa!”

***

The grocery bag and car keys hit the kitchen island, the lawyer turns into daughter for a split second. “Dad, before you leave…My daughter is saying things at school to the kids behind her when she’s line leader like ‘I got the bar today and the bar got you.’ And sometimes she makes a monster noise to go with it. You have any idea what she’s talking about, or where that’s coming from?”

“Nope. No idea.”

Mow the Yard

Lamar sat down across the bar from the bartender-manager who had her sleeves rolled up to her elbows and was forearm deep in soapy water. She looked up, wiped off two Collins glasses.

“Hey, Lamar. Where’s your buddy Neeko?”

“Hey yourself, Reagan. Neeko fell in love. Stay put, you’re workin’. I’ll get my own pretzels.” He sat back down with a basket of salt free mini pretzels, something that, at one time, had been a one-off between him and Reagan. It was now a kind of hit with the young downtown health nut in a bar hipsters. Reagan wiped two wine glasses with a bath sized bar towel and set them in a green square restaurant dishwasher basket, dunked two more in the soapy water.

“Neeko being in love have anything to do with you all the time shoving him in that direction?”

“All I said was when the opportunity to put some poetry in your life comes along, take it. His wife’s been gone ten, eleven years now and his two girls were gettin’ worried about him and workin’ on me to fix it. Like I know a bunch of single women and could fix him up. I think it’s because they don’t want him and his reprobate friends drooling on their carpet more than any altruistic reasons. I was just an enabler. He’ll come up for air, it’s football season.”

Two more glasses wiped, two more dunked.

“I didn’t know he had daughters. How many?”

“Two. The youngest was twenty or so when her mom died. Been harder on them I think than Neeko. Weddings, grandkids, no mom, no gramma. He busts ass making himself available, I’ll give him that. But from what I can tell I think girls need their moms for as long as they can keep them.”

“True.” She held a wine glass with lipstick still on the rim up to the light, sighed, dunked it and got after it. The soapy water looked like a shark attack was going on in the sink. “I have a daughter and I wonder sometimes what would happen to her if I fell over behind this bar. You’re right, dads are great, even though she doesn’t have one. But the things I thought I’d never hear come out of her mouth? No man would know what to do with it.” She held the offensive lipsticked wine glass up, spotless. “Girls and all that shit out there. Sorry. But you know? I’m just glad she talks to me. If I was gone…Jeez, I hate to think.”

“No need for sorry and I do know. Had one myself. Except we had to pry her open to get her to talk. Yours talks to you?”

“Sometimes I think just to shock poor dumb mom. Like she came from the stork or somewhere and before that I lived in an all girl’s library where I studied how to be a bartending single parent and part time caterer. With a doctorate, according to her, in over punishing my children.” She shook out the glasses, wiped them down, racked them and grabbed two more. “Come on, Lamar. What’s the joke?”

“You have a dishwasher.”

“No, I don’t. It’s broken.”

“Broken how?”

“It’s just broken, Lamar. And there’s Zen in washing glasses. Or so the price of a service call tells me.”

He raised his eyebrows, gave her the “and?” look.

“Broken, Lamar. Just broken. Move on, nothing to see here, folks.”

“You’re not telling me why or how it’s broken because you’re a woman and think maybe you broke it?”

“It’s fucking broken, Lamar. Next.”

“I got your Vitamix fixed.”

“That was because you were nice and they were being shits where I bought it and you got me the letter from that lawyer that made them sit up and say ‘yes ma’am, here’s your new Vitamix in fewer than four hundred pieces.’ The dishwasher is broken, nothing you can do, thanks.”

“You’re a woman, Reagan. Right?”

“I’m not sure how to answer that. I don’t expect man junk from you and that’s sure the opener for some.”

“I wanted you to verify it, that’s all. And I got you to. Bar manager, mother, caterer, student.” He grinned at her. “Child discipline Nazi. All that. I know now you screwed up the dishwasher somehow. And I can guarantee you’re a woman because of those answers. I asked you about a mistake, you shut it down. I asked you a question that set off all kinds of female here-comes-the-bullshit alarms and you took a step back.”

“Shit, Lamar. Now I am worried.”

“Don’t be. I have another question, and it’s broader, and there’s not much man bull in it. Ready?”

She shook out the glasses, made a face. “Like I have something else to do and can run away?”

“I ask women questions and for some reason it pisses them off or runs them off, sends them into radio silence. I don’t know if it’s the questions, or the way I ask them, or what it is. I thought us being family and all you could help me out.”

“What are you asking them? I mean, there’s questions from a man, and then there’s questions. From a man. If you catch me.”

“Tell me a story.” He watched the glasses drip when she stopped mid flight and cocked her head to one side.

“I thought we were talking about you not being able to ask a woman a question.”

“That’s the question I ask. ‘Tell me a story.’ It seems simple enough to me. Here’s another part of it. I ask a stranger, like a bank teller, or a nurse. I find one of my old ‘get them to talk’ lines, and I’ll get a small story. I might dig for the whole story, but I’ll never get it. I ask someone who knew me back when to tell me a story? A whole story? I get two lines and a flat line. Even my fascinating wife. Part of the anecdote. Highlights, sound bites. That’s it.”

“I’m not sure I understand what you want from these women you ask, and maybe that’s their problem, too.”

“Just a story. Look, I say something offhand to a nurse about the bad waiting room TV and how the guy must be high. She says she was in Haight Ashbury, in the time. Tells me about guys and their weak lines for the summer of love and how they weren’t any better than usual guy down the street nonsense, they just happened have fringe vests, need a shower and be in San Francisco. Great story, good details. But I ask, ‘How did you come to be in Haight Ashbury? What part of your mind sent you there?’ Like I’m looking for motivation to the surface story. Oops. Look at the time. The more someone knows me, or knew me, the worse it is.”

“Why do you want to know?”

“What good is ten percent of a story? How can there any humane empathy in that? Guys tell me stories, more anyway, before they back up because they feel exposed. In my old business? Blood on the floor. We had to communicate on a number of levels. If your heart was broken, or your mother died, or you got divorced or scratched your perfect copy of Are You Experienced or forgot where you were in the middle of “Louie Louie” you had to stay in tune and finish it anyway. Here it is. My heart. My pain. On the table. Stand up straight and work it out. We didn’t sit on it, cover it up like it was something so ugly or personal no one could see. Because when you depend on each other to tell a whole story there’s no place for secrets of your own. Creativity comes from experience, and all experience isn’t sunshine, lollipops and prom orchids. I ask people about their lives? Especially women? I might has well have rung the digital doorbell in nothing but a diaper and an eye-patch with a dagger in my teeth and blood on my hands.”

When she stopped laughing she dropped the last two glasses in the square green basket, stacked it on the other four and picked up his pretzel basket for a reload. She came back around the outside of the bar and sat by him, leaned an elbow on the bar and pulled a couple of pretzels.

“I see what you’re getting at, now. How guarded people are about anything besides the ‘cute grandkids, is that your dog?’ FaceBook nonsense, but damn, Lamar. They may think you’re a nut case, or trying to expose them. There could be a million reasons. And truly, men are one thing, women are another. We aren’t Google. You can’t just go all advanced search on a woman and hit ‘story, please’ and complain when it comes back empty. Our histories aren’t, well, Goggle-able. We share what we share, and the rest is ours. We’re taught that from the time we’re born almost. We keep them in the memory album with love letters and either way boyfriend dumps and virginity and baby teeth. And no man has the key to that drawer because we don’t think you’d get it if we opened it.”

He twisted his Coke glass, knew he’d just heard a major truth and wasn’t happy about it. “They ought to be Google-able. There ought to be a filter for them in the search, so you own up, tell your stories. Like I should be able to ask for a story and hit the ‘select more estrogen’ button and actually get all of one.”

“And that will help you how, Lamar? If you ask a woman a question she doesn’t want to answer, you can click your estrogen button all you want, you’ll still get nothing useable.”

“It would help because it would be just like asking and hitting that button in real-life, without it telling me to give it up, get out from under foot and go mow the yard.”

“Funny guy. You’re welcome.”

“I am?”

“Yes, for your answer. Now go home, hug your lovely wife Marie, don’t give her any shit because she’s a woman and smarter than you are and feels things you’ll never understand.” She backed off the stool, draped the towel over her shoulder. “And Lamar? Mow the yard.”

Nuts

She waved her hand in a wide but unobtrusive arc, more wrist than arm. “Every time I see these things I think about John’s nuts.”

Here we go. “Yeah? What things?”

“All these big green egg things. They remind me of John’s nuts, that’s all.”

Big green egg shaped things and John somebody’s nuts.

“He’s dead, now.” She let that hang a moment. “He was at work one day, all chirpy, saying he was okay, and he was gone the next day. It was all kind of sad.”

Okay, maybe this John guy had big green nuts and that’s what killed him. Big green nuts would do that, kill a guy if he didn’t get them checked out. If I woke up with big green nuts I would sure as hell beat it to the Doc’s.

“We all ate his nuts for like three months.”

Hold on. “You all ate John’s nuts?”

“So did we, you and I. You remember, from the Christmas party a few years ago? Taller, kind of poinky. Gray hair. He was gay and a really nice man. We saw him that time at the store and I introduced you?”

“Oh yeah, right. Him. You worked with him for a while?” The only person I remembered from the Christmas parties was a black dude trumpet player who taught music and was fun, and a sparkly older lady whose daddy had been a senator or governor or something from Louisiana. She held the patent on the old school Southern Belle thing and was sharper than a barber’s razor. Otherwise, like most work Christmas parties, there was never a lack of shortish or tallish, poinky-ish, gray haired, maybe gay people around.

“Yes. He’s dead now.”

“You said that.” Okay. Deep breath. “He didn’t die of giant green egg shaped nuts, did he?”

“No…” She was off somewhere remembering poinky gray gay John, missing his presence at work. Hopefully not his nuts. “It was cancer. They told him he had five or six years after his first round with it, and like clockwork, in four and a half years it was back with a vengeance. He was gone in six months. Anyway, he gave us all a big bag of his roasted nuts for Christmas that year and we ate them for a couple of months.”

“He didn’t like give us chunks of his big green egg shaped nuts that he roasted, right?”

“No. Listen, and don’t be goofy. He roasted his own nuts in one of these green egg griller-roaster things. And gave them to us in a big bag with a ribbon around the top. When I see all these green egg things it reminds me of him and his nuts. Like when I see those beat up cooking pots, you know, the big ones? I think of my grandpa’s boiled peanuts.”

“Boiled what?”

“Peanuts. Big ol’ green egg things and big ol’ beat up cook pots making me think about John’s and grampa’s nuts. I guess I’m weird, huh?”

I raised my eyebrows.

“Oh, you. Stop it. Talk about weird, Mister Weird-o. Did you get those screw-on nipple things you wanted so we can leave?”

nipples

Gone

What if where you were
When you were who you were, before
Who you are now
Was gone

My father grew up here
So did I. There were signs black and bold
The family name,
What else was sold

I painted them one summer
I was eight, it was hot as hell, alive
With beat up trucks
Colorful men

Grampa built this, no one now would know,
Looking you’d think the name was “closed”
In pen on yellow paper
Audible emptiness

Flowers grew where dead grass
Tries behind railroad ties and on gravel
Where memories of dead men once
Parked cars

If where I was
In all those yesterdays
Is full of weeds and emptiness, did I ever
Even belong

Or with the signs am I, too,
Gone

My Little Stiff Tool

Why DIY with your wife is more fun than doing it by yourself.

I felt the second tug on the bottom of my painting sweats, couldn’t look down from the ladder. “Yeah?”

“I need your little ‘stiff’ thingy for a minute.”

All of them ran through my mind. I landed on the most offensive, to me. “Little?”

“Yes. You know, your little ‘stiff’ tool?”

“Yeah, I know my not-so-little stiff tool. Just for a minute?”

She was oblivious. “Yes. Where is it?”

“I try to keep it with me. Hate to lose it.”

“Don’t be silly. You don’t have enough pockets for all this junk.” She was shuffling through the tools that shouldn’t have been on the end table. “I don’t see it down here.”

I got to a place where I could put the paint brush down and look at her. Jesus. The girl always got more paint on herself than anything she ever painted. I can still find thirty-year-old pink all over an aluminum step ladder from the time she and our daughter decided the steamer trunk for all nine thousand Barbies needed to be pink.

“I’m not sure what ‘stiff tool thingy’ you mean.”

“You know, the one I used to get caulk off the fireplace the other day.”

“You got ‘caulk’ off the fireplace with my ‘little stiff tool thingy?’” Still nothing. Oh well. “You mean the painter’s tool?”

“I guess. Only men would have a tool called ‘stiff’ that scraped up after their ‘caulk’ mess and had another name, too.” I wished I could have seen her face for that one.

It was killing me, but wisdom said leave it. “Painter’s tool. Just remember that. My little stiff tool thingy is a Painter’s tool. ‘Stiff’ is just how hard it is.” Still nothing. I eyed the tool bag on the floor next to the ladder. “There it is. Yellow tool bag, on the floor. Right next to my Big Johnson.” How could that have been  more perfect?

“Well, it says ‘stiff’ on the handle. And ‘stiff’ I can remember.” She gave me that devil girl look. “Barely.”

“I’ll be happy to fix that for you.”

“That’s what you said about this fireplace. Two weeks ago.”

“I didn’t know what I was getting into, or how much work it would be.” That was just stupid. Wide, wide open.

“So that’s what you’ll tell me? You didn’t know how much work I’d be? And I’ll have to wait two weeks?”

I wanted to say, “You could consider it foreplay,” but I don’t have a death wish. “I’m a part-time handyman, except on weekends.” I put on my best Barry White. “But you know, baby, I’m a full-time lur-uv machine.”

She walked away toward the kitchen, hair streaked with paint, my “little stiff tool thingy” in hand. “No you’re not.” She turned, looked back up the ladder and smiled. “But I knew there was a way to get you to finish this before Sunday afternoon.”

Dress Like a Man

The Italian host for the business dinner parked on the hillside by the restaurant outside of Catolica. The small, Velveeta-box-on-wheels diesel powered Fiat van he’d arrived in right along with at least five million dollars-worth of high end European sports cars and sedans. There had been nine people in that little van and he’d hauled ass back from Venice. The guest sitting cramped up next to the driver’s side window in the third “row” looked through the hair and shoulders all the way to the dash, asked the guy next to him how fast 165 kilometers an hour was. The answer of “around one-oh-five” turned him whiter. There wasn’t an American mini-minivan made he’d drive a hundred and five, much less with nine people in it on a potholed pick-your-state interstate highway. Italy, though? Smooth as glass and the driver/host, along with the front seat passenger whose wife was in his lap, had some big conversation going that involved the driver frequently taking both hands off the wheel to make emphatic gestures, scaring the rear seat passenger into translucence. Since they’d arrived late in spite of the thrill ride, the host crammed forty minutes of pre-dinner wine drinking into ten and had shaken most of the tension of all-day Venetian tour guide with an early morning “business” related side trip.

He had also spent a lot of time in America. Los Angeles to be exact, where he upped his skill as an English speaker, graduated from college, partied, ate expensive sushi, partied, rode motorcycles with rock stars and partied until his father knocked on the door. Dad said something about time to get married and take care of business. Dad had hooked up with someone equally rich and powerful in Italy that was kind enough to put a nice, attractive, educated twenty-four-year old ready-made wife in his forty-year old son’s sights for him. So son went home to make babies, work and do post graduate party hosting disguised as business dinners.

There are more women at the business dinner table in the posh hillside restaurant than men. One of them the host’s wife. A younger by a good deal, modern Italian girl trapped and trying to make the best of it in the old school, patriarchal Italian man world. The wine is good in Italy, the service is slow. Prodded by an elder statesman sexist who was traveling “on business” with his second or third or fourth wife to “tell us a joke,” the host went where most wine primed male jokers and jokes go. Women.

“Okay, okay, I tell you this one. Listen. My friend, Reynaldo? He looks like hell, I mean this. His face, his eyes. Everyone is telling him ‘Reynaldo, you look terrible, my friend. Go to a doctor. See what is wrong with you.’ Reynaldo says to everyone, ‘But I feel fantastico. I have no need for the doctor.’ After some weeks of this he goes home to eat with his mamà. Mamà says to him, ‘My son, you look like the death of three men. Go to the doctor.’ He tells her, as all of us, ‘Mamà, I feel fabulous.’ As it goes with your Mamà and mine, the next morning Reynaldo is in the doctor’s office. The doctor asks to him ‘Reynaldo, how did you become this way? You look terrible. But you say to me you feel wonderful and I believe you because you have no fever, no other problems. You will please wait while I research.’”

Wine glasses are re-filled, clinked, the host continued. “The doctor consults his books, no? To see what is wrong with my friend Reynaldo. Book after book he opens and reads. After one hour has passed he sees it. ‘Aha! Here it is, Reynaldo. Here, in this book. There is even the picture.’ Reynaldo looks at the doctor’s book, my friend cannot believe his eyes!” The host opens his eyes wide for Reynaldo. “‘Yes, it is true,’ the doctor says to him. ‘You look terrible but you feel fantastic. You, my friend, are a vagina!’”

Everyone laughs politely, a couple of guys with a load going guffaw, “Va-gina! Hyuk yuk, yuk!” The female contingent checks each other, ha ha, they roll their eyes, let it go.

The Italian host’s young wife, who speaks a lot less English than her husband, asked him what he’d said that was so funny. He runs double speed through the joke, in Italian, while she maintains an appropriately rapt attentiveness. He finishes with, “…vaheena!”

She quickly checked the women at the table, her eyes huge, almost on fire. “No, no, no.” She stuck her index finger in the center of her husband’s chest, pushed. “I theenk eeze the deek!”

***

Not far away from this restaurant, in nearby Bologna almost eight-hundred years ago, a woman named Bettisia Gozzadini dressed like a man so that she could study law and graduate from a university when women weren’t supposed to do that sort of thing. After graduation she taught law from her home until she was asked to lecture at the university, and is considered to be the first (known) female professor. Legend has it that she was beautiful, and not to distract from her lectures she spoke in a veil or from behind a curtain. The idea is also tossed around that the sight of a woman lecturing at a university in 1242 might have been enough of a distraction in itself. Attorney, professor and lecturer Ms. Gozzadini was so popular they had to move her lectures into the town square. Her skill as an orator was such that she was asked to put it to use at the Bishop of Bologna’s funeral. In a time when women knowing anything, or talking like they knew something, was considered by the church to be heretical. And dangerous. Because the inquisition into that sort of thing was in full swing. Nevertheless, there she was. Out loud, in public. How did she get away with it? That right there is the wrong question. Why should she have had to “get away with it” at all?

It’s 2016. Eight hundred years is a long time to wear pants and sit through ugly vagina jokes being a pretend good ol’ boy before a girl at a dinner table down the road finally pointed out that the real problem for women might even be uglier than the jokes made about them.

 

You can bypass Wikipedia and read Umberto Eco’s piece on Bettisia Gozzadini and Novella D’Andrea here:  https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=it&u=http://www.enciclopediadelledonne.it/biografie/bettisia-gozzadini-e-novella-dandrea/&prev=search

 

 

Fathers Day

If you’re a father you know how this goes. “Happy Father’s Day!” Maybe it’s wrapped, probably not. Then you go out to eat. You’ve gone out to eat somewhere kid or grand kid friendly for as long as you can remember, you get the check. Or someone with joint account privileges makes a nice gesture.

I got this one yesterday, Father’s Day Eve, which was okay because everybody is busy and “Dad doesn’t mind.” I tipped this guy the max. Twenty percent. In a Taco place with Formica tables and grand kid proof tile floors. Because you never know. I almost put the receipt in the charitable donations file because I’m still not sure if it was a tip, or a tithe. The scary thing? He kinda looked the part.

And that really got me to wondering. You know, what does that guy give his dad for Father’s Day? Did he wrap it?