My dad, Roger, is a funny guy. For good ol’ Super Bowl Sunday, I got roped into attending a party at my dad’s cousin’s house with my pop and my sis. I didn’t watch the game at all; instead, I sat around with my dad and his friends, playing cards and listening to their great banter. Here are a bunch of guys, pretty much all in their 70′s and they still have the same great rapport I imagine they had when they were really young.
(by continuing on with the rest of this post, you’re consenting to read profanity…may the faint of heart or constitution pause here)
As they play cards, it’s a constant stream of insults and taunts. You hear things like, “Didja have that king up your sleeve the whole time, you old potlicker!?” or “Well sonuvabitch” or “I’ll be dipped in shit” It really is a never-ending source of entertainment.
Anyway, my favorite part is when my dad tells stories from the old days. He’s got the best stories. There’s the old favorite about the flatulent kid…my dad used to drive a school bus (one of three in town). There was this one kid who used to get on every day and fart behind my dad four or five times on the way to school. Finally one day, the kid did it again and my dad snapped. He drove back to the kid’s house, dropped him off, and told him to come back to the bus after he’d taken a dump. The next day the kid’s dad came out to yell at my dad. The kid’s dad said, “Hey Roger, do you think you’re gonna take my kid to school today?” My dad replied, “I sure will as long as he doesn’t shit in my bus.”
There are about a million stories like this. There is the one about when my dad got shot at and taken to jail for stealing watermelons; there’s the one about when he was out drinking with his buddies, saw a muffler and tailpipe in the road, and thought it was a baby dinosaur. Of course there’s the story where he was out fishing in the wee hours of the morning and he got hooked through the eyelid. I love them all and I love hearing them each and every time.
Of course, in addition to the stories, there are tons of “Rogisms” that have become fixtures in my life. Every once in a while (with some more than others) he’ll say one of these great lines. Most don’t make sense, but they’re so funny and have, I don’t know, some kind of charm to them. For example:
1) “All around the hog’s ass is pork.”
2) “If the dog hadn’t of stopped to shit, he would have caught a rabbit.”
3) “Smells like a dead cat in a pumpkin.”
There are a lot more, but they all elude me at the moment.
Anyway, I love all these things about my dad. Lately, because of my mom’s death, I’ve been spending a lot of time with my ol’ pop. I could listen to him talk about the old times ad infinitum and not get tired of it. I’ve really started appreciating spending time with my dad’s friends, too. When I was young and naive, I used to think a lot of them were just dirty old men from Wisconsin, but I’ve come to see that they really are there for my dad and they’re really great people.
One guy in particular, a guy who it took me a while to be fond of, really amazes me. He’s not a very sensitive guy; he’d never really tell you his feelings, but something happened at the party Sunday that I’ll never forget. I went in off the porch to go to the bathroom and when I came back, this guy and my dad were talking about my mom. He’d been a friend of the family for years and he and his wife had “a lot of good times” with my mom and dad. Anyway, this guy and my dad got to talking about my mom and they both sorta broke down into tears and sat there, just consoling each other. Two really tough men, broken by life. I’d never seen anything like it. It’s good that my dad has his friends and his stories. I try to appreciate them while I still have ready access. I dunno…just appreciate what you have, ya know?
Anyhow, I hope whoever reads this understands what I’m talking about. Next time you see my dad, listen for the Rogisms. If you’re lucky, you might hear one. Sometimes he even takes requests…