Have you ever wondered how much what we don't tell our kids outweighs what we do tell them? You respond "Why, whatever do you mean Big Papa, please tell us" Well, okay if you insist.
A few days ago (I don't remember how many) I caught The Big One climbing on the counters to get into a cabinet. Of course I dispensed th usual pearls of fathrly wisdom, could fall, blah blah, hurt yourself,yadda yadda,brain damage, something something. The Oracle, the knower of all things, speaks.
"But Dad, I just wanted to see what was in there."
Ahh yes, curiousity. And of course, being the mature, responsible parent (quit laughing Steph) that I am, I gave him the patented, straight from my mother speech "just because your curious doesn't mean..." I so desperately wanted to tell him the story of when I
....FLASHBACK... think Wayne's World, doodle doodle doo, doodle doodle doo.
We find our intrepid hero as a very young nineteen year old in his adopted home town, Austin Texas. He has just awoken (recovered?) from a long sleep. It's about two o'clockish and he was alone. Oh yeah, wait a sec, before I get rollin' THE EVENTS CONTAINED IN THIS STORY ARE NOT REAL. ANY RELATION TO REAL EVENTS OR PLACES IS PURELY COINCIDENTAL THE NAMES HAVE BEEN CHANGED TO PROTECT THE INNOCENT. If you are pregnant, nursing, having chest pains, take an MAOI inhibitor, or like walking outside sans pants, please consult a physician before reading further. If you are gathering information for my upcoming competency hearing, I deny writing any of this, it was written by a bunch of monkeys in a room with a bunch of typewriters formerly writing Shakespeare.
There, that should cover my ass.
Any way, where was I. Oh yeah, Austin. A lovely town. I get nostalgic every time Rachel Ray goes there with her forty dollars. Yes, I watch that show. I gave up my man card a long time ago. There was a time, however, when Austin's weirdness was a little too weird for my Midwestern sensibilities. The first year I spent a lot of time in my campus apartment listening to the sounds of my neighbors bass and the roaches doing whatever roaches do. This particular morning I had the whole day off and my then wife was on campus studying, leaving me with absolutely nothing to do. (Yes I was married before. No, no kids thank God, clean break).
Any way there I was bored out of my mind, when I received a phone call "Hey,hon, I left my keys,please don't go anywhere. I'll be home about nine." I hung up and spotted said keys on the kitchen counter. Stupid keyes really. the kind only a woman would carry. Way too many pictures and keychains to cram into front pocket of jeans. And a can of MACE to boot. Hang on, when did she start carrying MACE? Oh well, who cares, on with the day. And what day would be complete without beer. Homer "ummm beer"
Flashforward six hours or so. Beer number one a distant memor, beer number nine prepared for take off. If I keep writing and you keep reading you may notice all storys of Austin will start similarly. So there I was, just me, the roaches, the tape player with some new band from Seattle, Nirvana I think they were called, and that stupid can of MACE. MACE can't be all that bad, can it. I mean yeah sure I saw a news anchor volunteer to get maced for informational purposes, but he wasn't a tough guy like me. He was probably a Dad or something, you know, a real wuss.
What does it feel like? The little red button on top spoke to me "Do it. Come on, what kind of tough guy are you?" No, no put it down. Besides, wife will be home soon. But then you"ll never know. She would never let you. Do it! I picked it back up and stared at the small hole where the MACE would come out, my finger on the red trigger. Acting on its own, my index finger pushed down, the can spraying furiously.
Nasal passages searing, eyes shut and watering I stumble into the shower to try and rinse it off.
Big Papa's tip for the day: after being maced, do not rinse with water.
Of course, with timing only seen on bad sitcoms, in walks my soon to be ex. Picture this seen, me naked writhing on the floor,face red, screaming.
Long story short, I could use this as a teaching tool for my kids. But I won't. He'll never know.