Wednesday, June 20, 2007

One Summer Day
In Roswell

Writing about chores got me thinking about Daddy and the change in my opinion of him that I talked about in Perspective , which somehow reminded me of this very, very, very short story.

I mentioned, in The Great El Paso Piss Off of 1955 that Daddy had a very sarcastic tongue and loved to catch me (and later, it turns out, Forrest) outdoors when he had an audience and berate me loudly. I suppose this was supposed to teach me something, but not what it did.

What I learned was that I could turn off my ears and my brain, wait for him to pause, and reply in a contrite voice, "Yes, Daddy," repeat as necessary, and eventually it would be over and I could get back to consciousness.

So, one summer day in Roswell, when I was 13, I was out in the front yard when all the men on the block got home from work and Daddy started in, about what I don't remember now and probably never really knew then, because I did my trick.

"Niener, niener, niener," Daddy said.
"Yes, Daddy," I answered in my best oh-so-sorry voice of contrition.
"Niener, niener, niener," Daddy said.
"Yes, Daddy," I answered in my best oh-so-sorry voice of contrition.
"Niener, niener, niener," Daddy said.
"Yes, Daddy," I answered in my best oh-so-sorry voice of contrition.

Lots of very loud laughter up and down the block.
I came to with a snap, looked at Daddy, who was working very hard not to laugh, and quickly reran the tape in my head.
"You think I'm stupid, don't you?"
"Yes, Daddy."

And I long ago lost track of the number of times he told that story and laughed and laughed.

3 comments:

Chancy said...

Funny, but oh so cute and you were so smart.

ms. em said...

hello,

i came across your wonderful blog through carrie arnold's (also wonderful) blog. and, i am so grateful to have found it. after reading the overview of your site, i was hooked. i love that you are sharing your wisdom with all of us.

thank you,
ms. em

p.s. i blog at: http://edsurvivorsclub.blogspot.com
i would welcome your wise comments!

gawilli said...

This is really a wonderful story to share with us. I hope that one day my son will be able to see the goodness in his father. You have given me hope.