I went to the suburbs yesterday to visit my parents because my dad wasn't feeling well. While my mom took him to the doctor, the dog and I jumped in the car and made a Dairy Queen run so they would have a nice treat waiting for them upon their return. It was a very suburban moment but loads of fun, and I remember that Tender by Blur* was providing the perfect accompaniment. While waiting for my blizzards and trying to tune out the obnoxious kids (one was saying the Cubs suck and the other said "so does your mom"), I was thinking about who I might run into. The sad thing is that the only people I'd likely see would be a friend's parents, since most of my friends had long since moved away. As I further waited for my bits of Oreo to properly grind up, it occurred to me that lots of the families had moved away too. I didn't know squat about this town! I'm surprised the DQ was still where I left it.
My dad did bump into one buddy's mom who still lives on the same street - our street. It's weird cause he lived on the same street as me, had the same first name, the same initials, was always tall with blond hair like me, and our poor teachers were always mixing us up. Then, as my dad is talking with his mom, she reveals that his first son has the exact same name as my nephew (which may or may not be Brendan Kenneth), who's middle name is named after me.
Kind of bazaar, but it wasn't that little coincidence that was on my mind that afternoon. I got to thinking about hanging out at his house when we were kids. His mom was a real sweet lady with one of those soft soothing voices, and she used to come into our school to sing folk songs with her guitar. The only song I can remember was "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands," because I used to picture some mammoth guy clutching the earth like a Wilson basketball. I know now that the song is likely talking about God having the world at his disposal, but being raised atheist, it didn't occur to me that the song meant anything deeper than some enormous dude spinning the world on his finger like a Globetrotter.
Dad seemed like a great guy when you were a kid. I remember my buddy and I would draw these robots with upside-down triangle bodies**, and dad would eat onions raw like apples and fart. One probably enhanced the other, I suppose. I can even remember two key phrases he'd say when ripping ass:
The Dad: Did you see that lightning?
Son: No, there's no lightning.
Dad: Are you sure, cause I think I hear some thunder (that's when he'd start in with the onion farts)
He'd sing, "Lights out. Uh-huh. Blast, blast, blast**" (And he'd fart on all three blasts. That still impresses me.)
As a kid he seemed like a great guy. He likes farts, and so did I! He was also unreal at Space Invaders on Atari. I always just tried to stay alive, blasting those critters as the crept closer and closer to my canon, as they moved faster and faster, especially those guys a few rows up who did progressively more intense jumping jacks. Friend's Dad would remain calm, handling his business with the aliens, and never missing a chance to blast that mother ship that would float by at the top of the screen, racking up Boo Koo points.
Now I realize that raw onion consumption, flatulence, and alien blasting does not make for a good father. My dad was one of those guys who figured out an unbeatable pattern on Pac-Man, but he still managed to be a great dad. He still is, and he's perhaps an even better grandfather. It turns out this guy's dad drank quite a bit and left the family, probably for another woman. I think he was living in Michigan for a while. I remember my buddy saying he went to visit him, and he nearly killed he and his sister in a car because he was so lit.
I guess my point to this goofy post is that I wish I could see things through a kid's eyes, and just enjoy people without my preconceived judgment, cynicism, and skepticism. It just seems like even the couples who seem happy eventually break up. Heather Locklear and Richie Sambora calling it quits was a crushing blow to my sense of hope.
Okay, Seven Readers, somebody break me of this lack of faith. Tell me about a happy marriage you know of - one that's so happy that just being around them for five minutes is enough to make you sick to your stomach.
*The only thing that makes the song not perfect for that day was that he's singing about the night, but listening to it now, I realize that it's actually the perfect song for this post. Either way, you'll have to pause my music player on the right before playing the videos.
**Where is Mysterygirl when I need someone to draw one of these robots for me?
***The fact that this video says 1990 on it really threw me off, but then I found that it's actually from 1984. Yes, I'm old. Does anyone remember this song? Anyone else fart to it?
****There is no fourth set of asterisks, so don't look for it, especially you, Chud, but I just wanted to take this time to say that I'm going to work on sectioning off all in depth music stuff into the asterisks. That way my posts won't get too music-ish. If people want overly music-ish stuff, then they can read the asterisks part. I'll try, but I know there's no avoiding letting music seep into the meat of my blogs.