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The Drama Of Dads And Drugs

, , , , , , | Related | May 5, 2022

I’m in college, home for the weekend, and I have a bad headache. I tend to take as little over-the-counter medication as possible to avoid building up an immunity, but my head is really bothering me, so I take ibuprofen. My dad sees me shake out a single pill.

Dad: “You okay?”

Me: “Yeah, just a bad headache.”

Dad: “Come on, at least take an adult dose!”

Me: “It’s fine. I’m good with just one.”

Mom: “You heard your dad. The answer is always more drugs.”

He yelled, “NO!” while we laughed.

Uh… Boys Will Be Boys?

, , , , , , | Romantic | May 4, 2022

Back in her high school days, Mum was the most beautiful girl in school, to the point where there was a gentleman’s agreement among the boys that Mum was for everyone to equally enjoy from afar — off-limits to confessions and everything.

Me: “Then how did Dad get you?”

Mum: “He punched me in the face.”

Me: “What?”

Mum does kendo and karate. That I already knew. But apparently, their high school didn’t have a kendo club. It did, however, have a fencing club. Mum decided to challenge a few of the fencers to an informal swordfight.

Mum trounced three fencing club members, including the captain, before Dad, a new transfer student, stepped up.

Dad: “All right, so we agree. First to fifteen points. Anything goes.”

Mum: “Sure.”

Dad actually put on quite a good showing. He was in the lead for most of the fight. Mum was stronger than him — still is stronger, actually — but Dad was and still is faster than her. His sword had a longer reach, and he scored by stabbing, not by slashing, compounding that advantage. Dad leveraged his speed to keep himself out of range of Mum, slowly but surely racking up the points.

But eventually, Dad tired out. He started making mistakes, and Mum, who had been conserving her stamina for the whole match, stopped holding back.

13-11 in Dad’s favour slowly tipped to 13-13, and then 13-14. Getting rather desperate, after Mum parried his sword, Dad used his free hand to slug her straight in the face, and then he stabbed her with his sword before she could react.

14-14 now. Anything goes. They had both agreed to that. The punch didn’t count, but the sword stab did.

Mum reared back from the left hook and angrily retaliated by removing a hand from her sword and throwing a right straight right into Dad’s face. She hit him so hard he was thrown off his feet and onto the ground.

Despite being stunned — and half-blind as his glasses had been bent quite out of shape from how hard his mask was hit — Dad still managed to leap to his feet and somehow not just parry Mum’s shinai but actually score the fifteenth point at the same time. 

He had blocked the slash with his sword’s guard, and the tip had carried on to stab Mum’s breastplate.

Me: “What, really?”

Dad: “Yeah, I’ve still got the scar to prove it.”

He shows me his right hand where there’s a keloid scar over the knuckle of his thumb.

Dad: “I got that because I parried [Mum]’s last blow with the guard of my epee. She hit it so hard that the guard slammed into my hand and cut me through my glove.”

The guard of an epee is essentially a metal bowl that covers the top of the wielder’s hand to prevent the opponent from stabbing them in the fingers. The rim of the bowl is pretty sharp, as my Dad clearly found out firsthand. Literally.

Me: *To Mum* “So, you fell in love with Dad because he beat you.”

Mum: “No, I fell in love with [Dad] because he apologised for punching me and baked me cupcakes. It was pretty sweet.”

Me: “The cupcakes or the gesture?”

Mum: “Both.”

Me: “Okay. Okay. I know Dad’s baking is awesome, but seriously? That’s all it took?”

Mum: “No, he was also the only boy in school that treated me as an actual human being and respected me for my thoughts and opinions instead of just my looks or athletic talent.”

Me: “Really? Over a hundred boys in school, and only Dad wasn’t charmed by your looks?”

Mum: “Oh, he was charmed. Couldn’t look straight at me without blushing and stammering. But unlike the rest, he actually listened when I talked and tried his best to treat me like everyone else.”

Dad: *Shrugs* “To be fair, I was a transfer student. I didn’t know about the whole ‘gentleman’s agreement’ thing until after we’d became boyfriend and girlfriend.”

Mum: “You nearly got lynched by the boys.”

Dad: “Thrice. That I know of. And [Teacher] tried to get me suspended for confessing. I think he was jealous.”

Mum: “Oh, he was.”

Me: “So, was it worth it in the end?”

Both Of Them: “Absolutely.”

They never married each other, even after a decade and two children, but are both still very much madly in love. And to think it all started with a punch in the face.

That’s Not A Prank, That’s Just Mean

, , , , , , , | Related | May 1, 2022

Before I was born, my aunt was married to a guy who considered himself a prankster. He was more like a Schrodinger’s a**hole — the guy who plays it off as “it was just a joke/prank” if you got upset due to his horrible behavior.

Mom got engaged to Dad, and [Aunt’s Husband] got an idea for a “joke.” The plan was to get my father drunk the night before the wedding and buy him a one-way ticket to Hawaii. Naturally, this would have left my mom alone at the altar for a wedding that could not happen, that was barely afforded, with Dad stuck on an island with no money to fly back. I’m guessing it would also be “hilarious” to cost other people money to eventually get Dad home and “hilarious” to have a whole bunch of people furious at [Aunt’s Husband].

Perhaps the greatest blessing of this whole thing was that [Aunt’s Husband] added to the “mirth” by openly threatening to do this prank — several times. My mom repeatedly told him that it wasn’t funny and that he’d better not do that to her. He doubled and even tripled down on it.

Finally, a few days before the wedding, Mom snapped and called my aunt. In an icy fury, she told my aunt that if [Aunt’s Husband] dared to pull off that “prank,” she would commit a felony and go to jail with a smile on her face.

My aunt was completely in the dark and very confused about the whole thing. [Aunt’s Husband] had been making his prank threats when [Aunt] wasn’t in the room. After Mom explained to [Aunt] what her husband had threatened to do, [Aunt] said she would put a stop to it and not to worry.

[Aunt’s Husband] made one more threat of a different “prank”; he threatened to throw my father into the fountain, rented suit and all — because throwing Dad into the fountain would be funny, regardless of how much the suit rental company would charge Dad for the damage caused by the “prank.” This, too, was thankfully stopped.

[Aunt’s Husband] ultimately passed away from a heart attack before I was born, and my aunt married a much kinder man who is my acknowledged uncle.

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys (Unless They Want To)

, , , , , , , , | Related | April 30, 2022

I was visiting my goddaughter, and I ask her what she wants to be when she grows up.

Goddaughter: “I want to be everything, except for a bad guy or a cowboy.”

Me: “Why not a cowboy?”

Goddaughter: “I don’t know. I just don’t want to be a cowboy.”

Me: “But you want to be everything else? You’re going to be a plumber, and a cop, and a doctor? Isn’t that a lot of things to do at once?”

Goddaughter: “No, I’ll do them all.”

Mother: “It’s too bad she won’t be a cowboy or she could be all of the Village People at once.”

My goddaughter stayed true to her claim for my whole visit, repeatedly telling me she didn’t want to be a bad guy or a cowboy. Poor cowboys get no love.

She’s Gone Totally Walnuts

, , , , | Friendly Right | April 29, 2022

My husband and I have recently moved to a lovely little farm. We have a few horses, a beautiful garden, and a lot of gorgeous old trees. One of those trees is a gigantic walnut tree, and in one afternoon, I have already picked up several pounds of nuts. After all this hard work, I am relaxing on the couch with a cup of tea and a good book by the hearth fire.

Suddenly, I hear the sound of a car coming down our driveway. I am not expecting anyone, and our house is pretty far off the main road, so this is strange. I get up to go to the door, but before I even make it there, the car honks loudly. I can hear my horses run around the field, startled. When I get outside, I see a large BMW standing half in my garden. Deep tire tracks in the grass indicate that the car completely ignored the large gravel area and chose to turn over my lawn, instead. I should already be angry by now, but honestly, I am too flabbergasted to get angry.

As I stand there gaping, a woman gets out of the passenger side. She’s middle-aged with short hair, bright clothes, and a permanent sneer on her wrinkled face.

Woman: “I am here to buy walnuts.”

Note the complete absence of any kind of greeting.

Me: *Confused by her audacity* “Did you speak to my husband?”

Woman: “No, but I know you have them. I was here last year. I want thirty-five pounds.”

Me: “Oh, well, we just moved here. I am sorry if the old occupants did not inform you, but they moved away and my husband and I live here now.”

Woman: *Impatiently* “I need thirty-five pounds of your walnuts.”

Me: “I literally just harvested them. They are not even dried yet and I haven’t decided what I want to do with them yet.”

Woman: “That’s fine. I’ll just dry them myself.”

Me: “No, I’m not selling at the moment. I want to give them to my friends and family first. If I have a lot left over, I might take them to the local market or put a stand next to the road. Maybe keep an eye on that.”

Upon hearing this, the woman stomps off to her car without another word. I assume that is the end of it and go back inside to process what just happened while internally kicking myself for remaining so polite when I should have just told her to pay for the damages to my lawn and garden and eff off. Retail instincts, I guess…

However, after a little while, I realise the car is still there, and just as I am about to go outside to tell them to get lost, the car honks again. I go outside and out steps the woman again, this time with a little notepad and a pen.

Woman: “I will give you my number and you will call me when you have thirty-five pounds of nuts for me.”

Me: “I really don’t think so. I’d like you to leave now.”

She starts writing her number down.

Me: “Now, please, before I decide to make you pay for the damages you did to my garden.”

Woman: *Outraged* “There were already tire tracks there!”

It is true that there was already one tire track in the grass all the way at the back of the garden from when the vet tore through there in great haste to get to my horse that had seriously injured itself a week earlier (the idiot is fine now) but this track is small, only just visible, and most importantly, nowhere near this huge BMW still standing half on my grass!

Me: “Not those! You come here onto private property, destroy half my garden, spook my horses, and make demands. Is this really how you usually get things done? Because at this point, I’d rather throw those walnuts in the fire than sell them to you at any price. Now get lost, please. This is the last time I’ll ask nicely.”

Woman: “But I need those walnuts and you will sell them to me!”

Me: “Have you not been listening to me? I really won’t!”

Cue lots of ranting and angry noises that I’m not listening to because I am dialing the police.

Operator: “You’re through to the non-emergency police line. How may I help?”

Me: “Good afternoon, officer, I’d like to report trespassers on my property at [Address]. Could you send a car over, please? They refuse to lea— Oh, look at that, there they go!”

Operator: “Will you still be needing police assistance, ma’am?”

Me: “No, thank you, officer. I think we’re all good here. Have a lovely day.”

Operator: “Thank you, and you, too, ma’am.”

While I was on the phone, the woman practically ran to her car, and after some angry shouting and gesturing between her and the driver, they sped off, never to be seen again.