(By the way, I believe my father would not only support the porn decision but would have been surprised had I gone another route. And then he would have whacked me upside the head for being late because that’s very rude.)
My Dad seemed to be in a pretty crappy mood for a large portion of his life. Or, at least the portion of his life when I knew him. I try not to take that too personally though. He was Irish and that can tend to explain all sorts of things. And he was raised by the Christian Brother’s Catholic Church in New York City during the Depression and, since he only had peanut butter and bread to eat for long periods of time, he most likely had scurvy….which would explain everything that the Irish part didn’t.
I began to grasp the real reason he was so cranky in the past several years since I had kids. He and my mother produced six offspring. I never did get them to fess up about their reason for this terrible lack of judgment. Did they actually intend to have six or was it the no-birth-control Catholicism? Either one paints them as lunatics.
When my father passed away 7 years ago, no one was especially surprised. For one thing, he was 84 years old so not exactly taken down in the prime of his life. Also, he was supposed to have died several times prior to this and didn’t, I believe, so that he could keep us slightly off kilter and nervous at all times.
My father’s wishes were to be cremated so me, my sisters and my mother found ourselves in a hushed conference room with soothing colors and quiet background music at the funeral home discussing the receptacle we would pour Dad into for his final burial. My father was a very no-frills, pragmatic man so an ornate urn was out of the question upon risk of being haunted for the rest of our lives with a litany of ghost rantings about wasteful behavior.
As you’d expect, we were all quite tired and punchy from emotion and worry about our mother and how she was going to fare through all this so we weren’t thinking particularly straight. As the nice young funeral boy (I believe that’s on his business card) went somberly through the absurdly large catalog of options for housing ashes, we all started to get the giggles. I can’t quite remember what may have started it (I think it had something to do with “veteran” vs. “veterinarian”, him being the former and not the later) but pretty soon there wasn’t a dry eye in the room and not for the correct reason. Our barely contained hysteria went something like this:
“Let’s just put him in a velvet Crown Royal bag and call it a day.”
“Is there some way we could fashion him into a fishing lure?”
“I say we scatter him all over the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. Do we need a permit for that?”
The bad news is that we tend to be loud laughers and one does not normally expect to hear loud female cackling coming from a funeral home as if we were doing Jell-O shots at Senior Frog’s. We were gently escorted to the parking lot to avoid bothering the other, more appropriate mourners. I don’t know if we were really 86’ed from a funeral home, but knowing how proud Dad would be if we were, it’s what I’m choosing to believe.
Here are some facts about my Dad:
He hated peanut butter
Used to have me believe he was a spy in the war and still had the recording devices and cameras embedded in his eyes and ears
Had a wicked, some would say cruel, sense of humor
He cheated at board games
Scared the shit out of us
Taught me how to skin and gut a trout
Smoked cherry-vanilla tobacco in his pipe
Hope you’re having a hoot, Dad, and they don’t serve peanut butter in heaven.