April's Real Blog

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tattoo?

Mike is ready 2 share w/U a little TMI abt Dad (past & present):
April,

Formerly little sis. As the Patterson ladies have been spending more and more time over at your house, the old George Stibbs’ place, to do their planning for Elizabeth’s wedding; Dad has been spending more and more time over at my house on Sharon Park Drive. I knew it had gone pretty far when I was busy writing my second novel Breaking the Windjammer and saw Dad walking through the house completely naked. This was naturally, a horrifying sight. Aside from not wanting to see Dad naked ever, there is that tattoo he has you can only see when he is. It has been one of my sincerest and fondest wishes to never see it again.

I said, “Dad! Put some clothes on!” He replied to me, “It’s all right, Michael. The girls and the kids are all over at my house. Besides I like taking showers over here. Nothing is ever missing from the washroom, like it is at my house.” As you might expect, this statement brought forth a flood of unbidden memories from 1979.

I remembered one of my first occasions to see Dad naked. Dad had been in the shower and he pulled back the curtain with a mighty “MMF GRUMBLE”. Shower curtains are not that difficult to pull back, but Dad has very poor upper body strength. Then he stuck his head out of the washroom door and said, “OK, who the heck took the *@* soap?” As I think back on it now, I realize that it was an unusual combination of words, with both “heck” and “*@*” taking the place of stronger language. Usually Dad would use one or the other method of covering up his obscenities, but this time he used both. This was not something he repeated very often in the years that I have known him since; but on this occasion he did. While I was standing there, marveling at his choice of words and being horrified by his tattoo, Dad gave me a glare that reminded me very much of our friend Charlie Brown’s dog Snoopy when he is being a vulture.

Even to my young brain, it was clear that Dad was looking for someone to accuse of taking the soap. When I think back on it, there were really only two choices. I certainly wouldn’t take soap and Lizzie was too little to take soap. So either Mom took the soap, or Dad did and forgot about it. I suppose there was the possibility that we had a soap thief in our house; but the occurrence of those is so rare, it seems unlikely.

It was also on this occasion I learned that the use of catch phrases to answer questions can sometimes work against you. For example, I was very fond of the catchphrase, “Don’t ask me—I never use the stuff.” I believe I picked it up from the comedian W.C. Fields who said something like, “Don’t ask me about water –I never drink the stuff.” This phrase worked wonderfully well on many occasions. If anything was ever broken in the house, I could say, “Don’t ask me about the broken lamp, I never use the stuff.” So, I used the phrase with Dad, and although it kept him from continuing to accuse me of being a soap thief; once the soap was finally acquired, I found myself on the business end of a bar of soap with Mom checking me after every bath.

After my brain returned from telling my story from 29 years ago, Dad said, “OK, Michael. You don’t need to be mean about it. I’ll put on some clothes. Just don’t tell me anymore stories from 1979.” So, one positive aspect of this perpetual reminiscing is I don’t have to look at my Dad naked and I don’t have to see that frightening tattoo.

Love,
Michael Patterson
OMG! Naked Dad? Tattoos? I need brain bleach!

OK, so I M going 2 UGuelph 2day 4 a special program they've got there 4 prospective pre-vet students. I won't get home until sumtyme Saturday evening. I will prolly B able 2 check in & post each morning, but UGuelph is gonna keep me hella bizzy most of the rest of the time I M there, so I M gonna B a bit scarce here.

Apes

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1 Comments:

  • At 8:36 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, i miss u. i wish i wuz w/u @university of guelph. baby-sittin’ ur niece, nephew & future niece while ur mom, sil, & sis r plannin’ ur sis’ weddin’ is not az much fun w/o u. i think they like their auntie april a lot more than their uncle jeremy.

    there’s places ‘round here i have nevah seen b4. did u know there is a crawlspace in ur old house on sharon park drive that is almost completely filled up with bars of soap? the kids found it when they were playin’. i hadda stop robin frum tryin’ 2 eat it, cuz he thot it wuz chocolate.

    sum of this soap is rilly old & nasty. i can’t figger y ne1 wud put soap in a crawlspace in ur old house. ‘course i had the same question ‘bout ur grandma marian’s old weddin’ dress, so i guess it’s prolly sumthin’ ‘bout ur fam i am not gonna unnerstand.

    i miss u.

     

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