Father Knows Best
So there I was, driving, my 7 year old daughter in the back seat. And she was babbling about some princess toy that she wanted, which I, of course, had no intention of buying her, as she has tons of toys, most of which she barely plays with as it is. Now, if she had been asking for something interesting, like Legos or a compound bow, I would’ve perked up my ears. But since she wasn’t, I half-listened and gave her my standard reply, which was “Mmmm-hmmm, honey, put it on your list for Santa.”
But this time she replied, “Daddy, I know there isn’t any Santa.”
“No Santa?” I gasped, agape. “Who told you such a thing?”
“Xerxes,” she answered. One of her schoolmates.
“And you believe Xerxes?” I asked.
“Hester said it too,” she informed me.
“So, you don’t believe in Santa any more?”
“No,” she insisted.
“Well, that’s just sad.”
“Why is it sad?”
“Your illusions are starting to leave you. Reality is setting in. It’s all downhill from here.”
She looked baffled. “What?”
“Well right now you live in a fantasy world, filled with small problems and fairies and princesses and everything is easy and fun and magical, but now that Santa has gone down the drain, next comes the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy and justice, and soon you’ll be a self-absorbed teenager with some bloated sense of romanticism, and then you’ll get screwed over a couple times by some guys just looking for a one-nighter, and you’ll probably get into a serious relationship at way too young an age, and you’ll end up either massively unhappy in a bad relationship with a dying concept of love, or massively unhappy alone with a dying concept of love, and you’ll wonder what the purpose of your life is, which is always rhetorical because life has no purpose, yes, it’s true, nothing you ever do matters, and then, broken and alone – because God knows that I probably won’t live much longer – you will bitterly look back on this time and think what a fool you were to want to grow up to be a princess. Which is probably a good thing, because princesses serve no real purpose in the real world, just to fill up tabloid space and die in car crashes.”
She stared at me, confused. She had probably stopped actually listening after the first 5 words, but had memorized sections of it and had already planned an event where she asked Mommy, “What did Daddy mean when he said ‘Don’t ever date a crazy person just because you think the sex will be good’?”
I turned to her with a sad smile. “Stay a kid as long as you can,” I implored.
***Dictionary.com defines the word “gay” as following:
1. having or showing a merry, lively mood: gay spirits; gay music.
2. bright or showy: gay colors; gay ornaments.
3. given to or abounding in social or other pleasures: a gay social season.
4. licentious; dissipated; wanton: The baron is a gay old rogue with an eye for the ladies.
6. of, indicating, or supporting homosexual interests or issues: a gay organization.
7. a homosexual person, esp. a male. –noun
8. in a gay manner. –adverb
As far as I’m concerned, there are only 3 definitions of the word “gay”.
1. so happy that you look stupid.
3. incredibly lame or pathetic.
Now, let me just state right now that I have absolutely no issues with gay people (here meaning “homosexual”). What people do with their private lives is absolutely none of my business, and I try my hardest not to judge.
In fact, I do not at all get homophobes. So what if some girl finds another girl attractive? Who can blame them? Women - well, some women – are amongst the most beautiful things on this planet.
And so what if some guy finds another guy attractive? Lots of women find guys attractive. Do you hold it against them?
In addition, the more men that are gay (here meaning “homosexual”) – the less competition there is for the available heterosexual women. Imagine a world where 50% of the male population was gay. You wouldn’t need a fancy body spray to have women getting Medieval on each other to reach you.
Of course, you realize that I will outright reject any argument made on religious basis. As if you let religious basis affect all the other parts of your life. No, no, only the ones that are convenient.
And, no, dillhole – they’re not attracted to you. Homosexuals, that is, not heterosexuals. Actually, heterosexuals probably aren’t attracted to you either.
So I’m making it clear that I wish nothing but hearty “you go girls” to the queens and the dykes of the world. You go girl.
However, I am often prone to using the word “gay” (here meaning “lame”) in my vernacular. 95% of the time, I use “gay” in the “lame” definition. I often find myself saying things like “Ben Roethlisberger is gay” or “Friends is gay” or “Neo-Nazis are gay”. If I walk out of a particularly bad film, I will frequently sum it up by saying “That was gay.” I do not mean that these things are homosexual (although they may be). I mean that they suck ass.
So, if I ever refer to you as “gay”, I probably mean that you blow metaphorical goats, not that you’ve found intense appreciation for the music of Cher.
Or any other ignorant derogatory stereotype I can muster up.
***And now that we’ve determined words that I do use, let’s hear from the land of “Words That Torque Me”™.
The first is “gyro”. I actually do not mind the word, and a gyro is a high quality late night treat. What torques me about this word is how people pronounce it. Often, I will hear it pronounced “jie-roe”. NO! Nein, nicht gut, nada, nyet. It is pronounced “yee-roe”. Urgh.
The second is “nuclear”. Once again, this is a pronunciation torque. The word is not “nuke-you-lur”, ya hilljack. That’s how Steelers fans and this other guy I know pronounce it. It’s “noo-cleer”. Argh.
And the third word is “pop”. I do not mind the word “pop” as in “Pop goes the weasel” or “Shut up kid or I’ll pop your balloon”. I mind it as a word describing carbonated beverages. Like many of you, I grew up referring to Coke or Dr. Pepper or Sprite as “pop”. Then I moved to New York. I was at friend’s dorm room, and felt a bit parched, and went to the mini-fridge to find a beverage. “Can I have this pop?” I asked.
“What?” he queried.
“Pop,” I replied.
“What is ‘pop’?” he asked.
I held the Pepsi up to show him.
“That’s a soda. Who the spork calls it ‘pop’? Where the hell are you from?”
“And they call it ‘pop’ in Ohio?”
“Dude,” he said, “you can’t call it ‘pop’ here. People will know right away that you’re not from here, and that’s like walking around a subway station with a map at 2 a.m. looking confused.”
“Uh-huh,” I muttered, placating.
“I’m serious,” he replied, seriously.
“I’ll remember it,” I said.
“Besides,” he said, sitting back, “it sounds gay.” (here meaning “lame”).
For some reason, probably the malt liquor, I actually thought about that, and found myself saying to myself “Self – that DOES sound gay.”
So I’ve never used it again. And I cringe whenever someone else does. Like a dog that just chewed its master’s Van Gogh to shreds.
***Somewhere in early September, 1999, I came back to Ohio from California for an annual visit, and made a stop at my friend’s house. We were drinking beer and hanging out in the living room, and he turned on professional wrestling, which he suddenly intended on watching.
“Oh no,” I told him. “No way are we watching professional wrestling. That is way too gay.” (here meaning “lame”).
“What do you want to watch?” his horrible wife asked me nastily.
“The US Open is on.”
“Golf? At night?” she asked, scratching the lump on her ass where her forked tail had been removed.
“No. Tennis,” I replied.
“You want to watch tennis?” she whined, stuffing an entire pop tart in her mouth. “What are you – gay?” (here meaning “homosexual”)
“Your husband wants to watch sweaty male steroid freaks in tights roll around on a mat, and I want to watch sweaty young women grunting and screaming in tight skirts, and I’m the one who’s gay?” (here meaning “homosexual”)
She had no comeback to that, so she drowned some puppies.
I didn’t like her very much.
***Most of you didn’t watch the Serena Williams match yesterday. One of the advantages of working from home – I get to watch lots of daytime sports. And Wimbledon has always been one of my favorite sporting events.
To recap for those of you that weren’t paying attention: Serena Williams was clocking Daniela Hantuchova, a leggy Slovak, when she got a ferocious cramp in her calf late in the second set. She couldn’t walk; she was in great pain. When her medical timeout ended, she hobbled back to the court and tried to fight her way into a 2nd set tiebreaker. She even managed to win her game on serve, then lost the first 4 points of the tiebreaker before scratching out the next 2. But it was apparent that her injury was incapacitating her to the point that if she lost the tiebreaker and was forced to a 3rd set, she was toast.
Then the heavens opened up and rain came forth, and a lengthy rain delay. Serena went to the locker room and gave Jobu some more rum.
After the rain delay ended, Serena’s leg was still affecting her, but much improved. And as the 3rd set went on, with Serena fighting and screaming and pumping her fist and cursing Daniela out under her breath (you could see her do it after Hantuchova drop-shotted her), she took control and won rather easily.
I didn’t know whether or not to be more amazed by Serena’s performance, or Daniela’s inability to accept a gift horse. It all came down to mental fortitude. Williams has guts – maybe more than anyone else on tour. Hantuchova is emotionally more fragile than a ceramic bowling pin.
Now, yesterday morning, I wrote Go to Vegas and bet all the money you have on Federer and Serena Williams. No one will beat them. Then I erased those sentences as Serena went down on the grass in a heap, wailing and writhing (she is an actress, you know).
Now… well, Serena plays Justine Henin next, who demolished her a couple weeks ago at the French. The only other time I’ve seen Serena get so dominated was when Sharapova beat her in the 2004 Wimbledon Finals, and Williams has since set the Russian chick straight. So I figured that a 100% Serena Williams motivated and on grass would get back at Henin. But I don’t know about a physically hampered Serena Williams.
We’ll see tomorrow. Helluva Quarterfinal match.
***And a helluva 4th round match is today – Maria Sharapova vs. Venus Williams. Four Wimbledon Championships between the two of them, and they’re meeting before even the Quarters.
***Andy Roddick is on course to meet Roger Federer in the Semifinals. He still has to win two more matches – all against Frenchmen - and could certainly find it difficult to get past Richard Gasquet in the Quarters, but should he do what he is expected to do, then he will have his day against maybe the greatest grass court player – nay, greatest player period – to have ever lived.
And he will also be trying to stop Federer from tying Bjorn Borg’s five championships in a row.
I might, just might, be watching that.
***Wimbledon needs to get that retractable roof installed RIGHT SPORKING NOW. At this pace, with all this rain, they’ll still be playing this tournament in August.
***The main reason for my invisible column last week was my efforts to finish up my deck. My father, Blue, and myself began construction on June 9th, and after much digging and building, I finally finished on Saturday.
Now, I don’t want to pretend that I worked on it every day. Some days I was rained out. Some days I just didn’t feel like it. Some days I had previous engagements at drinking establishments.
But here she is.
Now, if you ever find yourself wandering around backyards in Canton, Ohio, you might see this deck and recognize that you are at La Casa de Hiko. If so, pop (here meaning “stop”) in and have a beer or a shot of Cuervo.
***Besides, you won’t be the first person to be randomly wandering around my backyard. We had plenty of those during the massive search for Jessie Davis, who apparently lived close enough to us for our house to be within their search perimeter.
Now, I appreciate that you’re trying to help out, and that you have the right to be wandering around people’s backyards, staring blandly at their bushes for the third or fourth time, but the least you can do is acknowledge my presence when I’m sitting 10 feet away working on my deck staring at you.
Besides, searches can be thirsty work. Nothing would help you like a nice shot of Cuervo.
***I quite often have dreams involving ghosts. I always find myself in some dirty structure – usually with stairs that go down into someplace terrible – and I can sense the great evil and hatred. And someone gets ripped apart – I mean, to shreds. Sometimes it’s me. And it’s not a fun death.
Just thought I’d share.
***I heard on the TV a snippet of the Simon & Garfunkel song “The Sound of Silence”, the snippet with the lyrics “Hello Darkness my old friend”. And I immediately thought “That’s what Jack Johnson sings every time he enters The Cave.”
My liver prefers “Don’t Fear The Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult.