My father is far more employable than I am, so he does actual important things while I spend my day exchanging rude comments with coworkers in an IM chatroom. Here's an actual excerpt from:
ME: I'll drink with you, lady.But I still get to see Dad around the office. It's all Dad, all day. All day. ALL DAY.
ME: I'll drink with anyone, though.
ME: I'm a whore.
MAGGIE: that would explain the lipstick and cheap perfume.
ME: Oh, you're all high and mighty now, Catfish.
MAGGIE: Talk to me when you get a new pair of stilettos
MAGGIE: and i'll THINK about paying you.
If you spend ALL DAY around someone, you start to identify little foibles, like the fact that my dad seems uncomfortable with silence. This is a side effect of spending more than 30 years in newsrooms, I think. In newsrooms, TVs are always on and people are always yelling -- the whole experience causes a sort of sensory overload that doesn't go away when you leave the office.
At one point in Jack Kerouac's "On The Road," Sal and Dean go into a Mexican bordello, and the volume at which music is played on the bordello's jukebox stands out as a key element of the experience. Sal says that he and Dean had never even thought to play music so loud.
My father has never even thought to listen to television or the radio quietly. And often just that noise is not enough. This morning as we drove in through a snowstorm (you know, the sort of thing that you would normally want to pay attention to whilst driving), my dad was listening to public radio at full volume and shaving with the World's Loudest Electric Razor. Add to this my favorite sound -- windshield wipers pounding away on a dirty windshield -- and I was in a twitching state of brain-numbed silence. It is too much for the morning.
As we shot across the marsh that extends from the Minnesota River, Dad driving in an erratic style that reminds a little bit of the old-fashioned cars you could drive at Astroworld, the Kinks' "Oklahoma, USA" was blaring on the radio.
"This is my American experience," I thought. " Wheeeeee."
I tend not to believe that Vinny Mac would do this; but I also wouldn't be surprised.
Really? That's it?
Good name for a bar: Slummy McSlummerton's