He Means Well

My father is an interesting man. He’s an engineer by trade and any of you who have one of those in your family will know what I’m talking about. Engineers think on a different realm than you and I and therefore, flash their ‘geeky fucker’ badge even when trying to fit in with the rest of the world. It’s truly only been in the past couple of years that my dad has stopped wearing a fully loaded pocket protector around the house. I shit you not. I think he slept with that thing on in case he had to ‘make a quick note’. Sadly, he has replaced it with suspenders on his pants (even rainbow ones, like Robin Williams in “Mork from Ork’)(No fucking joke. Mom threw those out. Now he wears red ones. Or black. Depends on the mood.) and horrible dorkish watch cap hats, toques for us Canucks. But he doesn’t snug them down tight on his head. Oh no. He likes to pull them up into a cone right in the center of his bald pate. Gives the old noodle room to breathe.

Mom is beside herself.

“I got your Dad a new toque for christmas. Sonofabitch had to snoop at the receipt and found the sumbitchin thing so I gave it to him early. Oh good god, why can’t he wear it like a normal person? What’s with the cone? Your Dad has a pointy head anyway! Does he have to accentuate it? I am not going out in public with him!!”

This all said right in front of him.

Well, this is about the advice and such my dad has given me over the years. Not his gleeful penchant for looking like a dink. So here we go.

“Never get into a pissing contest with a skunk!”

All right. Sounds reasonable. I’d probably lose even if I could find a skunk willing to compete, only because I’d have to shinny my fat arse out of my too tight yoga pants and squat, being I is a female. But if it was a contest with a female skunk wearing yoga pants, I guarantee I’d win in sheer volume of liquid. Only because I drink a lot of water and forget to go to the bathroom. I can see the shamed skunkette now, lowering her tail in defeat.

“Always talk to the front end of the horse.”

Again, sound advice. I tried once years ago to have a vodka fueled conversation with the back-end of a horse. All I really remember is having a few of my teenaged girlfriends pull me up off the ground after slipping in horse shit. I don’t think the horse had much to say. But in future I will always try to find its front before I converse. Lesson learned.

“Put lipstick on a pig. It’s still a pig.”

No, it’s not. It’s Miss Piggy!

“Don’t piss in the wind!”

Are you seeing a theme here? I believe my father thinks I have a penis. He’s got one kid. How you could fuck that up is beyond me.

“Don’t shit where you eat.”

I think this was his attempt at career advice, and I hope that was it because, really?

“When you get a cold, go out to the bar. Drink lots of scotch. Your cold will get drunk and forget who it’s supposed to go home with.”

That one has actually worked for me.

“Men don’t understand froofy language. We need you to get to the point. When you say, I feel, all men hear is blah, blah, blah. Talk to a man like a man talks to a man. He’ll get it then.”

Best. Advice. EVER!!!

He took me to the dr. when I was 27.

“What are you going to the dr. for?”

“Nothing.”

“Well you can’t go to the dr. for nothing. What’s up?”

“Nothing.”

Silence.

“What are you going to the dr. for?”

“Jesus christ Dad! I think I have a yeast infection okay?”

Stunned silence.

And then, my dear father, with a vague look of disgust on his face says,very quietly,

“You women. You’re always bleeding or leaking or something.”

Touche, Dad. Touche.

The poor fellow. For such a smart man, you’d think he’d know when not to ask. But he’s held his own with my mother and I. He’s taught me to change my oil and spark plugs, to throw a ball like a man. Even to throw a punch like one.(Don’t cross me!)And now, in my adulthood, he’s become a damn good friend.

But I really don’t want him giving my son any advice. Poor kid is confused enough with out all the strange animal platitudes.

Farmers

It is ten o’clock on this lovely calm August evening. My son is abed, it’s cool and dark here in the country. The time of night I relax and review the day before slumber.

Sounds peaceful, doesn’t it?

Except for the fucking farmer who is banging away at some piece of equipment in the field by my fucking house.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am from multi-generational farm stock and I grew up in a farming community. I have wrestled sheep, milked goats (gross), talked to pigs (good listeners) and I know my way around a cow. I hate chickens. They scare the shit out of me. I had an encounter with one that I swear growled and I’ve never been the same. I know wheat from barley, oats from hay, and I can look at a crop and tell if it’s good or not. I am fluent in farm. I also speak a bit of hillbilly.

But the farmers? Crazy sumbitches.

You know I’m talking to you. If you are of farm stock, you probably have a birthday either nine months after seeding, calving or harvest. Those farmers get excited when they are working. Trust me, growing up where I did, you could not wear a skirt in planting season. Too dangerous.

If you are a farmer, you also spend a huge chunk of time looking at the sky. If you are not a farmer, for god sake don’t interrupt while sky gazing. That is not cool. He needs to understand the horizon, and having some city slicker come in and disturb this very important hour of his workday may result in him asking if you’d like to ride a ‘tame bull.’  Take heed, slicker! There is no such thing. He’s fucking with you for his amusement.

Right now, it’s baling. Not harvest. The food for the cattle? Funny thing: the stuff we eat called meat? Made by vegetarian animals. Go figure.

Anyway, the chaps around here are hell-bent. They are working. Hard. And long. I know how that sentence sounded but get your mind outta the gutter.

While they disturb my peace, I’m okay with it. I am a Canadian. A prairie girl. I understand the concept of making food. I understand that as much as this government tries to bullshit us, if the farmers have a bad year we will all have a bad year.

But really. Farmers, please. I understand the urgency but for god sake! It’s ten o’clock. Could you do it a little quieter?

No, I don’t want to ride your bull.