Saturday, March 28, 2009


Recently my son came home from school badly bruised and his clothes were torn and messy. What happened, son? I asked, concerned. Mike beat me up again, he said. Why did he do that? I asked. I don’t know, he likes it. He likes to push people around. Why don’t you fight back? I asked. Why should I? He’s bigger than me. He will beat me up even worse. It’s bad enough as it is. Son, I said, removing my pipe from my mouth and tapping it on the edge of the silver ashtray, I am going to die of lung cancer if I don’t quite smoking this pipe. Or possibly cancer of the jaw, or even emphysemia–all horrible, horrible deaths. And then Mike and his bullying will be the least of your problems. Believe me. So stop worrying about Mike. Stop worrying about everything. You never know what’s going to happen in life, although it is a sure bet that I am going to die a horrible death and that’s something you can count on.

You’re right, Dad. It could be a lot worse. And it really doesn’t hurt that much either. It’s not like he’s giving me lung cancer or something. That’s right, I chuckled, you definitely don’t have that yet. Or emfeeseema, he smiled, seeming more relaxed. No, not that either, I said with a grin.

I tell you what, I said, How would you like a nice slice of coconut cake? Mom left some in the fridge for us. It’s pretty tasty and very sweet. She has this special recipe. He squinted out of his good eye and asked Mom? Who do you mean? Mom, I said, you had a Mom once. She left about five years ago. She did? Yes, son, she did. Did she leave you or me? Well, I suppose she left both of us, but I tell you, that’s the least of my problems now, I chuckled. Don’t worry about that. Worry about me. Have some cake. It’s in the fridge. It’s delicious. Have some, son. Things won’t seem so bad. They really won’t. They won’t because they can’t. Not after cake. They just can’t.


Pearl said...

like your twists on the recipe of the Cleavers and Leave it to the Beaver.

Tortilla ex Machina said...

OH you were SO close. It's actually a variation on an episode of the first season of MY THREE SONS (1960.) I couldn't help but think of this as I watched Fred MacMurray dispensing sagely advice about life and living as he puffed away on his pipe. If only he had been tossing back shots of Old Grand Dad, it would have been perfect.

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