Sunday, July 19, 2009

Lessons Learned from Dad: The Geyser

Greetings Bonehead Faithfuls!

It's been a hot, hot week here in Arizona. In fact, Satan moved in next door and told us he's been looking for a little property for when it gets cold in hell. As far as the kid report is concerned, Parker gave a talk in church last week. He is only 9 but he asked the Bishop if he could give a talk on faith. How do you say no that face? So there he was in front of the whole congregation and talking about faith. For about 10 minutes. I was having a HUGE proud dad moment. What an amazing kid. The rest of the crew is doing well and keeping Neish and I on our toes. The boys have recently concocted a money making idea, namely to rent themselves out for yard work under the title of "Lawn Ninjas Inc." They have a flyer and everything. I'll try to post one if I figure out how. Well, enough banter, on to business!

Dads know everything. At least we're supposed to. No matter what the emergency dads are supposed to know exactly how to fix it. In becoming a dad I have discovered something both valuable and terrifying: Dads do not know everything! But I can't tell my kids that so I do what every dad has done before; I make crud up. When I shock myself I tell them that I needed to check how strong the current was. When I break the tent pole while trying to shove it into the ring-pin, I tell them "They don't make em like they used to!" Stuff like that. After a recent incident involving my remote controlled helicopter and an insane idea that flying it in the wind might be really cool, he told me "When you're experimenting it's best to do it when no one is home." That's some good wisdom there. It would save a lot of explaining. Mostly because I'd have a chance to clean up before anyone saw what happened. Like the time I accidentally set off a rather large artillery shell firework in the garage. Whew! That was exciting! I hope my dad isn't following my blog.

But it's really my dad who instilled in me the notion of experimenting with the world and learning new stuff, and making up stuff about what you didn't know. Allow me to explain. Dads want you to try things that will "toughen you up" (the reason they give you when you get hurt doing what it was they thought you should do). With that in mind let's remember the lesson of the geyser.

We have a cabin in Yellowstone National Park and as children spent some time there every summer. One of our favorite things to see each year was Old Faithful. Its uncanny ability to go off each hour or so was awesome. When visiting the geysers my dad would explain where all that hot water came from and not to go near it unless we wanted to end up looking like a cooked macaroni noodle. One time after visiting the park we asked mom and dad if we could go swimming. Dad drove around a while and eventually saw a small waterfall and pool off the side of the road. Excellent. "A perfect spot!" says my Father. We piled out of the car and hiked down the trail to the edge of the pool. Then came the sixty-four dollar question: "Is it cold?" His answer to us trusting, innocent, pure children was "No! It's completely warm. This water's straight from the geyser!" Well we all knew that geysers were way hot and so having the river mix with the geyser water would make it perfect. The three of us lined up on the side of the pool, counted to three and jumped.

Remember what I said earlier about dads not knowing everything? Yeah, this was one of those times. It took approximately .003 seconds for our nervous system to tell us that my dad was a git. At about .007 seconds our nervous system told us if we didn't get out of that pool right now we'd turned into popsicles. Needless to say my dad feigned complete surprise that the water was anything but warm (a ruse he continues to this day) and we spent the rest of the day huddled in blankets trying to keep our toes from falling off.

That's all the news that's fit to print so stay tuned next time for the tale of The Very Strong Lid.

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