It's update time and with it another wisdom filled episode in the "Lessons Learned From Dad" saga! But first the news...
We've recently returned from a 4 DAY LONG FAMILY REUNION. Neisha will say, "Isn't that awesome!" I will say, well I won't say anything because I'd get in trouble. But I survived and am still alive to write in the blog! Anyway, we're back to almost normal which is about two levels beneath insanity :)
And now, another lesson learned from dad.
Fathers are great. Never has there been a creature so willing to go through so much in order to teach a simple lesson. For example when my dad showed us kids the importance of not playing in the road.
There comes a time when every child must learn not to run out into the street. There are real dangers out there! Not the least of which was my dad attempting to teach us the danger of playing in it. Poor laundry basket. (Allow me to explain).
One day we kids were out playing in the yard and my dad walks up carrying a wicker laundry basket and says, "C'mon kids I'm going to teach you a valuable lesson." Now if you know my dad then you'll know that when he says "C'mon kids I'm going to teach you a valuable lesson" that two things are going to happen: #1, you will most likely witness something that is about to go horribly wrong and #2, it will most likely involve electricity, cars, or tools, and usually results in pain (see The Lesson Of the Crank Washer).
Today's lesson took place in 1982 and involved the Blue Goose (our family car which was a 68 Bel Air Chevy and closely resembled a tank with blue paint on it), a wicker laundry basket, and a serious amount of overkill. He began by telling us that "playing in the road was really dangerous and if a car were to hit us we could be killed." Not wanting to leave it at that he said, "Kids, it's really important that you know this so I'm going to show what would happen were you to be hit by a car." Then, taking the laundry basket he placed it in the road and said, "Kids, pretend this is you. I'll be right back." he then got in the tank and drove off down the road out of sight.
There we stood at the side of the road wondering why we were pretending to be moms laundry basket. Odd. Then, from off in the distance we hear the unmistakable roar of a fast approaching, large engined tank that sounded a lot like the Blue Goose. We looked down the road and sure enough, dad was racing toward us with a crazed "I've always wanted to do this!" look in his eye.
"Is he going to run over mom's laundry basket?" my brother asked. The answer came about two seconds later as dad, reaching flux capacitor speed slammed into mom's wicker laundry basket with the force of a train. Words cannot describe the look of utter shock on our faces as mom's favorite, I might add, laundry basket was turned into a handful of wicker toothpicks. A minute later dad came back, rolled down the window and said "So never play in the road ok?" I think we spent the next six months hiding in the basement. In the corner. Behind the boxes of Pop Shoppe Pop. You know, I never did find out how my dad explained the whole thing to my mom. I can just imagine the conversation now:
"Hi Honey! Hey a, remember that laundry basket you used to have?"
"What do you mean 'used' to have? Yes, I still remember it. It's my nicest one. What have you done to it?"
"Who me? Well, nothing really. It was mostly the car. Do you want to go out to dinner tonight?"
"Lou, Where is my laundry basket?"
"Ah, it kind of broke. You see I was teaching the kids about road safety and I wanted to show them what would happen to them if a car actually hit them and well, I couldn't very well run one of them over so I had to find something similar."
"Are you trying to tell me that you used my NICEST laundry basket as a crash test dummy!"
The rest of that conversation would probably not have been g-rated so I'll stop there. And you know, as weird as that whole thing was we all still remember not to play in the road.
Follow up 2009: in the spirit of trying to be a good parent I told my kids about it hoping to instill in them a healthy respect for the road. Their response? "Awesome! Let's run over all the laundry baskets!" sigh.