I wonder what Jakob will do the first time he makes me so mad that I cuss. I have seen it happen to good parents. You’ve probably experienced it. I know I have caused it. I have never caused my mom to cuss, at least not in front of me, but during my childhood, there were a few occasions that I really got under my dad’s skin – seriously, just a few times. On a normal basis, I was a near perfect angel. That’s how I spun it, anyway, and usually I was pretty good at pointing a convincing finger at my brother, Dan. But there was no getting out of it the first time I made my dad so angry he lost his temper and his tongue.
One of my favorite cartoons growing up was He-man. Well, it was one of my favorites until some evangelist stormed in and declared him, the smurfs, and everything fun to be satanic. But there were happy days that involved He-man, imagination, and the power of Grayskull before the evangelist came to town. On such a day, my dad came down to the basement and saw that I was playing. He must have been intrigued by what I was doing, because I had a wrapping paper tube held above my head, clenched with two hands, like I was holding the Power Sword. He made the mistake of coming closer. I made the mistake of continuing my fun. I yelled, “By the power of Grayskull, I have the power!” I swung my make shift sword forward.
Swinging a wrapping paper tube forward should have been fairly harmless. I mean, if I hit my dad with it, it wouldn’t hurt. There’s no guarantee I wouldn’t have been whipped for hitting him, but the pain would have only been mine. No such luck for him or me on this day. You see, I needed special effects. I didn’t have lightning. Battlecat wasn’t around. The tube couldn’t grow on its own. So I improvised. I put a dowel rod inside the tube, so when I swung it forward, the rod would come flying out. I’m not sure if I was simulating the lightning or the sword growing, but I do for sure that it got me in trouble.
I want to break for a moment to tell you that my brother Steve was in Brady, TX, at this time. He had called home to check in, and he was on the phone with my mom. Mom was upstairs in the living room, well away from where we were in the basement. All of a sudden, my brother hears over the phone as my dad yells, “DAAAAAAANG IT!” Only he didn’t say “dang it.” He said the granddaddy of all D words.
I really don’t remember what happened next. I have no recollection. I do know, from what I’m told, that I dotted my dad’s forehead with that rod, and the red dot stayed for 2-3 days. What did he do me? I cannot say, but I’m assuming I caught the worst beating of my life.
And that was just the first time I pushed him that far. There were a couple more.
Some day, Jakob’s going to have a good idea. He’s going to execute his good idea. I’m probably going to get hurt. He will join the many kids who have made their parents cuss. I just know it.