Father’s Day is a time to honor and revere the man who helped raised you. On this day, sons and daughters will recount various tales of their Dad’s achievements and conquests. Sometimes these yarns can become ridiculous.
“My dad caught the biggest trout in Allegheny county.”
“My dad built the US Steel Building with his bare hands.”
“My dad won my mom’s heart in a drag race.”
I’ve noticed as I’m getting older that many of these legends have kernels of truth that have accumulated a heavy coating of exaggeration and forgetfulness. They started out as actual events but then, as legends tend to do, they get repeated and changed and altered in order to make the story-teller seem more interesting. Corners are cut. Gaps are filled in and patched. The evolved product is sure to keep the attention of even the most dill-weed-ish grandchild. So the above legends probably started out with facts like:
“My dad saw a guy catch the biggest trout in Allegheny county.
“My dad drywalled the US Steel Building’s 14th floor bathroom with his bare hands.”
“My dad won my mom’s heart at a drag queen contest.”
Probably around fourteen years old, I was at the height of my adolescent douchery. I was being a little jerk in school. Sleeping all day. Cheating on my math homework. My parents couldn’t tell me nothing about nothing. As I grew into a man’s body, I became less and less afraid of my dad. “He is damn near fifty,” I thought in the confines of the bedroom of the house he paid for. “I can probably take him if I wanted to.” I’m sure he felt me starting to scrape the velvet off of my antlers, gearing up for a confrontation. So as I was eyeing him up one faithful day (I’m sure he was putting gas in the car he gave me for free) he decided to casually mention a little legend that he had kept tucked away for such a situation.
“I wrestled a bear one time,” he said to me apropos of nothing.
I laughed at the outlandish claim, thinking that he was just trying to solidify his “don’t test me boy” status. In my hormone fueled haze, I thought this was a futile attempt to keep me in check. “You’ll have to do better than that, pops!,” I thought to myself.
Then he produced photo evidence.
I thought I had a copy of the picture that I could share with you. I can’t find it though. The cagey old man probably took it back so he could scare another generation of progeny once that time comes.
Now granted, he was wrestling a bear at Parkway Center mall in the late 80’s. The bear had a muzzle and a handler but still, it’s a freaking bear.
This incredibly long and rambling post is about as good a Father’s Day tribute as any male can muster. In a roundabout way, Father’s day is a time to say, “Thanks for not killing me when you easily could have and probably should have, Dad.”