After reading Dad's Superbowl experience as well as all the positive feedback on Facebook where I shared a link to his guest post, I feel the need to elaborate on a few details for maximum comedic impact.
It gets better, people.
First, a bit of history. My family is not a sports-fan family. We didn't own a TV until I was in my teens, and neither Mom nor Dad were particularly interested in anything competitive (except Scrabble). Our family time involved literature, humor, imagination, and creativity. Athleticism came last in our educational priorities. I carry no resentment for this; I have little to contribute on the topic of sports and I'm OK with that.
Because Dad was a pastor until I was 17, the only time I heard him refer to sports was to lament low attendance on Sunday mornings during football season. I felt sorry for my friends in Sunday School whose dads were home in front of the TV instead of spending the morning with their families in church (such is the plight of the dutiful PK: pity for one's peers).
As I described last month in an open letter to my mom, I've warmed up to football. But it's taken concentrated effort. My siblings are surprised when I mention the NFL in casual conversation.
Imagine my surprise on Superbowl Sunday when I got the following series of texts from Dad:
I'd purposefully left my phone in another room so I wouldn't be distracted by Facebook or Twitter. I wanted to be in the moment with Hubbins, my youngest brother, and our friends who hosted the Superbowl party we attended (and not miss a minute of game time). As we celebrated Seattle's victory, I retrieved my phone and was shocked to see I had missed his monologue.
In a single text, my father informed me that he was a) patronizing an adult-beverage establishment, b) participating in (and winning) a game of chance, and c) watching the Seahawks beat the Broncos. Any one of these announcements was enough to make me gasp, but three at once?! My first reaction was worry (such is the plight of the dutiful firstborn: vigilant concern).
I quickly replied, and didn't have to wait long for his answer (thankfully).
The Feed and Seed? He was watching the game next door to the store that supplied my childhood pets with rabbit food, fencing materials to keep the goats in the yard, and an annual chili feed that Mom brought us kids to every spring. NOT the location I would have guessed (I'd forgotten a restaurant had been built there). I wondered what he had gotten himself into.
I showed the texts to my sister the next day. She said, "That makes it sound like he had fun! He told me the whole story and it did not sound like he enjoyed himself." My curiosity was piqued.
Dad sent me his guest post a few days later, after a family friend encouraged him to write it down(presumably after hearing the same harrowing tale my sister heard. Thank you BP). Evidently, the writing process was therapeutic for him. As a bonus, it provided entertainment for all of us! I laughed out loud when I read it and shared it with Hubbins.
Several questions came to mind when I read his report, so when Dad and I had coffee the following Sunday I asked a few clarifying questions.
- Why didn't he call us to find out where we were watching the Super Bowl? He said he didn't ask to watch the game with us because he didn't want to interrupt by asking questions. Pshaw. I reassured him he was welcome to join us. But I like my friend Wendy's suggestion, too:
- All Dad's texts referred to being in a tavern. Who says tavern? In my mind, that's synonymous to an old timey saloon with swinging louvered doors. My hometown is quaint but not that countrified. Why didn't he go to a sports bar? (Hubbins commented, "He should stick to a crowd he knows." I reminded him that Dad doesn't have a crowd). Turns out Dad's assumption was all business that serve alcohol are created equal. So we discussed the difference between sports bars, biker bars, dive bars, and truck stops (we didn't even get to pubs). That was a vocabulary lesson I didn't anticipate having with my dad.
- Who were these women begging for drinks? Dad confided in private that many of them were missing teeth (and I quote), "but it seemed too mean to put in a blog." Hm. A coworker said, "your dad looks like a really nice guy - those tacky ladies could tell he's not a creeper!" [Shudder.]
I also learned that dad ate his jello shots with a fork. I informed him this was not the proper method, but told him not to ask me how I knew.