Sunday, June 21, 2009

Drinking with Dad

It's Fathers Day! The day to show thanks to the man who paid for the clothes on your back and who gave you food and lodging for so many years. For me growing up, my dad was an OK guy, but he still was dad. He still made me do choirs. He still punished me when I did something incredibly stupid, which when I think back, I should have gotten punished a lot me than I did. But for all those little thing, dad turned out to be a pretty cool guy.

As I got older, and especially when I moved off to college, my father and I only grew closer. Dad's are cool that way, and if you think back, your dad probably taught you a lot of useful things. How to cut a piece of wood, hammer a nail, work a chainsaw, hide a dead prostitute (those last two go hand-in-hand), and of course patch a wound with duct tape. Maybe your dad even taught you a little something about drinking.

My introduction to alcohol from my dad was like most kids. "Daddy, daddy, can I try your beer?" And of course, after taking a sip I was spitting and sticking out my tongue with a twisted grimace on my face (of course my dad IS a Schlitz drinker). For a while, alcohol was viewed as this nasty tasting beverage which adults drank to forget they had kids. But at some point things changed. I remember one New Year's Eve when my dad and his pals thought it would be funny to give me a cap-full of whiskey. Expecting me to gag, since I was only like 12, they were surprised when I smiled, licked my lips and eagerly asked for more. I think that may have been the turning point. I was like, screw that beer shit my dad is always drinking, gimme some more of that sweet nectar.

Whether intentional or not, I learned a lot about drinking from my dad. After all, it can be just as beneficial to learn from someones mistakes as it can be from their successes. There was the time when I was 13, my dad had all his poker buddies over, and he decided to break out the handle of Old Crow and some vermouth. 3 hours later I found my dad literally passed out in the front bushes. My mom was all pissed. "Look at you! What sort of example are you setting for your kids?!" Later in life I would eventually join that monthly poker crew, and I've been drinking with dad ever since.

A couple of years ago I went to a Pitt football game with my dad and another one of the poker guys. I was on antibiotics and unfortunately could not drink. After the game we went bar hoping all around Pittsburgh: the North Side, the Strip, our friends basement, Carson St, Mt Troy, and all the time I'm the designated driver. I dropped my dad off at home around 3AM. He stumbles into the door and sure enough my mom was up waiting for him (night gown, rolling pin, and all).

Last year my dad and I were invited to a friend's daughter's bat mitzvah. Our friend was a real nice guy and stuck us all at the table closest to the bar. Well, even before the meal was served, my dad got himself smashed on manhattan's. Mom sent me looking for him, and I found him asleep in the bathroom.

Those are just a few of the more embarrassing moments for dad. A recurring them with my father always seems to be "Dad + Manhattans = FAIL".
So thank you day for all you've taught me in life. If there is one thing in which I can truly say I take after my father, it would be excess.

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