I didn’t have a great relationship with my dad so retelling my memories of him allows me to see the funny side of each situation, even though it wasn’t funny at the time, it was embarrassing. He was an emotionally abusive alcoholic but when he was sober he was a great great guy so by writing these stories down and trying to see the humor in them I suppose I’m trying to turn bad memories of my dad into good ones. Because there weren’t that many good ones. And so far its working. So please don’t burst my bubble here.
He passed away 4 years ago and I can’t hold things against him any more, I cant be mad any more, Its only hurting me now. Yes he had his flaws, so do I, we all do, and I’m learning this now. The more I reminis about him the fonder the memories become. That’s change I think. I’m growing. I’m learning. I’m realizing that he was broken too, and that he was powerless to stop it. Funny how when the anger is gone you are able to see things from the other persons point of view, and then you understand them more.
But enough serious talk, I started this journey to write about the fun memories.
I remember one year my dad dug a huge trench in front of our house to build a wall, It was about 1m deep. He then he went out drinking at a friends house and came home roaring drunk and drove his van head first into the trench. The front wheels of his van went into the trench and the whole van and back wheels tilted lopsided off the ground. Haha the horror! All my dad did was open the drivers door and fall out onto the grass. So my mom, my brothers and I went outside to go and see if he was ok and he just lay on our front lawn laughing. My mom was so embarrassed she kept asking him to come inside and reminding him that the neighbors were watching, the funny thing was they really were. The neighbors across the road would literally peep through their blinds to see what we were doing and my dad of course couldn’t give a damn so he just lay there and shouted, “Fuck the neighbors”. To which my mother just gave up pulling him and marched inside leaving my brothers and I to persuade him to come in the house.
There were other times where he would lie in bed in the morning, my parents bedroom was at the back of the house really close to the boundary wall and the neighbors, and he would shout, “Mooom, bring my breakfast, make me coffee please”. And my mother would tell him to stop shouting because the neighbors could hear him, to which he would shout, “Fuuuuuuck the neighbors”. It wasn’t that he was a bad person, he was a really nice kind hearted person, he just didn’t give a flying fuck what other people thought. Haha dad 🙂
I remember many times where I would drive with my dad in his van to fetch or drop my grandmother at her house and she lived in a really peaceful area that happened to have lots of birds. One in particular that made a noise like this, bear with me here, (whe whe whe awww weee) and my dad told me that the bird was called the Fakawi bird. So as a result for years I thought they were called Fakawi birds. One day I was out with a friend and her parents and I saw one, so I called it a Fakawi bird and her parents corrected me saying its actually a Hadeda Iris bird. I was a little embarrassed as I couldn’t explain why I thought it was called that, only that I had been told that’s what its called. Sooooo, when I got home I told my dad that my friends parents said those Fakawi birds are actually called Hadeda Birds (pronounced Haa Dee Daa). And he laughed and laughed and laughed at me and I had no idea what the big joke was. Turns out, get this, he told me that they were Fakawi birds because the noise they made sounded like the birds were saying, “Where the fuck are wee, where the fuck are wee!”. And the fact that they are all over the place in huge groups looked to him like they were lost. OMG my dad ladies and gentleman. You can find the Wiki page for the Hadeda Iris birds here and the sound they make here.
My dad was a prankster too. He owned a car repair workshop during the 90s, and he used to play around and answer the company phone sometimes with, “Salt river morgue, John speaking”. And people would think they had the wrong number so they would hang up and call again. He would then answer with, “Brooklyn Sex Shop Hello”, and the people would be confused as hell. Haha or he would answer normally, “John hello”, and then proceed to tell them they had the wrong number and give them the number to the morgue (AVBOB). Haha so the people would call the morgue and ask them if they sold body parts. They would then call my dad back to tell him what a dick he is and they would laugh and laugh and become lifelong friends. My dad was like that. Awesome.
I remember once at home I was waiting for a call from my boss, I was an aupair at the time and she was going to call me back about babysitting that evening. We had caller ID on our phone so I could see when anyone called. The phone rang and I could see it was her but my dad was sitting at the kitchen counter drinking and before I could pick the phone up he answered with, “Woodstock fisheries Hello”. She thought she had the wrong number so she put the phone down. When she called again she realized it was my dad playing the fool because she was dialing from her cell phone so it was impossible for the number to have changed. At the time I was so embarrassed, you know as teenagers are when their parents do anything out of the “norm”. I realize now how funny it was, and I miss it.
I miss you dad.