Sunday was my father’s seventy-fourth birthday, and it caused me to ruminate a bit.
See, when I was growing up, my science teacher dad told us all how they get rid of tapeworms. You have not heard of this? Let me enlighten you. They put you in the hospital and starve you. When you are really, really hungry, they cook up a big steak and set it in front of you, and when the RAVENOUS tapeworm comes out through your nostrils, they grab hold of it and YANK until they have the whole thing out.
What, you did not know this?
Many people do not. Why, when I retold this up into my late teens and possibly early twenties, people scoffed. Imagine my chagrin when I discovered that my father had MADE THIS SHIT UP. What sort of man TELLS his children this? Surely a man who expected they would not be gullible enough to believe it. I lived in mortal fear of tapeworms for most of my young life, because tapeworm removal sounded pretty damn nasty, painful and just plain icky.
As you consider this story, perhaps you will understand why I eventually took that other stuff–the religion stuff–my father told me with a grain of salt I should have saved to put on the steak they were going to lure the tapeworm out with.
Tell me this. Is it really any wonder I took that whole “Golden-plates-reformed-Egyptian-headless-Nephite-running-around” story and threw IT out the window, too?
Dad? You have only yourself to blame. But Happy Birthday anyway.