Culture

Ode to an American father-in-law

Dom was short for Dominic, an American father-in-law. Now, I don’t want to say he was a laminated card-carrying monumental boob… I don’t want to, really I don’t… but I have to: Dom was a card-carrying monumental boob! Other boobs stopped slouching and sat up straight when Dom walked into a room. They owed him at least that respect — that, for a man who was the very patriarch of their realm… the realm of boobs.

One bad business deal after the next, followed by one moronic get-rich-quick scheme after the next, ensured that Dom entered an early retirement broke… and with nothing better to do than show up at my homestead to irritate the B-Jesus out of me. And this he did with no clear exit strategy whatsoever.

My memories of him are many, fraught with bewilderment, never rare on the pretense of supposition, and always lousy with confusion — confusion for why a human man would constantly lurk in the early Pleistocene, never once coming up for air.

Ah, distinctly I remember… it was in the bleak December as each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.

When from out in my front room there rose such a clatter, I sprang up from my chair to see what was the matter.

As I rounded the corner to my front room I was swiftly passed by Dom darting the other way. So rested me, neath a Tum-Tum tree and stood awhile and thought. I spied with my little eye, the front door wide open and a bombay load of luggage released at the threshold. A taxi at the curb to my front, one that just had taken of dump of one father-in-law… sped off in eager glee. I slowly closed the door.

I paused momentarily before rounding the corner back to the kitchen to contemplate the racket now there, wondering what I would see when I rounded. I saw Dom, only Dom. He had cast open the door to the refrigerator and, seeing nothing to his fancy, he had left it agape and had slung open (most off) the cabinet doors until he found a bowl. (He had found one.)

Now there he stood where he had come to rest leaning on the jamb of the pantry doorway. He had dumped his bowl full of cornflakes and was presently engaged in pouring pancake syrup there-over. He must have been hungry — powerful hungry — to result in the ever-so-fucked-up combination that he did. I should have thought combining those two would have started a fire, if I hadn’t seen there with my own eyes that it not not.

“Want some milk, Dom? We have milk… you left the front door open… want some milk? Please, have some milk; let me get you some milk, Dom. I didn’t know you were coming. How long are you staying? Want some milk?” He answered in his southern twang with some senseless babble that I vowed immediately to ignore and strip from my hard disk.

Larock-The_Idiot

I phoned my Mrs. very quickly, in that moment, to beg to know to what divine prominence I owed my gratitude for this serendipitous pleasure: “How come you didn’t tell me he was coming? How long is he going to be here? Why is he even here, for what purpose? Who the, how the, why the, when the… WHAT THE FUCK???”

“Oh… he came to build us another master bed frame,” was the impromptu excuse — still warm from being half-baked. “Great, the very thing we just really really don’t need… how long do those take to build?” It didn’t matter, after all. He was going to be here for an undisclosed period of time, one I prayed would be finite. I would have to pop my snot bubble and drive on.

Dom started the prep work in my garage wood shop by contaminating the ambiance of fine furniture-grade hard woods with cheap knotty pine stud-grade… shit! “You’re not cutting that turd wood with any of my machines, Dom; I won’t allow you to gum up my blades with sap!” I warned. “Huh?” he replied. It was all good. I just pulled out all the child safety pins on the on-buttons of my machines.

My first day back from work I scanned the shop. I noted nearly twenty cups of varying levels of apple juice littering all measure of flat surfaces in strange areas of the shop. It was clear that Dom would go get a cup of juice, take a drink, set it down wherever, and forget where the phuq he set it — so go get another, and another, and yet another… until we were all out of cups.

Then there were the morning trips to Lowe’s to re-buy all the tools and materials that he already had but couldn’t remember where he put them. In the evenings I collected all the duplicates and put them in a chest to serve as spares in the years to come. Dom was outfitting my shop in depth, but don’t think I wasn’t paying for all of it through my Mrs. And so it went.

Then came la pièce de résistance: upon my evening return I stood in horror at the scene before me. Dom had decided he needed a work bench so he took the red oak table I had built a couple of years back. He took it from the living room where it had been butted up against a sofa near the center of the room. Now it set in the center of of the garage with sap-seeping knotty pine studs piled on it.

He had lain a sheet of plywood on top of my table and proceeded to run an electric circular saw across its center from edge to edge of the surface of the table. At the end of the cut, the sheet of plywood separated in two and fell apart. With that my fine red oak table too separated in two and fell apart from each other coming to rest each with a “BANG” on the concrete floor.

Dom stood blinking at the fine red oak table of mine that he had cleanly sheered right in half, plumb down dead center of the piece. He lifted his gaze to link with mine. Not quite certain if I would profit greater from shitting or winding my watch, I announced to Dom: “Nice job, Moses… you just parted the Red Sea — merry early Christmas, to you from me!”

And yet it happened…

By Almighty God and with honor,

geo sends

Photos courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

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clluelo
Member
clluelo

Nice to see your work again !

susanh
Member
susanh

I am happy to confirm that your test was successful, Geo. 🙂

Miche
Member
Miche

Awwww, Freq notified me that geo was in the house. I could sense a Christmas-y theme, so I made a steaming bowl of clam chowder and settled in for a well-told tale. I don’t know where you get this gift to turn suffering into hilarity. Somehow, watching your palpable anguish and frustration from the colorful mooching of the wallowing Pleistocene-dweller becomes my joy…it’s the sort of thing I live for. <3 That red oak, however, deserves a fitting funeral pyre and a 21-gun salute. A memorial carved in stone. I think the abject horror of that moment may linger for… Read more »

Mic-Mac
Member
Mic-Mac

It is wonderful to see you writing on The Freq geo! You are writing in full delight, your style and humor, though the actual event must have been extremely upsetting, HAS BEEN MISSED. Thank you geo for giving me a great big laugh. Let it be said though, I do feel bad about the loss of your beautiful table.

JoyB
Guest
JoyB

Yay! He’s here and back in fine form. It’s about time, too. Geo, you’ve been missed. Now serious question, how did you not take the old fool out to the middle of nowhere and leave him there? The poor table. This is also why the boob in my family is not allowed access to power tools.

homanj1
Member

Nice work Geo. I was fortunate to have a great Father in Law. I have some great remembrances of Old Kenny.

homanj1
Member

Great stuff Geo my brother. Jh

Mic-Mac
Member
Mic-Mac

Glad to see you JH. I personally LOVE this site and the fine writers!

Susan B
Member
Susan B

Yay! But did he live long after giving you two tables for the price ofi one? I think you should have given the Mrs. two pieces of Dad for the price of one axe. Just sayin’. 😏 (So glad to see your work again. )

TexJ3
Guest
TexJ3

Oh my Geo! You must have the patience of a saint. Sounds like he needed milk…and a Monster. The milk for the cereal and the Monster for the missing sugar/caffeine high generated from a diet such as that in the morning. Hmmm….does a dentist good I tell you. Seems he was building you a bed you got stuck lying in and I am sorry for that! Blessings and you started us off with a bang. I hope after the parting of the Red Sea y’all were both able to be in your own promised lands-yours minus the sap and the… Read more »

yankeepapausmc
Member
yankeepapausmc

Russian Chef Murders Father-in-law (2015)

Accused: A chef, who has not yet been named, has been arrested on suspicion of murdering his father-in-law, grinding up his meat in a mincer and serving him as pies to customers in a popular cafe close to the Kremlin.

He is reported to have hacked up his victim’s body before mincing the meat.

It has been claimed that ‘dozens of pies’ were sold before the exact nature of the ingredient was discovered.

(In Russia, straight cannibalism case usually nets 15 year sentence…)

-Yankee Papa-

Mic-Mac
Member
Mic-Mac

Oct 31, 2018 Patrons at a vegetarian restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand, were turned off when they found chunks of meat in their food, but they were even more disgusted once they discovered it was human flesh. YP I just must know what I’m eating.

susanh
Member
susanh

Ugh, Mic-Mac. I’ve just lost my appetite.

clluelo
Member
clluelo

Great to see you here also! The old gang is getting back together

susanh
Member
susanh

Geo! Geo! You’re writing for the Freq! Woo hoo! Well, I shall be a regular visitor to the site now. If we could put pics in our comments, there’d be one of me dancing a jig. Loved this article. I knew something was afoot when I read, “Oh… he came to build us another master bed frame”. Ha! No-one can build furniture better than you! I can only marvel at your steely self-control when it came to your father-in-law. Who could have blamed you if you and brothers took your father-in-law for a HANO jump. Now, I know what you’re… Read more »

Mic-Mac
Member
Mic-Mac

Susan, your right. The same thought came to mind. geo is a master furniture maker and his boob of a FIL is going to build him a bed frame. LOL,

susanh
Member
susanh

I know! The FIL was not the sharpest tool in the shed 🙂 (See what I did there?)

Suzanne Dixon
Guest
Suzanne Dixon

It is that time of year!! A gift of a gem, a writing from Geo!
Great site, too.

Suzanne Dixon
Guest
Suzanne Dixon

A real Elf on the Shelf!

Susan B
Member
Susan B

This has got to be the first time George has ever been considered and “elf on the shelf”, Suzanne. Love the comparison. lol 😀

Mason
Member

George I heard you were here, and came by to see what was up. Chanced upon this article, and was blessed to see the work I admire and respect so. Great read, glad to see you, and many of the others I haven’t seen in awhile. Thrilled to have found my way here.

susanh
Member
susanh

Good to see you here, Mason!

Mason
Member

Same Susan! Good to see so many familiar names. I did have a little help, some gentle nudging this way.

rynobucket
Guest

I finally got a chance to thoroughly read Geo’s article and comment. It is great to read Geo’s stuff in his style and cadence unfiltered! Just like old times…

Mason
Member

George, if I am properly registered (I am technically challenged like your FIL), this should show, if not, I will try again! Regardless, glad to have found you here, and this article is top notch, plus you work in wood to boot.

Mic-Mac
Member
Mic-Mac

Mason, you are one of the LEAST technically challenged persons I know. Good to see you here on The Freq!

susanh
Member
susanh

Sorry, I’ve forgotten – who is the technical guru on The Freq? I seem to get a notification of some of the “likes” of my comments and not others and while most of the comments have a “Reply” option, some of them don’t. Just wanted to raise these, hoping they can be rectified. Thanks!

rynobucket
Guest

Alright! The Grand Master unfettered on thefreq. I thoroughly enjoyed the read, yet felt a strange tightness in my chest and pain in my left arm (I am sure it’s nothing) upon the cutting of Geo’s amazing (of which I am sure) oak table. From laughter to tears so quickly… haysus christo, Don… well I suppose ‘back in the oil days’.

Mason
Member

Hello Ryan!

rynobucket
Guest

Mason!

raymondinabnitt
Guest
raymondinabnitt

The very reason I never let anyone in my woodshop and never loan my tools out……

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