My dad is quite the character. I say that without reservation, based on years of embarrassing proof.
Like the time he dressed in drag for the company’s $1.98 Beauty Contest, which he won. He also insisted they announce his contestant name – “Lotta Flybox”.
Or the time he met my high school spring dance date in our hallway dressed just in his boxer shorts.
Or the time he spent weeks preparing a Halloween party costume — a chicken wire/paper-mâché horse’s ass concoction, complete with rigged moving tail. He then had mom burn a batch of biscuits. During the party, he went around lifting the tail and tossing burned biscuits out. At people.
Or the time he ran out into the yard to cuss – loudly and a lot – at the Avon lady who had backed into a soft spot in our yard, and left deep tread marks trying to floor it and get away from the raving, screaming, foul-mouthed lunatic who was just a tad overprotective of his zoysia grass.
Ding dong – Avon
calling hauling ass out of our neighborhood.
Although no one has a visual record of him in the $1.98 Beauty Contest get-up, I’ve captured a few of his antics via my facebook album “My Dad”.
Did I mention I survived this long without therapy?
On Saturday, March 26 my father received Historic St. Mary’s City’s highest honor, the Cross Bottony, for his volunteer service to the museum. He gives tours, many of them to school children. For the life of us, my sisters Diane, Nancy, Susan and I can not figure out when he began talking to children without using expletives as nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs. Perhaps he’s mellowed with age.
Since dad is a master of dishing it out, his four daughters never miss an opportunity to have him do a little “taking it”. He sent the following message out about misspelling the name of the award he was getting (Botany instead of Bottony):
From: Pete Himmelheber
To: damn near 200 friends, family and and professional associates
Sent: Sunday, January 23, 2011 11:14 AM
Subject: Cross Bottony Award.
Mea Culpa – in my haste, as I have mispelled my award. As I quote from Wikipedia: “Not to be confused with botany. A cross bottony (or “botonny”) is a cross having each arm terminating in three rounded lobes, forming a sort of trefoil.”
The award (a cross) is given for service (but obviously not spelling) to Historic St. Mary’s City.
So, I seized upon the opportunity to ensure my portion of the inheritance was toast by replying to all:
To: All 200 of dad’s friends, family and professional associates
From: Soon to be disinherited daughter #1
Sent: Sunday, January 23, 2011 11:14 AM
Subject: Re: Cross Bottony Award
We love ya, dad. And are rather impressed that you corrected yourself. Especially because when growing up, your loving and nuturing reply when we would question you would be — “because I’m $#%&-ing right – any more questions?”
Your offspring think it’s only fair to share with these good people the other things you have misspelled along the way. No doubt we’ve left a few off the list, but we only had 10 spaces to work with.
Top 10 Other Things Dad Has Misspelled
10. Pete spells it: “Ankle biters”
How the rest of us spell it: “grandchildren”
9. Pete spells it: “church attire”
How the rest of us spell it: “Excuse to wear jeans with holes in the crotch”
8. Pete spells it: “Gear shift”
How the rest of us spell it: “Budweiser beer tap that has replaced the original car part”
7. Pete spells it: “lawn maintenance”
How the rest of us spell it: “An old-fashioned, non-motorized push mower for each daughter so that the yard work gets done without wasting any gas”
6. Pete spells it: “diaper”
How the rest of us spell it: “T shirt from under his softball uniform (post-game!) used to change daughter Nancy when he left the diaper bag at home”
(see item #3 for where this took place)
5. Pete spells it: “love note”
How the rest of us spell it: “Scribbled message to wife left on the kitchen table (surrounded by blood, after knocking his two front teeth out), with no other explanation other than he has driven himself to the hospital” (or was it dentist?)
4. Pete spells it: “Nourishment”
How the rest of us spell it: “Satan’s swill, cleverly packaged as beer”
3. Pete spells it: “diaper changing station”
How the rest of us spell it: “The bar at Pennie’s”
2. Pete spells it: “winner”
How the rest of us spell it: “taking the crown in the $1.98 beauty contest at work, much to mom’s embarrassment”
1. Pete spells it: “You #$%!-ing girls”
How the rest of us spell it: “Becky, Diane, Nancy & Susan”
Or should I just give him a