When I was a kid, I asked my dad if I could go play laser tag for the low low price of 10 dollars. Afterall, what is a kids happiness for only 10 bucks. He looked down at me and then said, calmly, “No” I was devastated. Why couldn’t I go play laser tag? He said because we couldn’t afford it.
When I was a kid, my father often made lunch for us during the summer. However, along with my bologna sandwich of goodness, I was forced to eat a whole carrot, raw. Seriously, this thing was huge and pulled from the ground not only an hour earlier. It still had dirt on it and we were expected to eat the dirt along with it. We couldn’t leave the table until it was choked down. When I asked why he said “because it’s good for you” and didn’t offer any additional explanation.
He also made me mow a 3 acre plot of land with a push mower. It took my brother and I three days to do it and it was tough. My dad said that it would build character.
I am a father myself now. And all the years of senseless excuses by my father have finally made sense. Whenever he told me why I couldn’t do something it just never made sense. His reasoning was off, his logic was skewed. Raw carrots aren’t good for you, they are fucking terrible. But as a father, I finally know why.
It was a father’s revenge.
That’s all it was. It was a complicated conspiracy designed by my father, and in fact all fathers, to get vengeance for all the shit I did to him. I couldn’t go to laser tag because 5 years earlier I used a screwdriver, a wrench and some good old 5 year old ingenuity, to dismantle his riding lawnmower then not tell him so that when he got back on it, it flipped over on him, then fell apart.
The carrot was a direct result of the countless times I would piss and moan to watch He-Haw instead of Solid Gold and it’s zesty dancers. Of course he was going to break down and let me watch He-Haw. Who wants to disappoint his kid for some 80’s style soft core porn? That doesn’t look good. But in his head, he knew that for every fucking episode I watched, I was eventually eat a god damn carrot.
The lawn mowing thing? A direct result of sneaking out of bed late at night to play video games and thus waking my father up.
I understand it now. I get it. I know that this seems far fetched to a lot of you out there but stick with me. How can I possibly correlate actions that I did wrong as a toddler to the possible consequences that stretched throughout my life?
I’ll tell you how, because I am now a father and I spend my nights plotting the same revenge on my children. It’s going to be sweet.
Today, Little Hoss kicked her little brother. That’s a carrot. She then threw a temper tantrum when I sent her to time out. That’s another carrot. Finally, she kicked the door when it was bedtime. You better believe that’s a carrot.
And if you don’t believe me—answer me this. What is the purpose of a brussel sprout? Those things are fucking disgusting. I have never, ever met a person that says “Man, I could really go for some sprouts right now.” No, and you never will meet those people because brussel sprouts were invented by fathers solely for the use as a revenge tactic many years later. That’s the whole reason that they exist.
I’m coming up with elaborate plots and ruses for my future revenge of my children that will continue until they leave my house and at that point, I am trying to decide how I can further my revenge.
I’m already saving a pair of whity tighties so that when my daughter is 13 and wants to have a slumber party, I will say yes just so I can walk out in the morning in them and get my newspaper, thus shaming her in front of her friends. I may have never gone and gotten my paper like this before, but I guarantee you it’s going to happen. July 15th, 2019 at 8:00am, I will be in my whity tighties getting the newspaper. This particular moment of revenge is because she demands to watch Blue’s Clues right when my football game is on.
I also vow that in my house, no teenager will be allowed to sleep past 7 in the morning without getting massive shit from me. My father used to do this. He used to bang into my room in the morning and tear the covers off of me. I now realize that it was because when I was younger, I never let him get a full nights sleep. This one is pretty standard really and I plan to fully employ this after a night when I now they snuck out.
And Bubba Hoss, let’s not forget about him. A couple of days ago at the movie store he ripped down an entire shelf. Let’s see, for that, I think I will fart in front of his girlfriend when he is about 16.
Kids are kids, I understand that. And most of what they do is because they are learning and don’t know what’s right from wrong yet and it’s our jobs as parents to instill that knowledge in them through well thought out cause and effect relationships. I get all that and know that I can’t overly punish my kids for things that they didn’t know was wrong or for emotions that they can’t control yet. However, with all that said, it’s still my ass fixing whatever was destroyed or profusely apologizing to the wait staff for the colossal mess we have left. Let me tell you, it’s not that fun. This theory of mine finally explains why my father acted the way he did the later years of my adolescence.
My son, Bubba Hoss, keeps throwing his chicken nuggets to the dogs. He thinks it’s funny. I wonder how funny he will think it is when he doesn’t get to go play laser tag.