Once again I have landed myself in the hospital. Long story short; I tripped, fell on my face, the scrapes became infected with cellulitis and here I am getting I.V. antibiotics.
To keep myself from begging the nurses for narcotics I have decided to choose a writing exercise. I like this one:
"List five products your father used, or uses, and write a longer piece about, at least, one of them. "
1) Swisher Sweets Cigars, that came in that red carboard box.
2) McDonald's Playland.
4) Polaroid Camera
5) Morton's Salt and Pepper shaker
I was born in 1970 and my brother was born in 1973. My mother and father got a divorce when I was just barely three years old. This action made my father a swinging single Dad, smack dab right in the middle of the Seventies.We spent every other weekend in his lackadaisical custody and his nappy headed daughter and snot-nosed son never slowed his MILF(mothers I like to F) hunting prowress. In fact it only greatly honed his skills. We were used as bait.
My Dad would pick us up on a Friday night with a Swisher Sweet Cigar lodged in his mouth. Rarely smoked, just chomped upon. And thank G-d for that because when lit they smelled anything but sweet, gag. Once those extra large cigar boxes were emptied of cheap cigars they were filled with fishing gear, nails and paperclips, and change for the Benicia toll bridge, these littered the floor of his truck. In his home the boxes were used to store pictures and receipts.
But I digress, when it was his weekend, he promptly picked us up and took us out to a fine Scottish dining establishment. McDonald's. But it had to have an outdoor Playland.
Once we parked his truck, with ladder on top, in the parking lot he would spit out his cigar and splash on some Brut cologne. Another completely offensive, yet comforting odor, from my childhood. I asked my Dad once how Brut cologne was made. My father told me that it came from a special gnat's armpits in Europe.
For years this answer haunted me. Many a sleepless night I wondered how they extracted this exotic pheromone from a gnat's armpit. Did the cologne lab technicians put the tiny gnat on a crucifix with I.V. needles and tubing sticking out of his armpits, draining away the precious scent? Or did they just catch the gnats with a very fine net, ground them with a mortar and pestle and then use a sieve to extract all liquids? Was the special armpit scent so strong that it overpowered the other liquified body parts, or did they have to extract only that particular fluid? And if it was so labor intensive to gather this manly scent then why was it so cheap?
Anyways, we would get our Happy Meals and eat at the picnic tables in the McDonald's Playland. My Dad would generously sprinkle his french fries with the Morton's salt he kept in the glove compartment of his truck.
After eating our food Billy and I would take off to play and my Dad would start prowling. McDonald's was an excellent place for single Moms to take their kids after work on a Friday night. My Dad was pure genius for figuring this out, because he was usually the only single Dad there. My Dad would approach his victim and put his foot up on the bench where she was seated and then lean on his knee and start chatting her up. If she shot him down, or seemed disinterested, my Dad would just move onto the next single mom. He was shameless! The next victim could be sitting less than 2 feet away but that did not deter him.
By the time me and Bill were started to get bored or tired my Dad would have at least one set of digits from a fine young mom. And the topper? He would take a polaroid picture. Two polaroid pictures. One of the cute mom and her kids which he would give to her and then one of all of us (he would use the timer setting) and he would keep that one. When we were back in the truck my father would write her name, the names of her kids and her phone number on the back of the polaroid for future reference.
If she was lucky he would call her up for a date on a weekend when he was missing the company of his kids.