It’s Bubbe’s Berfday

It’s a holiday kids! I don’t mean Tito Puente eating paste al dente or the one that starts with sparklers and ends with a bang: It’s Bubbe’s Berf Day!

Unlike a parent that can’t admit that he likes one of his kids more than the others – I wanna wish a very Happy Birthday to my Number One fan: Bubbe!

There are so many reasons she’s awesome – but isn’t the fact that she loves this site more than life itself reason enough! She’s obviously smart, funny, and has great taste!

While other peeps frown on all things piling up on the outer regions of the “internets,” she’s blazing a trail and making her way to bring happiness to the masses!

Me and Bubbe making cream puffs!

Also, did I mention her cream puffs? Obviously that isn’t meant as dirty as it sounds, but homegirl can cook too!

We might just do a Vlog with us cooking up some treats one day which is sure to wow the masses! We’re a match made in heaven: she’s sweet, witty, and caring and I’m just funny to look at!

Please google “Annie smack that Fannie” right now!

In all seriousness, one moment doesn’t define someone’s lifetime, but for all intents and purposes – Bubbe literally broke the mold when she hatched Annie-Smack-That-Fannie! Yes folks, the awesomeness carried over when she birthed the holiest of all pigeon-pooping-people and has raised a smart, funny, caring, Immodiumabuser obsessed woman in her image! Take it from me when I say that the internet is forever grateful for that and one only needs to google “Annie smack that Fannie” to see why!

The apple didn’t fall far from the tree…and the poop didn’t fall far from the pigeon!

For all these and many more reasons – I celebrate you today and always! You’re truly a special lady and I hope you have a great day!

Also, did I mention those cream puffs?

And for your birthday – here’s a shot of me and Darryl Strawberry, right before our dance off.

Ok one more. Here’s one of me and Hal Prince to make you feel young again – you look like a teen next to him!

He’s 91 years old and has ten times the energy I do!

CelebriTuesdays: Dreamgirls Edition – Sheryl Lee Ralph & Anika Noni Rose!

It wasn’t a Dream when I saw these Girls! In December, I saw the star of the Broadway version of Dreamgirls – Sheryl Lee Ralph – and today I saw the Dreamgirls star from the movie version – Anika Noni Rose. As lucky as that is, even better was the fact that both pictures came out great!

Anika3

 

Normally, I’d be making a weird face in these pictures because I’m a fool that thinks these wonderful performers are just waiting for me to waltz on up and serenade them. The story would have been a whole lot more interesting had I strutted over purring “It’s more than you. It is more than me. No matter what we are, we are a family…” but my wife has finally got it through my thick skull after all these years that no one (and she really stressed the words as she said it) NO ONE wants to hear me sing. Lesson learned, because when I tried to explain that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, she informed me that my singing is actually mutilation, not imitation. The last time I tried to sing for my wife was New Year’s Eve 2001 when I drunkenly convinced the band that I was actually a lounge singer and would love to serenade the love of my life for the crowd. They somehow believed that nonsense and thought it was really romantic until they saw the sea of about 200 blank stares looking up at me as I mangled the first verse of “If You Say My Eyes are Beautiful.” That’s when they abruptly ripped the microphone out of my hand and said “why don’t you guys dance instead of singing” which elicited thunderous applause from the crowd for some reason. True artists are often misunderstood, but in retrospect – maybe a Whitney Houston love Duet wasn’t the right choice for my vocal range. Either way, my wife has instructed me to never, ever, ever sing in public again so the Dreamgirls were spared my Effie imitations…

 

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When I saw Sheryl Lee Ralph, she was taking pictures of the huge Christmas Tree in the lobby and I felt bad bothering her. She was really trying to get the perfect shot and must have taken ten pictures. Similar to me, the Christmas Tree was overgrown and much too wide to fit in most standard camera frames – so I don’t blame her for trying to get the right angle. . . Since she was so fantastic as Claudette on Ray Donovan, I was dying to ask what Jon Voight is really like and then I wanted to ask her about the anniversary revival of Thoroughly Modern Millie they’re doing, but she was really fixated on getting that shot of the tree. Practice makes perfect because her shots came out great – these are taken from her Instagram:

 

 

She was very cool, kind, and patient with me and also with the Christmas Tree, so I stopped myself from asking to try that fur coat on (I know I don’t need to remind you how good I look in fur)!

 

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When I saw the other Dreamgirl, Anika Noni Rose, she was hobbling around in a walking cast yet still took time to stop and take pictures with everyone. She was such a sweetheart and as a person that’s broken the same ankle two years in a row on the same exact day (both alcohol related), I can tell you how hard it is to get around. For her to stop, chat, and take pictures while she was obviously uncomfortable was seriously awesome and much appreciated!

 

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Anika is a Broadway veteran who snared the Tony Award for Caroline or Change, but was also in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, A Raisin in the Sun, and the movie version of Dreamgirls with an up-and-comer named Beyonce and Jennifer Hudson. She also made history as Tiana, Disney’s first Black princess, in The Princess and the Frog to the delight of kids everywhere.

 

dreamgirls movie 2

 

 

I’m on a Dreamgirls roll here and don’t worry, I’ve started walking around with one shoelace untied for when I see Jennifer Hudson and need to get it off quick; J-HUD throwing a shoe!  Hey J-HUD – Forget The Voice and let’s get a date on the calendar to meet up: I’ll bring and share my imodium and you bring and share your Oscar and extra shoes!

 

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If you’re laughing at this, my wife probably isn’t – Part three: Does it still count if it’s her aunt I mount?

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I got a comment from Celtic illumination, aka the loveliest pair of legs in Ireland about something I mentioned off-handedly in this post. Those legs are off on a secret cabal to become the Master Candle Maker in the world and considering that the double top secret world of candle making is extremely cutthroat, I’m offering support where I can. There are way too many pairs of legs gyrating through Ireland to blindly classify one set as the loveliest, but I’m going to give the benefit of the doubt here and choose to believe my new friend. Anyway, here’s the comment she left:

 

You mention ‘accidently mounting your aunt,’ are we talking taxidermy here?

 

Shame on me for assuming that the term that “mounting” was universally understood. I thought that people would realize that when I said that I “mounted” her it was pretty clear that I ended up straddling her. I know it’s hard not to think of straddling as a sexual thing, but this truly wasn’t that kind of story. When I read the comment to my wife, she laughed out loud and I said “who would think I was trying to stuff your aunt and mount her on the wall?” to which she replied “Please don’t try to stuff my aunt!!!” which definitely had a sexual connotation to it and not the intended taxidermy slant.

IRISH

 

So, to clear up any lingering confusion, here is the official non-taxidermy related version of the incident. It was my wife’s family Christmas luncheon and we were at her Aunt Lynn’s house. There was about fifteen of us scattered around, but the majority of the group were having drinks and catching up in the living room. The kids and my wife’s grandmother were opening their gifts when her aunt gave us a gift (even though we weren’t supposed to be exchanging). Contrary to popular belief, I wasn’t raised by animals so I got up to go over and say thank you while my wife was walking towards the kitchen to refill drinks for everyone.

 

Her aunt was lying on the couch across her mother and grandmother as I walked over to her. They were positioned like this: her aunt’s head was on the throw pillow at the end of the couch and her legs were stretched the length of the couch on top of my mother-in-law’s lap and my grandmother-in-law’s lap. As I leaned down to give her a kiss, I said “I really want to thank you…” and that’s when it all happened in an instant. As I was bending down to her, her uncle Gary (who was walking by me at the time) pushed me. This normally might not have been a big deal if I hadn’t lost my balance from the nudge he gave me and ended up right on top of her. When I say I was on top of her, I mean that I was now straddling her. If that is not any clearer, I mean to say that my junk was lined up with her funk! She was, of course, caught off guard by this strange way of being thanked at a family gathering and she said “Oh…your welcome” as she was laughing at me.

 

get off my sister

 

Uncle Gary immediately helped me even further by shouting “Hey, get off my sister like that!” which in turn made my wife spin around to see me still on top of her aunt. She looked at me with that all too familiar look of puzzlement/annoyance that I have come to know and love after all these years as she said “Get off my aunt like that!”

 

As I tried to gently dismount her and regain my composure, I tried to explain that her uncle had pushed me and that I wasn’t just some pervert looking for a little something to fill my Christmas stocking. It wasn’t like I was the crazy one in this situation, but needless to say it was another family gathering that I made an impression at similar to the game of Cranium when I was paired up with my wife’s grandmother and had to hum “Like a Virgin” to her. When I realized the next clue I had to draw for her was nipple I gave up with no hopes of winning that game. Sometimes you gotta know when to cut your losses if you can’t win. At least it wasn’t like the time I got punished and was forced to leave the table during Thanksgiving Dinner and sit upstairs alone, but that’s a story for another time…

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Keep those comments coming! I have a tendency to ramble on like a yenta and have been known to go off on incoherent tangents from time to time…

For a smart guy, I’m actually pretty dumb at times…or why I never believe anything


I’m not sure what the major glitch in my twisted skull is, but I always think people are kidding with me. My team of therapists think that it’s obviously a result of my being part of an insane family, but should I blame everything on them? My being fat and my balding scalp – it’s because of my family genes. My being short – you guessed it. But crazy is something I never thought I could attribute to them until recently. I didn’t actually inherit the insanity – it was instilled in me. In any given situation, my go-to response is to assume that people are just kidding around with me. I get that not everyone is asinine like me and jokes around all the time, but I really say and do some dumb things in response to seemingly normal situations. I know, I know, that isn’t a shock to anyone that regularly reads my stuff, but in hindsight – I’m kind of like 92.2% asshole….

When I was younger, I was very gullible and would take everything at face value and believe it 100% only to be fooled time and again which has now twisted my adult mind. My mother would take us out to eat and then pretend she didn’t have any money to pay the check. A reasonable response to a situation is not a big deal, but me at 10 years old was not reasonable. I would sweat profusely and freak out which left me traumatized. She liked to get me and my sister riled up and then laugh at how we would get. She’d literally leave the table and pretend to call someone on a payphone because it would make me so anxious. She’d would come back and tell us to leave the restaurant quickly so they didn’t notice (even though she had already paid the bill) looking over her shoulder to play it up the whole time. My sister fell for it the first time, but got smart to the game quick. One would think after the tenth time of it happening, I might have caught on or stopped going out to eat with her, but no – I wasn’t that quick on the uptake. I didn’t realize that we hadn’t skipped out without paying until we were almost home…This bulb was never shining at 100 watts if you know what I mean.

 

Leading up to my sixth grade graduation ceremony also was a stressful time for me. In reality, all I had to do was stand there while they called my name, but in my little bubble of the world, it felt like I was playing a major role in the orchestration of this event. I had tried for a solo first and would have been happy to just have been in the chorus as they sang We are the World but the music teacher (dream crusher) and I had differing visions for what talent was and he opted out of having me perform in public…You know it’s bad when the hearing-impaired kid gets a solo and I was shut out of even a chorus role but I didn’t let it get me down.

As if that wasn’t enough drama, my mother toyed with me over the weeks leading up to the ceremony by telling me that she was going to wear a hat made entirely out of fruit. I would have looked back now and thought that it was hysterical, but to an anxious little boy that had just been told dead cats had more rhythm and harmony than him – that was the last thing that I needed. It was another event and another opportunity for me to sweat profusely through my little boy tee and dress shirts – a habit I somehow never outgrew as I got older, although now when I sweat through my shirts it looks like saran wrap around chopped meat. I fidgeted uncomfortably for that whole ceremony and ran out the door to avoid any pictures or chance of seeing my sister sitting with my mother looking like Carmen Miranda. Of course, she didn’t wear that hat and I should have caught on when she wasn’t wearing it on the car ride over, but I was picturing her opening the trunk as we arrived and me passing out right there. I’m not sure if I was just really gullible or just really stupid…

 

As a result of all these (and more) times I was fooled, I developed a knee-jerk response to never believe things that normal people do. I don’t have the sense or sensory response to tell when I should believe anyone, so now I just don’t believe anything. Here are a couple of examples:

 

I went to see my spiritual advisors one Sunday morning to seek out the guidance I so obviously need when I realized that Barbara wasn’t there and that Susan was really jammed up and busy. I don’t usually do this, but I decided to see someone other than my regulars. You might think it strange to have not one, but two spiritual advisors – but a twisted mind like this needs more than one. These aren’t your run of the mill psychics like the one on the street who said I had a spiritual parasite and I went back and paid her another $90.00 for research on the off chance that it was true. These are professionals and they’ve been on-point with me many times; if they say jump – I say how high. I never stray from them, but I went against my better judgment and thought maybe a change could be good and tried someone new. I’d never met her before and had no knowledge of her skills so I saw down and thought it would be as comforting as it regularly was.

I wasn’t even seated with her for more than a minute as she shuffled and laid out the tarot cards when she looked at me with a quizzical gaze. The first words out of her mouth were “You think they’re something medically wrong with you, but it’s nothing serious – are you in pain?” I replied “Well, it’s probably just a brain tumor, but I get headaches all the time…” She looked at me like I had two heads and said “That’s not funny to joke about – I have a brain tumor!” Knee-jerk response anyone? I replied as if it was an instinct “You’re such a liar…who has a brain tumor?”

 

She laid down the deck of cards from her hands, placed each palm slowly on the table, and said calmly “What kind of sick person would joke around about having a brain tumor if they didn’t really have one?” “I would” I said and then leaned over to the psychic seated at the table next to her and inquired “Does this lady really have a brain tumor or is she just messing with me?” Another look of puzzlement mixed with disgust as the other psychic said “Of course she does, who would make that up?” “I would” I repeated to another strange look from her. Needless to say, it was kind of hard to get a good reading after that and apparently it’s rude to fact-check an “alleged” ailment from one’s peers. We started on the wrong foot and I was terrified to say anything else to her so there was no turning back. Maybe she really did have a brain tumor but come on – I may be old-fashioned, but it’s not really considered “nice” to act like that.

 

When I was in college, I never knew anyone’s last name. Hell, I was lucky to know some of my friends’ first names. I won’t blow her spot by saying who it is, but one of my good friends used to hook up with a fraternity guy named Shit Stain. Take that in for a second. I’m not one to judge, but how exactly does a girl have sex with a guy named Shit Stain? “Give it to me Shit Stain…Me Love you long time Shit Stain…” it just doesn’t flow and imagine what those neighbors think. That’s not the point of this though – the point is that I didn’t know his real name until almost two years after Graduation when I randomly saw him and his mother at the mall by the Fat Camp. I was walking and saw them so I said “Hey Shit Stain” when I realized that I didn’t know his real name and probably shouldn’t have call him Shit Stain in front of his mother. She was like “What did you call my son? His name is John.” “It is? I had no idea” I told her. He was obviously embarrassed and then his mother was like “Why did he call you Shit Stain?” They walked away and I’m sure that car ride home was really fun. When I asked my friend if she knew that Shit Stain’s real name was John, she tried to act like she knew it all along. I’m still not convinced she knew before I told her, but like I said no judgments; some girls will let a guy named Shit Stain hit it and quit it….

So, as you can tell, not knowing people’s names was always a problem with me in college. One day I was on my way to audition for the show that the Theatre Department was putting on when I saw the Dean of the college sitting in the waiting area. “What’s that Fat Fuck Dean Marine doing here?” I said to a bunch of my friends who had shocked looks on their faces when I entered the auditorium. No one said a word; they just kept looking at each other like a deer in headlights. I asked again “No one knows what that Fat Fuck Dean Marine is doing here? Is she auditioning too” Another round of stares until Katie opened her mouth to speak. She looked kind of mad and with a nasty tone infused through her response, said “that’s my mother you’re talking about.” Of course I didn’t believe her. “That Fat Fuck is your mother? She shook her head in response, but I just couldn’t process it. “What are you talking about? That Fat Fuck is your mother? You’re such a liar!” “She is” she replied and I turned towards another friend John and said “Is that Fat Fuck Dean Marine her mother?” When he shook his head yes, not quite sure what to say “I turned back to her “That Fat Fuck is really your mother? I can’t believe it” She was pissed by this point and said “Stop saying that!” “I’m sorry I just cannot believe that Fat Fuck is your mother.” She walked away shaking her head and disgusted as the other people in the circle attacked me “What is wrong with you? You just called her mother a Fat Fuck like six times. She’s never going to forgive you – Why did you keep saying it after she said it was true?” Is that really her mother? I don’t believe it…I thought she was kidding. And she is a Fat Fuck – I can’t stand her…” Needless to say Katie and I weren’t buddies anymore after that – it’s kind of hard to get past calling someone’s mother a Fat Fuck…that cuts deep. And really, how was I supposed to know that Fat Fuck was her mother?

 

One would think I’d learn my lesson after all these years, but I am constantly opening my mouth while my foot is being strategically placed into it. Stupid is as stupid does, and I’m not that bright…

Someone help me – I’m afraid of turning into my father!!!

Unlike The Incredible Hulk who changed immediately, one of my greatest fears is that fate will sneak up on me and I’ll undergo a slow and painstaking transition into a heightened version of my father. Some people might think this is a compliment, but I’m not sure the world is ready for another one like him. To know my father is to laugh because he is crazy and hysterical (even if it is at and not with him), but for people that don’t know my father, let me explain.

This might as well be my father's Birth Certificate.

To say that my father is one-of-a-kind is to do a disservice to unique glacial formations created to bring beauty to the world. My father was actually created in another era from spontaneous combustion. He was one of ten children and called Baby Boy at the hospital. They literally named him Baby Boy. Every time he presents that birth certificate, there’s an issue. I guess if you have ten kids, who cares what you name them after a while, right? It’s not like you can remember all of those names anyway. We all think it’s funny, but The Department of Motor Vehicles never got as much of a kick out of it as we did.

Patience was never his strong suit either. How being the father of five kids that should have been caged and tranquilized at times didn’t teach him patience, I’ll never know. I don’t know how or why, but one of us always did something that would force him to clasp his hands outward with disgust while chewing on his tongue and chanting “You Kids…” For instance, “You Kids…Always go out of the house with a wet head-you’ll be barking like as dog”, You kids…think it grew legs and walked out on its own? “You kids…Always think I’m supposed to remember to come back and pick you up when I drop you off somewhere…”

I will say that my father unwittingly taught me the best quality that I possess: the uncanny ability to laugh in someone’s face. He didn’t teach me that skill outright, but he put me into situations which instilled in me a sense that it was something that just couldn’t be helped. Don’t even get me started on his car either, because it was crazy. It was a Navy Blue Diesel Mercedes that you had to plug in during the winter nights. Imagine how awkward it was to go over to someone’s house after dusk and have to ask them for an extension cord to plug it the car in with. That car was always a very sore topic with him anyway; Hit one gas pump and then two parked cars in the middle of the night looking for alcohol all in the span of one week and he brands you a bad driver for life…

  

  

Speaking of that car, anyone who knows my father can see where this is going. One day, my sister and I were sitting in it (more than most likely making fun of him) as he was adding more air to the back tire at a gas station. He was always convinced that it was “riding low” whatever that meant. Don’t you know that as her and I were dancing around and being stupid (No, we weren’t young kids – I was twenty and she was seventeen) my father looked away from the inflating tire to peek into the back window and yell at us to stop horsing around. No sooner did he turn back to the tire before it exploded in his face. BOOM!!!  Seconds later, we were immediately laughing hysterically, and then looking at each other with that knowing glance which said that in his version of this story – somehow this was going to be our fault. All of a sudden, this bald head launched up into my window like a jack in the box and screamed “IT BLEW!” as if we wouldn’t have heard the boom. Talk about thanking God for a strong bladder – those are actually the moments Depends were created for. Needless to say, we were steps away from walking home because he didn’t find it half as funny as the two of us did. His response (with hands were clasped outward and chewing on his tongue “You kids…Think everything’s a fucking joke…”      

  

My father always says that things aren’t made the way they used to be and he means it; Proof of this being the pair of brown pants that he has worn to every family function since 1978. When I said earlier that patience wasn’t his strong suit, I meant it. Those brown pants are his strong suit! Birthdays, Christenings, Backyard Barbecues, Anniversaries, or Card Games there hasn’t been one function that those pants haven’t been invited to. The OCD part of me likes a good ritual as much as the next guy, but when it becomes a uniform something is wrong. When actually confronted with this query, my father swears that he’s never worn those pants. Apparently, all the pictures from over twenty family functions in the past three decades while wearing the little brown knickers isn’t what he would refer to as “proof.”

This is actually the very first of many, many pictures of my father in the brown pants...

My wife actually owns the pants now, believe it or not. Two years ago, my family did a Secret Santa Yankee Swap gift exchange and my father (never one to be thought of as funny) really rocked the Yuletide Spirit. Not only was he wearing a new pair of brown pants, but he wrapped the classic brown knickers as his Secret Santa gift. My wife opened that box and did everyone a public service by taking one for the team and retiring their number. Now if only I could get her to stop wearing them when we go out…Apparently her and my father are in a sisterhood of the Jimmy Carter pants!!! Talk about a pair of pants lasting a long time! Hit me with an Internet High-Five below if anyone in your family has clothes that are older than you…  

One thing that my father has never been mistaken for is sentimental. One only needs to ask my brother Angelo to repeat the conversation he had with my father in January to illustrate this.

 Dad: “I don’t know if I told you this, but this year was the best Christmas I’ve ever had. Everything just couldn’t have been better”

Angelo: “Dad, I wasn’t even fucking there! What are you talking about? (Angelo was bedridden at home with the flu when we got together)

Dad: “Either way, it was the best one I can remember in a long time…”

He’s never been one to worry about feelings or to not kick someone when they’re down I guess…

I am omitting the incriminating and obviously embarrassing parts of his insanity for everyone’s benefit. Does anyone need me to tell them about my father’s uncanny ability to fart on command and he will do it no matter where or when it is? Your friends are in the house, there he goes. You’re in the church for a christening – oops, he did it again! You get the point – the less said the better. How about I put the next part this way? I’m not saying that this actually happened, but if it did – this is how I imagine his response to be: If he were to start selling illegal cable boxes (I’m not saying he did, just projecting here) and I asked for one to take with me to college, I imagine that he’d reply “That’s 250 bucks – we’re not doing this to make friends!” Shortly after that, I’d find out that he sold one to my friend Annie for 200 bucks. So much for a family discount!!!

How it doesn’t chafe a testicle I will never understand, but the waistline of my father’s pants rides so high that his belt could actually be mistaken for a choker necklace. Upon first glance, you scratch your head because you can’t tell if his shirt collar is sagging or if he just got an atomic wedgie…It defies explanation and just cannot be comfortable. I guess after all these years it must seem normal to him, but Oh God if it isn’t a conversation starter for the people passing by. My wife and I actually have an unwritten pact that if one day she sees me going to leave the house and my pants are pulled up past my nipples like his always are, she will euthanize me immediately!!! People wonder how I turned out to be so crazy – No need to look any further than the chap in the faded brown pants for the answer to that one…

Remove the glasses and jacket and this is my father!

As a postscript for this post, I promise that I will record an audio version as well because a lot is lost in the text. You need the inflection and overall, the insanity translates much better with audio…

Dental Dilemmas: Part Three

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE – NEVER, EVER, EVER LET MY FATHER NEAR ME IN THE EVENT OF A MEDICAL EMERGENCY!!!

Since Father’s Day was this past weekend, I thought I might share a memorable experience that I had with my father. Don’t worry, this isn’t sentimental. Anyone who knows my Dad, knows that certainly isn’t his style.

If you know me, you  know that my second biggest fear is going to the dentist’s office. My biggest fear, of course, is that molotov cocktail that is a lasagna dinner and Fudgie the Whale for dessert. I can’t resist Italian food and especially not Fudgie, but the repercussions can be (literally) explosive as the mixture of those two have the exact same reaction as a stick of dynamite. If you have that for dinner at home, who cares; If you’re eating at and you’re at your mother-in-law’s house and you have a forty minute drive home after dinner – you’re gonna be in big trouble. Everyone will sleep better if you just spend the night there. No one has to worry about replacing the fabric on the driver’s seat again or me being forced to evacuate my bowels in the tall grass on Route 684 as deer are running by me frolicking in the middle of the night…But back to the dentist and my father.  

I needed  to have a root canal done and I knew, given my history, that I wouldn’t be able to drive home after it so I couldn’t go alone. I asked everyone that I knew and no one could take me because they were busy. My last resort, I mean my father, said he would take me and then wait for me and I was more than a little concerned. I was concerned not because I felt bad making my father spend his afternoon waiting for me at the dentist’s office; I was concerned because my father is crazy and has about as much sympathy as a serial killer.

So, I had found a dentist that said he would be very gentle and that I wouldn’t be in pain. Another liar, but I had to try because I was having really bad toothaches. I was away at  college, so I had been holding the toothaches off by self-medicating with a mixture of Ketel One and Raspberry Crystal Light, but the pain was getting really intense. Finally it got so bad, that when I was home on break I went to get it fixed. Why doesn’t the dentist just knock you out anymore? When I was younger (separately from the times at the dentist that I was being held down like I was getting a lethal injection) they used to give you really strong drugs and you would wake up hours later and feel groggy, but at least it was over. The gas and Novocaine that they think will help does nothing for me – my Imodium is stronger than that shit.

As I was called into the office from the biggest and most crowded waiting room I had ever seen, I kept telling my father that I would call him when I was done and he didn’t have to wait in the office. One never knew what my father might say or do in any given situation, so it was always a better choice to have him wait in the car. I tried to send him to get coffee or lunch, but he wouldn’t leave. Off I went and tried not to give him a second thought.

The dentist was actually really nice and tried to be very patient with me. They had given me Novocaine and the gas, but it wasn’t calming me down in any way. They had also given me many paper towels because of the sheer buckets of sweat that were pouring out of me, but that didn’t help either. When I get nervous, I sweat profusely and boy was I nervous. If you can picture George Clooney in The Perfect Storm, that’s how drenched in sweat I was.

As he was doing the root canal, things took a bad turn. I was getting nauseous and light-headed and I couldn’t take it anymore. I tried to tell him to stop, but with a mouthful of fingers, tools, and drool – you couldn’t blame him for not understanding me. The assistant asked me if I was OK and then said to the dentist “He’s getting very pale” (because I had apparently turned white as a ghost) and with that I tried to stop him from doing anymore. I said “Stop – it’s too much and it hurts – Please” but all he heard me say was “Meeh grehhh duhhh hurzzzz peeeezzzzee” before I jostled and went to try and grab his hand to stop him and then I tried to get up out of the chair and then I fell as I blacked out. I fucking passed out!

As I was coming to, there was a lot of commotion in the room. Someone was saying something about an ambulance and I now had an oxygen mask on. “Are you OK? Can you hear us? Just breathe in the oxygen…Someone get his father!” With that, I opened my eyes to see about ten people fluttering about the room yelling to each other. I tried to take off the oxygen mask and tell them that I didn’t need an ambulance, but more importantly that I most certainly did not need my father in here. I just needed some water and they gave it to me and were trying to sit me up. I tried to drink the water, but I was so dizzy that I just had to lie back again because I thought that I might pass out again. When I heard someone ask the dentist why my shirt was so wet, I chose to ignore that (Yep, I had sweat through that one like a champ too. I was wearing a white polo shirt and white undershirt underneath and they were both soaked through and stuck to me like saran wrap around chopped meat).

I tried to calm myself down, but then started to get really worked up when the dentist asked me if I thought we could finish the root canal. I said no fucking way and that I had to get out of there and go home.  he was obviously crazy to think that we were going any further….When I was a bit steadier, they had the assistant help me out to the waiting room and then it hit me: Oh my God, don’t tell my father. I begged and begged the assistant not to mention it and to pretend like nothing had happened, but it was too late.

As we were walking down the hall from the procedure room to the waiting room, she was reassuring me that a lot of people pass out (and need oxygen? – I don’t think so honey) and that it was absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about when I stopped dead in my tracks and saw him. All the way across that vast waiting room and across all the staring faces was my father. People had heard the commotion and were concerned with what was going on, but not my father. He was in his own world in the far corner reading the Daily News when it hit him that it was me that all the commotion was about and he threw the newspaper down.

Not one to ever be mistaken for a sympathetic or subtle person, he started shouting across the waiting room to no one in particular, so loud that they could hear him in the parking lot : “PUSSY…MY SON…I DON’T BELIEVE THAT IT WAS MY SON…ALL THESE LITTLE KIDS ARE COMING IN AND OUT AND IN AND OUT AND THEY’RE ALL FINE BUT MY SON IS THE PUSSY!…MY…SON…IS…THE…PUSSY! I JUST DON’T BELIEVE IT… I tried to tell him to shut the fuck up, but between the drooling and the numb lips, who the hell knows what was coming out of my mouth so because of the way he was still carrying on, I made a beeline out the front door. The nurse went over to him and tried to explain to him that this does happen a lot and that you have to be gentle in these situations, but it was to no avail. He was just sitting there repeating himself…She tried to help me out of the office, but I was basically turning my walk of shame into a run for the hills…He was still muttering to himself in disgust about how big of a pussy I actually was (apparently there are varying degrees) as he finally got up off his ass and walked out of the office. If my face wasn’t in so much pain and I hadn’t been thoroughly humiliated just moments before, and also if I wasn’t wearing two shirts that were soaked straight though to the bone and stuck to me – I might have beat the shit out of him right there in the parking lot, but I just wanted to get as far away from there as fast as possible. 

I didn’t talk to him the whole ride home partially because I was still a little out of it, but the other part was shock when he said he had to stop so he could put his lotto tickets in. “Are you fucking kidding me?  I was just attacked – please take me home! Forget the fucking Lotto!” Surprisingly, he agreed and took me home. As he recounted what had happened to my brothers when we got home, he was hysterical laughing and telling them about how badly I had embarrassed him – As if I was the lunatic screaming that he was a pussy like someone with Tourette’s Syndrome in front of a waiting room full of people. I just went to go to bed because I knew that if I didn’t lie down right then, that I might pass out again since I was still dizzy. I was just imagining the nightmare of me passing out again, this time in our house and seeing his face hovering over my sprawled out body on the living room rug screaming “I told you he was a Pussy – Get up!”  

Needless to say, I wasn’t a little kid when this happened; I was twenty-five years old. Needless to say, I also never stepped foot back in that Dentist’s office again. The receptionist called me about ten times to try to get me to come back. She said that it happens a lot and that most of the patients probably didn’t even realize what had happened and that it was nothing to be embarrassed of but I told her that there was obviously no way that I could ever go back into that office again since I had been humiliated. She said it actually might help if I had someone more supportive to take me next time, and I tried not to be sarcastic and said “Hello, of course it would – he’s crazy.” I then tried to apologize for his outbursts, but she just laughed. I had to call and get another dentist (which took forever to find another semi-patient and kind one) and have him finish the root canal. I could get over the passing out and the oxygen, but when someone starts shouting in front of a room full of dental staff, parents and their young kids that you’re a pussy, it’s hard to get over that and go back…

As a side note: Years have gone by since this happened,  but to this day I constantly remind my wife and family that if I ever stroke out or drop to the ground with a heart attack or am the victim of a gun shot or have a slip and fall – DO NOT LET MY FATHER ANYWHERE NEAR THE AMBULANCE OR THE HOSPITAL!!!