Tribute to My Dad

July 16, 2009 · 1 comment

On April 16th 1963, King Scott, husband to Queen Carolyn took a bold step to the establishment of a royal lineage with the birth of his first son, Prince Eric. This event was soon followed with the arrival of Princess Kelly, after which they took a break while Queen Carolyn sought treatment for a hearing disorder that led to the two births. With her hearing restored, she stopped answering “What” to the King’s nightly question, “Do you just want to go to bed, or what?”

Alas in the spring of 1968, as a result of the ear wax pandemic of 1967, young Todd joined the fold. Though, technically a Prince, he soon assumed the more familiar role of Court Jester, and official “Bucker for Donuts.” It is he who now pens this essay . . . . so be warned.

A few years ago, I was asked to identify my most memorable moment of my father. In doing so, I contemplated the many sayings he used when counseling me as I grew up, such as:

– It will feel better when it quits hurting,
– If you’re thirsty, drink your spit,
– Its not so much where you are, but the direction you are headed,
– If you don’t start hugging that dog by the time I get my shoes on . . .

And my personal favorite:

– Son, women aren’t real people. (Wise man, wise, wise man)

But to be honest, those sayings didn’t get me too far in answering the question about my most memorable moment of DAD.

So then I considered movies with good titles and with good leading men. “Maybe one of those could be used as a metaphor for Dad”, I thought. But all I could think of were James Bond movies, and one in particular kept coming to mind, “Goldfinger”. There was something about the name that I couldn’t get out of my head, but the color was wrong. “Gold, Gold, Gold, hmmmmm how about Orange.” And that’s when it hit me, “Orangefinger, the tales of . . . . . Captain Methiolate.” That’s my dad!!!

I am sure I am not alone in this observation, I have 3 brothers and 3 sisters (mom’s hearing came and went) and I am sure they would all agree that Dad would use Methioate for EVERYTHING. Yes, he is Captain Methiolate! Armed only with a bottle of over-the-counter Mercury poisoning with it’s glass wand applicator, it is he who fights in defense of truth and justice whenever infection, or the threat thereof, rears its ugly head.

I remember my first encounter with Captain Methiolate. It occurred when I was in the second grade. Foolishly, I had decided that, with the aid of my trusty skateboard, I would test just how hard the fire hydrant in our neighborhood really was . . . with my mouth. For those scoring at home, Hydrant – One, Todd’s mouth – Nothing. (Which, coincidentally enough was the same score I had in breast feeding, but that’s another story).

When I arrived at home, split lip and all, Captain Methiolate came to the rescue (and I use that word VERY loosely). I should have known something was up when he took a big pencil, placed it between my teeth, and instructed me to bite if I felt any pain. The deception there was the use of the word “if”. There would be pain, and he knew it. “Is it going to hurt much?” I naively asked. The reply spoke volumes “It depends on what you mean by much.” And with that, out came the bottle of Methiolate.

Seismologists at the University of California, Berkeley have been able to trace the 5.6 Magnitude earthquake to the exact moment the glass wand applicator first touched my lip. The second application resulted in two separate quarter inch holes on opposite sides of the room created by recently jettisoned ends of the pencil that was in my mouth. Marine Biologists have opined that the teeth impressions in the pencil are within 5 pounds per square inch of the bite pressure from that of a Great White Shark. Luckily, Captain Methiolate stopped at two applications of the torture liquid. But of course, there was always the orange stain that remained as a reminder of the ordeal.

As I said, my Dad used Methioate for everything. Cut on the hand? Methioate. Gunshot wound? Methioate. Diaper Rash? Methiolate. Rehabilitating drug addicts? What the hell. And, trust me when I say that Jewish boys around the world are breathing a sigh of relief that Dad was never a Moyle. Iraqi citizens who voted were identified by their purple index finger, but Rabbi Kuhnen’s boys, well, they’ll always stand out in the locker room shower.

But seriously all kidding aside, although the method may have been painful, it was always dad’s intention to do what was best for his kids. Never once as a child, teenager, or adult, did I ever feel any malice in anything dad did towards me. In every instance, dad’s motives were always pure, and I have come to realize that this is a rare commodity in the parenting world. As a prosecutor who has had the difficult assignments of prosecuting felony child abuse (in all its forms), I see case after case of children who, regardless of their age, wake up every morning with overwhelming uncertainty as to who will protect them that day from the abuses of the world, including the abuses at the hands of their parents. I am very thankful that I grew up with parents who provided me with comfort as a child, rather than abuse. When I look at my own children, I realize that my first and foremost responsibility in life is to protect them. THAT is the measure of a man, and THAT is the greatest lesson I EVER learned from my dad.

Thank you Dad, and just so you know that I am sincere, the donuts are on me.

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