Thursday, July 22, 2004

Ever play these games?

My Dad was a giant for a while. He was one of those hard-workin' guys that Bruce Springsteen wrote about. Up until a few years ago he spent 30 years of his life working in a copper works plant in Bellaire, MI called Lamina. After two years of at least three posts a week I no longer know if I have mentioned that or not. I could probably do a series of posts on this guy. In fact, I will. I'll start today and go until I run out of ideas.

I'll call it "My Dad." It'll be fun (for me), I'll start in the middle, work backwards and then forward. Then I go backwards a little bit, then get static and view an era, jump forward, go way back to the late days of black and white photography, slow up into grade school, jump close to present time, ease back to the high school era, focus for a while on my independent days of Marine life, segue into my first five years in Charlotte, reflect on all that shit and then come into present time and our current relationship. It'll be magic. Of course it'll be the kind of magic defined this way in science fiction terms: "Magic: technology that is sufficiently advanced that it defies explanation.

The games

The first game I am referring to in the title is the game my Dad and I played in his car when we were riding back and forth from my home to his when he picked me up every other weekend. No, not that game, you sick bastard. The game was that I would test his prowess at addition. I would give him two numbers, generally in the thousands, and he would add them in his head and get it right. He would do this in less than ten seconds usually. I still have trouble doing that now. I would always be amazed and he was the kind of person that enjoyed impressing people, even if it was his thirteen-year-old son. He coached me on how he accomplished this feat and eventually I got pretty good at. I'm rusty now so, please, don't hit me with an addition problem the next time you see me in the hallway at school.

Another game we played was "time." He had an amazingly adept at telling you what time it was. No matter what the circumstance he would always, and I mean always, guess the time within ten minutes. Ten minutes actually became our window of success. If he was off by more than ten minutes he would fain dejection and wouldn't feel right about himself until the next time I quizzed him and he guessed within the window. I would tease him sometimes when he was off by asking him what time it was just a couple of minutes later. I was called "smarty" when I did that as a child and later "smart ass" once I reached my teens.

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