Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Went All Anton Chigurh on My Dad

Crime scene photo

   We sat at the wide table in opposition about six feet apart. On one side I ate scrambled eggs and bacon next to an empty bowl with a spoon in it. He sat there eating cereal in relative silence against a backdrop of the thick forest green curtain covering the patio's entrance.
   Pass the Honey Smacks.
   Say please.
   Pass the Honey Smacks.
   Pass the Honey Smacks.
   Why won't you mind your manners?
   What business is it of yours, friendo?
   Ask politely and you'll get what you want. That's how you go about things.
   Let me ask you something. If the rule you followed brought you to this, of what use was the rule?
   You will walk around the table and the box with the anthropomorphic frog will be brought to me and placed at my feet.
   You don't have to do this.
   People always say the same thing.
   You go to hell.
   What's the most you ever lost in a bacon toss?
   Your dog, Groucho. Call it.
   Call it?
   For what?
   Just call it.
   Well, we need to know what we're calling it for here.
   You need to call it. It only responds to you. I can't call it for you.
   Do you know the date that dog was born?
   About two years and some months ago. It's been traveling twenty-two dog years to get here. And now it's here with its heads and tails. And you have to call it.
   Groucho. C'mere, boy.
   The dog came running. Father diligently brought the bowl to his lips to finish his meal. I tossed a strip of my bacon like a grenade casually toward his face. The dog jumped at Dad causing him to fall back in his chair and hit the ground hard. Milk splattered all over the patio curtain behind him. Only his legs were visible behind the edge of the kitchen table. Groucho ate bacon from his befuddled face.
   Well done, I commented.
   I reached over for the cereal and casually ate my Smacks with an unwavering disregard for father's floorbound, withering body.

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