Top Five Things You Should Know About My Dad

You know, just in case you ever run into the guy:

1. He likes to make spreadsheets. Nothing too fancy, just diagrams to chart household expenses and whatnot. But the funny thing is, he doesn’t use Excel. He makes real spreadsheets. By hand. With actual graph paper. He’s got reams of it at his house for the creation of traditional, antiquated spreadsheets. Now fully retired, my Dad will spend hours making charts and graphs by hand. Not pie charts, necessarily, those are too hard. But he can make a sweet bar graph of the monthly electricity bill.

2. It’s a good thing “That 70’s Show” was cancelled last year. My Dad hated that show. The main reason? He doesn’t feel that it is an accurate depiction of the 1970’s. You can’t watch an episode with him without a muttered outburst of “people didn’t talk that way in the 70’s… this just isn’t realistic.” At these moments, I would remind him that the show isn’t meant to be a documentary on the 1970’s, but rather the 70’s are merely a backdrop for the sitcom. Of course, he hears none of it. And now that the show is broadcast in syndication 14 hours a day, I only fear his condition will worsen.

3. I can say this with absolute certainty: As you read this, my dad is either taking a nap or drinking a cup of coffee. Sadly, he’s not doing both. One day though, he’ll find a way to combine his two passions in life. I hear he’s working on filling a waterbed with coffee. It’s only a matter of time.

4. My dad likes things to be as plain as possible. If offered plain vanilla, he’d ask for something plainer. Thusly, when he goes to McDonalds, he wants his hamburger to be cheese-less. (He’s the only person I’ve ever met that prefers a regular hamburger to a cheeseburger.) Surprisingly, he actually has a lot of difficulty ordering an ordinary hamburger successfully. Half the time, he would get a burger not only without cheese, but without all the other condiments as well. And then the Atkins Diet craze happened. He’d go to McDonalds and order a plain hamburger, and end up getting just a meat patty with no bun. Finally, I think he just decided to get cheeseburgers like the rest of civilization. True story.

5. My Dad likes to find a way to make modern technology function as it’s earliest predecessor did when it was first invented. Accordingly, he set the ring tone on his cell phone to that of a rotary telephone. I’m thankful though. Whenever he gets a call, I get to say, “Dad, your phone is ringing, and it sounds like the 1940’s are calling…”

#5b. This just became a Top Six list, but I need to share one other anecdote. Suppose you are watching an NFL or college football game, and the camera pans to the players on the sideline. Unfailingly, the players will use the opportunity to mug for the camera and flash gang signs. Naturally, this has become my favorite aspect of televised football, because my Dad mimics the gang signs right back. He’s actually gotten pretty good at it too. Needless to say, my Dad is proud to represent the Eastside 420 Posse.

That’s it. Now, the next time you run into my Dad, you’ll have something to discuss.

6 thoughts on “Top Five Things You Should Know About My Dad”

  1. That’s a pretty good starter list, but believe me, you have only just scratched the surface. What about (when faced with ordering into a drive-thru intercom) he orders a “cheese sandwich and potatoes” instead of a cheeseburger and french fries?
    And his chronic poor spelling? He once asked me how to spell “was”.
    Ken loves to label EVERYTHING,and I don’t mind it so much in the garage, but years ago at our lake place, I found the dresser drawers were labeled “underwear”, “socks” “t shirts”. He said he didn’t come there often enough to memorize where everything was, and this just made it so much faster to get dressed. Yes, he really needed those extra 2 seconds he was losing by opening the same wrong drawer every morning.
    He loves to point out how every athlete is “making 50 million dollars, and can’t even catch (or hit, kick,or throw) the ball!”
    Don’t even get him started when he’s watching a western and the cowboy is smoking a filtered cigarette (not invented yet) and picks up a hot coffee pot by the handle and doesn’t get burnt.

    Yes, he’s weird, but fun. His favorite holidays are April Fool’s and Halloween – you have a lot of stories about the crazy stuff that happened at our house on those days, too. Maybe another post will be needed in this ongoing saga.

  2. No one seems to be bringing up the fact that the “Centaur” is turning into the object of his ridicule. I’ve been noticing some labels in Matt’s garage, spreadsheets on his life’s plans on his computer, maps of his neighbor’s houses with their names, and much more! Jeannette- I’m sure you have more to add…

  3. Don’t get me started Katie. I didn’t comment on your dad because I didn’t want to upset one of my free babysitters. I guess I should have taken the Matt angle in the comments section. I’ll work on a list and get back to you…

  4. Here’s what I’ve got on the Centaur so far:

    1. Last year he wanted to shed some pounds so he switched from pop with lunch to chocolate milk. He brought a 1/2 gallon to work every Monday and stored it in the mini-fridge. In 2 months he was down 15 pounds. No other changes were made in his lifestyle.

    2. He can’t eat tacos or quesadillas without tomatoes, however he can’t eat a cheeseburger with them.

    3. He can’t do a project around the house unless it’s written on a ‘to do’ list first. Even if he has to write it on the list and do the project 2 seconds later, it has to be on a list.

    4. He made an Excel spreadsheet of our life plan before we were even engaged. So far we’re on track with Baby #1 being born in year #2 of marriage.

    5. He can’t go to bed without a fresh glass of ice water by his bed. Every night he takes one sip, I’ve never seen him drink more than that, but the glass always has to be there.

    6. Every time we have a clear day in Spokane he has to say ‘they don’t have nice days in Seattle, only over here in Man Country’.

    So now next time you run into the Centuar, you’ll have something to discuss.

  5. Jeannette;
    Awhile back, I sent The Centaur an e-mail stating that I loved his writing and him. I also stated I knew he was happily married and it would never work between us, but that I loved him nonetheless. After reading the last list of yours…. You can keep him. (The taco/tomato/cheeseburger thing is just weird. And the glass of water thing is just wasteful!

    Good luck.

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