Image by Christine Renney
The boy’s dad told tall tales and he had a language all of his own.
‘I don’t know about you,’ he would say, ‘but I’m feeling fair flaumbered.’ Meaning that he was hot and bothered or too tired and agitated, that he didn’t want to talk or join in.
‘What you need,’ his dad said, ‘what would do you some good, what would sort you out, is a few years in the Army.’
‘Oh yeah,’ the boy scoffed, ‘so that I can run away like you did?’
And then they would start. The boy supposed that his dad wanted him to get out there, to react against something but instead the boy just lay around the house reading and listening to music.
Shortly after the boy’s younger brother was married his dad went for a haircut.
‘How’re the family?’ the barber enquired.
‘Oh, fine,’ his dad said, ‘just fine. My youngest is married now.’
‘Really?’ the barber exclaimed.
‘Oh yeah,’ his dad replied, ‘and the oldest, well, he’s in the States.’
‘Oh really?’ the barber repeated.
‘Yeah,’ his dad said, ‘he’s travelling around on the Greyhound buses having the time of his life.’