Grumpy Old Man

                My father is politely described by people who know and like him as a “character”. People who do not like him tend to have a more colorful description of him.   If the filter that covers my mouth is like a mesh that allows far too much particulate matter to contaminate the conversation, then my father’s mouth is like a sieve allowing everything to pour forth with very few restrictions.

                He is in his mid-seventies. He likes whiskey, golf, gambling at cards, and his two Yorkie puppies, “Bo and Butch”. He is a contradiction in terms.   He is a former physical education teacher who doesn’t particularly enjoy children.   To understand the most recent conversation I had with my father, some background is required.

                A few years ago my father had bypass surgery and was given a cat that he named Gus to keep him company during his recovery. After his convalescence, he decided that his cat needed a cat because it was lonely. So Daddy went down to the local cat shelter and picked him out a fine cat.

Daddy: I want that one.

Cat lady: Thank you sir, we really appreciate you adopting one of our precious angels.

Daddy: I’ll take really good care of him. I am gonna get him fixed and declawed and everything.

Cat lady: Hold up a minute buddy. We can’t give you that cat, declawing a cat is cruel.

Daddy: Lady, I’ve got Italian leather.

Cat lady: You can’t adopt that cat, we don’t consider declawing humane

Daddy: What do you care? Fine, just say I won’t declaw the cat and then I will take it home, and once that cat is mine I will do what I want.

Cat lady: …which is why you can’t have the cat.

Daddy: Listen here you b#%$h, ya’ll are just gonna kill the f&^%ing cat anyways. Just give me the g#&@&amn cat.

Cat lady: I will see you in H*&L!


                And that is how my father got banned from the local cat shelter. Keep in mind that I was not actually present for the conversation, so the actual encounter probably was a lot worse in person. It resulted in my father calling me and my brother and asking us to go get the cat for him out of spite. I didn’t do it, but I suspect that my brother did because a black cat remarkably similar to the one in the story appeared at my father’s house in short order and was seen atop the Italian leather trying to sharpen its poor non-existent claws.


                So, fast forward about fifteen years and another conversation with my father. He has a doctor’s appointment.   Apparently, the receptionist had the audacity to ask him for his co-pay. This was not a good idea on her part.


Daddy: Look, I pay two –hundred dollars a month on this policy, and I have a five-hundred dollar deductible, and now I have to pay thirty dollars every time I walk in the door.

Receptionist: I’m sorry sir, this is the new guidelines under Medicare.

                Here is where another grumpy old curmudgeon enters the picture and starts commiserating with my father about the good old days when Cokes were a nickel and everyone had free socialized health care. As they are discussing this, one of them mentions that it is highway robbery and extortion to hold them hostage for a copay to see the doctor. This is where the receptionist did make a small error in judgment.

Smart A*& Receptionist: Well, you don’t HAVE to see the doctor. (smirk)

Daddy: Listen here young lady, I wasn’t talking to you and I am seventy-four g*&^%amn years old and I don’t need you telling me when I need to see the doctor or not.

                Here is where a female bystander tries to check my father’s behavior and tell him he is being rude to the receptionist. This did not go well for her

Daddy: Sit your fat a&^ down and shut the f&^% up and stay out of it. No one asked you, you dumb b&^%h

                The situation degraded from there, and my father called to ask my opinion on how the situation unfolded. I was shocked to find that the doctor actually saw my father after this. My father completely thinks he is in the right and that the receptionist’s comments totally justify his behavior. I think the receptionist should have probably should have kept her mouth shut, but I have a no tolerance policy for people being rude to my receptionists and nurses.

                                I do think my father’s ability to make a public scene at least once a month and still come out smelling like a rose is a special life skill. Sometimes I wish I could get away with saying exactly what I think like him without consequences.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s