Here is a list of creative tales my father spun for our benefit. To carry on the tradition of an ongoing misinformation campaign for children our dad told us the following gems.
Dad taught me how to shift with my left hand while he steered and worked the pedals so that he didn’t have to put down his Mars bar or tasty beverage whilst we careened along a mountain road. When I became obsessed with it because I was a little boy and I was legitimately operating part of a real car he had an interesting way to get me to stop. “You see that little “R” with the red circle around it?” I nodded emphatically “yes.” “Well they put that there so that the police can tell if a kid has been driving the car too much. It rubs off on your hand eventually and you can’t get it off” I stared at my hand, sure I was just seeing the beginnings of the transfer. “Good thing we stopped in time, huh buddy?” He said, all business. “Have a great day at school!”
He was actually preparing me to drive rental stick shifts in Japan or the UK, like they rent stick shifts. Although could be useful should I be in an action movie riding shotgun in a chase when the driver takes a bullet to the right shoulder anywhere but Japan or the UK. Smart parenting.
Any food you didn’t want or was boring he improved by telling you it was from “Lithuania” I’m pretty sure we were the only grade school kids in our town who even knew that was a place. I’ve had Lithuanian pancakes, Lithuanian broccoli, Lithuanian ham, you get the idea. People in Lithuania just call it ham.
“If you split a peanut open you can see the elf inside,” followed by, “Peanuts are elf seeds that didn’t hatch.” (To this day, I still look for the elf in peanuts – MiLK)
“We found your sister under a rock… you were given to us by aliens, and your brother is from the ball pit at Chuckee Rats.”
“We’re out of popsicles” This was total bullshit if they were orange cream bars, he hid them behind the chopped spinach. They are his favorite, mine too.
“The cat will tell me if you leave your timeout” Never trust a cat.
“The overdrive button on an automatic transmission is the rocket booster.” He would then stomp on the gas after you touched it. I watched him retell this one to a cousin after I had figured it out, but I was not about to cut a good line of bullshit. His friend Dale tried that on me once, then when it didn’t impress me he cut a “rumrunner aka handbrake u-turn”, that impressed me.
It’s not until you are a parent that you truly realize the joys of bullshitting children. It’s the working foundation of Santa Claus, Elves, Leprechauns, religion, cults etc.
I now that I’m trapped inside with the quarantine I tell my kids lies like, “we can go to the park tomorrow, maybe!” Really, anything that ends in “maybe” is probably a hard no.
“Sorry, McDonald’s is closed.”
“The mini golf place burned to the ground.”
“Your sister was left on the door by aliens.” “I know right explains a lot.”
“Of course when the virus is over you can have a dog”
“Yeah, that’s the ticket!” Jon Lovitz.
Stay safe out there. Whiskey.