So was my Dad. Ben could take a regular every day story and turn it on its head (heed), quicker than you could spit the tea out your mouth laughing.
My brother was in his teens when he drove my father's car to pick up a rather drunken friend that needed to get home safely. Unfortunately, my brother's friend was sick in my father's car, and I guess they tried to clean it up, but of course Dad knew about it. I will never forget my father see'ing my bother's friend for the first time after the sick incident.
" Here, Tom* ( real name withheld) see yooo! Did yoo drive tae ma hoose today?"
" Yes Mr.Seath I did...why?"
" And Tom, that wiz yoo who were sick all over my nice car?""Yes, but I am so sorry about that.."
" Well Tom, gee us your keys son..."
"So's I can go take a big shite in your car and wheel call it even!"
Prime example of a Ben story right there.
Part of growing up in my family was teasing one another, I am pretty sure any family psychologist today would confirm our teasing ways on the emotionally abusive end of the scale. However, all 3 kids turned out just fine...or as normal as you can anyway.
Upon meeting some old cronies of his at the mall, my mother would walk out of a store and ask my father who he was speaking to.
"Those were my friends Jean, yee can git yar ain...."
- This will seem really cruel to note, but my Dad's occasional pet name for my mother was" Big bitch"...he would always laugh after he said it too. "Ach, Jeanie ya big bitch..." Or if Mom was having a particularly bad day it was: " Jeanie ya crabby bitch.." I know a lot of people would consider two grown people, parents no less, speaking like this to one another incredibly disrespectful. I remember when my husband first met my family...he could not believe some of the things we said to one another. Keep in mind tho, this was all talk within the family, we did not say these types of things to one another in public. Behind every unusual family nick name or comment was a true devotion to making that person smile or laugh.
"License to kill gophers by the government of the United Nations..."
" Oh Mrs.Cane you're a little monkey woman..."
" It's in the hole!".... All the while snickering and snorting, trying to make one another lose it and start laughing, ready to rush out of the bushes at any moment should we be discovered.
Well, one Friday night we couldn't play mix and match with our ceramic hoard, a neighbour had come out to walk their dog, so we had to quickly get away, in my father's 1978 Impala (the front end held together with silver gaffer's tape no less!) a boat of a car, it could sleep 8 quite comfortably. So we road around with our newly 'found' skunks, birds, garden gnomes and lantern keepers for the rest of the night tucked neatly in the trunk. I forgot all about them....until the Sunday.
I woke promptly at noon like any good teenager would do....walked to the kitchen to eat the breakfast my Dad had made 3 hours ago. He was still in the kitchen as I sat down at the kitchen table to eat.
" Shellah, how wiz yer weekend lass. Canny say we've seen much of you through oot tit, mind you..." I answered with your typical teenage grunting..
" Huh? Oh it was ok...didn't do much...the car needs gas.."
" Yee mean tae say you dinny hae $10 dollars between the lot o you tae pit some bloody gas in my car?...well new...if yer no dea'ing much, then how is the gas getting used up?"
The two of us went on talking back and forth for the duration of my breakfast about what doing nothing was all about from my perspective and his. Finally, he says that I should do the dishes...
" Right hen, when yer done, get yer arse up to the sink and git the dishy's done fer your mom.."
He leaves to go have a soft seat as he would call it, in the living room. I drag my arse up to the sink, still a bit blurry eye'd from my past hibernation...gather the dirty dishes, fill the sink and as I am adding the dish detergent I glance outside to our backyard. There at my father's bird feeder is a ceramic lantern holder now holding a gas tank from the garage...a wee ceramic skunk at his feet, the gnome has a rake propped up beside him, and a red ceramic cardinal is in the bird feeder. I froze! I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I was totally busted! My father with his ever impeccable comedic timing shouts to me from behind his newspaper in the living room:
" Ok lass, ye've had yer fun. They will all go back, you put gas in ma car and rake the lawn. We'll no speak of this again, wull we..."
I suppose my Dad was just grateful his daughter wasn't out there on the weekends getting drunk or doing drugs...taking those ceramic garden decor items was about as 'bad' as my friends and I ever got. It was a briefly lived life of crime, but my Dad was right...we never did speak of it again, we didn't have to.