My Dad is pissed off. About what, you ask. Well, one never knows what out of any number of things will set him off throughout the day. But believe me, you do not want to be in his path when it happens. For instance, last week during a seemingly innocuous discussion of Whopper Wednesday, Dad mentioned that each time we partake in this fast food festivity, it cost him 25 bucks. Now, I don't why, but for some reason a giggle managed to bubble up and escape from me. Suddenly, I found myself in the room with Joe Pesci: "What? That's funny to you?"
"No! Nope, not at all. I wasn't laughing at you, Dad, it was something on the computer! I can always rustle us up something here at home, we don't even need to do Whopper Wednesday. I thought you liked it." Oh, holy shit, that was close.
A lot of us Catholic school kids learned long ago many tricks to suppress laughter. My best bet was always to suck in slightly and bite down on the inside of my cheeks. I've had occasion to employ this method from time to time over the years, meetings, school plays, funerals, but I never dreamed that I'd be raw as hamburger in there at this stage of the game. It's not just me either, it's to the point now where I can shoot my sister a look across the table that instantly conveys: "Careful, you're in danger of getting 'Pesci'ed.'" Yeah, it happens often enough that we've short-handed it.
Yes, he rants and he raves. He calls utilities and bends the ear of whatever poor schmo happens to be on the other end of the line for what seems like hours: "Why isn't it like it used to be? Why did your website change? Why is there a charge to pay by phone? Are you the same person I talked to yesterday? Damn it, what happened to customer service?" Better them than me.
He runs to Home Depot to pick up epoxy. Now, this trip ought to take about a half hour at most, it's five minutes away and he knows what he's going for. Two hours later he is back, and there is fire in his eyes: "That fucking store doesn't carry the two-part epoxy I want! Half the people working there don't know their ass from third base, they don't even know how epoxy works!" This will be followed by a lecture on how epoxy works (we know, Dad, from the previous ten times you've told us) filled with words like methyl-ethyl-ketone, viscosity and other terms to make eyes glaze over. Yes, he does know what he's talking about. No, I do not care. But I will sit and nod and make appropriate noises throughout. He was, in his day, the "go to" guy at his workplace for this and many, many other things. Plus, I do not want him going all Pesci on me.
To the casual observer, it might look like Dad is angry about damn near everything these days. He's not. He's really angry about one thing: His wife of nearly 60 years slips a little further away every damn day, and no matter what he does, he can't fix or change it.