Monday, January 25, 2010

Master of the Sith and ultimate coolness

Tangible discourse with teenage boys is a difficult thing to achieve in the best of times. But as I listened to the video game gun and laser fire coming from the upstairs family room last Saturday mingling with the cacophonous strains of an electric guitar I didn’t even try to tell them to turn the volume down. A few hours earlier as the stream of teenagers raced upstairs carrying everything from sleeping bags, stacks of video games, and the ubiquitous snack food items I had accidentally overheard one of the boys say that Darth Spoilboy, my son, had the “cool dad.” Being that none in the small group heading upstairs openly disagreed or laughed made my day.
How such a title had come my way was a little beyond my understanding since I had never allowed much in the way of outrageous behavior and in fact had shut the breaker off one time to the family room after repeated yells for the guys to tone things down were ignored. Never the less I did take a sort of sanctimonious pride in hearing that I had been award such a title as compared to the other nearby dads who are far more conventional or, dare I say, boring being caught up in the near Stalinist conformity and regimented lifestyle of Southern suburbia.
While other dads are willingly tied down by indentured servitude to manicured lawns forever demanding more and expensive fertilizers and maintenance equipment I shrug off such bourgeois mindsets and do my best to let my lawn grow wild and free. I refuse to be condemned to mindless serfdom, forever tied to a tiny piece of land praying to the gods of mortgage brokers and real estate that my piece of the pallid and stale American Dream never declines in value. Only my lovely and charming wife forces me at least twice a summer to trim the curb and pick up the limbs from our trees that have fallen off. As for the leaves that fall from the trees during autumn I let my ally the wind blow them happily down the street and into other people yards. After all the anal retentive ones with the high tech riding lawnmowers with the super suction vacuum attachments might as well have the chance to enjoy their toys even more.
As much as it might irritate those around me I revel in my non-conformity happily embracing the liberal/tree hugging/anti-capitalist/gay marriage supporting mantle declaring my opposition to those for whom Rush “Oxycontin addicted lard ass” Limbaugh and Glenn “ insane corporate lackey” Beck are intellectual heroes. On more than a few occasions I have walked past such people and heard them whisper, “Yeah, he’s a liberal, and he was in the military, I wonder how he could have gone so bad.”
So why does this make me the “cool dad”? Because I believe the younger generation understands that the residual traits from an even earlier period, which today are called modern political Conservatism, are the dying embers of a fading fire flaring up one last time before the more tolerant and progressive younger generation and simple demographics assign them to the dustbin of history.
Never the less as Saturday went on I did have to run interference for the various young Sith Lords saving or maybe enslaving the galaxy. My daughter, Miss Wiggles, had a few friends of hers over and they took an interest in what the boys were doing upstairs. Several times I had to pull the girls out after they snuck up to where the boys were and tried to stage a coup by grabbing the controllers for the X-Box360 wanting to play the games themselves.
Only using the ultimate, urbane coolness of the “Cool Dad” was I able to play the peacemaker separating the two groups and restoring balance to the house. Well, ultimate coolness and the fact that I agreed to play tea party with them, complete with me wearing a seriously floppy hat, plastic jewelry, and day-glo pink feather boa. I drew the line at the matching pink tutu, even though I was shocked that my daughter had one I could even wear. Oh yeah, any pictures that might surface of me attending such an event dressed in floppy hat, plastic jewelry, or feather boa are pure fabrications created on the computer by my enemies….or my wife.
However the day was climaxed late in the evening when I decided to go to bed early. Nothing was on television that I wanted to see, the boys were in full swing with their activities, Miss Wiggles was in bed and I figured I would read until I dozed off. Though sometime after 11:00pm I was awakened by voices in my room.
“Dad?” I heard my son say in the darkness next to me.
“What’s up dudes?” I responded using the ultimate coolness lingo to him and his cohorts lingering in the background. Now I was a little worried. The last time my son had woke me up on a weekend while he had friends over was when he had broken the two month old 40” high-definition LCD by banging into it with the controller from his last X-Box360. That legendary calamity will be remembered alongside my wife turning the wrong way down a crowded one-way street in Washington DC, me gouging a four-inch strip on the bumper of the brand new Corolla by bringing the garage door down too early, and Miss Wiggles taking a bottle of red hair dye to the dog.
“Dad, someone coming to the door in a few minutes, can you let him in? We’re in the middle of an important part of the game.” My loyal son said with such earnest. But I was tired and didn’t want to be disturbed. So what did these fine examples of young men do? They all grabbed my feet and arms and bodily lifted me out of the bed carrying me to the couch. Only such a Cool Dad would receive such treatment and I was honored, except for the part when the tossed me the last couple of feet. However, when duties calls I have always been one to answer.
I didn’t really have to ask about, or wait very long for, the person they wanted me to let in. I saw the pizza guy coming up the steps and intercepted him before he had a chance to knock or ring the doorbell alerting the boys. This wasn’t the first time for such an occurrence, last summer the boys had ordered food without telling me and its wasn’t until I had an irritated delivery guy on my doorstep demanding money for the six pizzas he was holding did I know anything about it.
This time it was only two large pizzas and a couple of sodas, which I paid for and then hid after grabbing three slices for myself. Being caught up in the game it was a good while before the boys realized they should have long since received their pizzas.
They apparently suspended their efforts to save or enslave the galaxy and raucous guitar playing long enough to come down in mass searching for their delivered booty. Shock flashed across their faces as they saw me finishing the last of my three slices and gulping down their precious soda.
“Dad, when did the pizza guy come?” My Sith Lord son Darth Spoilboy asked. I actually heard a few grumbles from his friends who over the years I had given Sith titles to as well. Which is something they thought was a laugh riot.
“Oh, almost an hour ago,” I said smiling knowing what I was going to make them do for pulling the pizza trick again.
They didn’t like it but I made them bow down and declare their allegiance to the ultimate master of the Sith, Darth Cooldad, and to forever abandon all attempts to order pizza unless I have a chance to add to my own pizza to the purchase. After they all agreed and I received the tribute of another slice and more soda I then released my young Sith apprentices and started watching Saturday Night Live and reveling in my greatness and power.


sunshine said...

Oooooo Little Buggers! :D
That's a pretty good trick. I won't tell my boys in case they decide to try it out themselves.

I've been called the "cool Mom" a time or two myself.
I must say though.. what really made my day was about a month ago when I overheard one of Joe's friends say...
"But Joe! I love coming over to your house for some Milf and cookies"... to which my son responded with a "Shaddup".


Vigilante said...

Sith? Sith?? Sith isn't a word! Not in my spell-checker!

Oso said...

Beach I told my nephew once I wasn't cool,I pretty much just didn't want to be an embarrassment to my kids and he told me that's what being a cool dad is all about.

Beach Bum said...

Sunshine: My son is full of little tricks like that which is one of the reasons I long ago, right after Star Wars: Episode One came out, I declared him a Sith.

Actually I'm close to declaring the lovable Miss Wiggles a Sith as well since she has me tied around her finger.

I overheard one of Joe's friends say...
"But Joe! I love coming over to your house for some Milf and cookies"...

Ain't teenagers fun...

Vigil: Are you serious my friend?

from Wikipedia: The Sith are a group of characters in the Star Wars fictional universe. They are the central antagonists of the franchise. Characterized by their single-minded pursuit of power and disdain for sentient life, they are an alliance of warrior mages who use the dark side of the Force and serve as counterparts to the Jedi Knights.

The easy way to think of it is the Cheney family with laser swords.

Oso: Good point, the curious thing for me is that most of the time these kids stay at our house instead of Darth Spoilboy going over to theirs. Being cool is a burden sometimes.

Rhiannon said...

You are a very cool Dad! I wish my Dad had been as cool as you..instead of so mean and so bitter. You wrote such a funny post..very clever. You should have your own "Dad" column, your a very clever and good writer.

I know you will continue to be a cool Dad...and yet always do the right thing and teach your kids very important things..but in more fun ways...then most parents.

I love teens and kids...they like me too..I am apparently "cool" and like the new music and even rap and fashion...I just don't know what it is but I think kids and teens are cool and I shall be dancing to my grave.

Go Beach Bum "MR. Cool "Dad"!...;O)


Beach Bum said...

Rhia: I didn't write anything about the shape of the upstairs room Sunday morning. It was a disaster! Made them all clean it up with the power of Master Sith Darth Cooldad.

Vigilante said...

Oh. Sorry! ;-)

Stimpson said...

Cool Dad, huh? I'll have to settle for being an eccentric uncle. At least, I hope my nieces and nephews think of me as eccentric. It could be worse.

Suzan said...

I like your style, BB.

And to think that I couldn't figure out how we c/should deal with the Sith invaders . . . .

I'm now referring all these future problems to your domain.



Randal Graves said...

Since you're in the cool dad mood, wanna borrow a couple of other kids for awhile?

MadMike said...

This Sith thingie makes my old Erector Site look a little lame. Regardless my old man helped me put together all kind of innovative shit. He was a cool dad, BB, just like you.

Hill said...

Beach, you are cool!


Beach Bum said...

Vigil: I'm going to buy you a lightsabre for Christmas.

Stimpson: Just watch out of the "Uncle effect". My wife has an uncle who is childless and he and his wife are always sending presents to the kids. So much that my son for short time got to the point he was calling Uncle Ken and giving "hints" about stuff he likes.

Had to really stop that one quick.

Suzan: Darth Cooldad will take care of them all.

Randal: They can come over but they must bring their own lightsabres. ( BYOL )

Madmike: You know, I still have my Obi Wan lightsabre I bought after Episode One came out. But my brother actually bought one of those two-hundred dollar lightsabres, it is cool as Hell!

Hill: Thank you, Sith Lords are like that.

Middle Ditch said...

Green with envy. I wish I could have had such a cool dad instead of the B*****D mine was.

I hope that I was a cool mum. I did my upmost.

SJ said...

...And here I thought this was going to be a post about how Christopher Lee has enchanted three generations with his acting work as Count Dracula in the Hammer studio films, as Count Dooku in the Star Wars-Clone Wars franchise and as Saruman in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy...
"Coolness" is impossible to describe in definite terms, it's much easier to clarify what it isn't, although that's no short list either.
I didn't grow up with my biological father, but like your son's friends, I know some cool dads. Marcus Davila, my best friend's dad in sixth grade, used to dress up as a Ninja and attack all four of us during sleepovers using pillow cases like nun chucks: A Ninja is a very cool out of season substitute for Santa Claus in the summer. -No gifts though.
And on a more serious note, my friend John Gonzalez's father, who is still Mr. Gonzalez to me (I don't know his first name, and don't want to know it, it's a respect-thing) went after a weirdo who was trying to lure little girls into his car on our block. Mr G. broke his hand trying to punch through the guy's driver's side window, then put his shoe over his other hand and shattered the glass, hauled the perv out of his car and beat him into another life.
When the cops came, the asshole tried to press battery charges against Mr. Gonzalez. Saw it with my own eyes when I was 11.

Add yourself to that roster Beach.

Stay cool.


Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I hope you saved a couple of slices for that wife of yours. This, in that damned if she doesn't sound pretty damn cool, too (the fact that she doesn't dog you on the yard-work, ESPECIALLY).

TRUTH 101 said...

I haven't been "cool" since my boy got his drivers license. Little punk picks up his pizza and locks him and it in his room.

MadMike said...

Hey Beach! Is it snowing there??

Distributorcap said...

i bet you are a cool dad.....

Teeluck said...

Beach...your blog is freakin' awsome. You guys have me laughing my ass off. Your visitors are cool too, down to earth folks...nice.

Dusty said...

Such a cool story! ;P

Marja said...

Hello your highness coolest dad
Me not cool at all Me just worry about my boy that he is in a couple of years still game playing, junkfood eating, cola drinking creature. Must take your attitude

Beach Bum said...

Middle Ditch: As long as the little buggers don't pull the pizza scam again I'll be cool.

SJ: I already have major issues with most the good Christian folk in the town I live in but whats really creepy are the offhand comments I hear occasionally about certain dads.

Will: I hate to sound cold-blooded but she had to get her own pizza.

Truth 101: Looking forward to the day my son thinks he has a car.

Madmike: No, we didn't even get any ice. Which is good in a way.

DCap: The real fun is when they want to make a run to Taco Bell. That is a barrel of laughs.

Teeluck: Thank you and welcome, adding you to my blogroll.

Dusty: Thank you, its fun being a dad sometimes.

Marja: I completely understand, I about hit the roof a few minutes ago. My son had poured himself a hug bowl of cereal, without milk, and once I told him to go do something he went and poured the entire bowl into the trash like it was nothing.

lime said...

i hear the deep maniacal laughter only the true sith lord could produce.

Beach Bum said...

Nice one ... old dog teaching new tricks to young pups and all that. What ever happened to the TV - you obviously got a replacement? Have they started downloading stuff that costs from your itunes account yet?

Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha... loved this post! I have a young Sith in my home, too, so I totally love the names. That's hilarious that you hijacked their pizzas. Good one :-)