Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Why I Have Grey Hair

Unfortunately for me a dumbass vaccine to protect myself from my all too regular bouts of stupidity is something that will never be available. I have long since resigned myself to the fact that what few active wits and viable IQ points I have will more than likely always be utilized in getting me out of trouble and generally uncomfortable situations that I seem to have developed an all too encompassing talent in finding. I did have high hopes that my son, Darth Spoilboy, had inherited the bulk of his brain cells from my wife saving him from my often funny but ignominious fate. A very recent event suggests that might not be the case.

This all started a couple of Saturdays ago when my very socially active son actually came and sat down in the living room with my wife, Dragonwife, and I as we were play acting at being American couch potatoes watching some documentary on Netflix. While the idea of our son willingly spending any amount of time with us seems simple his social obligations to his buddies and the two different girls he currently dates in actuality makes it a rare event on par with the proverbial blue moon.

“Hey mom and dad,” he said while typing some text message, “just wanted to tell you that my car is getting hard to start.”

It took me a few seconds to sort out his statement since when he does grace us with his presence it is often just to request that we purchase some item for him at the grocery store. Even though Spoilboy has a part-time job at a local deli my wife and he have an agreement in which he does not have to purchase certain items with his money. When I did sort out the meaning of his statement and asked him what he meant, I was rewarded with a nonsensical description of how his car acted when it gave him trouble starting.

“Alright dude, “I said, “next time you head out stop by Big Franks Auto Parts Palace and have them do one of their free series of tests. They can give us an idea of what might be going wrong and then we can plan some sort of response.” While I am not quoting myself exactly that was pretty much the jest of what I said. Even in hindsight it seems concise and to the point, at least enough that my son should have been able to follow my instructions.

“Sure dad,” he said while still texting someone on the other end of his real conversation. With that apparently settled he informed us that he was going to pick up girlfriend number two, the one he just hangs out with and who likes to play video games as much as him. While it has never been stated to me girlfriend number one I guess is the serious one since he actually cleans up and dresses nicely for her when they go out.

Fast forward to early yesterday afternoon, around twelve-thirty, and Spoilboy storms into my bedroom desperate for me to give him my car keys so he can get to work. For those who may not know I work nights, which makes getting the required sleep during daytime difficult at best, add the fact that this is currently summer break with both my son and daughter home and that makes the issue even harder.

“Why do you need my car?” I groggily asked since, like I said at the beginning I am a dumbass.

“Mine won’t start.” Spoilboy sheepishly said.

It took several more seconds for the worn and rusty wheels in my head to begin to turn. Sadly the hamster whose duty it is to power everything has long since died but I have worked around that issue in some respect.

“Please tell me you stopped by Big Franks and had the car checked?”

If this was a screenplay I would have to insert a prolonged silence here punctuated by a high degree of awkwardness on the part of my son.

“Well Spoilboy,” I said “no, you are not going to drive my car to work for the simple fact that you will not be home by the time I have to leave for work myself. In truth, I should make you walk.”

With that Spoilboy walked away and I plopped my head back on the very comfortable pillow figuring that I would have to play the decent but tired dad and go outside and try to figure out why my son’s car would not start.

Long story short, we pulled out the jumper cables and tried to start his car that way just on the off chance he had once again left his lights on and ran down the battery we had installed just four months ago. No such luck, in fact the symptoms suggested his starter had gone bad. This was confirmed today by the garage Big Frank runs right next his parts palace after we had a tow truck come pick up his car.

This begs the question that keeps running through my mind. Am I a bad parent for starting to dream about the day my son goes off to college? On a side but ultimately related note, I literally tremble in fear with the idea that my daughter has a little over five years before she starts to drive and demand a car of her own.


Life As I Know It Now said...

Parenthood sure is all kinds of fun. Hang in there. :)

Pixel Peeper said...

I'm son will NEVER ask for my car keys. My car has a manual transmission and after 10 minutes of making my car lurch and jump and yowl, Mr. Smartipants impatiently decided that driving a stick is "stupid."

Rose L said...

Kids! I would definitely make him walk!

Akelamalu said...

Oh the joys of parenthood! :(

Randal Graves said...

Empty nest syndrome is a myth. I dig my kids, but man, when they're out of the house, it's party time, i.e. sprawled on the couch with a cold one watching DVDs.

Slick said...

I accidentally turned on my headlights getting out of my truck day before yesterday. Had to call our son to jump my truck so I can get to work. One of the kids borrowed the cables AND the battery charger, but we can't remember which kid, and none of them remember getting the cables or the charger.

The Cost Of Parenthood is very high, My Friend. It's costing me a set of jumper cables this week.

Marja said...

Oh the joy of having kids. It won't get any better lol.
My kids are not driving yet
They take the bus

Red Nomad OZ said...

HAHAHAHAHA (laughing with you, not at you) ... note to self: You are childless for VERY GOOD reasons!!NEVER regret it!!!

lime said...

my kids are a bit older than yours, thus the hair is grayer. two driving one soon to be. one started college then dropped out. two at home, soon to be the third coming back and all of them asking for money from me when two of them literally make more money than i do.

yeah, my hair should start falling out any day now...

i don't blame you for fearing...

Beach Bum said...

Life As I Know it Now: Love my kids but there are times I look up boarding schools on the internet just to relieve some stress.

Pixel: I actually feel bad about not have the ability to teach my son to drive a manual transmission. Then again one of my uncles tried to teach me and failed. I finally learned on old army jeeps.

Rose: I would have if his job was not five miles away. But as I drove him to work I wished I could have tied him to the roof.

Akelamalu: Amen!

Randal: That is one of the minor side benefits of working night shift. When they're in school I have the house to myself on Fridays.

Slick: I swear, I just hope my rugrats remember all my wife and I did for them when they are picking out our nursing home.

Marja: Bus? If only that was an option where I am at.

Red: My wife and I had a good laugh about that not long ago.

Lime: I have read that some animals eat their young. That being said I have no further comment other than my kids better be thankful for civilization and the rule of law.

Cloudia said...

Maybe being childless is OK after all!


goatman said...

Depending on the life of the car, I have found that most problems of this sort result from battery-connection cables that get corroded and need removal and cleaning.
But that's just my take on it, after the fact.

I know: Shaddup!