Anonymous (cuz I call my grandma a shitbag), contributor
As a child of the west coast, passive aggression courses through my body like a scourge of white blood cells, and I fucking hate it. There’s only so many times you can hear somebody say the phrase, “Umm…yeah…I was thinking… maybe you could put your towel in your room because its color clashes with the…the wallpaper?”, before you start melting faces. Just tell me you don’t like my stupid towel, Jared!
Enter my father around 1973ish. My dad was about 20 years old at this point and was dealing with the reigning autocrat of passive aggression in my family at the time: My grandmother. When it comes to subtle condescension she is ground zero for statements like, “Oh, that’s so nice you choose to do that!”
On paper my grandmother is a great person, absolutely the kind of woman who would have the phrase “beloved wife” on her tombstone. She’s loving, nurturing, present during my own childhood; all that good stuff. And yet in many ways she’s also a total shitbag. She’s lived in Oklahoma all her life, she grew up pre-1930s, she “loves Jesus with all her heart”, and she looks exactly like one of those assholes who you saw in videos around 2011 who said they were “Votin’ fer Trump”. But I digress. 1973: My dad. Let’s talk about that.
Back in the day, my grandmother had the nasty habit of leaving tiny notes everywhere. It drove my father insane. It was plenty to see my grandparents celebrate the assassination of Kennedy, (don’t forget, Oklahoma in the 60s!), but this was psychological warfare. So that summer he did something that still cracks me up to this day. Without saying goodbye, or leaving any forwarding number my father packed a bag, got in a car, and put this note on his pillow.
“Gone to San Francisco.”
Fuck yeah, Dad. Fuck yeah.
Here are some other notable things my father has done/ said:
— Finished the NY Times crossword puzzle every week for the past 20 years. Typically between the hours of 9 A.M. and 12 P.M.
— Played bass in a touring all black funk band back in the 70s. (Fun Fact: He had the biggest afro.)
— On hearing that I had decided to pursue comedy as a career: “I have a joke for you! Did you hear that the Nazi’s were actually very interested in denim production back in the 30’s? Yeah, they were all about ‘good genes’.”
— On me casually mentioning the existence of quaaludes in a joke: Me: (something rambly) quaaludes (more rambling).
My Dad: Hmm…Yeah. Those are a pretty crazy time.
Me: Are you saying you did quaaludes?
My Dad: Let’s just say one night I completely blacked out and woke up hugging a tree, and not in an environmentalist way.