One of the few perks of being a Manager at our office is occasionally one of the numerous vendors who is trying to kiss up to you will give out invitations or free tickets to things such as professional football or hockey games. The games are usually pretty good and the seating is always excellent.
I received a couple of free tickets to the football game last Saturday night which was no good to me since I usually meet up with my friends down at the pub every Saturday night. If a game is being played, it is generally on the TV there, so I can still watch it in the warm and comfy atmosphere of my favourite booth. Full bar service is a necessity for any spectator sport.
So anyway, I have these two free tickets to use so I figured I would give them to my Dad, who is a huge sports fan and would probably attend every game ever being played if he was not such a cheapskate.
I arrived at my parents house around 11 AM with the tickets in hand to surprise my Dad but found him pacing around the house looking quite agitated and swearing to himself under his breath.
I pretended not to notice his obvious deplorable mood and presented him with the tickets, which I knew for sure would make him very happy.
"No thank you Son", he responded when I handed him the tickets. "I'm in too foul a mood to enjoy the game"
"What's the matter Dad, is everything ok", I asked becoming somewhat concerned since usually nothing in the world ever bothers my father and certainly never to the extent of him turning down free football tickets.
"Of course everything is NOT bloody ok", he shot back at me. "Come with me and I'll show you what's the matter".
Dad led me into the kitchen and pointed a hateful finger towards the kitchen table. There sitting in the middle of it was a big vase and a dozen beautiful huge red roses.
"Oh, Dad, you shouldn't have", I joked trying to lighten up his mood a little.
"Shut up, boy", he responded sternly. "I'm in no mood for your juvenile humour today. Just read the bloody card and tell me what you think"
I reached into the bouquet and grabbed the card. It was addressed to my Mother and read as follows:
To the most wonderful woman in the world, thank you for all your help. Love, Dr. Henderson
I still didn't get it. To me it looked like just a thank you note and some flowers, no big deal. I told Dad exactly that.
"No big deal", he repeated after me in a rather hostile mocking tone. "Some doctor sends MY wife a dozen roses and signs it 'Love', and you say no big deal. It's no wonder you are not married boy, you just don't have the sense".
I knew from past experiences that if I didn't agree with him, his rage would soon be turned from the card and flowers to me, so I quickly asked him what he thought it was all about.
"Well, it seems pretty damn obvious to me", he spat. "Some fancy man has set his eyes on your mother and has no regard for whether she is married or not. But let me tell you, I won't put up with it. I am going to find out where this doctor works and go down there and knock some sense into him".
He was getting red with rage and I knew this was not good. I tried to calm him down but to no avail. I then asked if he had talked to Mom about it.
"Of course I bloody talked with her and she denied everything", he responded. "She claimed it came from one of the elderly patients at the nursing home where she volunteers, but I know better, the card was sent by a doctor. Now she is mad with me for even insinuating this, which was that damn doctors plan all along I'd wager. Split us up so he can move in. Well, I'll show him a thing or two and what's more, you're going to help me."
I couldn't believe how crazed with anger Dad had gotten over this and now on top of that he expects me to help him out. Like, this shouldn't cause any problems, me and my elderly father stalking the city to find some doctor who my father is then going to beat the Hell out of.
"No way, Dad", I can't get involved I really think your over-reacting here", I responded quite firmly.
"All I need from you is for you to find out from your mother where this doctor works, and that's it", Dad continued. "Since she isn't talking to me, I need you to help me here, it's very important. Don't forget boy, I fed and clothed you for eighteen years and now you owe me".
Before I could respond to this utterly ridiculous statement, my mother arrived back home from an errand and Dad disappeared out to the garage. As he was leaving he called back to me "Don't forget what I've asked you, I'll be in the garage".
Mom came into the kitchen and placed some shopping bags on the table.
"Well, what a lovely surprise to see you this morning, Son", she stated. "What do we owe this pleasure to"?
I explained everything to Mom and told her that Dad was in a fit of rage over the whole flowers thing and asked if she could she explain.
"I told your father already", she responded calmly. "The flowers were from one of the patients down at the Sun Villa Nursing Home. He buys them for all the volunteers and nurses each month. Normally I leave them down with the patients to cheer them up a bit, however this time I thought I would bring the bouquet home to brighten up the place".
"Well Dad is freaking out over them Mom", I responded. "He wants to beat the Hell out of this guy and what's more he wants me to find out where he is so he can do it"
Mom had a smile on her face and just kind of chuckled.
"You know I am really quite mad at your father for not believing me, but I think it is very sweet of the old fool that after 52 years of marriage he still gets jealous over me, an old woman. You tell him that Dr. Henderson is down at the Sun Villa Nursing Home, but you make sure that you go with him so he doesn't cause any trouble or make a fool of himself, that's all I ask. I've known your father long enough to realize that he will not let this matter drop until he see's the truth for himself. Now you promise me".
I reluctantly promised her but was thinking inside "How the Hell do I get myself involved in these kind of stupid unbelievable situations".
I headed out to the garage and gave Dad the information he so desperately needed to know.
"Sun Villa, eh", he smirked as he said it. "Good work, boy. I'll take it from here. I'm going down there right now and just show this fancy man Doctor who exactly he is playing games with".
"Let me drive you Dad it's on my way home anyway", I insisted.
Five minutes later we arrived at the nursing home and Dad almost leapt out of the car and was charging up the front door. I quickly caught up with him and we both marched straight to the front desk where the nurses station was located.
"Dr. Henderson", my Dad blurted out. "I'm here to see Dr. Henderson, where can I find him"?
The duty nurse looked over the top of her glasses and pointed to the front door area where an old man in a wheelchair was sitting beside a very large potted plant, looking out the window.
"Behind the plant by that old man in the wheelchair"?, my Dad asked questioning her .
"No sir, Dr. Henderson IS the man in the wheelchair", she replied.
My father looked totally shocked as he now knew that Mom was telling him the truth all along and he had totally overreacted.
Embarrassed, Dad just muttered "Er, perhaps we will come back another time, the doctor looks quite busy", hoping the nurse wouldn't say anything further and let the whole matter drop, but no such luck.
"Nonsense", the nurse responded. "Dr. Henderson loves visitors, let me call him for you. Dr Henderson, these two gentleman are here to see you".
Horrified that we could no longer make a discreet exit, we both slowly made our way over to the old man. I noticed as we got closer that he had an oxygen tank beside him and he looked to be extremely old, probably in his nineties or so.
Without a way out of this, my Dad gritted his teeth and introduced the both of us to the doctor.
"Have I met you gentleman before?", the frail old doctor asked.
"No sir", my Dad responded. "My wife and the boys' mother, is a volunteer down here and she just wanted us to come down and thank you for the lovely bouquet you sent her"
I had never seen my Dad so nervous and fidgety before however, under pressure I must admit he is an excellent liar. He could put on an excellent acting clinic.
"Oh yes, I thought I recognized your last name", the old doctor replied. "Your wife is a wonderful kind woman who comes here every week rain or shine to read to us and help us write letters. She is just loved by all of us old timers down here"
After a brief couple of minutes of false gratitude and forced conversation, Dad and myself finally made our exit back to the car.
As we were walking back to the parking lot, I thought I would get a little "dig" into my Dad for putting both me and Mom through a few hours of his temporary insanity.
"So Dad", I questioned laughingly, "Do you want to go back in there and I can hold the oxygen tank while you pummel the elderly doctor?"
"Shut up, boy.", Dad responded swiftly. "Nobody likes a Smart-Ass".
As we were driving back to my parents place I figured Dad would probably want to go to the football game tonight now that all this foolishness was cleared up.
"No thank you, Son. He responded. "I think tonight I'll buy your mother some flowers and take her out for a nice dinner".
I realized that was probably the first sensible thing that my insane Dad has uttered all day. I thought it best not to mention that fact out loud, so I just continued to drive.