As I got out of the car I could hear my elderly father yelling at two well-dressed individuals on the front door step. (Actually it was loud enough for the entire neighbourhood to hear!)
"Clear off!" Dad yelled towards them angrily. "Bothering an honest man in his private home with your crazy religion & literature. Go on!"
The two gentleman, who appeared to be in their mid-twenties, did not bother & wait to be told a second time as they quickly moved past me & hurried down the street. I could see by the little badges on their white shirts that they were both Jehovah Witnesses.
"Making new friends again I see, eh Dad?" I joked as I walked up to the front door.
My father still had a scowl on his face, his eyes narrowed as he watched the two going up to the front door of the neighbours' house and ringing their doorbell.
"Do you believe that, boy?" Dad asked, as he finally acknowledged my presence. "Peddling their damn religion door to door & inconveniencing people like an encyclopaedia salesmen. What nerve. Should all be bloody ashamed of themselves!"
"If its any consolation Dad, I'm sure they're not too pleased about the situation either." I responded, trying to lighten the mood as well as calm my father down.
Dad just looked at me, giving me one of his infamous cold icy stares. The angry expression on his face not changing in the least.
Being that my father is usually in an 'all-day agitated state', I thought it best to change the subject as quickly as possible.
"I just came over to return the roasting pan and pots that Mom had leant to me last week." I advised. "Where should I put them?"
"I have no idea where your mother keeps those things." Dad spat, waving his hand in the air. "Just put them on the kitchen counter and she'll put them away, that is if she ever gets home."
"Oh, is Mom out?" I asked, curiously. "What is she up to?"
"Out, she's out again at the damn church." Dad growled, his voice beginning to rise again. "Seems she's down there almost every day now. That bloody Reverend Green and his committees, bakes sales and charities. That's the problem with these crappy religions these days. Once they get their 'meat hooks' into a person, they squeeze every last penny or time out of em. Running your poor old mother ragged, they are."
"Well I think she actually really likes helping out at the church & doing the charity and volunteer work." I replied, trying to justify Mom's absence.
"AH, and who suffers. Me. That's who." Dad responded, his thumb pointing to himself. "There's not a scrap of food to eat in the house and I can hear my poor old belly growling to 'beat the band'. It's shameful. No groceries, the house hasn't been cleaned for a week, laundry and dirty dishes piling up. It's all too much."
I thought to suggest that perhaps Dad may want to help a little bit around the house if he wasn't pleased with things currently however, seeing as he was already in a combative and aggravated mood, I kept these comments to myself.
"Why don't you just go get something to eat or order something in?" I suggested, trying to resolve this issue.
"No time. Old Pete was suppose to be here to pick me up and now it looks like he's late." Dad responded, looking at his watch impatiently. "We have a very important card tournament down at the legion this afternoon. I thought that was him at the door just now and it turned out to be those bloody Jehovah's."
I was half expecting my father to shake his fist in the air towards the Jehovah Witnesses & begin yelling again. But thankfully he remained silent although I could still see him watching them carefully out of the corner of his eye.
I was about to offer to drive him over to his beloved Legion (although I have absolutely no clue as to where it even is located. Dad tends to keep these kinda things secret, much like Batmans' batcave) when suddenly an old station wagon with wood panelling, and no muffler, roared up in front of the house. It was 'Old Pete'.
Pete bounded across the lawn rather quickly for a man in his seventies with a bad hip. He yelled out to Dad "Sorry I'm late Simon, but I had to stop over at Ritas' place on the way over here. It was an emergency."
"I got this urgent text from Rita to come see her right away." Pete continued, as he sat himself down beside us on the front step. "She was in 'need'. HAHA!!"
A bony elbow suddenly digging me in the ribs as Pete continued to chuckle and handed my father the text message being displayed on his phone.
Dad took the phone & squinting, carefully looked at the text message. He then suddenly burst out laughing hysterically.
"Ah, I can now see why you were a little delayed over there Pete." Dad said, chuckling aloud. "Good man!"
Dad then handed me the phone to read. I looked at the message & without going into detail (as the message sickens me to this day still), let me just say It was a very explicit sexual message from Rita, his latest 'lady friend'. And when I say 'lady friend' I actually mean an old woman, probably in her seventies, with bluish dark hair. She looks like a grandmother and actually probably is one although I have no idea.
I was under the impression that 'sexting messages' was something only teenagers indulged in. It was quite apparent from what I had just read that older folks seem to have caught on to this 'fad' as well.
I felt dirty even reading it. I couldn't believe the elderly would text such messages. All I could respond aloud was "That's bloody filth, that is, Disgusting." Handing back the phone to my father.
"HAHA!" Dad cackled, gesturing towards me. "The boy here is like his mother. A prude. Acts like an old woman most of the time."
Both Dad and Pete then began laughing loud and hard, clearly at my expense.
"Ok, we gotta get going Pete." Dad observed. "Were off to the legion to win a few bucks from a couple of old suckers, boy. Wish us luck!"
As we all stood up, Dad looked over to me laughing and said "You know, If you run fast enough you can probably catch up with those damn Jehovah's. Maybe if you ask them nicely they'll tell you all about their church and maybe even give you one of their magazines. You old prude. HAHA!"
With that little gem of sarcastic advice, they jumped into the car, and sped off. Some Frank Sinatra song blaring out of the 8-track player Pete has in his old beat-up wreck of a car.
I could only stand there shaking my head as the car disappeared down the road.
I guess Mom is right. Adolescents do come in all ages.
Yet another reason why I drink.