Having absolutely no food in the house and way too lazy (& also a bit hung-over) to bother going grocery shopping, I figured the best alternative would be to head over to my folks place and 'drop in' for lunch there.
I mean, it was Sunday & I usually go there for dinner anyway, the only difference today is that I'll just arrive a few hours early. No big deal......
As I wandered into my Moms' kitchen I noticed there was no food preparation going on. None whatsoever. This was rather alarming as it was nearly noon and I know from living there for the first 18 years of my life that meals were always served on time. No exceptions. It would seem things have changed.
"Hey Mom!" I announced. "I thought I would surprise you and Dad and drop in for lunch today. Hope you don't mind?"
"Oh, Hello dear!" Mom responded cheerfully. "We don't mind at all however lunch is not going to be served for quite a while. Your father is in a very agitated state today as he left his car parked on the street last night instead of the garage and someone has vandalized it. Written graffiti all over the side of the car. He was on the phone all morning first with the police and then the insurance company. He's out in the garage right now trying to fix it somehow."
I felt it might possibly be perceived as somewhat 'inappropriate & self serving' if I responded to this by asking how late lunch would be so, being the good son that I am, I grabbed an apple off the kitchen table and headed out to the garage to see what was happening.
As I approached, I could hear my Dad cursing & swearing (which is certainly nothing out of the ordinary) however in between his words I could hear his best friend, the elderly Pete, responding and cursing out loud as well.
"Bloody $#%&&$#! punks" was the last comment I overheard as I entered the garage. Immediately my Dad turned on his heel towards me. His face was red with rage.
"Vandals, boy, Dirty Stinking Vandals!" He spat. "I never expected such a thing in this neighbourhood. In my day these people would be horse-whipped! Did your mother tell you what happened?
"Well she did say someone wrote graffiti on the car." I responded in a concerned tone. As I did so, I walked around to the drivers side of the car to survey the extent of the damage however I was not prepared for what I saw.
It looked like someone had written the words 'OLD COCK' in huge letters on the side of Dads' car in bold black spray paint. If that was not enough, there was a big arrow pointing to the driver seat & what appeared to be a drawing of a 'penis'.
I quickly turned away from Dad & Pete so as they could not see the 'tears of laughter' which were rolling down my face. This was too funny however I realized I needed to get away before I burst out laughing. Thankfully, I quickly regained my composure & maintained a somber expression.
"It took those damn police all morning to get over here." Dad fumed. "And then they just waltzed in, looked at it & left about ten minutes later. Didn't do a damn thing. No pictures or fingerprints taken. Nothing. Completely useless!"
"Well they must have taken a report or something." I responded, now trying to calm my father down a little as well as get my own mind off of the message on the side of the car."
"AAHH" Dad moaned, dismissing my words with a wave of the hand. "Useless. All they asked me was to make a list of people who may have some grudge against me, but I couldn't think of even one single person. Once I told them that they said it was undoubtedly just a random act. Just bored delinquent kids or something."
I really wanted to interrupt my Dad & say that a list like that would take days, perhaps even weeks to compile. You see my father has always been a man who has no trouble in 'speaking his mind' which is unfortunately not always the best of things to do at times. I think he has insulted pretty much every neighbor within a 3 block radius at one time or another (and continues to do so). Yes, there could be loads of suspects, but I thought it best to remain silent with my thoughts on the subject.
Dad then continued with his ranting.
"Its not right, not right at all." He began. "These bloody lazy policeman never catch anyone. Don't even try anymore, I'd wager. They just sit around 'day in and day out' gorging on pastries and slurping down coffee. Meanwhile innocent pensioners such as myself, are being terrorized in their own homes."
"I can no longer even park in front of my own home." Dad lamented aloud. "It's scandelous. Crime is running rampant & targeting innocent & respectable individuals."
"But Dad" I reasoned. "You never park in front of the house. Always in the garage. This is like the first time in probably 30 years, isn't it?"
"Yes boy, but that's beside the point." Dad replied. "I've always liked having the luxury of being able to choose. Now that option has been taken away from me. All because of these damn vandals."
"I am sure it was that bunch of damn Hippies next door." Dad continued, without taking a breath. "Smoking the drugs and then sneaking over here 'high' on one of their 'drug trips'. I know it was them, they should all be locked up and throw away the key. The problem is the courts these days. I have no proof. These bloody courts demand it. 'Mark my words', One of these days that bunch will kill us all in our sleep. High on the drugs."
"Yeah, bloody court system." I responded, trying not to sound too sarcastic. "Always asking for something stupid like 'evidence' or 'proof' before they lock someone up. Damn them!"
Thankfully Dad was no longer bothering to listen to me as he was now strategizing with Pete on the best way to paint over the damage. A normal person would just spray paint over everything however it sounded like Dad & Pete had some strange idea & were only changing a couple of letters.
"What are you doing, Dad?" I asked. "Why don't you just spray black paint over the whole thing until you take it in to the body shop?"
"The damn bodyshops are all backed up for two weeks because of this last winter storm." Dad raged. "Won't even look at my car. The insurance claims man told me they are all working 7 days just to keep up & warned me to only cover the graffiti as little as possible to avoid causing any additional damage and incurring more cost."
"But Dad!" I interrupted once again. "Surely just blackening it all out is not going to cause any additional damage. Just cover it all up."
"We know what we're doing here." Dad responded sounding extremely confident. "I don't need any advice from the 'peanut gallery' unless you are going to paint it for me, which I highly doubt."
I realized trying to reason with my father any further was only going to be a futile act. In any event both Pete and Dad had begun to 'alter' the work of the vandals. As I looked at it again I began laughing & quickly exited the garage, knowing it was in my own better interests of self preservation. My Dad was in no mood today to be further riled.
About a half hour (and two more consumed apples) later, I heard Dad calling me from the garage. He had finished his 'handiwork' and sounded very pleased with himself.
"HA" Dad announced, as I walked back into the garage. "Thought 'Old Pete' & me were fools for painting over that crap. Well 'Ye have little faith', just have a look at our work. Pretty Damn good if I do say so myself."
I walked around the car to view the finished result. Pete was just wiping the paint off his hands and as he stepped away, I couldn't believe what I saw.
The words 'OLD COCK' had now been transformed to say "GOOD COOK" and the penis has been very rudimentally modified to look like some kind of oversized wooden spoon. The whole thing looked like it had been drawn by a 5 year old. It was ridiculous. I burst out laughing.
"What the Hell, Dad!" I began, no longer bothering to hold in my laughter. "That is terrible. Good Cook? That makes no sense at all on the side of a car. What does that even mean?"
My father looked almost shocked at my response. He had honestly believed that these so-called 'modifications' were near genius and any criticism of them at this point would not be tolerated.
"I don't care what you say." Dad retorted angrily. "I didn't see you offering any help. We did what we had to. I think it's rather good. You see all those catering trucks all over town, this will blend in quite nicely. Not perfect but it only needs to get me though a couple weeks until the bodyshop appointment."
All of this was way too funny & I continued to laugh aloud. 'OLD COCK', 'GOOD COOK', penises and wooden spoons. The whole thing was just so hilarious. I stood their laughing for a good two minutes as both Dad & Pete glared at me in cold silence. Finally I regained my composure.
"You have absolutely no sense. None whatsoever." Dad remarked, shaking his head. "This is brilliant. Just another catering car on the road. No one is the wiser."
A thought then crossed my mind and knowing Dad was already angry, I figured 'what the Hell, why not!'
"Hey Dad." I began. "If you want to be really authentic, do you want me to go out and buy you one of those 'Chefs hats' so you can wear it whenever you're driving around town? HAHA!"
"Shut up boy!" Dad responded hastily. "I've told you before, nobody likes a wise ass."
After a couple more minutes of both Dad & Pete congratulating one another for such a good job they both did, Dad finally suggested we all go in for some lunch as all the stress and work of the morning had made him famished.
That, to me & my poor growling stomach, seemed to be the first & only sensible thought he had uttered all day.