Handbags & Gladrags

My father was furious. Ranting and swearing as he slammed the back door, he walked into the kitchen carrying what appeared to be a bunch of old crumpled up rags in his right hand.

Now before any of you quit reading this thinking that you may have seen this post previously, let me assure you that is not the case.

The situation only just sounds very familiar as my elderly father is frequently in a loud and agitated state, angry with someone or something in the world. Many of my posts are unfortunately documenting this.

Before I could ask Dad what was wrong, Mom entered the kitchen as well, demanding to know what all the noise & 'commotion' was about.

Apparently Dad has just returned from dropping off some boxes at the church for the annual rummage sale, which Mom had asked him to do for her. While he was there, he noticed at one of the tables a large number of HIS clothes were on display for sale, quite unbeknownst to him. He was now enraged.

"Exactly how do you explain all of my good clothes on sale down at that damn church of yours?" Dad seethed, looking over at Mom.

"Don't be ridiculous Simon." Mom replied calmly. "You know this weekend is our annual Church Rummage sale, I have been participating in it every year for the last 25 or so years."

"I don't care about that." Dad angrily replied. "I want to know why all my good clothes are being picked over by a bunch of 'old trouts'. It was all I could do to grab these before they got their 'meat hooks' into them and were coming after me thinking I'm swiping my own clothes."

Mom just sighed and continued trying to calm Dad down as the grand kids had now entered the room.

"Simon, we go through this every year." Mom began. "We need items to sell at the rummage sale and everyone involved brings items to help the church raise funds. Those old clothes of yours were tucked in the back of the closet and had not seen the 'light of day' for years."

"Rummage sale, indeed" Dad spat, sounding completely disgusted at the mere mention of the idea. "Just an excuse to rob a man blind of all his best wardrobe and brand it as 'rummage'. Preposterous!"

"You know you had not worn any of those clothes for years." Mom shot back. "The moths had been getting better use out of those old clothes then you were."

Dad was still not too accepting of my mothers' explanation.

"Styles come and go like the seasons." Dad responded, sounding like he was about to launch into an hour-long speech on weather patterns. "Now I have nothing. All my good clothes, gone."

"And then, to add insult to injury, that miserable old damn woman of yours, Shirley, had the nerve to say she would give me a discount if I spent more then $10. Do you believe that, offering me a discount to buy my own property back?"

Shirley is one of my Mom's elderly friends from church who seems to have a very light beard of whiskers on her face. Although not seen easily unless you were close (within a couple feet) and then it was very noticeable.

Dad always callously refers to her as "Father Christmas" as a result of this. We all knew what was coming and I could see a uncomfortable look suddenly come across my mothers face.

"Simon" Mom quickly interrupted. "Please remember your grandchildren are in the room & are very impressionable with the things they hear. Do you understand?"

"Oh, don't get your knickers in a twist, woman!" Dad replied. "I'm not daft, I can see the kids too, I am not going to say anything more about old Grizzly Adams."

Mom just gave Dad a nasty look as he made this odd reference to a mountain man from the 1800's; it was obvious yet another shot at her poor friend Shirley's appearance.

Thankfully the kids were now running in and out of the room & paying very little attention to whatever was being discussed.

"Ok Simon, that's enough." Mom replied. "I have no further time to listen to your foolish complaints, as far as I am concerned this conversation is over. Now I must get back to packing up a couple more boxes for the sale & drive over there."

With those words, Mom turned on her heel and disappeared down the hall.

Dad just looked after her and yelled "Yes, you are right this conversation is certainly over and I hope you now know......"

His voice just trailed off as he realized Mom was no longer bothering to listen to him any further. He still appeared somewhat upset at the whole situation and then his gaze suddenly rested upon me.

"Damn woman. Has no sense whatsoever." He moaned. "It's shameful, I say."

And then as if he just noticed me for the first time today, he suddenly exclaimed "Hey, what are you doing over here visiting anyway at this time on a Saturday morning or did your mother rope you into helping her steal more of my good clothes?"

"I was just dropping off a box of my old clothes for Mom to take down to the sale." I responded. "And then I think I'll take the kids down to the zoo, since they love looking at the animals so much."

As I said those last words, a mischievous look fell across my fathers' face. A crooked smile suddenly replaced the frown he had been carrying ever since he had arrived home.

He stared at me for a moment as I could hear the wheels in his head turning, almost grinding. Then suddenly he yelled out to the kids.

"Hey Mikey, Emma - come over here." Dad bellowed.

Both Mikey and little Emma rushed back into the kitchen and ran over to their grandfather.

"Your uncle tells me he is going to take you two kids to the zoo today to see all the animals." Dad began. "Well I have a better idea where you can go see an animal close up & not in a cage. Would you like that?"

"Yes Grandpa" Both kids replied in unison. "Where can we see him and what is it?"

"Well I have it on good authority that there is a big mean billy goat down at the church grounds today where your old grandmother is going in a few minutes." Dad advised.

"Billy Goat, Grandpa?" Mikey looked puzzled. "What does it look like?"

"Well kids" Dad continued, trying to make it sound almost like a scary monster. "This big billy goat is old & mean with enormous horns and has a great long beard with big yellow teeth. It's old and ugly and goes by the name of....Shirley!"

I looked over at Dad trying to suppress my laughter and saw a twinkle in his eye as the kids were now really excited to see such a horrible & frightening beast.

Both the kids agreed that they would much rather go to see this horrible animal and asked when they would be able to see it.

"Pretty quick, as soon as your Grandma is ready. I'd love to go with you two kids as well." Dad responded. "However I am off to a very important darts tournament down at the legion. But don't worry, just go ask your Grandma, I am sure she will take you with her."

Before Dad could even finish his sentence, both kids ran down the hall yelling "Grandma, Grandma will you take us to the church today to see the old ugly billy goat 'Shirley' with the long beard?"

Dad cackled evilly as he looked over at me.

"Humph" He advised. "I think that will show that old mother of yours who is in charge of this household and who gets the final word around here. HAHA."

I burst out laughing just as I suddenly heard Mom angrily yell "Simon, I want a word with you."

As she appeared in the kitchen, her face like a thundercloud, I turned around to see Dad moving extremely quickly down the back sidewalk and jump into his car, still laughing at his own prank. I was pretty impressed my father, a man in his seventies, could move that quickly!

"Simon, Simon!" Mom continued to yell out the back door behind him, to no avail. "You come back here! What nasty things have you been telling your poor grandchildren."

As I was watching this whole situation unfold, I tried my best but couldn't hold it in any longer and broke out in loud laughter.

Mom realizing Dad was now long gone, turned around and looked at the grand kids and then me.

Shaking her head, Mom looked over at me and remarked "It's really getting harder every day to tell who the adults are and who the kids are around here."


josie said...

LOL....all I can say..

Rob Koniki said...

Wow, what a funny story. I love reading these kind of things!
thanks! :)

Jen said...

He reminds me of my grandfather. Great story telling.

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

Hee hee heeeeeee!
Poor Shirley!

Anonymous said...

Nice touch with the goat pic, there.

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