My dad was one busted blood vessel in his head away from killing a man once. A stranger at that! I could picture myself in court months down the road explaining why my father tore this man’s still beating heart from his ribcage.
My dad can kick your dad’s ass…
I was 17-years-old at the time and the unassuming scene was set up quite like most others out on our family farm: it was a nice spring afternoon, my father and I were outside working on my truck and mom was inside cooking dinner. I wasn’t much of a gear-head (still ain’t) and I was undoubtedly thinking about why the girls in my high school didn’t talk to me instead of listening to my dad ramble on in increasingly excited tones about how an internal combustion engine works.
My truck was positioned next to our house which was planted squarely in the middle of a 160-acre plot surrounded mostly by pastureland and wheat fields. A long, gravel driveway connected us from the middle of our plot to the dirt road that led to “the city”. If you ever had intentions of sneaking up on our house… you couldn’t because there was simply no cover to bathe in. Anyone who had a motive to drive down our driveway had to know that their cover was nonexistent and their element of surprise was shot.
This wasn’t such a big deal for friends or family members but if we saw a strange car or truck rumbling down our driveway the thought was always, “Who the hell is this guy?”
This particular afternoon, that exact scenario unfolded.
Somewhere between “internal combustion this” and “internal combustion that” and “blah blah blah” we caught the image of a large foreign truck rumbling down our driveway. We continued fiddling with the car as the truck pulled up and out stepped a pudgy guy similar to what I would imagine a man would be if he was filled with nothing but Jell-O.
“How can I help ye Ol’ Pahd-Nuh!” (that’s farmer talk for ‘How can I help you, friend’?) my father said.
Mr. Jell-O went into his spiel. I don’t remember that there was particularly anything wrong with his spiel… he just thought he and my dad were old chums and he didn’t know when to quit. After an arduous few minutes, it quickly became apparent TO ME that my dad didn’t want to buy whatever it was he was selling (some vitamin enriched product for crops I think). Mr. Jell-O didn’t get my fathers subtle hints that he didn’t want him bothering us anymore. He also was completely unaware that my father is quite possibly one of the most intimidating men you’ve ever seen when he reached his boiling point.
Immediately following Mr. Jell-O’s attempt at making himself more comfortable by hiking one of his feet on top of the rear bumper of my dads Toyota Land Cruiser, my father flat out lost it on him and flipped the switch.
“WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE???!!! GET ON OUTTA HERE!!!” my dad screamed while barring his fangs and using every ounce of energy he could muster, “COMING UP HERE ONTO MY PROPERTY HARRASSING ME AND MY BOY AND PUTTING YOUR FEET UP ON MY CAR!!!! WE DON’T WANT WHAT YOU’RE SELLING!!! I’VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU!!! GET OFF MY PROPERTY!!!
This is what my dad looks like when he’s screaming.
Honestly, I’d never seen a more deflated human being than the man who my father had just verbally assaulted. No sooner had the first booming screams escaped from my dads mouth than the man turned into an extremely frightened puppy and practically ran back this truck.
Shortly after Mr. Jell-O had peeled back down our driveway to get away from my father and change his pants he just pissed in… my father simply turned around and began going back into his lesson to me on internal combustion engines.
I wasn’t thinking about girls any more. I was thinking how close I’d almost seen my dad kill a man.
I learned a valuable lesson that day (as I wound up in sales almost a decade later): Don’t be a douchebag and you won’t have fierce old men almost tear your heart out with their bare hands.
You can thank me later for that bit of advice.