Saturday, April 22, 2006

my father is nuts

It is with some trepidation I anticipate my father's arrival in the Big Smoke next week. For in all honesty, he is one too many pretzels short of snack basket.

Literally. Endearingly. Mad as a Hatter. Attention span rivaling that of a yak. The poster boy for Ritalin. Strange intellectual genius. Last year, he buys a plane, retires, moves into a loft apartment on the Cape peninsula, writes three books.

Small Bum will meet him next week, I have started to brief him. No sudden movements, and no wise-cracks about the frequency of his staying over at my place. He may be eccentric, but God only knows how protective the man is.

Our conversation yesterday epitomised the role both my father and I play in the non-classic father-daughter stature we have, which should ordinarily be reversed.

Dad: Speak. (This is how he answers his phone.)
Peas: Dad I’ve been trying to get hold of you all day! Why was your phone off?
Dad: Because I hate telephones.
Peas: When are you arriving, I need to brief Third World Ant. The girl needs a heads up.
Dad: I bought bunk beds.
Peas: Pardon?
Dad: Bunk beds, you know, double story beds.
Peas: [resignatory sigh.] Why? What the hell do you want with bunk beds? (“jousteeng steecks, what do you want with jousteeng steecks?” - The Castle)
Dad: Think about it! I have four different ways to sleep! Push them together, dismantle them to make two singles, on the top, on the bottom…
Peas: Because an ordinary double bed is just too ordinary?
Dad: Now I can play with [2-year old nephew] and hide the ladder so he’s stuck on the top.
Peas: Does he enjoy being stuck on the top Dad?
Dad: No. He screams.
Peas: So it’s all fun and games for you then?
Dad: Correct.
Peas: When are you coming to Johannesburg? I need to mentally prepare.
Dad: Can I meet some of your friends?
Peas: If you behave. I’ll organise a braai.
Dad: Are any of them single?
Peas: Oh my God Dad. What did I tell you about hitting on my mates?
Dad: Hey, it was only that one time. Besides, women your age don’t have baggage.
Peas: Last time you hit on a work colleague of mine and scared her!
Dad: She loved it.
Peas: You’re 53! Dad I’m warning you. Fine, I’ll just invite all my male friends.
Dad: Then I won’t come. I’ll go and sulk at Rosebank Mall.
Peas: How will you get there?
Dad: Walk.
Peas: We’ve discussed this Dad. People don’t walk in Joburg.
Dad: Speaking of which, where can I park my plane?
Peas: What? Shit I have no idea?! At the airport?
Dad: Thing is they won’t let me fly into Joburg International. I only have clearance to fly into Brakpan.
Peas: Sweet Darryl. I have to collect you in Brakpan? Where?
Dad: The guy told me its an airstrip next to a place called Carnival City.
Peas: Oh my shattered fat hat. SO WHEN DO YOU ARRIVE?
Dad: Well that’s the problem…I’ve been delayed.
Peas: By what?
Dad: I forgot to read the small print on my plane manuel. It needs to be test flown for ten hours just outside of Cape Town for safety protocol. I don’t understand why, I mean, everything looks alright.
Peas: Well best you test fly it.
Dad: Who cares if a couple of bolts are loose?
Peas: You’re joking right?
Dad: No. Not really.
Peas: Dad call me once the test flying is over.
Dad: I ordered a subscription of Time magazine. You read it?
Peas: Uh yes…why?
Dad: It’s become so…juvenile. I’ll send it to you rather. I only got the subscription because they throw in a free camera.
Peas: You’re a photographer by profession. You’ve got a camera.
Dad: Ah…but not THIS camera.
Peas: Dad, you're going to be nice to Small Bum aren't you?
Dad: Who is this Small Bum you're always speaking of?
Peas: Dad! [exasperated shriek]
Dad: Yes yes...sure I will. [evil chuckle]

Please pass the Calmettes.


fly said...

1.) Like father, like daughter it would seem.... ;o) and I mean that in the best possible way... :o)

2.) Why not fly to Lanseria Airport ??? its a lot closer....

I hate Carnival City...creep ass place that....eck !!!

Peas on Toast said...

Fly - I'm petrified I'm turning into my father. Or if in fact it's already happened. My dad thinks he's the normal one and everyone around him is crazy, so perhaps when that happens to me I know I'm in truoble upstairs :)

He tried Lanseria. Plane still too small.
I've been to Carnival City once - to interview Danny K on a show he was doing there. I try not to think about it, it was that traumatic.

fly said...

I would love to be truly can do what you want and not have a care in the world... :)

Re: Carnival City.....heheheh.....could you hand me the ether please... :D

Peas on Toast said...

That's pretty much my Dad, doesn't care about what anyone thinks. In his own little bubble of strangeness :)

But it's also a good excuse to shirk responsibility. Which isn't so great for those of us that have to pick up the pieces.

Carnival City must be one of the most embarrassing establishment's of the greater Johannesburg area, next to Montecasino.
At least it isn't fake Tuscan I guess. :)

Jam said...

Oh Peas! I am having such a crap week and this post just made me lighten up and smile endlessly this morning.
Carnival City is seriously yukky and damaging to your eye balls.
Is your dad's plane new?

GoDsGiMp said...

Don't start on the Tuscan... My mind boggles. For instance why Tuscan, is it really that exotic and 'cool'? why not Ethopian minimalist or Sudanese half blown away, or Afghani under re-construction?

And as far as your father is concerned.. yes bunk beds are cool.

Don't worry about it, My parents are mad too, and Im proud of it, at least there's never a dull moment when they around.

It is the question said...

Aah, well this post explains a lot...

Why doesn't you dad land at Grand Central in Midrand - it is closer than any other airport to Sandton.

Peas on Toast said...

Jam - always a pleasure to cheer someone up my dear. I hope it gets better! It's Friday, so there's a reason to smile right there. :) Yes and his plane is new.

Godsgimp - Tuscan, or neo-Tuscan, outside of Italy, I take serious offence at. It is my WORST. Also because Tuscany has unwittingly taken over the northern suburbs. And mad parents make for exciting times at family dinners, oh yes.

It is the question - Tried that too. Tried every airport in the greater northern divide actually. To be left with Brakpan.
Good times.

Daedalus said...

You dad seems like a nice guy. Great approach on life hehe…

Peas on Toast said...

Daedalus - make no mistake, he's a handful, but I love him to bits and am very proud of all he has achieved.

Now I really DO sound like the bloody parent! :)

Phil said...

Ahh. Parents. Saw mine Tueday night till Thurs. Was in PE for friends funeral. After taking abuse for anything approaching driving a car after a beer I acceded to their request to be given a lift to the pub. BOY were they pissed to get called at five the next morning for a lift home after an all-night party.
Will never understand them

zuzula said...

brilliant. he sounds a bit like my dad... who at the age of 65 has started trampolining. sigh.

Peas on Toast said...

Phil, what a responsible thing to do - phone the folks when you're too pee-ied to do much else.
I've never had to do that thankfully. I'm not too certain how they'd react. Though my dad would probably freak out: at school when I had a curfew, he'd pick me up from a pub after I'd consumed too many beverages and he'd go deathly silent. With rage.
Those trips home were always fraught with my hiccuping and trying to act sober while he quietly seethed. Poor guy.

Zu - trampolining?? Fucking. Classic. You have made my day. :)

zuzula said...

for real. i so sympathise with the crazy dad thing!

Peas on Toast said...

The picture in my mind has had me giggling uncontrollably for the last 45 minutes Zuzula.

Group therapy.
"My name is Zuzula, and I also have a mad father." (Cue 'Hi Zuzula.')

I've never related to someone having a mad dad more than when you mentioned the trampoline thing. This is truly fucking special. :)

Can't stop bloody giggling. Does he do somersaults and stuff?

zuzula said...

my dad has been mad for as long as i can remember. Bearing in mind that most teenagers are embarrassed by the fact that they even have parents, you can imagine the humiliation mine inflicted on me. who else's dad at parents day asked to test out the sports equipment and wanted to climb the ropes in the gym?

yes... he does somersaults! (well, tries to)

I'm blushing just writing this...

Daedalus said...

Hi I'm Daedalus. No, I do not come from a dysfunctional family, but, I enjoy these group sessions all the same. ;)

Jam said...

My father is 61, and is in his second year of fine art at Michaelis at UCT. I now have a mad artist father!

Peas on Toast said...

Zu - I definitely pick up what you're throwing down. School galas and sports Days were always a contentious issue, especially since I was a gawky, awkward teenager. He'd always be the loudest one screaming as well, which was super embarrassing. Your dad seems super fit though for 65, doing somersaults and tricks and stuff.

Daedalus - I'm afraid you need at least one dysfunctional family member to take part dear. Unless of course you're the dysfunctional one, so by all means join in! ;)

Jam - your dad is a wise sausage. UCT is a great university ;). He sounds wonderful, and very talented too.

Billy said...

Your dad sounds awesome. My kind of guy. Have a good weekend peps. Later.

Peas on Toast said...

Thanks Bill.
You too cup cake.
And I am still waiting for your full news rundown you hear! ;)

serendipity said...

What is it they say? You can choose your friends but not your family?

The Toothfairy said...

families are a strange thing. Parents especially. It's quite scary sometimes to think what you might turn into

acidicice said...

I hate my mother - refer to blog.
I don't know my father.
I'm not nuts about my step dad.

Fun times.

Moving out end of October...then my life can finally begin.

My aunt is nutters. Clinically so. They don't know what's wrong with her...but she seriously goes off her rocker. Sometimes she gets violent. I'm glad I don't live with her or near her anymore. She hit me once. She hits hard when she's going bezerk.

I guess I qualify specially for this conversation as two of my family members are insane :oP

Antoine said...

*sigh* Another daughter who will not let her dad hit on her mates. Whats with you daughters!!

The reason why we had you when we were so young was so that we COULD hit on your mates when you were over 21. *g*

Other diabolical plan foiled!

Marco Valente said...

Mmmm, My dad has his moments like all the time! I've met very few normal parents in my nineteen years of existance! But they exit out there nevertheless

Peas on Toast said...


It seems that most people's parents in some form or another have their own crazy foibles as well. It's not just mine!

You guys have made me feel more normal. Thank you!! :)