Thursday, October 9, 2014

On Parents - You Can't Make This Stuff Up

Tonight is my "Friday" and I'm glad as Abby and I need a little R and R at home after some long work days this week.

Each night, around 8 o'clock Eastern Time, unless I'm in the field, I call my Dad.  I visit him every couple of months (it's a 16 hour round trip and air fares are high) but we talk every night. He won't live with us or one of the grandkids, though all have made him welcome; he wants to stay in his home, he just can't do it without help.

Normally it's a typical conversation--weather, what he just made for dinner (his full-time home health aide, which I arranged for him, makes him leftovers out of his hot lunches or heats up one of the meals I make and freeze).  Then there is what he saw on his daily walk and/or drive.  She is authorized to take him to all his appointments, or just out for a drive (which usually involves the Wendy's Drive Thru for a Frosty when it's raining.) and he loves those little excursions.

He's generally in good spirits, but not real exuberant after a meal and a watered down martini.
I called last night and Dad was ALL wound up.  Like a kid.  I should preface this with a scenario.

Dad has a big box mart type store directly behind his house, separated only by a fence he built in the 60's. He refused to sell  his home and property as all the neighbors did. So his view from the back of the house where the family room and TV is, is a giant building and flood lights (I have blackout curtains In my bedroom).  It's seriously dropped the value of his home as his lot is not big enough to make a difference now in their business plan as far as buying it later, and no one wants big box mart and  their associated "prison break" flood lights in their back yard, as well as blocking their view of the mountains.  But I give him credit, for refusing to give in. He wants to die in that house where he outlived two wives and two kids and he's going to, if he has any say in the matter.

That being said. . .

I said. "So how was your day?"

I expected the usual.  What was for lunch and dinner, how my husband (whom my Dad loves) was faring on his business trip and who is beating who in sports, the remote permanently affixed to Dad's hand each evening.
What I got was. . .

"Some guy drove through the back fence from the big box parking lot immediately followed by the police who tasered him by your Mom's Rhododendron plant!  Wow! He could really twitch!"

Apparently, that actually happened  (as opposed to when Dad won the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes recently which was a Jamaican scammer who cost him hundreds of bucks in "fees" to claim his prize, before I dropped a rock on the guy myself and notified Dad's local law enforcement (who said the same guy had scammed a number of folks in town).

Seriously, I hope there is a special place in Hell for those that prey on the elderly. 

Dad ordered a brand new and complete fence to be built for the property from the Home Improvement store, as I have a credit account there we use for his house needs.  Soon, all would be well (with the exception of my credit card limit).
At least he let his insurance guy know and hopefully some of the expense will be recoverable (unlike Jamaica guy).

In any case, it was almost worth the money just to hear that excitement in his voice, and I hope Big Bro and Mom (who had been the Deputy Sheriff) were looking down and grinning as the guy was tasered in the back yard. 

Nite - Brigid


  1. That'll be the talk of the neighborhood for awhile. :)

  2. Dang, he needs a surveillance cam to monitor the hood! Hugs to your dad!

  3. Glad he is safe! Even more glad that you heard a spark you have not in a while.

  4. Tonight on "Mythbusters" -- How much current does it take to Taser a meth head into submission?

    Depending on the name, your father might outlive the big box store.

    Shortly before the chain shut down operations on that side of the river, the manager at the Vancouver [blue/yellow themed electronics store] told a friend of mine that the company never made a profit at his outlet in the four years it was open for business.

    Once I learned that Portland's economy really is the place where young people go to retire since jobs are scarce, I had a lot of time to fix minor things at our rental. Late mornings, I never saw anyone else beyond employees in the two big home improvement stores in our part of town.

  5. (when I had a house)It was on a corner lot, and my street zig-zagged.
    Meaning someone could drive down my street and without much effort, end up in my back yard!
    They did that TWICE - in the 18 years I lived there. Second time was a drunk driver who actually hit the house! (I wasn't home at the time)
    I understand the drunk tried to escape the police on foot. I wouldn't have tazed him - I don't own a Taser. :-)

    PS - glad your Dad is okay!

  6. That sounds like Dad had done fun watching the dude ride the lightning! Glad he didn't crash all the way into the house though. That would've been bad!

  7. We live at the outlet from a curve on a residential street -- speed limit 20, which feels about right -- and have become pretty sure that previous owners put in large landscaping plants at that corner of the front yard in self-defense. Most traffic is reasonably behaved, but a few times a day you see some killer clown flying by at 40 or 50.

    Those bushes have grown into small trees and there's a decorative rock wall, so we're pretty safe. My uphill neighbor, at the apex of the curve and fronted primarily by a traditional lawn, maybe not so much. One morning I came out to find him marveling at the tire tracks through his bark chips, and the gouged concrete curb, and the couple of once buried railroad ties that had been bulldozed out of the landscaping and knocked onto the sidewalk.

    From the timing as well as the violence of the accident, I wouldn't be surprised if adult beverages had been involved.

    Good thing it was just landscaping timbers, not a kid on a tricycle...

    When the culprit sobered up the next morning, he must have had some expensive car damage to remind him that he couldn't remember the previous night. (Or at least I hope it was his own car, rather than a stolen one.)


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