My Dad's Point

Today my wife and I had planned to go shopping. It’s our usual date of the week. There was a time, pre-kids, when our date would have been something more romantic, such as a candlelight dinner or a walk along the beach—a day free of headaches. Recently one night, as my wife was climbing into bed, I pointed out two Excedrin tablets I had left on her nightstand.

"What for?" she asked me, confused.

"They're for your headache," I explained.

"Headache?" she said. "I don't have a headache." Let's just say she won't fall for that trick again. Anyway.…

My Dad had been guffawing (“heeing” and “hawing,” actually) at the kitchen table after breakfast, when he slowly got up, walked into the great room, sat in his—my—favorite chair, and gargled his tea.

Gargled his tea?

Yes, he gargled his tea.
Why he does this, I have no idea. He'll take a big swig of tea, then swish it around in his mouth back and forth, forward and back and, just as you're wondering if he's ever going to stop, he'll cock his head back and gargle with it. This is something he never used to do, and the noise makes me leave the room.

Dad knew that my wife and I were going out. He sat like a character from a Robert Ludlum novel and pretended to watch TV. I could see him looking at what we were doing from the corner of his eyes. My Dad's vision is poor. On a similar note, his hearing is worse than his eyesight, but somehow, whenever I whisper to my beautiful wife to meet me upstairs, he'll call out from his—my—favorite chair in the great room, "Why are you going upstairs?" My Dad (along with my mother, I'd better clarify) had a bunch of kids. I shouldn't have to explain it to him.

This morning, however, he was complaining about his dentist who had supposedly taken some of his money. My wife made the mistake of contradicting him.

“The dentist doesn’t have any of your money,” she said, thinking Dad was accusing the dentist of stealing.

"Yes, he does," my Dad told her. 

"No, he doesn't," my wife told him back.

"Yes, he does," my Dad said again.

"No, he doesn’t." I could see that my wife was already getting tired. She looked to me for help, but I pretended I was looking someplace else.

"The dentist gets paid for cleaning my teeth, doesn't he?" my Dad argued.

"Yes, but he's providing you with a service," my wife explained.

"But I'm still paying him for that service, aren't I?"

"You have to pay for the service, Dad."

"But he still has my money, doesn't he?"

End of conversation. I've got to admit, my Dad had a point.