I've got about a 45 minute drive home from work, pretty much a straight road and because of that, it's boring as hell. So I get a lot of weird shit running through my mind. Today, I was thinking about my Pops. Talk about fucking weird.......
My old man is a retired Army Warrant Officer, came up through the ranks, did 3 tours in Viet Nam, the whole bit. He was raised up poor (the son of a lumberjack) the grandson of a gambler/lawman/outlaw from Arizona. Let's just say Pops is hard. And he raised me the same way. When I fucked up, I knew I fucked up and I have the chipped teeth to prove it. He had no problem knocking me on my ass. But at the same time, he knew when enough was enough. And as kids, me and my brother and sister never did without. Him and Mom may have, but us kids had what we needed. Maybe not what we wanted, but what we needed. And I thank him for my upbringing. He taught me a lot about life. I may not have agreed with him at the time, but the older I get I realize that he wasn't the dumb fucker I thought he was.
Some of his teachings:
1) Family comes first. Period. Unless it's your mother's side of the family. Fuck those assholes.
2) Always put a bend in your beer can where your thumb rests so you don't drop it when you get too fucked up.
3) Never back down from a bully. A broken nose only hurts for a little while.
4) Don't mix beer and whiskey. You will puke.
5) Never kick a dog. That motherfucker will remember, guaranteed. It may be long after you forget, but he won't.
6) Never hit a woman. While it may be permissible to shoot one on occasion, hitting one is not an option. Ever.
7) Never argue with a woman. It'll always piss you off even more. Go fishing instead.
8) If a man is threatening you instead of doing it, there's a reason he's threatening you instead of doing it. He's a pussy. Knock his ass out.
9) A good steak should only be turned once.
10) Measure twice, cut once.
11) There are certain guns that are always kept loaded in a house and there are certain guns that are never loaded in a house.
12) Never beat a child when you're angry.
13) Always drive a little above the speed limit but never more than 5 miles per hour above it.
14) Who gives a fuck if you're not catching fish? You're fishing, ain't you?
15) Walk home after you get your ass whipped and you're in for another asswhipping. You better fight until you can't get up.
16) There's nothing worse than a thief. Break my trust and I'll break your fucking nose.
17) Don't cry. I didn't raise no fucking pussies. Anybody can cry, it takes a man not to.
18) Respect your elders. There's a reason those fuckers are still alive, they're tougher than you.
19) Do something with your kill. Eat the meat or sell the pelt. You shot that sparrow, it's your dinner tonight.
20) The world does not owe you a living. Either work or die. I'm not supporting your ass forever.
Now I gotta tell you, there was a time when there was no love lost between me and my pops. I hated that mean sonofabitch. I was kinda like that dog, I never forgot the asswhippings I got. But I can truly say that I never got an asskicking that wasn't coming to me. Well, maybe a couple but he always apologized and I knew he was sorry.
My Pops is 70 years old next month. He's had some serious heart problems, he has some shit that he's dealt with from Nam and his upbringing, and he's had a hard fucking life.
But you know what? He's my best friend, he's my fishing buddy and the funniest part of all is that even though I'm pretty sure I can whip him now, I still don't fuck with him. That old man still might pull something out of the bag.....