The first time I visited the J’s I was 10 years old or so. I was reserved as kids often are when visiting a new home. I was introduced to his mom first. She was nice. We sat at the kitchen table and she gave us some baked treats and milk. She was a very good baker but a bad chef. Can you good at both? I wonder.
Anyhow, we were sitting there and his dad came in.
“Bob!” he exclaimed. “Where you been? Not important, you’re here now. Good to see you again Bob, enjoy the muffins!”, and he was gone.
We were eating cookies, we had never met, and my name is Jeff.
Mrs. J. explained his behavior but I didn’t need one. Chris’s dad was Robin Williams.
That first summer I was a frequent guest. “Bob!” I would hear as we rode our bikes past Mr. J mowing the lawn.
We were swimming and Mr. J stuck his head out of the kitchen window and yelled as I was on the diving board - “Hey Bob! Do a backflip, unless you’re chicken!”
Another day, Chris and I were busy at the kitchen table, molding tiny replicas of food, like burgers and pizza, from clay we would bake to harden, then paint. Mr. J was in the kitchen.
“Hmm. That’s strange…That doesn’t smell quite right…” He muttered to himself.
Mr. J approached us holding and smelling a plastic bottle with some sort of yellow liquid inside. Or maybe the bottle was yellow? I remember a yellow bottle, either way...
“Hey Bob, does this smell right to you?”
He extended the bottle. I leaned in to take a sniff and just as I did, Mr. J squeezed the bottle just enough to send a short burst of air into my nostrils. My brain exploded. It was ammonia. Chris was laughing his head off as I recovered.
My eyes were still watering when Mr J asked, “What do ya think Bob? A little off ya?”
Chris and I were having a sleepover. The next day Mr J. as going to take us fishing. Chris was busy tying fishing flies while I played Megaman 2. We were listening to N.W.A. very quietly with the door closed.
From the crack under the door we hear in an exaggerated baritone and haunted voice, “NOooooo Faaaarrrrttttiiiinngggggg…”
He was so funny and really understood comedic timing. Hit ‘em hard and from out of nowhere and by the time they realize what has happened, you are gone, and they want more.
Not so Funny.
He wasn’t as funny when we accidentally lit a firework in the house and burned a hole in an heirloom animal skin rug though.
His humor was also missing the time Chris knocked on his own house door, and when his mom answered, he said, “Sarah Conner?” in the Terminator voice. With almost no time in between, Chris fired a thick rubber band at her forehead and it smoked her right between her eyes.
That little stunt cost Chris a week in solitary confinement, also known as “the hole”. I played with Ryan that week.
Kids… And The Parents That Love Them.
Chris’s dad was a really good father that took us on fishing trips and treated us like men. He was a good listener, and taught us important things. And if you have not realized from my words, he was hilarious.
I am just glad Chris and I grew up just before the time of routinely drugging, “problem” children, because, awesome Dad’s like Mr. J are not made, they are born.
If you are proud that I did do a backflip, buy something nice for yourself here, and remember to ALWAYS use the code VIRGINICJEFF for 10% off your purchases!
Know an awesome dad? Are you an awesome dad? Is the best part of being a parent trolling your kids? I hope so. Let me know below. Ever tried a backflip or were you chicken?