Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Everyone has a pet peeve or two. I have about twenty, but this isn't about me.
Dad had one thing that really bothered him: you didn't point your fingers at him. It was like calling Marty McFly chicken: there was bound to be a reaction. I guess he just processed it as an act of aggression.
This issue only caused him serious problems once. At a place of employment, he got in trouble for something: whatever it was, it didn't really matter if it was his fault or not. When his boss got ticked off about it, he got up in Dad's face, pointers flying. I don't think he even got as far as physically poking Dad, but he may as well have. The final catalyst, of course, was that at some point (no pun intended) he'd knocked back a few, so he did something he'd never do in a normal setting: he slammed his boss into some lockers (it could have been the wall, but I'm when I visualize the story I see lockers so let's keep it that way - it'd be noisier,) and hurled violent verbiage at him along the way. Well, thankfully the boss didn't press charges, but he did have to fire Dad. He was very nice about it, because previously they'd had a decent working relationship, and also he may have been a little scared of Dad. Either way, Dad was out of a job because he'd been pointed at.
The other time he was set off was with a guy that he hung out with for a time. He had other problems with this guy, like the fact that the guy would take his handkerchief and shake it out , letting germs fly everywhere. I didn't like this either, because Dad, who had an excellent immune system, actually got sick following a post-hanky-shake, and guess who caught the bug from Dad? But the final straw was when the guy started replaying confrontational conversations he'd had with other people, but in such replaying made it look like he was yelling at Dad. You know how that works: someone says to you 'and I says, BLAH BLAH BLAH!' and passerby look at the two of you in trepidation. Not cool, man. Of course, it was only exacerbated by the fact that the guy would say these things while pointing at my Dad, getting all up in his face. I remember Dad showing me what it looked like while we were standing on the subway platform together, and I agreed that it would have been a bit much to handle. Well, in my Dad's case, it drove him to 'break up' with this guy, which had to have been an awkward situation...remember that Seinfeld episode when he had to break up with his male friend? What do you say to cushion the blow? Dad didn't mince words; even so, it had to have hurt him to cause pain to his erstwhile buddy.
We should all come with a sign, or a set of instructions. Dad should have had an octagonal 'No Pointing' sign, or Pointing slashed out in the Ghostbusters signal.