Sunday, September 7, 2008

My Dad - hates Phil Collins, likes me being sad about sports

So I was pretty pumped up yesterday with the Pies in the Sky winning, and rather poetically winning in the middle of my birthday party, with a lot of people hanging around waiting for us to fall over. I love the sheer inner bogan Collingwood bring out in me, and certainly I enjoyed telling the rest of the party to go and get stuffed. I think my obsession with Paul Medhurst is getting a little over the top though, need to tone that down. I think I should probably have a poster of Gabrielle Cilmi instead of one of our Paul - mind you, could young Gabby have hit Racer on the chest lace out? Anyway, I'm now massively over the Hobart pub scene - someone told me that at Customs, they threw out a bloke with MS, and wouldn't back down, because they thought he was drunk. It's so hard to get in anywhere these days, I'm not surprised people don't go out anymore. I've also been looking to get rid of a lot of my junk - I have a lot of absolute junk to get rid of, and that's what I was thinking off on the drunken taxi ride home. How I could get rid of most of my old Stereolab CDs and wrestling DVDs. That's not just physical junk as well - mentally, I could do with clearing out a lot of information and replacing it with more intellectual fare. I've never seen any of the Godfather films, but I know the names of all the members of Blue. At least now, I don't know the rap from "All Rise" (although I just realised I know the Lil Kim rap from Lady Marmalade, so there's a lot of work to do clearing brain space - whatever happened to Mya by the way?)...er, not that I ever did. The taxi driver last night, he at least wasn't on his mobile selling real estate to his brother back in India, like the one I had in the other week, or pumping out Sundanese rap music through some surely not council approved self installed speakers and trying to sell me one of the CDs. A little like Beyonce, Kelly and the other one, I'm pretty much a survivor, although not of a failed relationship, but of actually getting into Hobart taxis...you'd think my momma taught be better than that (although this I suppose does count as dissing ya on the Internet...hmmm...Destinys Child really were a morally complex band - a lot more complex than Solange).

Anyway, today was Fathers day, at which point I should wax lyrical about my Dad with Hallmark approved poetry. I bought him a Dixie Chicks doco for the day, and he I think was quite happy with that. Our relationship is kind of good - there's certainly been nothing I could pad out a "my horrific childhood" memoir with, he's hardly Bing Crosby (apart from the day I got a spike, and the day I went out in my white T-shirt with the brown shoulders that had a BMX bike rider and the word GO! on it in pink sparkly letters) but I think sometimes he gets a bit annoyed I'm not doing more with my life, or that we don't talk about big issues. I think this is his fault - we talk mostly about sport, and I'm convinced that he solely had me to laugh at my miserable sports teams. One day, my soccer team, Liverpool were playing his, Manchester United. I had been out playing with my friend - a red headed kid that lived round the corner from me, who I mostly remember because in a magazine one day there was a cartoon squirrel that said "Hi! I'm a cheeky squirrel! Want to see me nuts!" and he thought this was hysterical and mentioned it every day for two years - so I didn't know the score or see the game. When I came in from playing, he had the video tape of the game, and he said something like "Here, you won 1-0, here's your winner" and sure enough, when he pushed play, Liverpool scored with ten minutes to go, and I thought, well, that's good - he didn't though tell me that Manchester United then scored three goals in the last 10 minutes, to win 3-1, and he thought this was hilarious, to see my face crumple in disappointment. I got him back on ANZAC day 2002, when he had to sit in the rain and watch the Pies In The Sky roll all over his Bombers - for some reason, he didn't seem keen to give Eddie a high five when the pres was running around with the cup. Anyway, he was utterly miserable, and on the tram on the way home, a small Asian girl offered him her seat, because he looked so old and pathetic...it was fantastic. Well, he started it. He's a good bloke actually, very old school left wing labour in his politics - he never got over Kinnock losing in 92, and has a very low opinion of students at his school that try and get out of class by faking a learning disability, and an ever lower opinion of Phil Collins. Actually, that last bit is why I like him the most...

He fell out with his own Dad in 1982, in a fight over a christening shawl. Of course, what you learn is that it's never just about a christening shawl, that's just the final straw. Like Rolf Harris, he can't listen all the way through "The Living Years" by Mike and the Mechanics without bursting into tears. I obviously thus don't remember my Grandad - I'd have quite like a pop, and not one like the old man who told us at the party that the trouble with young people today was that they didn't go ferreting. The closest I ever came to having a Grandad like figure was the man at the Ladbrokes in Kilmarnock in Scotland (boy, is that a glamorous scene, full of shifty looking blokes who are hoping a horse whipped by a jockey can stop them having to go home and face an angry wife with a rolling pin) who caught my next door neighbour stealing pencils out of the joint. My next door neighbour wasn't a bad kid, but he could be a handful - one time we went to a soccer game and a woman in the crowd got knocked out by the ball flying into the crowd, it hit her right in the eye after it bounced off a support beam. Everyone was quite concerned by this, except my friend who in a silent 6000 crowd was heard to yell "Haw, that was fucking hilarious! Didyeseethat! What a stoater!" - anyway, he sat us both down with paternal kindness (steady) and talked about life with us both, and the journey it could take us - we could keep stealing pencils and hanging out in seedy bookmakers (he didn't know Dad was actually outside wondering where the hell we were) and we would end up like Kerry Katona, or we could behave ourselves and he'd let us have a lollipo...OK, at the time, I was pretty creeped out by the guy, but now recognise he was genuinely nice, and trying to help. At the time, I was all indignant and West of Scotland "Haw whits yer game, I never stole any pencils Mister!" and stormed out in a mood but now, I think he had an effect on my life with his wisdom, and I certainly didn't end up in Atomic Kitten and the pencil thief has gone on to lead a productive life and owns a dune buggy. If only he'd have been my Grandad, I could have taken more old man wisdom...although I'd still have stayed away from his offer to have a lollipop.

Anyway, back to my own Dad - we have a bit of a Fathers Day tradition, where we go to McDonalds together for breakfast. We discuss topics like sport, life in general, and his hatred of elderly white gentlemen discovering rap music in Chris Rock comedies. This one year, we did it because we always did it, but we weren't talking or something, it was a bit of a token effort, and it was one of a million meaningless little days that at the end of your life you won't remember. We pulled into the Kingston carpark, there was roughly two other cars in the car park, and we got out and sort of had a little chat about nothing, and went inside, past a couple of other father sons talking about nothing in particular, and a goth girl reading about Jim Bacon in the Mercury. My dad was after his usual, a Sausage and Egg McMuffin without cheese, and we were patiently waiting for it when this bloke in a flannel shirt, with a little girl no bigger than Elmo clinging onto his torn jeans, started hooking into the guy behind the counter, calling him all kinds of names, because his coffee didn't come when he asked. The little girl already looked really weary of having this bloke for a dad, and as his mullet billowed in the store air conditioned breeze, he launched into a tirade about the town of Kingston and why did he ever move here and why was everyone so against him and making life difficult. The little girl started to wander into the car park and was only stopped from her attempt at self abandonment by a McDonalds employee who shoved her reluctantly in her Dads direction. My Dad has looked up from the paper, and started laughing. He shook his little bearded head, smiled, and said "Well son, I might be many things, auld, slow...but you'll always know, yer Daddys no a cunt like that guy...", and he's right, he certainly wasn't. And he certainly isn't.

I wish Hallmark could put that sentiment on a card you know...

8 comments:

Mrs Slocombe said...

Ah you sentimental bugger you: I can imagine my dear departed dad saying something similar.

Mrs Slocombe said...

p.s. Man Utd? And the Bombers? Happy Father's Day to him.

Miles McClagan said...

Well, he deserves a little sentiment - Scotland lost to Macedonia, so his face is tripping him...

And yes, Man U and the Bombers, he loves red and black...and Kevin Sheedy. Massive Kevin Sheedy fan...wants him back...

peter said...

Was he an anarcho-syndicalist when he was a lad?

squib said...

mrsquib supports man united and spain

I phoned my dad yesterday and he said, yes thank you for the Peugeot salt grinder. It's wonderful, it grinds the salt in different sizes

Miles McClagan said...

He was a hippie, but more in the sense that he looked like a hippie rather than hung around with free love and that...he was once mistaken for Jesus by a drunk guy in a pub. Very long hair.

I think now I should have got my Dad a salt grinder...after he got over the opinions of Natalie Maines, he could have still have been grinding his wee heart out...

Kath Lockett said...

Now we know where you got your sense of poetry from

Miles McClagan said...

Yeah, from Alisa Camplins "Flying High"...

Dads poetry was mostly about Vietnam...lousy hippies...