I called my dad today to wish him a happy father's day.
He replied "You're Welcome."
Sure, he's 72 and by all accounts, that could be a statement to make children of elderly parents be wary (God help me if my mother ever finds out I referred to her and my daddy as 'elderly').
But with my dad - I knew he was just trying to be funny.
His words are typically slurred, whether from the stroke he had a few years ago or the beers he undoubtedly had been drinking all day, it doesn't matter. Whatever he is saying, it's in jest and if you don't know him, you might very well think he was a crabbit old man or a marble or two short of a set.
Dad Burch - he's a hoot and a half and he taught me to be the same. I never knew there was any other way to deal with any given situation than with sarcasm. I doubt I was much of a conversationalist when I was a toddler, but my mother tells me stories all the time of my dad having heated conversations with me in my high chair. I was babbling, he was telling jokes. If I didn't laugh, he would make fun of me drooling or not being able to walk.
The thing is, when you grow up with the kind of sarcastic and acerbic wit that I was raised with, you have an incredible mechanism for coping with stress of many calibers. You also have a tendency to get into trouble; yes, even as an adult I find it hard to not use my sense of humor in any given situation.
My dad and his buddies, right out of high school, started their own fraternity. None of them were in college at the time, but it seemed like the thing to do. They called themselves "Signa Fi Nothin" and probably threw more parties than the Greek clubs combined.
Then my dad joined the air force and became an airplane mechanic and used his humor and wit to entertain other servicemen during the Vietnam war. My dad was never deployed; but he worked on numerous aircraft that were damaged from the war and it was enough for him to know that the airmen getting shipped overseas on his planes would be in need of a laugh or two before they boarded the plane for take-off. So he entertained the masses. Many of those blessed servicemen never came back, may God rest their souls. Surely dad was no Bob Hope, but he still made people laugh.
I owe you for my sense of humor dad. Now, if I can just get me a pick-up truck so that I can have a mobile garden, I'll be set! If you can read the article below, my dad was recognized in our hometown of Columbus, KS, for his innovative "mobile garden". He planted tomatoes and cucumbers in containers that he keeps in the back of his truck. When it rains, he drives around town to water his garden. If it's too cold or hot, he pulls the truck into the garage.