I’m not going to claim that the following is a universal truth or anything, but I suspect a lot of you dads out there can relate.
There is a short time in the father/daughter time space continuum that most daughters think their dad is a cool guy. Your mileage may vary, and the timing is wildly variable, but I think it’s a common occurrence. It was during this brief interval, back when Pink Hair was about [mumble] years old, that I wandered into her room when she was having an online chat with some other adolescent miscreant. They were into a “My dad/your dad” competition.
Pink Hair had just fired her first shot. “My dad can fly airplanes.”
Well, only little slow ones, and he hasn’t done it for a long time, and he wasn’t ever all that good at it, but it’s basically true.
She got a reply, but did not acknowledge a hit.
“Well, my dad can drive ships!”
Only under intense supervision, and the Captain finally threw him off the bridge and banished him to the Radar Room, but he did get in a few rudder commands, so I guess that’s a moderately fair statement.
She got a reply that didn’t faze her, but she turned around and looked at me, obviously in need of more material. I said, “Don’t forget the race cars.”
“My dad can drive race cars!”
That’s not a total lie. He did drive some, he just didn’t drive any in an actual, you know, race.
While she waited for a reply, she looked back over her shoulder at me, obviously expecting more ammunition.
I brought a round up out of the magazine, ready to load. It was about me wrestling alligators for fun on the weekends, down at the Monkey Farm on Highway 17. Two shows daily.
That’s of course an outrageous lie with no justification in fact whatsoever, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
But I didn’t have to go there. The enemy surrendered. “OK, I give up.”
It was a famous victory, and a few seriously wounded but still breathing kernels of truth lived to fight another day.
A few days later she realized, like most daughters eventually do, that the old man was actually a totally clueless relic from the Jurassic period, not worthy of any more consideration.
But I didn’t mind, having been to that particular rodeo before.
And she’s actually been a lot nicer in the last few years.