Friday, February 21, 2014

Old Cow


As I mentioned in my last post, Tender, Loving, Care, I was once referred to as an OLD COW. This is that story...




My father was a long-distance runner, completing over 100 marathons. He ran well into his 70's and when he could no longer run pain-free he opted for a hip replacement. Shortly after his surgery, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

Although his Parkinson's was emotionally and physically challenging, his slow decline gave us time to nurture our relationship.

As a self-made businessman, he had a fierce, independent spirit and was always on the go. And, because my parents divorced when I was two years old and my mother raised me, we missed sharing many of life's simple pleasures.

One of them was going to the movies.

When I asked what type of movie he would like to see he replied,"a Western would be nice - something with John Wayne."  So I took him to see the epic, science fiction action film, Avatar.

We went to a 3D matinee showing in a neighboring city. My husband took my spacious, four-door sedan on a weekend excursion and I was left with his Mini-Cooper clown car. I knew getting Dad in and out of the Mini, and into the theater, was going to be challenging so we arrived early.

The parking lot was located in the heart of the business district and serviced the theater and a large gym. A handicap sticker would have given us several options but despite his hunched back and wobbly gait, Dad was convinced his condition didn't warrant one.

After circling the lot several times, I saw a space close to the main entrance of the theater.

When I noticed a car heading towards the same spot, from the opposite direction, I stepped on the gas. Thanks to the compact size of the Mini, I quickly jockeyed my way into the narrow space.



"How about that!" I said to Dad, feeling quite proud of myself.



As I carefully assisted my father out of the car, a girl in her early twenty's approached us. I recognized her as the driver of the car that I outmaneuvered for the parking space.



She was dressed in a fresh, neon green Nike shirt, matching shorts and electric white sneakers. Her long dark hair was pulled into a tight, stiff, ponytail at the crown of her head and her lacquered nails matched her candy-apple red lipstick.



"What the FUCK!" she yelled within an inch of my face.

Anticipating the need to physically defend myself, I released the two-handed grip I had on my father and, in slow motion, he rolled backwards into the car.

His eyes widened with fear as he stammered, "D, D, don't hit her Shannon!"

As a young man my father was scrappy and mischievous, and as a parent he was astutely aware that the apple didn't fall far from the tree.

He was right of course, I was angry, but with my father as my witness my plan was to assault her with wit and charm.

"You're fit and young," I told her, "You don't need this parking space. Besides, the further you park from the gym the better workout you'll get."

"Shut up you old cow!" she yelled and stomped away.

I didn't see it coming. I expected "bitch" or "asshole" but not Old Cow.

Her comment hit a major artery—embarrassment and rage oozed from my veins.

I did my best to compose myself while we wearily made our way into the theater.

Old Cow echoed in my head as I eased my father into his seat before heading to the concession stand to get him a large buttered popcorn, a super-sized pack of Twizzlers and Milk Duds. Food, especially candy, had become a major source of joy to Dad and it was a bargaining chip in our movie excursion.

"Oh boy!" he said when I approached him with my arms full of treats.

Just as the movie was about to start, I handed him a pair of beefy, black plastic, 3D glasses.

"What are these?" he asked.
"They're glasses that make the images on the screen POP," I explained.
"Can I keep them?" he asked.
"No," I said.

As the theater lights darkened and the sound erupted, Dad leaned towards me and whispered, "Will you steal them for me?"

"No Dad, I will not. We run a security company. How bad would it look if we were busted for stealing?” I scolded him.

"Well then," he proclaimed, "I’ll steal them."

He looked adorable in his glasses and I was pleasantly surprised to see how focused he was on the movie.

In contrast, I was consumed with worry.
What if Miss Fit is seeking revenge? What if she scratches the car or slashes our tires? Can't believe she called me an old cow. My father's the old cow, not me.

We waited until the crowd dispersed before making our way past the well placed, overflowing bin of returned glasses. Dad "hid" his tightly in his right hand and held onto me loosely with his left.

"We did it," he said as we exited the theater. "We pulled a fast one!"

When we arrived at the car, I was relieved to discover that it was unharmed.

As we pulled out of the parking lot Dad put his 3D glasses back on and flashed me a Cheshire cat grin.

He had a lot to say on our ride home. It was as if his 3D glasses gave him superhuman powers. "Slow down Shannon, you're driving too fast. That's an unmarked police car following us. Look out for that cat!" 

I knew I was driving well under the speed limit. I knew that the 1997 Buick "tailing us" was NOT a police car. And I knew that a clown crossing the road was more probable than a cat. But most important, I knew not to argue with Dad when he needed to be right.

"Did you like the movie?" I asked.
"It was okay," he answered.
"Weren't the visual effects fabulous?"
"Sure," he said.
"What an adventure,”
"Yep," he replied non-enthusiastically.
"They say it cost over 230 million to make," I declared.
"Ridiculous," stated Dad.

When my kids were young, in an effort to get them to elaborate about their day, I would ask them to tell me their favorite part.

"So Dad, what was your favorite part?" I asked.

Without missing a beat, he smiled wide and chuckled, "When that girl called you an Old Cow."

What a memory Dad gave me. I laugh every time I think of it. I laugh at the sight of cows. Sometimes I laugh as I pour milk into my morning coffee.



xo, MonkeyME



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34 comments:

  1. Funny can be found everywhere. Kudos

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  2. ahhhhh!!! thank you for reading. I'm smiling :) and I know Dad is too.

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  3. We women seem to latch onto the negative things people say to us and remember them forever. It's nice that you can associate one of those times with a great and funny memory of your dad.

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    1. As a kid I hated my freckles and used to pick them off with a pin. how horrible is that! all because a 7 year old boy made fun of them. Thank you for reading Nancy and hope your eyes are healing well!

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    2. I had lots of freckles, too, and despite that I once teased a kid in kindergarten, calling him "freckle-face Dennis" while we were all skipping around the room to piano music. The teacher heard, and rather than find out who had said it she gave us all a lecture about teasing. The friend I was with called me on it, too. I'm glad that's all it took for me to stop, but I'm shocked at how easily I did that and I wonder how it affected Dennis. He died long ago, so I can't ask him, but I answer my own question with "It's called bullying. How do you think he felt?"

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  4. Can I say that's a mooooo-ving story? Sorry. That gag just wrote itself! Gawd, strangers have called me every name in the book in my time. Plus had stuff written about me on the men's bathroom wall at work. My colleagues wouldn't tell me what it said so must have been pretty bad, LOL!

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    1. ohhhh DEB!!! :)))))))))) I know its true, that what others say about us is none of our business BUT... even so. It does sting. I'm just glad that I was able to see the humor in it and laugh at myself.

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  5. I can definitely picture him saying that. LOL

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    1. oh I am soooo glad to hear that Bruin/Bear/ Jeff :))))))) it's a great compliment when someone knew him and can hear his voice via my writing. :) Thanks for continuing to follow my progress (the good and bad). and I enjoy following your biking excursions.

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  6. ""What was your favorite part of the movie?" I asked."

    This question... and his answer... are priceless! You write well about your Dad...

    Always...

    ~shoes~

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    1. Shoes, Shoes, Shoes... so... I was toying with the idea of taking "of the movie" out. Just leave it as "What was your favorite part?" what do you think?

      I was also asked to submit it but I have to have it edited first. I am amazed at how many errors I don't see until days later. UGH.

      xoxoto YOU dear shoes!

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    1. well...that just made me smile :)))) thank you Ed

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    2. And my objective is achieved. Smiles are very important, and I am glad this generated one for you - love your writing. Love your energy (all of it). Love that we have connected.

      Love seems to be a theme.

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  8. What a great story Shannon. And what a wonderful memory of you Dad.
    I think of you. Hope you're doing well.

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    1. Hi Myrna, I think I'm doing pretty well! looking forward to the end of chemo. trying not to fear the unknown... writing is always good for me.

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  9. Oh I love this. Thank you for sharing your story, and all that charm.

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  10. I would obsess about the old cow like you but seriously what was that girls problem, I wanna go back in time and slap here or just shake her a little. Your dad sounds like a bad-ass...the good kind, everyone should at least once smuggle 3d glasses out of the cinema. those movies are expensive enough as it is.

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    1. he was a bad-ass...the good kind :) I loved that about him.Thanks for reading!

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  11. Great story; thanks for the laugh!
    ~D.

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  12. This story brought a tear to my eye. It reminded me so much of my dad. God, I miss that man. He didn't let his stroke slow him down. Well, okay, it slowed him down considerably, but physically not mentally. =)

    What a great compromise for a Western - Avatar!

    I hate to admit it, but, being called an old cow would have killed me a little inside. I can handle being called a bitch, but old? Gah!!

    Be well.

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    1. Thanks for saying that Elsie - oh, and wasn't Elsie the name of a famous cow once upon a time?

      and I pick slowing down physically over mentally, at least where my father was concerned. So appreciate you reading me.

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  13. I love your stories, and story telling.
    Here's something that struck me; That Woman is desperately trying to keep her youth. It is important enough to her for her to have shown you her fear in an unguarded moment. Even by now, only a few years later, she is probably fearing being an old Cow. Maybe her boyfriend, or series of boyfriends tell her she is looking old, or fat. She HAS to get THAT parking space. THAT treadmill, that liposuction. She feels that she can't be loved as an old Cow, so that's the worst thing that she could call someone when she doesn't get what she wants.
    Like Mr. T says "I piddy do foo!".
    Your stories always make me feel strongly, and that is art.
    <3
    Jesse

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    1. :) your comments, like the cow, always make me smile. love, love, LOVE you! xoxo

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  14. Hi shannon...I've been looped for a taken this past bit...miss your humor...guess what, I'm on meds that might give me a set of chesticles...if they bud ill donate um to a oddities dealor...how are you? Hope your good...my grampa harry would hsve said the same thing your dad did...he used to sick the other two boys on me he knew what would happen...I was the most like him, he would laugh and laugh

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  15. Is it time to move past the "old cow" post? I think that you have TONS of stories backed up...

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  16. Shannon thank you for the laugh. Your father was a funny man. And YOU are a funny woman. So glad to see you blogging, girlfriend! xoxo

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  17. It's been a month since we've heard from you. No lengthy funny stories like this one are needed, just to know you are doing okay....as well as possible. xoxo

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  18. Wow i fuc*ing love the new logo shannon!

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  19. Thanks for sharing a smile-making story and I know I haven't stopped by in a humongous-ly long time, but I hope you are well, Shannon, and I hope you are happy...

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  20. Happy Mother's Day, Shannon - I miss you.

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  21. Shannon, wondering how you are doing. Am thinking of you and sending you lottsa {{{hugs}}} and lottsa love. Post when you can, whatever you can, one sentence even. So many here in cyberland are thinking of you! xoxoxoxo

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Thank you for encouraging my JOY of writing. By reading and commenting you are feeding my soul, stroking my heart, and in the end...making me a better writer.

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing
greenmonkeytales@live.com

Shannon E. Kennedy

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Photo by Joan Harrison