My poor, poor, poor father has been ill and suffering through his illness laying in a hospital bed.
Laying there for hours and hours and hours on end has given him lots of time to think.
When he thinks this much he gets anxious.
He thinks of all the stuff that needs to be done around his home.
He misses farting around in his garage.
He longs for his best girl's wonderful home cooking.
And sweet Lord does he ever miss that mangy mutt of his.
(his mutt isn't all that mangy, in fact, he isn't mangy at all, the problem is that he is my dad's favorite child and that irks me to no end)
Anyway, I'll cut to the chase here...
My old man wants me to get him out of the hospital.
He doesn't care how I do it, just that I do.
Day by day as his physical health improves his mental health declines.
Like a see-saw with all the weight tipping first to one side, then to the other.
See....A few days ago the hospital was my dad's best friend, when I got him there he climbed into bed and under the covers with his shoes on.
He's not nuts, just happy to be where a sick man can get a bit of assistance.
Saw....A couple of days later the hospital becomes my dad's worst enemy.
He says things like "I gotta get the hell outta here" broken record style.
The other evening he called and with a voice I'd not heard before he whispered into my ear...
"I've got a plan Beth and I need your help"
"Oooookay" I say and he continues...
"I want you to page the dr and tell him that all my test results are great and that he needs to send me home"
"I want you to page him right away...okay?"
"Uhhhh Dad" I say "it's 6:30 on Saturday night"
"Page him Buffy, get me outta here. Please do this for me".
My dad asks relatively little of me...
So little that this little request is probably the only one I can think of.
Other than buying that damn dog of his some food the other day he's really not asked me for anything.
"Okay Dad" I say "I'll call you back in a bit".
I hang up and tell Daddio.
He asks me if I've lost my mind.
Who pages the doctor on Saturday night...???
Crazy, kiss ass daughters do...that's who.
Contemplating my options had me seesawing... I didn't have any plan to disturb the doctor.
But more so I had no plan on disappointing my dad.
Doing so would just confirm the fact that the dog is a better kid than I.
I put on my bathing suit and jumped in the pool. I floated around on the top of the water like a stingray.
Spread out in all my misery.
Which lie would I tell my dad..?
"The dr.'s brother was on call and he has no idea who you are...so it's not possible for him to release you...you'll have to wait until tomorrow"
"The PA was taking calls this weekend and she doesn't have the authority to get anybody outta anywhere"
"He never called me back Dad..sorry"
"Maybe I called the wrong number or put my number in wrong.."
I worried that using any of the above could come back and bite me in the azz... he would remember to chew them out about it the next day...
The lie would have to be one that he couldn't follow up on.
I thought to not call him at all and the next morning I could tell him that the phone broke.
Blasted damn luck...the home phone, the cell and my work cell all took a shit the same day/same time...
Crap happens Dad, yes it does.
That plan was dumb.
The next one even worse...
When my dad would call back to find out what was taking so long I'd use my best foreign accent (a mixture of Chinese and French) to inform him...
"Sorry, wrong number" I would say when he asked for me.
Desperate times call for desperate measures....
Back and forth, up and down, my thoughts and excuses teeter-tottered.
From absurd to more absurd.
It was a situation I was desperate to squirm my way out of.
Maybe I just wouldn't answer at all when he called.
As I floated in the pool my pathetic-ness began to get the best of me.
What the hell are you so scared of? I thought...
Your dad is a big boy, he can take a bit of disappointment.
Call him right this minute and tell him that you can't bother the doctor with such a silly emergency.
Oh hell no I couldn't do that.
Instead, I'll tell him to call Susan.
(Susan, my sister, the one who doesn't read this blog)
It takes a lot of nerve to say no to your dad...even when you're as old as I am, it takes guts and balls and a bit of "I don't give a frick that you are going to continue to love the dog better than me"
"Dad" I said when I called him back after almost two hours
(borrowing a Dr Laura-ism)
"you knooooow I'd swim through shark infested waters to bring you a lemonade...right?"
"You know I'd do anything for you"
"Aneeeeee-y-thing Dad. I love you that much...."
"I can't do this Dad, it's not right to bother the doctor on Saturday night, this is not a true emergency, he will lose all respect for both of us if I do this... he'll let you out when the time is right"
"Please be patient".
"I thought you would say that" my dad said.
"It's okay, I'll wait" he continued.
And just like..... (wait for it).... thaaaaaaaaaaa- t... (cue, finger snap)
I may have (finally) reached (true) adulthood.
(and of course totally, 100% surely, lost my standing as almost my dad's favorite kid)