I talk about my father a lot on this blog, mostly because he is hilarious. He has given me some hard-core belly-laughs over the years. I am happy to share yet another story with you that involves My Daddy.
My parents own a condominium located inside one of those ‘55 and Older’ communities. In fact, my grandfather Poppa Sye used lived there. However, approximately five years ago, Poppa Sye moved in with The Parents and they have been renting the property ever since.
Recently the tenant moved out, subsequently leaving the condo in absolute shambles. I have never seen anything so horrifying in my entire life. Seriously people. They could have filmed an episode of the television show ‘Hoarders’ up in there.
Now, if that wasn’t bad enough?
The man was a three-pack-a-day-smoker. Apparently, it never occurred to him to crack open a window, or to have a cigarette outside. The walls, light fixtures, and appliances were coated in a thick, yellow, film consisting of tar and nicotine. You could have carved your initials into the layers of film on the walls. And no, I am not exaggerating.
To top it all off?
The man had several cats. And judging by the stains in the carpet? They clearly did not use a litter box. The overwhelming stench was enough to gag a person.
After my parents called ‘1-800-Got-Junk’ to haul away the debris, it took a ‘Professional Cleaning Crew’ armed with ‘Industrial Strength Products’ more than eight hours just to make the conditions slightly bearable. Needless to say we were left in the lovely position of dealing with ‘The Rest of the Damage’.
As most of you already know, I love to clean. And, I have extensive experience with respects to beautifying an otherwise filthy dwelling. So when I was presented with the opportunity to unleash my OCD, I greeted the day with a smile.
My mother and I dressed in rags and drove over to the condo to meet my up with my father. From the minute I walked in the door, I felt like I had been punched in the face. The smell wafting in the air was brutal. Too bad it’s impossible to suddenly induce a temporary case of anosmia.
Nevertheless, I was fully prepared to do whatever it took to make that place sparkle again. The Parents were busy in the kitchen dutifully painting away, while I was scrubbing the inside of the bedroom closets. The individual wires that made-up the closet racks and railings were beyond filthy. It took an entire bottle of Soft-Scrub, a five-pack of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, and a whole lot of elbow grease to remove the seemingly glued on cat-hair.
Now when I am cleaning like that, I get into a particular mental zone. It’s almost a trance like state of mind. And, I tend to forget that anyone else is around me. I should also probably mention that I am tone-deaf. So it shouldn’t have been a surprise, when my father unexpectedly came running into the bedroom. Apparently, I had been singing ‘Live And Let Die’ by ‘Guns n’ Roses’, in my best Axle Rose voice. Loudly. My father thought I had been severely injured. And if you’ve ever had the misfortune of listening to me belt out a tune, you’d understand why.
I spent most of the day dodging bleach speckles from splattering into my eyeballs while scouring any and everything in sight. I also removed the cobwebs in the corners of each room that were as thick as garland on a Christmas tree. But when I decided to tackle the hallway closet, things got a little more interesting.
My father told me it would be much easier for me to clean because he’d already given it a good ‘Once-Over’. But when I opened the door, I just saw the very same: thick, yellow, film consisting of tar and nicotine covering the inside of the closet.
I turned to my father and asked, “Dad, what product did you use to clean the closet? Because this is still pretty gross.”
My father put down his paintbrush and replied, “Oh, I used that spray stuff. You know… that spray stuff?”
I shook my head, “No, Daddy. What spray stuff? I have no idea what you are talking about. Was it Windex?”
“No.” My father said.
He paused for a minute and scratched his head. I could see he was racking his brain trying to remember the name of the cleaning product.
“Oh!” My father exclaimed as if a light bulb went off. “I know what it was!”
“I used 401K.”
“Really, Daddy?” I started to laugh. “You cleaned the closet with your retirement plan?”
My mother cracked up. In between her machine gun giggles she managed to get these words out, “Your father meant to say he used the spray stuff called 409.”
“Wow. Dad. I think you’ve been huffing too many paint fumes.”
[Ah, yes. There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned “Ron-ism” to bring a smile to our sweat-stained faces.]
After what seemed like forever, plus two lifetimes, we were done for the day. We knew we’d have to come back several more times before completing the monumental task of making this condo rent-able.
Later that evening, too exhausted to do anything else, my father tried to make plans with us. And here’s how that conversation went.
My father asked no one in particular, “Hey, want to go to the movies tonight?”
“I’m not sure.” My mother asked, “What’s playing?”
My dad thought for a moment and then answered, “I was thinking about seeing that ‘Yahoo’ movie.”
Utterly baffled my mother questioned, “The Yahoo movie?”
“Yeah, you know. It’s the one about the Internet or something?”
My mother stood there confused and desperately tried to de-code what my father was talking about.
“Oh, come on…” My dad tried to describe the ‘Yahoo’ movie again, “It’s the one about that website Meleah’s always updating.”
My mom thought for a moment. “Wait. Do you mean Facebook?”
“I think so. If that’s the website Meleah’s always on, and if that’s the website they made a movie about?”
“Oh!” Miraculously my mother managed to figure out what he was trying to say, “You mean you want to go see the movie ‘The Social Network’?”
At which point, my house exploded with laughter.
That’s my daddy.
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