My dad may be gay

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

I don’t think the traits that I’m beginning to notice necessarily reflect a change in his sexual orientation, but he seems to have acquired certain characteristics that one commonly associates with ‘the gays’. My dad called ‘just to talk’ yesterday. That alone is a bit unusual. But, he tends to get a bit ‘cuddly’ when he is separated from his wife for more than an hour at a time. Mom had stayed behind at the cabin with her “bridge-playing bimbos”. Bridge-playing and bimbo sounds like an oxymoron to me, but I think dad is a bit intimidated, so he resorts to name-calling. I’m not surprised he left the cabin. Most likely he was politely asked to leave.

The phone rings and after a moment of panic (dad rarely calls except for something major and unpleasant); I realize he has just called to chat. At first, it seems like any other phone call when a man is trying to hold up one end of a conversation. Awkward. Men hate talking on phones. I think it’s genetic. At least straight men hate talking on phones. But eventually he warms up a bit and starts telling me how he took Al to the liquor store so he could recoup some of the money he loses from Al’s foraging habits. I should explain. My brother Al lives next door (literally) to mom and dad. This means that he drops by for ‘dinner and drinks’ frequently (whether or not mom and dad are home).

So, dad is at the liquor store with his shopping cart, picking out Bailey’s Irish cream and assorted fruit-flavored liquers. Al wanders off, probably looking for a case of Leinenkugel. Dad approaches an employee and inquires about a raspberry beer. The employee says “no” he hasn’t heard of that. Next, dad begins to describe a cherry beer he might like instead. The employee becomes uncomfortable. “No”, he hasn’t heard of that either. “How about an apricot beer”, dad persists. At some point Al pulls dad to the side and says. “Why didn’t you just ask him to point you to the gay section of the liquor store?”

Later in the conversation, I tell my dad that husband Don Aldo and I are planning to see that ‘ABBA play’ this weekend. Oooooh he squeals, “Mamma Mia”? I loved that play. What a great band! He proceeds to tell me that the A’s and the B’s in ABBA stand for the names of the two couples in the band and that for a while A was married to B and B to A, but then they broke up so the band fell apart. Tragedy. Apparently, mom and dad routinely listen to ABBA tapes on the way up to the cabin. They have real ABBA tapes and ‘Mamma Mia, the musical tapes’. Sounds like my dad is a real ABBA connoisseur.

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Who is G.K. Chesterton and do I win the $10?

A Hymn: O God of Earth and Altar

  • God of earth and altar,
    Bow down and hear our cry,
    Our earthly rulers falter,
    Our people drift and die;
    The walls of gold entomb us,
    The swords of scorn divide,
    Take not thy thunder from us,
    But take away our pride.
  • From all that terror teaches,
    From lies of tongue and pen,
    From all the easy speeches
    That comfort cruel men,
    From sale and profanation
    Of honour and the sword,
    From sleep and from damnation,
    Deliver us, good Lord.
  • Tie in a living tether
    The prince and priest and thrall,
    Bind all our lives together,
    Smite us and save us all;
    In ire and exultation
    Aflame with faith, and free,
    Lift up a living nation,
    A single sword to thee.
  • – G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936)