I like to think that my whole family is a bit out there but I’m pretty sure they haven’t cornered the market on lunacy, idiosyncrasies, OCD-like tendencies and anti-social behaviour, especially after observing our federal government in action in recent times. My Dad has his own spot in the universe, however, and I like to call it the World of Dad.
On the World of Dad you get to interact with yourself most of the time because Dad isn’t listening to anything you say. He’s just waiting for your mouth to stop moving because he’s just thought of something absolutely vital that must be projected as soon as you stop to take a breather. It usually has nothing to do with the subject at hand as he’s already moved on.
Dad likes to talk about food. Food he has eaten, food he is going to eat and food he would like to eat plus the merit of all of the clubs he has been to taste the aforementioned food. I know what he has had for lunch and dinner most days and I definitely know what he will be having at the club next Wednesday at 12.30pm.
Dad also loves to buy stuff. I try to get to his place before the junk mail arrives, as the last time I missed it he ended up ordering two beds from a newly advertising supplier, one a double and the other a king single that he just had to have. As he lives alone I can only assume he will be testing out each bed periodically based on mood, declination of the morning sun and the sometimes-annoying neighbour behind him who likes to whistle at 2am when the mood suits.
His latest bed, the king single he ordered, only arrived a couple of days ago and he was keen to get me down there to have a look at it as well as to sort out the mountain of paperwork he had piling up in the ‘filing corner’ of his bedroom.
I pressed down on the doona to check the bed’s comfort level. You never know, he might get sick of it eventually and I could be the proud owner of an almost-new, expensive king single for our guest room.
“Gee, Dad, this bed is as hard as a board.”
“Yes,” he said, “It’s really uncomfortable and doesn’t look at all like it did in the showroom when I saw it.”
As it felt suspiciously flat I lifted up the doona and the sheet and looked at the mattress. Dad nearly had a conniption. “I hope you’re going to make that again!” he barked.
I looked at Dad and back at the “mattress” … or rather, the bottom of the mattress. Dad had been sleeping on the base bottom as he had turned the mattress upside down and it wasn’t a two-sided mattress. The pillowtop he was raving about a few days before he got it was sitting snuggly against the bottom base of the bed.
“It’s upside down, Dad.”
“No, it’s not!”
“Yes, it is, Dad. Let me turn it over.”
We could have continued on like this for another ten minutes so I flipped the mattress over just to show him what he was missing out on. He sat on the mattress and bounced up and down on it with a silly grin on his face. “That’ll be better to sleep on then, won’t it. Don’t tell your mother about this.”
You bet your ass I will. Mum needs all the ammunition she can get.