My daughter, my youngest child, is starting to edge closer to that age where romance is in the air. While she has no beau on her arm as of yet, she has friends who are dating (or whatever it is that seventh graders call it nowadays).
As a father of said daughter, I know it is legally required of me (as per the Unified Parental Civil Code of 1956 and as updated in 1986 and 2003) once my child does bring home a gentleman caller to intimidate the stuffing out of him.
I have shared with my daughter a story to show her that no matter how embarrassing she may perceive me to be as the protective father, I will never put her suitors through the most intimidating ringer I had to endure.
(Actually it’s not that bad, but I had to put some suspense in there.)
This is my story.
When I was in high school, I went to pick up my date at her house. Either she was running late or I was early (my memory’s hazy on that point), but I was welcomed into the house by her mother and escorted into their kitchen to wait.
In said kitchen, I also met my date’s father, who was simply and casually – right there on the very same table where they supped as if it was a run-of-the-mill occurrence (which actually it was) – making his own bullets.
He had a press atop the table that looked like a combination (to my non-ballistic mind) of a vice and a juicer. He would pour the gunpowder in each casing, place a top over each filled casing, and then move one the machine’s arms down which would tightly affix the top thus creating one bullet.
Given this situation of being in a room with a man whose daughter I would be responsible for and who was creating his own lethal artifacts, there was only one thing I could think of to help me in this situation.
I asked him what he was doing.
Want to get someone on your side? Ask them a question about something they are passionate about.
He graciously described for me and demonstrated for me all the steps he was performing so that he could save money by making his own bullets.
His demonstration filled the time until my date came down the stairs and we were off.
And, yes, I most certainly had her daughter back home by whatever time he had mandated.
That’s my story.
P.S. I have actually fired a gun once (once!) in my life, but that’s a story for another day.