11.27.2015

Merry go round at the Elks club.



My dad and I walked to the beach this afternoon and there was something magical about how desolate the Elks Club was.  A trailer park nestled in a massive bunch of sand dunes all quiet and abandoned for the winter.  When we got to the playground, I conconcted a ridiculous scheme whereby my Dad and I would snap a selfie on this old fashioned merry-go-round.  The outcome would be a moving background of sand dunes and wintery tree branches and ancient playground equipment and our best selfie smiles in the foreground.

I should pause and mention that at the outset of the walk, my dad pointed to a little bungalow just across the street and said: "that's how I remember the house in the story where I almost died." We had just been talking about how astonished and delighted my nephews were when he recounted the tale of being threatened at gunpoint during his college job of repossessing furniture and cars for a bank.  Apparently, the thug who in this case REALLY wanted to keep the car despite the defaulted lone, offered my young father the opportunity to have the girl sitting next to him instead of the car.  Once the gun was lowered, my father realized this job was asking a little too much of him and left.

The problem, he explained to me as we climbed the driveway into the Elks campground, is that now they want to hear the story every time I see them.   And I don't have any more stories that will ever compare.  I suggested that he either couch his stories as fictions that they have to figure out (blended with truths) or live a more adventurous life.

We decided to organize the merry-go-round venture by pushing together to get it spinning fast and then, jumping on, twisting, pointing, shooting and smiling.  Voila.

Not so easy.  It turned out that the merry-go-round (and its riders) were heavy enough that once we both got on the merry go round, it would immediately slow down so severely that the whole effect of the moving background would slow and stop almost before we were shooting the picture.

My dad decided to keep pushing after I was on the merry-go-round to give us a little extra velocity.  Once I agreed and was on -- I suddenly remembered that he was still kind of recovering from his cataract surgery -- and wasn't supposed to really exert himself for more than ten pounds of pressure.  When I asked him why?  His only assumption was that his eye would pop out.

So later at dinner, as we recounted the story, he looked at my nephews and said: "And then I suddenly felt this tremendous pressure on my eye." I chimed in.  "I looked at him and his eyeball had actually popped out."  My sister-in-law gasped, mortified.  Isaac and Will were delighted. "It's a good thing," said my dad "that your eyeball is attached by a cord, so it was kind of dangling and bouncing."

"I tried to carry him back giving him a piggy back, but we realized it was too long and the chances of sand getting involved was just too much, so I cleaned off my fingers with saliva and just SHOVED the eyeball back in."

Everyone at the table is freaking out by this time.

"And the worst part," continues my dad, "is that he got it in. But backward!  So I could only seeINTO MY HEAD (!)with that eyeball.  It made me really introspective."

Which is, I explained, ironic since we hadn't gotten our selfie after all, but he had gotten all the solipsism that a selfie ever offers.

photo via Instagram http://ift.tt/1lOVWBW

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