In the interests of fostering good father/child relations, given that Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 18, here’s a transcript of a recent, rather touching telephone conversation I had with my dad—our first in nearly two years:
MICK E. FINN: Hi, Dad. It’s your son, Mick.
DAD: As opposed to who, my other son Igor? Mick, you’re my only son. In fact, you’re the only guy I know whose name is Mick.
FINN: Glad to hear from you too, Dad. How are things?
DAD: What do you mean, how are things? You know how things are. I just saw you 15 minutes ago in the living room.
FINN: Well, yeah, sure, if you want to get technical.
DAD: Say, that reminds me—are you gonna take out the garbage like I asked you to? Look, your mother and I are letting you live here rent-free, but that doesn’t mean you can just mooch off us like some gutless parasite. You know, your mother and I worked our asses off to get you a good education, into a good college, and then you graduate with that, well, I guess you call it a “degree” in women’s studies—I mean, what were you thinking? That it was just a great way to meet girls? I suppose I have no one to blame for you laying around the house all day like a sponge… [inaudible]
FINN: I’m sorry Dad, can you speak louder? The tape machine sometimes doesn’t pick it up when you mumble.
DAD: What, are you recording this?
FINN: Um, well, yeah, I mean…
DAD: What are you, some kind of National Security Agency stooge? Gonna turn in your old man to the Fed and get some big reward?
DAD: Want me to admit on tape that I stole those files from the office last year? Because I didn’t, you know. I happen to know who did, but I’ve already sworn to take that little piece of knowledge to my grave.
FINN: Okay, Dad, hold on-
DAD: Oh wait, I know—you’re trying to get me to spill the beans on the old Conway Case! I tell you, I thought that house was abandoned!
FINN: Dad, Jesus! I just wanted to record a loving conversation between you and I.
DAD: Oh man… Father’s Day is coming up, isn’t it?
DAD: Why can’t you just get me a necktie like every other son in America? Or, better yet—how about taking out the garbage like I asked?
FINN: Dad, wouldn’t you rather have a real expression of our love that you can listen to over and over for the rest of your life?
DAD: So you’re not going to take out the garbage?
FINN: I knew you’d understand. Happy Father’s Day, Dad.
DAD: Yeah, yeah. Say, you know where your mother went?