Friday, January 26, 2007

Stroke of genius

Yes, I changed the name of the blog. Makes more sense this way.

Wanted to share this story from my favorite writer. Note: I did some editing as this was in a more conversational tone when I received it.

Dec. 18, 1973... during the ice storms. I wanted to go see ELP, but my father said he didn't want me going because the weather was awful and the trains were barely running (he was working, then going to see Bette Midler that night.) But I really wanted to go, so I lied -- I told him my friend Jamie's sister was going to drive us. He said, "OK, but DON'T TAKE THE TRAIN."

So, of course, I took the train. The ride, normally 45 minutes, took three hours. After the concert (I was so paranoid, I didn't even get high that night), I got on the train. To go to the Island, you had to change trains in Jamaica. I was with my friend Larry, who lived near Mineola, and the plan was that we'd go to Mineola and his dad would give me a ride home.

So we were sitting on the Mineola train and who got on? My dad. The Garden City trains weren't running, so he figured he'd get a cab from Mineola. He walked by us, looks at me and said, "That's it for you, buddy." Larry, who is stoned and has never met my father, said, "Dude, that guy wants to kill me." I said, "No, he wants to kill ME. That's my father." Larry thought that was the funniest thing he'd ever heard. We got to Mineola and there wasn't a cab to be found. So Larry's father gave us a ride home, which caused Dad to relax just a bit. We got home at 2 a.m. He said, "We'll talk about this in the morning." In the morning, I told him that Jamie's sister met some friends at the concert and decided to give them a ride home.

Dad bought it. If you ask him now, he'll say he never believed that. But he did.

I tell that story to my younger daughter all the time. It's her favorite bedtime story. The story always ends like this: "All this happened on December 18, 1973. And every year on that date, we call Grandpa and say, 'Do you know what today is?' And he says, 'No, what?' And we say, 'It's the anniversary of the train story.' And we laugh and laugh and laugh." Except for the past two years, my marvelous dad has remembered.


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