Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Survival of The Flippant | A Father's Day Story

My dad almost died in front of me on Sunday.

It was Father's Day and I had brought him a twelve pack of Magic Hat's Summer seasonal variety pack, of which I saw him drink two. Of course he had just finished one I saw as I drove up. A bit later we had some pink lemonade with Absolut in it. It turns out he had also hurt his leg, self-diagnosed as a torn or ruptured ACL (bitch, please, you were walking just fine), and had been on unnamed pain meds for a couple of days already.

This last part I do not find out until he nearly drowns in his pool doing the butterfly.

The butterfly.

In the shallow end.

The man is not allowed to swim with his contacts in, since his vision and astigmatism are so bad that he is legally blind without them and cannot even see out of one eye wearing glasses. So obviously, he was swimming with his eyes closed. Drunk. And hopped up on pills. Wundebar.

He just came up for air and missed the waterline by about minus one inch. Took a huge lungfull of air and just started spasming in the water. I thought it was pretty pathetic to plea for attention by feigning a seizure, in poor taste and, frankly, stupid to do so on his stomach, as he could accidentally begin to drown.

After a few seconds of this my brothers and I start commenting on it. I ask, "Are you okay? Are you serious?"

His silent convulsions were a bit unsettling, but when he managed to croak out, "Hep mah … hep meh … [gurgle],"everything became serious but at least manageable. All three of us were inches away from pulling a Baywatch when dad realized he was in the shallow end, so if he just stretched his legs he'd rise to the surface and be able to walk to the pool's edge. Which he did.

He then proceeded to cough up a little water and belch what I presume to be chlorine gas for 10 minutes. As soon as he was done couching and hacking and surviving, he decided to spite the pool by doing one more lap.

I will say this for my father:

There is a tenacity to narrowly avoiding natural selection and spitting in the face of it.

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