Took my Dad to Bunnings today. I wanted a new ironing board and then to check out their range on underfloor insulation so I thought I’d drag him along, since Mum’s away visiting my sister north of Cairns and he’s stuck at home because he doesn’t drive anymore.
It was a great. Not only did I get him to buy me lunch at the sausage sizzle out front of the store but I also got to catch up on his latest news and be rewarded with a story. I think I get my love of story telling from my Dad – he’s always got one up his sleeve.
“Your sister sent me a parcel,” Dad told me as we headed to what I hoped was the laundry aisle.
“What was in it?” I asked.
“Don’t know,” he said. “It never arrived.”
It was a few minutes before we were able to take up the conversation again. He suddenly decided he needed something to hang a broom on a wall, and when we asked a bloke which aisle that would be in he suggested either 45 or 10.
“I’ll go to 10,” said Dad. “We’ll catch up there.”
The spring in my Dad’s step is more of an overstretched slinky these days. I doubted very much he’d make it to 10 before I caught up with him. He shuffled off and I picked out an ironing board and then found the thing he was after. It took me less than a minute, but when I looked down the rows towards the lower numbers, Dad was nowhere to be seen.
As I knew there was no way he’d have walked that distance yet, grinning, I turned around.
There he was, heading in exactly the wrong direction.
“So did she have the wrong address on it or something?” I asked him when I caught up and swung him around for our journey back to the checkouts. On the way he stopped to check out every special and try work out, if he bought it, where he could store it. Or, more to the point, where he could hide it from Mum.
“What?” said Dad.
“The missing parcel.”
“Oh, it’s not missing,” he said, pausing to consider some strips of wood and mumble, “What could I do with these?”
“So where’s the parcel?” I asked, trying to distract him and bring him back on topic.
“Kerri got it back,” he said, passing on the wood strips and moving on to some kitchen wipes. “Apparently, your Mum decided it would be a good idea to redirect our mail up to your sister’s place so she could pay the bills while she’s away.”
So, yep, the parcel arrived back where it started within a couple of days, baffling my sister, embarrassing my Mum and tickling my father’s fancy.
Are we destined to become our parents? I sort of hope so. And as it turns out I really do think I am becoming this man – I just hope my kids find me as amusing as I find him.
“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”