Tag Archives: family

my father’s son

My father is a great man. He is loved and respected by all who know him, myself included. He is a man of principles. Do not lie to my father.

A few years ago, I moved to Chandler, AZ for a few months to “get back on my feet”. Part of this was buying a car. With my dad’s help, I bought a 1984 300zx. It needed some work. One saturday my father and I were driving around “the valley” in his truck. We were in Apache Junction a few miles from the house when dad said, “Let’s stop in Auto Zone and get those back shocks for your car and we’ll put them on this weekend.” So we preceded to go into the store and buy the two shocks. Much to our dismay, the parts guy informed us that he only had one of the shocks in his store. Dad said, “I live in Chandler, can you call our Auto Zone and see if they have a pair there? We will pick them up on our way home.” The parts guy called the other store and informed us that the Chandler store only had one shock as well. “Hmmm? Ok, well go ahead and ring out this one and we will buy the one in Chandler.” And with that, we left the store and headed to the Auto Zone in Chandler. We arrived at the other store, gave the clerk our part number and he retrieved the shock from the back room for us. As we started to take it to the check-out counter dad asked the guy, “By the way, how many of these shocks do you have in this store?” “Let me check sir”, he replied. “We have 13 here.” With that said, I could literally see the red rise from my father’s neckline, up over his chin, across his nose, eyes and forehead, and disappear into his hairline. My father calmly said, “Go ahead and give me a second shock.”

It was a long silent ride back to the Auto Zone in Apache Junction. It wasn’t going to be pretty. I had flashbacks of grocery shopping with my Aunt Mame as she cussed out butchers for too much fat on the cuts of meat. There was going to be a “scene”, and I was going to be front row and center. When we arrived at the store, I was going to play it cool and stay in the truck when my father quickly said, “Come on!”, as if he wanted me to see the blood bath of words. We walked in, shock in hand and my father says to the first employee he sees, “I need to see the manager, Right Now!” The manager emerged from the back of the store and asked my father,”What seems to be the trouble sir?” My father explains in complete detail of the deception portrayed by one of the store’s employees, and how we drove all the way back 20 miles to return the one shock that we had bought earlier at their location. Sheepishly the manager asked my father, “Which one of our guys lied to you sir?” And there, on the last computer on the back side of the store, he sat. He was cowered down, fear in his eyes as he had just heard the exchange between his manager and my father. With his long arm raised toward him, my father said, “That son of a bitch right there!”