Thursday, June 14, 2012

My Crazy Male Parental Unit

Just look at that mustache. This man has stories.
Father's Day is this Sunday, and seeing that I am a poor college graduate, I have nothing to give my father unless you count this sad attempt at a tribute to him as a gift. I thought hard about this blog post - which is odd, because I seldom think about the shit I write in this thing - and I decided that there is a plausible conclusion: my dad is a strange paternal specimen. The man taught me ideas and histories that my high school and undergraduate classes barely touched on. He taught me "real-world" skills for the Zombie Apocalypse. Hell, my dad even helped to give me a sense of humor (even though my mom is cause for 80% of it). And even though he still sees me as an innocent, four-year-old girl with dirty dishwater hair and no shoes on (ever!), he talks to me like a human being and not a stupid child. The guy takes an interesting perspective on parenting, for sure.

When I think of my father, my brain-cave fills with memories of the times that my siblings and I visited him (we're "broken home" kids, which means we'll fuck you up if you say anything about it) and the times I lived with him. I also remember a lot of things that he taught me, albeit through crazy hands-on learning experiences of what not to do when your dad is a Vietnam War veteran.

You see, kids, my dad saw some shit, and he went through a lot of shit to get home from the shit that was making life as an eighteen-year-old male in late-1960s America so shitty. Obviously, I didn't know him then, but I do know that it makes for some fun parent-child experiences, such as learning to wake someone up from more than 10 feet away to prevent getting my throat crushed, or playing a really fucked up Hide-And-Go-Seek game where the object is to hide in plain sight, or my favorite time: story time. Yeah, sure, I was read Goodnight Moon and Winnie the Pooh at bedtime, but at any other time in the day, my dad was prone to tell my siblings and me random shit in military history, naval sciences, or even Hitler. Seriously. I learned about Hitler as a small child, sitting at the kitchen table during one of our many "family dinner discussions," which ranged from how Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal could successfully spawn inter-special offspring, to how propulsion works on watercraft, and then to goddamned Hitler. Yeah, we were those kids. We learned almost too much, it seemed, but we loved to learn, and Dad had a brain that looked over-ripened with tasty, succulent and off-the-wall knowledge. We learned about who General Creighton Abrams, Jr. was and why Dad doesn't like him. We know about Dwight D. Eisenhower's insistence on holding priority with educating children over building more nuclear weapons as well as his ulterior motive behind the interstate highway system. Because of Dad, we know how an M-16 1A operates (it's a serious of tubes, no lie). The man wanted us to learn, dammit!

Dad couldn't always be a teacher of histories and gun mechanics, though. My siblings and I needed to learn "real-world" skills, such as fire-breathing and how to successfully engage a target while riding bareback on a horse with a bow and arrow (I'm kidding. He taught us other shit, like what color clothes to wear at night to keep from being seen). He also taught me how to operate a manual transmission in a two-toned 1988 Dodge Colt. He was the most patient person to ever sit in a vehicle with a 15-year-old girl whose first attempt at gently releasing the clutch while equally, and as gently, pressing on the accelerator resulted in a Mach-1 reverse into a bush. He didn't jump, yell, or get out of the car. He paused, shook his head, smiled at me, and said, "Honey, you've just learned reverse. Let's learn first gear now." Who the fuck can't love a dad like that?! Holy shit! And oddly enough, he also taught me how to iron clothes.

This is my dad - standing in front of a huge, mobile wiener. 

I guess I should mention that for some time - and sporadically now, my dad wasn't around. As kids, we lived with our mom (who is also pretty fucking awesome and awesomely fucking pretty), but I often drifted between the two houses. When I didn't live with him, there would be months I wouldn't hear from him, but I learned at an early age that Dad just liked to disappear. I never expected to see him at most functions, but learned to appreciate the times that he did. I guess Dad taught us a valuable lesson in that, too: time is fleeting, and he can't always be there for us. He may not have been there to raise us, but he did play a part in teaching us to grow up.

After my divorce, my dad called often enough to let me know that he still cared for my well-being, and when he figured out what happened, he was livid enough to threaten to come to Georgia and put the hurt on someone as retarded enough to fuck with his daughter. He was being that typical, protective dad, only with Vietnam Crazy Powers and a majestic, unkempt mustache that serves as the only physical evidence proving his celestial-walrus upbringing. We still talk, and he always insists on telling me that he's proud of me for how far I've come and for doing my best to keep making my life better.

Thanks, Dad. You weird, crazy intelligent, nomadic guy with space-walrus mustache powers. Wherever you are, be it The Walrus Galaxy, a mustache competition, inside a book about naval ships, or even at home watching Spike TV, have a good Father's Day. I made you a macaroni necklace. Again.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Dependapotamus Lives Among Us

One of my veteran friends taught me a new word not very long ago, and that word is "dependapotamus." According to him, a Dependapotamus is "often found near military bases with legs open and hands out. They are attracted to young, dumb military men like flies on shit. And they often know more about military life than the FNGs (Fuckin' New Guys)." In an addendum that he added later, my friend expressed to me that these dependapotami "can appear to be attractive at first, but upon closer inspection, or insertion of the left ring finger into a wedding band, their waistline magically expands faster than... something fast." 

According to Urban Dictionary, this not-so-elusive creature is defined as: "traditionally a service member's dependent who is a 'stay-at-home' mom that doesn't do a damn thing all day besides sitting on the couch looking remarkably similar to Jabba the Hut, leeching off military benefits and eating anything that gets too close." 

I also found a diagram of one specimen: 
 Meet Shirleen, Exhibit-A of a Dependapotamus.

So, what do they do? What creates such a beast? What are their characteristics? I asked, among many other questions (such as, why can't they get a hobby other than fucking? or why aren't servicemen protected from these girls' bullshit legally?). And this is what I was told: 

Dependapotami can't keep their pants on. Ever. According to both witness testimony, as well as rumor, these ladies - if we can call them that - have an insatiable appetite for adultery. That's right, Jabba the Hut up there likes to hump everything  from other servicemen to OD Green doorknobs. It's a damn shame. Moonlighting as a ditch-skank is often a means for a dependapotamus to fulfill her hunger pangs in her lust-gut, but this feasting is almost always during her spouse's deployment.  

A dependapotamus often starts out as a Stage 5 Clinger. Urban Dictionary defines a Stage 5 Clinger as "a person who is obsessive over the guy or girl who took their virginity (my friend attests that this part can be removed and the definition is still effective). Usually someone who is very insecure, a bitch, needy and/or clingy." 

Duh. This characteristic of a dependapotamus is quite obvious; however, it serves as something to look out for when prospecting for potential ladyfriends. Be aware, for the dependapotamus and stage 5 clinger share many of the same characteristics that can be warning signs to you: they have graduated high school, but have no desire nor initiative to further their education; they have problems with addictions to drugs, prescription drugs, or froo-froo drinks; and they know exactly what days you get paid before they even meet you. 

She believes that your paycheck is her paycheck. Forget about saving up for that motorcycle, or a vacation away from your newly-Jabbafied wife. The money you make (of which she knows when you make it) now goes to diapers for the babies that keep appearing while you're deployed, all those Twinkies that fuel the Dependapotamus, and the bar tabs she racks up while you're either in the field or deployed. Sorry, Charlie. The Dependapotamus has a nose for money, and she not only smells your OD green, but she smells that more common "green" that civilians know so well: the smell of a sweaty dollar bill. (And we know that the sweat is from you, for you earned the money via your hard work, but she doesn't give a single fuck about that.)

Because a dependapotamus is limited in prowess for any activity that does not involve eating or birthing, she assumes you aren't, also. Let's set up a hypothetical - and very hypothetical at that! - situation. Say that you manage to de-scent and hide enough money to afford a motorcycle for your fun and enjoyment. HAH. Forget that shit! The minute you bring your rumbling, loud, nag-blocking iron pony onto the driveway of your seemingly nice home, you just might as well say goodbye to it. The dependapotamus can't ride on the back (due to her legendary fupa and discontinued leg tentacles) and she doesn't have the mental capacity to operate anything but a dent-covered, sour milk smelling, Twinkie wrapper flooded SUV/Minivan. These two facts alone cause a cloud of confusion inside the walnut-sized mind of the Dependapotamus. Her thoughts go as such: "Money-maker have motorcycle. Me no need motorcycle. Motorcycle no make Twinkies from exhaust pipe. MOTORCYCLE SERVE NO FUNCTION. MOTORCYCLE EVIL."

Yeah. That just happened. You're now fighting Jabba the Hut in the driveway of your own home over an item that can help you to relax and put up with her bullshit while neighbors watch through the blinds in the picture windows of their homes. You feel like an asshole, but you know - and so do we - that you are right in this very moment. However, the dependapotamus is more convincing to other wives, and you're fucked. You probably should have rented a storage unit to hide that pony when you had the chance.

This is always an option, too. 

The Dependapotamus usually inhabits smaller towns. The collective goal of dependapotami is to get the hell out of wherever they are and to use whatever means necessary to achieve said goal. If you are stationed in or near a small town and not a larger city, you are more apt to come across the path of a dependapotamus. These girls want out of the town they live in, and you are their ticket out (as well as their meal ticket for their insatiable appetites for Twinkies). Be wary when meeting girls in this area, as dependapotami are the majority of the population. 

I understand that this is a lot to take in. When I learned of this supernatural beast and its growing numbers, I wanted to cry. I clearly am a girl (unless my readers are too retarded to look at the picture on the right side of this webpage), and I really don't see the luster in having to depend on someone else for the Dependapotami's Three S's (sustenance, shelter, and SUV's). If I don't have my independence or my own goals, I flip the fuck out (I learned this during a marriage to a super-sized asshole of the dickhead kind). And gentlemen (e.g. every dude who is my friend, foe, whatever), this message is to you: wrap it up every time (even if she says she's on birth control) and keep your eyes open. There is an enemy at home, and her name is Dependapotamus.