Dad could be unusually cruel, though not intentionally, when he
responded to me when I wanted something that he had no intention of
letting me have. I usually only got this from him when I had pestered
him about it. He was a very patient man but after a while his patience
would wear thin. I was about twelve when this happened.
“Please, Dad, can I get that James Brown record?”
“I’ve already said no, so just give it up.”
“Shucks. I wish I could get it. I wouldn’t ask for anything else, ever.
Is there a job that needs doing?”
“I said no, so give it up, Jim.”
“I wish I could get it.”
“Well, here’s an idea. You can crap in one hand and wish in the
other and see which one gets filled first.” What? Wow! What young boy
would not love a man that could say something like that?
He held some stuff back until I got older, in my early teens. If
I complained that something wasn’t fair, he would say, “Well, if you
want sympathy look it up in the dictionary. You’ll find it right between
suicide and syphilis.”