Monday, March 9, 2015

Dad's Paper Route

Mom & Cowboy Bob on 12.31.67
"The royal ass has been wiped!" Mom announced from the bathroom to Rory, me and our neighbors in the air shaft. In the kitchen, Rory and I drank Tang and ate burnt toast with lots of butter. Dad moaned to himself late for work in their bedroom.

Every morning, after Dad went to the bathroom, Mom examined how much toilet paper remained when he was done. If the household product was in a cardboard roll, Dad was out of control; Silver Foil, Wax Paper, Saran Wrap, TP, or paper towels. If he washed dishes of course he'd put too much soap in the sink and the bubbles exploded like a Las Vegas casino's fountain.

If the table needed drying, Dad swung out a roll of paper towel as his lasso, "Yahoo!", Cowboy Bob screamed. Around and around the roll would go, paper filling the kitchen sky like Chinese New Year. Mom went friggin nuts. Rory and I ducked.
All of it, came out of Mom's house money and the money never went up. Year in, year out, Mom made her case and Dad kept the allowance where it was, and he continued using the soap and paper products like he was auditioning to replace Shirley Booth in Hazel.

One rainy afternoon when we were pretty young, he gave Rory and I a lesson in wiping our butts. I kid you not, and Mom put him up to it because at the end of each day our underwear didn't smell that good sometimes.
Rory in 83 St tub

We sat on the edge of the tub, Dad took his position on stage at the front of the bowl.

"You see what I'm doing with my hand? See the way I'm rolling the paper around and around? That's what you do before you wipe. Cover your hand like a Civil War bandaged wound, only then, go in and finish the job."

Rory and I humored Dad with a quick nod, then gave each other a quicker look that said, "He's out of his mind."

Mom came in the bathroom at the end of the lesson, saw Dad's hand and said, "If you use that much much paper, I'll kill the three of you."

If you would like to check out my memoir, "I Hate the Dallas Cowboys - tales of a scrappy New York boyhood," it's available at Logos Bookstore, 1575 York Avenue, or buy it online at AmazonBarnes and Noble or other booksellers.

517 East 83 St bathroom in 2R in 2008, we lived in 4R

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