You Gotta Learn Eventually…(aka, Happy Birthday, Dad)

I’m curious like a cat. That’s why my friends call me Whiskers (Sorry, I’m channeling Will Ferrel when he was channeling Harry Caray).

Anyway, it’s true that I’m a curious sort. Even in silly matters, I want answers. Let me give you some silly examples of things that I want to know. Did you know…?

  • Fingernails grow nearly 4 times faster than toenails?
  • One gallon of used motor oil can ruin approximately one million gallons of fresh water?
  • Most dust particles in your home are made from dead skin?
  • The sun is 330,330 times larger than the earth…and is 93,000,000 miles from the earth?
  • The average person laughs 13 times each day?
  • Men are 6 times more likely to be struck by lightening than women?

There’s a chance that you don’t care about any of those amazing things. But for me, I enjoy knowing answers because answers are like rewards for being alive.

Driving with my dad when I was a kid, I got pushed against the seat back when he accelerated.

“Daaaad?” I asked. “If we had no gravity in the car and you went really fast, would I be pushed against the back of the seat?”

Silence from the front seat.

“Daaaaaaaad?” I started to repeat the question.

My dad interrupted. “Do you want me to stop the car so you can find out how long it takes you to walk home from here?”

The rest of the drive passed in silence. Apparently, my dad didn’t enjoy my theoretical thoughts and questions as much as I did. But I didn’t mind. Normally he would say, “Go ask your mom.” It didn’t take me long to figure out that was code for “Please shut up.”

I didn’t limit my curiosity to thoughts, though.

Later that same day, I was thrilled to discover that my dad’s pruning sheers could cut effortlessly through the one-inch branch of one of his fruit trees. After cutting all of the branches from all of the fruit trees that I could reach, I wanted to find out what other things the shears might be able to cut through. When my dad found me, I was attempting to chop through some steel planting posts that he kept in the shed.

Dad, you didn’t always like my curious questions and thoughts. More than once you threatened to stop the car and make me walk home so I could figure out the answers on my own. But you never did. And I thank you for that.

But that day I used your pruning shears to scalp your fruit trees and cut up steel posts, you taught me a most valuable lesson. No, it wasn’t sitting in a chair is a privilege. You taught me that lesson a few months earlier. No, on this particular occasion, you taught me that it is far easier to sit in a chair before a spanking than after one.

Happy 75th BIRTHDAY, DAD! Thanks for doing your part to teach me the right way to go. And even when I didn’t look like I was listening, I was.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *