First of all, I call my dad "GaGa," and I'm not three years old. My older sister apparently couldn't muster up "Da-Da," stuck with "Ga-Ga," and passed it on to two more of us. As an adult I asked him if he would rather finally be called "Dad," and he felt it would be too weird at this point.
My dad looks like a hobbit or an Ewok, as I've mentioned before here:
My dad has a thick Oklahoma accent, but he was raised in New Jersey.
When I was a kid, I thought his favorite word was Goddammit.
My dad once built his own telescope, but he's not above constructing a wasp trap. If a gadget or tool doesn't exist, he will make one.
My dad believes that if a recipe calls for one cup of something, you should add a cup and half. This rule also extends to laundry detergent.
My dad's favorite candies are Chuckles and black licorice. Black licorice is of the devil. He also like limburger cheese and sardines. When I was a kid he was excited to briefly get me interested in horseradish and liverwurst.
I still refuse to look up the exact contents of liverwurst...
Origin of my email and LiveJournal name, CHICKENSHOOT:
One day I was remembering this particular chicken horror story from childhood, so I had to write my dad and ask him to elaborate. He wrote back and titled his email, "The Great Noble Chickenshoot." Noble was the town where we lived.
In the email my dad told about how he had built a chicken coop back then in hopes of raising hens for our own eggs. He bought a box of baby chicks, which I believe we received in assorted dyed Easter colors (obviously before PETA was involved), and they ALL grew up to be roosters. Of course. So we had a coop full of mean and wild non-egg-laying crowing roosters.
Actually, I just read that a harmless dye is injected in the egg before hatching, and no chicks are harmed. I wonder if this was the 70's technique as well...?
The fact that he had a bunch of roosters irked him enough, but the roosters also escaped the coop on a regular basis. This was usually because my sister and I would go inside to feed them, we'd be attacked, and we'd come out screaming with roosters on our backs and more following. The roosters would then all have to be rounded up again.
I guess he grew tired of this scene because one day when it happened yet again he was really angry and told us to go stand by the house for a minute. Rather than gathering the roosters, this time he grabbed his gun and shot them all. Some of the roosters continued to run without their heads (hence the horrific saying), while my sister and I stood there with our mouths hanging open.
We then ate the roosters, but I don't remember this part. I'm sure no one pointed out the meat's origin at that particular meal. Ugh. Not if you want little girls to eat dinner... In any case, he says they tasted awful.
Roosters can be really cocky.
Anyways, I happened to read his "Great Noble Chickenshoot" email on the day I needed to create an email name, and I later used it for this journal and other things. I always worry that someone will assume my chickenshoot name will imply I like to go out and shoot chickens, but no, it was my dad. I just ate them afterward.
One more Dad story:
He just told me this one the other day.
We also had a pretty big garden back then, and a section of it was watermelons. Sometimes just as they got ripe he would find a bunch of them eaten and/or torn up, probably by coyotes. One night he decided to catch them in the act, so he pulled his car around to a spot where he could shine the headlights on the watermelon patch. He stayed awake all night staring at the watermelons.
I'd like to credit someone out there in the world for this lovely picture.
At about 5 in the morning he nodded off. A bit later he awoke all disappointed that he'd dropped the ball. The sun was out now, though, and as he looked out at the patch he discovered all watermelons were still there.
A-ha! He'd hoped to catch someone in the act, but his mere presence had at least kept the watermelon thieves away. Feeling smug with himself he got out of the car and went through the garden to take one more look.
The entire back half of each watermelon was gone. Eaten. The coyotes had actually come during his short, accidental nap and crouched behind the dark side of the melons to eat. Right there in the headlights.
My dad didn't end this story on an angry note. No, I believe he actually respected the coyotes' clever move that night.
"Pretty sneaky, Sis..."
p.s. I hated this commercial.