My Father On Coke


I would be grabbing my father by the shoulder as he tried to scramble out of the restaurant booth.

I’d have to physically push him back down into his seat because he wouldn’t want to listen to any more of my bullshit.

“For christ’s sake Barry, that’s horseshit, don’t eat it!” I bet he’d say condescendingly directly to my face.

But I’d still be clamped onto his straining to get up shoulder. Holding him to that fucking spot whether he liked it or not.

Now just sit there and shaddup… I would say to the pissed off that he’s too old to kick my ass senior citizen.

Just listen.

I have proof dad. I’m not making this shit up so please, just listen for two minutes.

“Get your gawd-dammed hand off my shoulder and I’ll think about it!” the poor loser old dude would reply, wrenching his shoulder away as I release my grasp.

All I said was – remember when you thought twelve cents was too much for a coke? You said yeah, that was this morning in the car, as we were heading out of town for a Sunday drive and we stopped at Chan’s store.

Okay, but then I said – now a coke can cost more than three dollars, which is twenty-five times more than the twelve cent coke you thought was expensive.

This is where you said “don’t eat that Elmer, that’s horseshit!” and tried to leave.

But I’m telling you that coke does cost 25 times more now than it did on that Sunday drive we took, which, by the way, wasn’t this morning it was in 1972.

And my point was that you were pretty pissed off about the price of coke 40 years ago AND there’s a lot more to be angry about now but nobody is.

“Why the hell do you talk so much…?” the old man would stare blankly at me and ask.

I don’t know dad, I guess I just don’t like the silence I’d reply.

If we could speak together again.

Thank you, friend.

Barry out.

Incredibly, I cried after writing this story and I wasn’t even drunk yet. Wow, laughing at my own jokes…



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