The Girl of La Mancha


Doing laundry today, I caught little snippets of some show on television.  I can’t tell you what it was, exactly. Just some gay little Saturday morning show that seems to be geared towards making parents feel smart and good about *themselves* when they make their kids watch it instead of the normal cartoons.

It was something about animals.  I could only hear  it when I was messing with my washing machine up front so I missed most of it.  I heard a huge thing about tails. I had no idea tails were so interesting … But that has nothing to do with my point, really.   And then when I was leaving, the narrator was on some tangent about sharks. As I walked out the door, I  heard that sharks only had cartilage, that sharks did not have a jump foot (I wonder if I misheard that), and sharks did not have great eyesight.

As I was walking out the door, the thought rolling through my mind was “Yeah, true. However, that shark, for all its  shortcomings, would kick your ass.”    The next step in this synaptic trail was in the car. I kept skipping back to that thought and I was suddenly reminded of  a moment involving my father.

Not that he reminded me of  “Jaws” or anything,  but something he once said seemed apt to this particular moment.   My dad had very few things to say most of the time.  I am not going to say “when he did, though, they were wise.”  Because that would be untrue.  Occasionally though, and generally in hindsight, they were awesome.

Ok so the back-story you need: as some of you know, I have 2 brothers.  What you may not know is that my family are very tall, sturdy people.  One of my brothers is 6ft3.  My father was 6ft2 and he was the shortest of his 3 brothers, the tallest is 6ft6.  I am not quite 5ft9… it goes on and on with my dad’s side of the family.  My youngest brother took after my mom’s side of the family and he is stretching to hit 5ft7.  This has always been a bit (ha!) of a sore spot with him and highly exploited for our amusement.

So this stars that brother.  As it would probably stand to reason, given the  previous paragraph, he was a pretty small  kid.  He was not overly aggressive but he was scrappy as hell.  He would not ever look for a fight, but if you went there, he’d bring it.

This, like my lead-in, was something I only half  listened to at the time.  I just remember we were at some restaurant having dinner with my dad and Tommy was talking about some huge guy in his class that was bullying him all the time.  My other brother (all about egging shit on, but not actually fighting, himself) was telling him he should try to whip his ass.  I was eye-rolling because I knew  this kid and ….it wasn’t going to happen.

So Tommy tells him, that no, he had another plan in mind. He was going to make him “look stupid” in front of people.  Tommy had the idea that it would be better to fight with the swords of wit, of which this dude was, for all intents and purposes, completely unarmed. Not a bad plan in theory, I guess.

“Get ready for a pride-debilitating bitchslap in front of all your friends”

So the reason I’m telling this story is because I remember my dad  just sitting there through this entire deal, seemingly a million miles away (not noteworthy at all, but that’s an entirely different blog post) but he did tune in long enough to be like  “yes, that’s fine, dude, but if you make him look stupid, he’s going to knock you on your ass.”

I really do not remember, nor care, how the story turned out.  I wouldn’t have ever remembered that moment if not for today.  I think my point is just I am all for convincing myself I can take on the windmills and conquer.  Star Wars wouldn’t exist if not for this ideology, right?     I wouldn’t dig it if someone were to try to stop me from my quest, but it’s always nice to have my Sanza Pancho tell me “this is not going to end well.”

Just a small dose of reality ahead of time, so it doesn’t take me *completely* by surprise.

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~ by Layla on April 16, 2011.

One Response to “The Girl of La Mancha”

  1. Not sure which shark you’re after, but good luck whatever it is.

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