He shoulda stood in bed…

July 21, 2007 at 9:12 AM (Alchoholism, family) (, )

My poor father…*now,* I just laugh and laugh over this…but back then I had quite the adolescent drama fit…

It was my sixteenth birthday, and somehow, magically…even with a disability…I had aquired a boyfriend. Said boyfriend was scheduled to do the MeetTheParents thing at my favorite local pizza joint.

The boyfriend called that day and said he wasn’t feeling well and couldn’t come. It was a short conversation and left me feeling like a huge hole had been shot in my birthday and led shortly thereafter to me deciding he needn’t bother to call me or consider me a girlfriend anymore.

(What I never knew until I married him, was that he was just recovering from knee replacment surgery and was confined to bed…but in his 18 year old mind telling me that wouldn’t have been macho or manly so…he waited till the last minute told that partial truth in a quick neutral tone, and ended the call…)

I sulked for a good bit, and my mother was torn between telling me to get over myself and really wanting me to have a good time…so she let me open one of my presents early. I was fond of story song singer Harry Chapin at the time and a difficult to find album (yes, before CD’s and IPODs there was vinyl.), was my present…There was about ten minutes of happydance over the present, and then we settled in to wait for my father.

two hours later, at 7:30 he called (drunk) to say he’d be home at 9:00 which kinda ruled out dinner. More sulkage and geniune anger from me, and a very stiff quietness from my mother that meant that after I was done yelling at him for wrecking my birthday he was going to get real true hell from her.

Well, at 9:00 he rolls in.

He had brought a pizza with him, I suppose as an acknowledgement that he knew we weren’t actually getting to go out…

I have to explain the side entryway to my house from the garage.

One opened the side door, turned right and there was a single step up into the kitchen. If one wanted to do laundry or something, one came in the side door and straight ahead were the stairs down to the paneled but oft flooded basement with a half bath and a laundry room off of it.

Well, my father opened the side door, gave a slurred fuzzy series of sounds I believe were meant to explain his pizza… and kept going straight…. missed the stairs, and fell down the entire flight, and landed on the moulding linoleum floor. Luckly for his head, it was cushioned by the open pizza box and the pizza inside it.

Sometime, in midair, between the top of the stairs and the basement floor, he also passed out.

My mother screamed: “Neil!” She was terrified, but I don’t think she was sure what she was terrified of, that the fool had accomplished death-by-pizza, or that he had not.

She bolted so quickly from the kitchen table downstairs it looked like a cartoon of “The Flash” from my youth. I hustled down the stairs on my backside, the only way I handled them well.

She had checked to see if there was any blood, swelling, broken bones, or if he manifested signs of head trauma already. He was bruised I’ll bet, but completely ok otherwise, passed out and unresponsive his pupils were not odd or funky…the side of his face resting on and melded with all the ingredients of the pennance pizza.

She stood up all hard and cold again…there were a few beats where she was just mastering all of the 800 emotions that had to have been going on for her…

I perceived that he appeared ok, and was stunned that he was passed out and alseep!

“What are we going to do with him?” I asked, at a loss.

She was in control again and the delivery was both clipped and immovable.

“I’m just going to leave him down here. He’s fine and I can’t stand to see him for one single minute longer. Let’s go upstairs.” She softened when she knew that I wasn’t sure how to feel, and let that show on my face, but didn’t argue.

“When he wakes up, he’ll just come upstairs and get undressed and [hopefully] clean up. We can’t really do anything else tonight. Let’s go upstairs.” I was in full agreement on the “not looking at him another minute” part, and I didn’t trust myself not to spit on him, cover him with dirty clothes, or do something else inappropriately juvenile in retailiation.

But the picture of my father the lawyer in his expensive coat and suit…unconsious with his face in a pizza….I think I remember that when we got upstairs…

There was a long while there where we couldn’t stop laughing.


  1. Scully's Moulder said,

    That’s quite possibly the funniest true story I’ve seen in a long time. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  2. Bobby said,

    *dies laughing*

    “But the picture of my father the lawyer in his expensive coat and suit…unconsious with his face in a pizza….I think I remember that when we got upstairs…”

    I think the only really funny (yet gross) thing that Dad did when he was drunk was that he stumbled into my room and threw up on me. Ahh, no suit, though.

    That’s too funny, though! *smile*

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