In honor of Father’s Day I wanted to take some time out to talk about my dad Rod. Now there are dozens of stories I could tell including some old favorites involving broken toes. Such as the time when the riding lawn mower fell off the back of the truck onto dad’s bare feet. Or the time when he stepped up onto the seawall in Mexico and a coconut fell off the tree onto his bare foot.
Or the countless stories involving the welding torch which is where our story picks up.
My Dad has always done things his own way, maybe it stems from the fact that he was a cop and felt the rules didn’t exactly apply to him. My favorite story is that of his mole hunting exploits. We lived on a little over 5 acres of which about 2 acres was beautifully manicured lawn. I spent approximately 5 hours on the mower every week. To call my dad persnickety would be the understatement of the year. If you’ve ever seen the anal retentive fisherman on SNL that is Rod. So as it turns out one summer we started to have a bad mole problem on dad’s beloved grass. He started with the usual remedies: metal traps,some kind of water activated white powder that made some kind of mole killing gas, 100’s of gallons of water, M-80’s. Of course all of these attempts were ineffective so he started to escalate. He moved to dumping all the used motor oil we had on our property down the hole. I know I know. Once again that did nothing. Finally one beautiful Saturday I was out riding my bike up and down the driveway and I noticed that dad had pushed the welding cart over onto the lawn. I couldn’t quite see what he was doing but he had the nozzle of the oxy-acetylene torch pushed down one of the mole holes and turns out he was pumping pure acetylene down the hole. If you know anything about these gases you know that acetylene is heavier than air so it quickly filled all of the mole tunnels. Brilliant right? This is where things go terribly wrong. Dad then preceded to grab the torch striker which is effectively a flint that you click back and forth.
Now in my head I’m thinking (Noooooooo!!!!!!, I’m 7, dad’s a grown adult).What happens next is difficult to put into words it’s so spectacular. I would guess the cone of flame that erupted from the mole hole to be approximately 8 feet tall, it was at least 5 and half feet tall as that was the height of my father’s former eyebrows. The explosion caused a deep rumbling in the yard, I’m not sure if it was that or the flames that threw my dad to the ground. If you’ve seen Caddyshack you will no doubt remember the scene when the gopher holes start exploding and the tunnels raise up, that’s exactly what happened. The explosion created a beautiful patchwork of raised tunnels throughout the yard. It was indeed spectacular and in my 36 years of life I have never witnessed it’s equal . Long story short, the mole was fine and he had to hire a professional to come and remove the mole. And yes his eyebrows did eventually grow back. Happy Father’s Day. I Love you Dad.
Have you got your own special Dad story to tell, let’s hear it!