My name is E. and to this day I’m not sure if I killed my father.
We were in room 218 of the Baltimore / Washington Medical Center. I was laying back in the recliner trying to sleep but my fathers’ breathing was strained by the oxygen mask on his face and the beeping noises of the machines prevented me from drifting off. I tried counting sheep but every time I got to 69 I thought of some other meaning for the number and it would take me 15 minutes to resist the urge to sneak into the bathroom to release some tension while thinking about the fairly hot nurse that did the nightly rounds. Once I settled down, I’d start counting again. 22.214.171.124.5.
I guess it was about 3 A.M. when I heard my father groan. I looked up. His hand was held out, summoning me to his bedside.
This is it, I thought. My father is going to say something profound, something so important that it would change my life forever.
I walked over and put my hands over his. “What is it pop? Do ya need a sip of water?” He shook his head no and mouthed the word ‘closer’. I leaned in. “It’s going to be alright. I’m here O.K.?” I’m new to the whole loved ones dying scene. This is the kind of things I’m supposed to say, right? I meant to rent a few movies to brush up on the proper death-bed etiquette, but the video place told me I’d have to pay my previous late fees before they would be lending me anything else, so I decided to play it by ear.
Closer, he mouthed again. I leaned in even closer.
My father began to speak. “I want you to….” He broke into a fit of coughing. “I want you to…”
“What is it pop? What do you want me to do? Here it comes, I thought.
“Puh… Puh….Pull my finger.”
The last thing my father did before he died was ask me to pull his finger.
Let that sink in for a second.
People still don’t believe that story when I tell it. but It’s the god’s honest truth. My father was a joker to the very end. After he said it, I shook my head and grinned at him. Sure enough his index finger was held out. Like a good son, I pulled on it. I expected to here him squeak out a fart. What I heard instead was the long steady high pitched sound that a heart monitor makes when the heart it is monitoring stops working.
I guess it’s kind of fitting. I mean the man played jokes on me my whole life. To understand that, we would have to rewind back to the very beginning.
This is 36 Years ago. My father is behind my mother, who is behind the dumpster, which is behind the club, that my father preformed at. She was a cocktail waitress. He was a stand-up comedian. They were strangers, they were both drunk, and both naked from the waist down. My mother, cautious as she was, insisted on protection. My father, as funny as he was, assured her he was wearing it. The first joke: Me.
Move forward 9 months, 8 pounds and 3 ounces.
I go simply by the name E. now days but the name on my birth certificate reads: Oops E. Hilarious. Or as I like to call it: Joke 2. My father didn’t even give me his real last name. Instead the last name on my birth certificate was my fathers stage name. ‘Hilarious’ As far as my first and middle name goes, Oopsie refers to a mistake. in fact, this is the direct definition from the Urban Dictionary: While farting really hard, the accidental release of fecal matter into your pants. Look it up if you want.
With that bit of knowledge and the smell telling me that my fathers’ bowels released upon his death, it seems we’ve come full circle back to me in the hospital room. Joke 17,432 just happened. The last joke. Only then does the boner I had from thinking about the redheaded female doctor, who was now doing CPR on my father’s corpse, start to go away. The name tag over her perfectly round breast reads: Cherry Pepper, PhD.
“Hey Doc? Wanna go out some time?” I ask.
With her mouth still over the mouth of my dead fathers, she looked at me. That look, I’ll never forget. She didn’t know it at the time, but she was looking at her future husband. I’d like to tell you more about all the crazy shit that happened to me up to this point in my life but I’m a sucker for nostalgia, and it’s tough to jerk off and type at the same time. I’m surprised I made it this far.Share