My father exists in story form as “Ol’ Steve”. This isn’t because he is some super old guy sitting on a front porch somewhere. That’s typically the mental imagery attached to the title Ol’.
This is simply because his name is Steve, he is older than me, and it’s more entertaining to call him Ol’ Steve than to say “My dad”.
Ol’ Steve recently had surgery. Surgery that will keep him from working for two weeks and prevent him from lifting things for a while. You’ve probably guessed what kind of surgery that is by now.
This situation prompted me to share just a few stories about Ol’ Steve. But first, you probably want to know a little bit about him.
Ol’ Steve looks like Tom Selleck. Just imagine Tom, but with a full beard and without the Hollywood anti-aging treatment. Now imagine if, unlike the rest of my family, fully bearded Tom doesn’t like to talk all that much.
That’s pretty much Ol’ Steve.
But there are certain situations in which Ol’ Steve DOES have something to say. And those are often disciplinary situations.
You need to understand that most of the time, my mother would handle the disciplinary situations. If the fathership had to be called in, you KNEW that it was a serious offense. It was like the difference between misdemeanors and felonies.
What is great is that when he had to get on to me or my brothers (there’s 4 of us, by the way), he always had a habit of losing his cool and saying just whatever popped into his head. And it has led to several classic moments.
The most quoted moment is when Ol’ Steve got flustered (that’s the best term for it) when dealing with my older brothers Anthony and Nathan. We don’t necessarily remember what they had done to warrant this, but Ol’ Steve looked Anthony in the eye and dished out this classic disciplinary advice:
“Oh just….GROW UP AND CHANGE.”
We have all taken that one to heart.
One of my personal favorite moments is when my brother Nathan got in trouble, stormed into his bedroom, and slammed the door. Nothing got to Ol’ Steve quite like a slammed door.
Nathan reads a lot (while the rest of us are illiterate). He happened to have a book rack on the back of his door, filled with his favorites (he owned about 20 massive Sherlock Holmes collections).
When he slammed that door, it pushed my dad over the top. He jumped up, went to Nathan’s room, threw the door open and proudly declared:
“YOU DIDN’T SLAM IT WELL ENOUGH”
You can imagine what happened next.
As Ol’ Steve slammed the door so hard it nearly flew off the hinges, books went FLYING across Nathan’s room. Poor little Nathan (I say “poor” but keep in mind he’s the one who did whatever it was that got him in trouble anyway) was left dumbfounded.
Mom told my dad that this was a stupid thing for him to have done, and that he needed to help pick up those books. He begrudgingly picked up about three of them before leaving Nathan with the rest.
So there’s a story about Anthony and one about Nathan. Guess you need to know about me, then.
It’s not hard to guess, but the thing that got me in the most trouble was my mouth. I would find ANY opportunity to smart off to my parents. One time, seven year old me hatched a genius plan.
I was supposed to be in the bathtub, but I was out actin the fool. My mother had told me COUNTLESS times to get in the tub, but I still had not. Eventually, I said the thing that would really break the camels back, but I knew I could get away with it this time.
Because as soon as I said it, I sprinted to the bathroom, locked the door, and got nekkid (as 7-year-old me would have said).
How could I be spanked if I was nekkid and doing what I was told? Plus, the door was locked, and by the time I got out of the tub, everyone will have calmed down, right?
I was standing there, enjoying my supposed victory, when suddenly….it happened.
I heard a noise and turned around veeeeery slowly. There, in the doorway, was Ol’ Steve.
He had gotten so angry at my insolence that he BROKE THE DOOR LOCK to come and spank me.
I was frozen in fear. The only thought running through my 7-year-old head was “But….but I’m NEKKID.”
It didn’t matter. He spanked my bare butt so hard I FLEW across the room screaming. I swear to you I had a red hand print. It might still be there. I haven’t checked in a while.
With that, Ol’ Steve very calmly said, “Don’t talk back to your mother” and left. I laid on the floor bawling. Little 7-year-old me, in all that (completely deserved) pain, could only yell, “BUT I WAS NEKKIIIIIIIID”
That door lock has never been repaired.
When Ol’ Steve has to punish you, this is what happens.
I love my dad dearly. Here’s hoping for a quick recovery for Ol’ Steve.