Oh Lord It's Hard to be Humble when You're Perfect in every Way.
I can't Wait to look in the Mirror. I get better lookin' Each Day.
These are the lyrics to the song by Mac Davis that my Father used to sing top note almost everyday I grew up in our old pre-1900s house in Oakey.
|My Christening 1972|
Better known to everybody within a 100km radius of Oakey as
My relationship with my Father over the years could be described as tumultuous, interesting, frustrating, awful & hilarious.
My fondest memories of Spike are from my early youth.
Sitting on the floor at my Poppy's (Dad's Dad) feet watching "Sale of the Century", Dad would always answer the questions before the contestants. I don't think there was anything he wasn't an expert on. I would stare up at my Dad in absolute wonder.
When Tony Barber would ask "Who am I?" within the first 3 statements Dad who fire off the answer & then bang his fist on the arm of the chair in frustration when it took ages for the contestant to get it.
Friday nights were chips and kabana night from the Cecil Café. (not the Devon Café. The Devon Café was for Wogs Dad explained) Dad would arrive home from work & we would all sit on the floor in the lounge & be drooling in anticipation as he unwrapped these deep fried delights from this week's edition of the Oakey Champion newspaper. No plates for this, only lashings & lashings of the finest condiment you could buy at Jack The Slasher.... Holbrooks Worcestershire Sauce.
We would chow down while Dad pushed into the VCR "Billy Joel live" or "Dolly Parton Live". It didn't matter that we had already seen them a thousand times, we never grew tired of listening to them. My favourite song was "Me & Little Andy" by Dolly Parton. Sometimes Dad would get us up for a dance around the lounge especially when Billy Joel sang "Scenes From an Italian Restaurant".
"The trick" he explained "is to never move your feet". So we would stand on the spot & just twist our upper body around.
|Cheeky old bugger|
The biggest treat ever though was .... every once in a while I would be awoken by Dad really early on a Sunday morning before the sun was up. "Shhhhh Skipper" he would whisper and we
would sneak out of the house with me still in my Smurf PJS. (Skipper was the nickname he called me. Skipper was Barbie's little sister) We would drive down to the newsagent & he would by the Sunday Mail and a one litre bottle of Coca-Cola. Now this was circa 1979 so this was the awesome green GLASS bottle of Coke. Dad would drive the car to the Oakey Bears football oval where we would sit & share the bottle. Dad would read the paper while I read the cartoons overlooking the mist covered grounds filled with hundreds of galahs & cockatoos. Dad swore years later that the quality of burps from those glass bottles shit all over the ones from these new fancy poofy plastic bottles that Coke comes in now.
He was full of bizarre sayings & advice. His way of greeting people on the street or in his favourite pub The Grand was to ask "How's ya belly where the pig nipped ya?"
If you told him something he didn't know his response would always be "I see said the blind man who couldn't see at all".
If I asked him if I looked alright he would tell me that I looked "as smooth as a 10 inch poop".
But I think my favourite saying of Spike's was when anyone asked him "So what do you know?"
EGGS DON'T BOUNCE.
THERE'S NO BONES IN TRIPE AND
SHIT'S GOOD FOR THE GARDEN.
Fast forward many many moons & Spike now resides in the Oakey Nursing Home. He's only 63 but he has dementia. The type of dementia he has affects his speech & problem solving. He has no problem with his memory (yet). He knows what a coffee cup is, what it used for & how to make a cuppa but if you asked him what it was he would probably answer "There were five of them & then it's done". He can still be a surly cantankerous old prick but he has mellowed a lot.
On the weekend, for Father's Day we took him to the Meringandan Pub for a huge feed.
As he sipped on his scotch that twinkle in his eye that I remember from my youth appeared as he sighed "That's good that's bloody good".
We made fun of him and gave him a good jibbing and his mouth curved up into that bloody cheeky grin that has gotten him out of many a blue over the years.
"Ya havin a good father's day Dad?" I ask
"She took one. Then it went over there. And it was GOOD." He replied smiling.
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY SPIKE