I Am the Coolest Man on Earth Part 16

I Am the Coolest Man on Earth Part 16

It became obvious pretty quickly that life on the road, like club life, could get mighty boring. It was mostly endless driving in the van of farts. There was music and lots of jokes but also lots of gas. However, when possible, we did exactly as we did in the clubs: chased girls, looked for inebriants and occasionally found interesting music. When not playing or driving, we also searched for clothes.

With each band member sporting a hair dryer, we tested the electrical capacity of many a roadside motel. We may have been the only band to blow hotel fuses from coast to coast until the arrival of Motley Crue and Poison a few years later, a badge of honor we all wore with pride. As the crew wanted to partake in the fruits of the road, they also spiffed up their hair. This could make the mirrors awfully crowded. Like the New York Dolls’ said: “Your mirror’s getting jammed up with all your friends!”

You learn pretty quickly that certain towns have a flavor all their own. Like New Orleans. I really looked forward to New Orleans. It had a great rock and roll history, being the home of Fats Domino, Little Richard, and their great drummer Earl Palmer who went on to play on so many of Phil Spector’s hits. Plus Louis Armstrong…and Mardi Gras of course. At the hotel, the desk clerk strongly recommended we not walk around after dark though. Hmm…no fun until we get to the club I guess.

At the club we were booked in (Jeds? Jimmy’s? Ole Man Rivers?), we ventured out into the house before the show to get a sense of the crowd, see if there were any people we knew or perhaps make new friends (pick up girls). I soon found myself surrounded by a group of pimply young fellows. One of them had the obligatory rockabilly bandana around his neck. His hair was incredibly greasy, and combed into some sort of unsophisticated quiff. He also seemed to have a deformed hand and may have been missing a few fingers. As he and his oily cohorts closed ranks, it was somehow communicated to me that the last time the band was in New Orleans, the drummer had ripped one of them off for drugs. As I was the drummer, they came to me to collect, not knowing that it was Jerry they were looking for, not me.

As a New Yorker, I immediately responded with my mouth. I told them I had nothing to do with it and that it was Jerry who ripped them off. It was behavior like that which got him exited from the band. At that point the wall parted and I just went on my way as they stood there disappointed. What could have turned into some sort of a “Drug Store Cowboy” moment, evaporated into nothingness. These guys were just kids, out of their league. My New York, “Who the f*ck are you?” attitude, seemed to stop them in their tracks. If they only knew what a momma’s boy I really was, they could have had me peeling off twenties pronto…assuming I had any.

I saw the finger challenged guy several more times over the next day or so, as well as future trips to New Orleans. He was known to us as “George the Max,” and while he was friendly, he seemed like a character out of a Tom Waits’ song. We were told he was a junkie, ergo why he ended up in that situation with Jerry. Maybe he was a just a dabbler trying to make a few extra dollars. Who knows what the real story was. Goodness knows what his life must have been like, so I’m in no position to judge him. People can be quite cruel to those who are different and don’t quite fit in. Little did I know that he was actually quite an accomplished guitarist and in time would play with bands I have a lot of respect for. Punk Rock was a good place for misfits, junkies, sleazeballs, oddballs and greaseballs. It’s a way for the uncool to be cool.

I don’t remember if it was raining though.

© Curt Weiss 2015

I Am the Coolest Man on Earth Part 15

Stones asleep

I Am the Coolest Man on Earth Part 15

While I can see the rehearsal in my mind, I remember very little other than going through the songs and being asked to use the butt end of the stick to play the snare drum louder. I had barely played the drums in over a year so I was in no position to argue. To this day I still hold the sticks the same way. Whenever I see a drummer playing the snare with the traditional end of the stick, I question whether they’ll ever get a good enough “thwak” out of it. It’s hard to break old habits. Cool habits.

After the rehearsal, we went our separate ways and everything was left up in the air. The next day, late afternoon if I recall correctly, my doorbell rang. I had just moved in and didn’t have a phone installed yet. This is before cell phones, texting and e-mail, so if someone wanted to talk to you immediately, the only other options were physically finding you or sending a Western Union telegram. I answered the door and it’s Barry, asking if I could rehearse again that evening. He only lived about five blocks away, on the second avenue side of CBGB, so I assume he got a call from Dibbs or Smut to walk over and find me. He knew where I lived as Dibbs and Jerry had lived there previously. As kismet would have it, I wasn’t working that day and was home unpacking boxes. As to whether I could rehearse that night, I let him know that I would find time between putting my socks into drawers to get there.

It must have been decided after the first rehearsal that I was in the band because on the way to the second one Dibbs said, with a coy smile, “Well Lewis, I guess you’re a Rockat now.” I’m sure he thought it somewhat ironic that this fellow who a little over a year before had appeared before him in red flares and a shag hairdo (his description, not mine) was now in this highly stylized band. I sure found it ironic. As for his tone, it didn’t convey honor or the winning of a prize. It conveyed to me that I was in for an adventure that was both overwhelming but also underwhelming by its daily, grueling mundanity. It was almost like he was saying “kid, you have no idea what you’re getting into.” He wasn’t kidding.

I was told after the next night’s gig at Zappa’s in Brooklyn, we’d be on a multi-week tour heading south and into the mid-west. As a new comer to the road, I was advised on what to bring: the number of suitcases (one), pairs of pants (three), etc. One more thing. “You’ll need a hairdryer,” Smutty told me.

I spent the day gathering up my road needs, getting someone to keep an eye on my apartment and quitting my job at the record shop. There was a moment when I was getting ready for that night’s gig…my first gig…and I looked in the bathroom mirror and noted the moment. I was 21, in a band with a major label record deal and a new apartment that Jerry Nolan had previously lived in. The bathroom had a shower and tub in it too. My previous apartment had a tub in the kitchen and a bathroom in the hall. I smiled as I fixed my perfectly coiffed hair and adjusted my collar. I felt as if I had made a breakthrough and I was on an upwards path towards eternal coolness. I’d started March 3rd at my humdrum record store gig. On March 5th I was a professional musician. It was like I had won the lottery.

Before the show, in a mentoring and helpful gesture I’m sure, one unnamed band member caringly asked if I was nervous. Before I could answer, I smelled something horrible. I suspected what it was but being the new guy didn’t feel I could say anything. Before I knew it, another band member said, “What’s that fuc*ing awful smell?” The previously caring partner was also a silent cheese cutter. He was now on a chair with his legs over his head, cackling and spreading his butt cheeks…yes, his pants were still on thankfully. Dibbs was right: I was in for an adventure. And yes, the passing of gas, not always silently, would soon reveal itself to be a universal activity on the road. Cool? Nah. Did it break up the boredom as well as the wind? Yes.

After the show we got in the van and started on our way to Washington DC to play two sets at the 930 club. The equipment went into the trailer and the band got into the van. There were no seats in the rear, and as we were all tired, within minutes everyone tried to catch some shut eye for the four hour drive. With crew members up front driving, all five of us were on the bare floor of the moving van in the dead of the night. We were all lying in the same direction, almost as if we were group spooning. With a certain sort of comfort and satisfaction, I silently said to myself, “I’m one of the guys.” It was like being in a gang without the guns and knives. There may be nothing cooler than camaraderie.

© Curt Weiss 2014

Observations on my 84 year old father: “One Night with Lou” Edition

Observations on my 84 year old father: “One Night with Lou” Edition

On a recent short trip to LA, I spent one night with Lou at his bachelor pad. Lou started working his magic early in the day. He mentioned that he had chest cold symptoms and that he’d want to leave early from my sister’s Xmas party later that evening. This is how he rolls for every holiday party, even when my mother was alive. Only difference now is she’s not there to arrive bearing large platters of food. When he would start moaning about leaving an hour after he got there she would usually roll her eyes and say “Oy, your father wants to go home already,” or ignore him altogether. She knew he’d just want her to make a full meal for him while he watched boxing. She learned to forestall this by not only bringing loads of food to the party for the guests, but a separate meal for him, usually spaghetti and Chicken Cacciatore with garlic…on the bone of course.

Before we left for the party he started chopping up fruit so he could prepare his Herculean meal first thing in the morning. He’s still making his weird food concoctions. As he’s prepping it, he’ll inevitably try to get me to taste a chopped up piece of fruit. He’ll try and hand me a half grape, always sliced lengthwise, but his finger will be right in the meat of the grape. Call me a priss, but I wouldn’t accept soup from a waiter if his finger was in it, and won’t do the same from my dad…especially since I don’t see any soap in his bathroom. By the way: the grapes go in to his cereal. If he has cherries, they go into his drink concoction, floating like ice in a cocktail. Note: the next morning, as usual, half of the breakfast goes into the garbage. The leftover drink does get covered up with cellophane and go into the fridge. He seems to be evolving ever so slightly.

On the drive over I prodded him for info. Some blogs are crowd sourced. Mine is Lou sourced. He did his standard review of his multiple court cases, untrustworthy lawyers and doctors, and other related pursuits like wanting to buy a car, another back surgery, sell a screenplay, etc. He didn’t mention wanting plastic surgery. Another subject that was never broached: my mother.

It’s difficult to find things to talk about that don’t rile him up, depress him or encourage his madness. If I mention some of the old characters at work, it goes something like this:

Me: “Dad, I wonder what ever happened to Feliciano?”
(Feliciano was a Puerto Rican sales person in his store who was as close to Groucho Marx as a Latino could get).
Dad: “Ah, he stole from me.”
Me: “What about Charles?”
Dad: “I don’t remember him.”
Me: “He was from Haiti and had been a local assemblyman.”
Dad: “I think he started his own business with what he stole from me.”
Me: “I saw Ricky’s son online. He’s a big deal dentist now.”
Dad: “Well his other son testified against me. He showed up on the stand in makeup and false eyelashes. He’s a real problem for Ricky.”

I switch conversations and search for other types of small talk.

Me: “Dad, have you gone over to the senior center lately?”
Dad: “Yes, I had a nice conversation with a lady (pause). She turned out to be 93 (shakes his head)”
Next subject:
Me: “So dad, did you get your e-mail address all straightened out?”
Dad: “Yes. I needed it for a dating service.”
Me: “You mean a senior dating service?”
Dad: “Yes.”
Me: “But dad, you don’t like older ladies.”
Dad: “That’s OK. I said I was 64.”

I saw this coming. He told my sister that he said he was 74. As usual, he can’t even get his lies straight.

All in all though, he seems to be doing relatively well under the circumstances. As a narcissist he has the ability to think only of himself and his needs and not get overwhelmed by the emotions that others might. Ergo, the death of my mother seems to bother him financially, but not emotionally to a great extent, at least outwardly. Yes, he gets isolated, seeks companionship, and even has hinted at wanting to use his you know what to do you know what, something my mother and him didn’t seem to do for years as they had separate beds. I know: TMI, but all lessons for the rest of us as we age.

Before I left, he asked me to drop him off in Santa Monica. He likes walking on the pier and I’m sure it helps his breathing problems related to his cold symptoms. In the back of my mind though, I also suspect he wants to be in Santa Monica because there’s plenty of doctors and hospitals. This way he could feign some illness, get rushed to a local hospital and stretch it out to where it become an all-expenses paid vacation by the beach. I drove him up and down the strip to find just the right spot for him to jump out. He’s trying to find a new place where the kids are hip. That Lou gets around.

© Curt Weiss 2014

I Am the Coolest Man on Earth Part 14


I Am the Coolest Man on Earth Part 14

A few days before Smutty called me, I heard from one of my Soho News pals, the one who previously dated Jerry. She needed to move out of her apartment. She hadn’t paid her rent in two months and wanted to know if I would pay it in exchange for taking over the lease. This was a no brainer. The place was cheaper and better than my present apartment, in the downtown area and had a great pedigree. It’s hard to believe there was a time when you could walk into a landlord’s office and work out a deal like this…all for less than $500 for the landlord and a few hundred for her to sweeten the deal. It was also three blocks from CBGB in the heart of Little Italy.

Still not fully unpacked, I put together an outfit to meet the band. We were going to rehearse so I didn’t think it was necessary to dress like I was going clubbing. A tuxedo jacket and a cummerbund were overkill. I decided to wear tight black jeans, no glasses (of course!) and the two toned loafers. I had a red shirt that was similar in style to the one Elvis wore in Jailhouse Rock while singing “Baby I Don’t Care.” Mine had a deeper neck line though…and I did care. As for the band, I already knew Dibbs as he used to sleep on the sofa at the apartment I was taking over. The rest of them were unknowns.

I went to an address in the West Village, walked down some steps and rang the bell. Before I knew it we were all sitting around and talking about the situation: the label wasn’t happy with the record and the band wasn’t happy with the drummer. Dibbs and the Sunbeam Bread Girl vouched for me and they all seemed friendly enough. It was all down to whether I could play the drums and learn the songs. I had seen the band a dozen times so I didn’t think that would be a problem. Just swing and act like Jerry behind the kit.

Before we left Smutty said, “You’ve got to be cool if you’re wearing those shoes.” Never doubt the extra edge that a solid pair of two-toned loafers will give you.

© Curt Weiss 2014

Observations on my 84 year old father, “What Next?” edition


Lou called me Thursday morning. After seeing his name come up on the screen I shuddered…and then chose not to answer. I’d rather listen to his voicemail first, and speak to him after prepping.

Dad: “Hi Curt, dad here. Curt, by any chance do you know what my e-mail is? Give me a call. Thanks.”

His e-mail address…again. I’ve written this down for him at least twice and it’s on a post it note on his computer monitor. But this is suspicious. Actually, anything he does is suspicious but knowing he wants to actually use his e-mail address leads me to possibilities that are suspect at best. I’m guessing it’s to make some sort of medical records request in pursuit of yet another baseless malpractice law suit. He’d never know what to do with the attachment. He’d end up calling me to figure it out over the phone, which would be a fate akin to one of Dante’s levels of hell. It’s also possible he’s just trying to impress someone…a young lady of about 63 or 64 perhaps. A modern chick.

I call him back and before we can get to the e-mail address, he mentions that he tried to take his written test at the DMV but they stopped him in his tracks as the report his doctor made seems to actually be in their system. Ah, so he’s using trickery on me. The voice mail says one thing but the true reason for the call is another. That Lou Weiss is a wily one.

Back to the DMV. Not only do they say he has sight issues but it also says he is “mentally unstable.” You can’t imagine the emotions that run through me as I come to realize that there is actually an official document in the California DMV’s records that state he’s “mentally unstable.” This is validation. I am not alone in my suspicions. It is now official. He’s nuts.

Dad: “How could that have happened?”
Me: “Dad, remember I told you about this a few weeks ago. Your doctor did this.”
Dad: “How would she know?”

“Because she’s spent time with you” is what I’m thinking. I hold my tongue and continue.

Me: “Remember I told you that (sister who still speaks to you) spoke with her and….
Dad: “My daughter did this?”
Me: “No dad. She spoke to your doctor and…
Dad: “Why is she speaking to my doctor?”
Me: “She speaks to your doctor to make sure your medicines aren’t contra-indicated and you don’t forget what your other doctors have told you. This is part of driving you around from place to place.”
Dad: “She doesn’t do any of that. Let’s get back to that e-mail address.”

As usual, he was too obsessed with blaming and denying than actually wanting to discuss ways to get his doctor to work with him to get a driving license.

“Mentally unstable.” I don’t know how my mother put up with him.

© Curt Weiss 2014

I Am the Coolest Man on Earth Part 13



I Am the Coolest Man on Earth Part 13

The pursuit of cool continued on through the fall of ’80 and winter of ’81, going out to clubs with Priscilla, her roommate the Sunbeam Bread Girl, and the Soho News crowd. During that time I acquired a beloved pair of two-tone loafers. The shoe was basically black but the instep was a gray woven material, almost like an old chair. I got some white shoe polish, and after about ten coats, I got it to just the shade I was happy with. Never mind that it was the frostiest time of year and I wasn’t wearing fully enclosed foot wear. They were cool and that took precedence. Despite my grandparent’s persistent hounding to wear proper footwear, risking the possibility that I would “catch cold,” my priorities were not the same as theirs. I had mentally moved off of the shtetl, and despite pistol whippings, had no concerns of getting caught up in a pogrom…with a bad cough. Still I was looking to play drums for someone.

The Rockats went to England in December of ’80 to work on what was to be their debut album. The New Yorkabillies sustained themselves by venturing out to see bands like Buzz and the Flyers and Levi Dexter & The Ripcords, both of whom were searching for that ever elusive record deal. They both had indie label singles, records which still stand up today. They looked great and sounded great. Both bands had top notch drummers (Rocco DeRubeis (Rock Roll) for the Flyers & Patrick Brown (Pat Brown) for the Ripcords) so I didn’t see a spot for me there. I’d have to sustain myself through the acquisition of records and clothes, and constant club hopping ‘till the wee hours of the morning. A night out was not deemed successful unless you exited from a club in daylight just as other people were making their way to work.

March 3rd, 1981, I got a call at work from the Sunbeam Bread Girl. Seems the Rockats were back in town and the recordings didn’t go as planned. They were looking for drummers through back channels. She told Smutty about me and within minutes he was on the phone asking me to come by and try out for the band. The big question on my mind: What would I wear?

© Curt Weiss 2014

Observations on my 84 year old father, Emerson Fittipaldi edition

Observations on my 84 year old father, Emerson Fittipaldi edition

As Speed Racer’s driving lessons progressed, he continued his daily vehicle care:

Dad: “If I don’t start the car then the battery dies.”
Me: “That doesn’t mean you need to drive it any further than one end of the building garage to the other and back.”

Well, according to the Jewish Mario Andretti, the car broke down and a cop came over to offer help. Strange that there was a cop in the building garage. Anyway, he helped him get the vehicle towed to a mechanic who said the motor was finito. So, now he needs to junk the car. The same car I told him to junk for anything he could get back in March as there were so many things wrong with it that it was just a matter of time before it died. I got him an offer of $240 which he laughed off. Twice he told me he had accepted offers of $2,000 for the car, in spite of Blue Book being nowhere near that. Naturally that bit of fiction has evaporated into the ether. He has now junked it for $300…after putting a few hundred dollars of work into it. But think of all the memories he’ll have from the joyrides…assuming he still has any short term memory. In his mind he might still think he’s driving his Cadillac Seville. Like the 1986 model he tried to sell to one of my Uncles in the 1990’s…saying it was a 1989. Hey, “6’s” and “9’s” look so similar, anyone could have made that mistake!

So, now he has to do exactly what I told him he had to do nine months ago. I should know better than to try and use common sense and deductive reasoning with Senor Manchild, particularly when he has ulterior motives. All along, like a teenage boy, he wanted a car. But Lou has a plan. Soon he’ll be riding on down the street, waving his freak flag high.

© Curt Weiss 2014

I Am the Coolest Man on Earth Part 12


I Am the Coolest Man on Earth Part 12

After getting mugged, pistol whipped, and laid, I can’t say I made many lifestyle changes, except to say I doubled my efforts in pursuit of being the coolest man on earth. More late nights out, more stimulants, more clothes. Ya know, good clean fun. Somewhere along the way I acquired a full length black overcoat with a velvet Teddy Boy collar that lasted me several years. Through Priscilla I met DJ Ivan Ivan who spun discs at Danceteria and the Mudd. We ran into each other at Bleeker Bobs record shop one afternoon and he said he liked my coat. That made my day.

Note though that much of life in club land was spent doing a lot of nothing and nursing a beer. You’d hope to run into a friend and enjoy an intoxicant or two, but most of the time you’d just stand around trying to look cool. One night in the Fall of 1980, I took notice of a petite young lady working the entrance to the upstairs space at the Mudd. I recognized her as the girl posing with a saxophone from a set of photos the Rockats did for Italian Vogue. She was really cute, wearing a full length coat of her own and hair like a helmet. I asked her how she made her hair stay that way and she motioned as if using hairspray, running her finger in front of her hair slowly saying “pssssssssssssssssssss”, with the slightest hint of a lisp. She told me her name was Debi M. Within a few minutes she said, “You wanna make out?” I was more than willing.

That night we went club hopping with about seven of her pals. Must have hit at least three clubs. When we’d get to a new club, no one paid…except me. I don’t know if they had me figured out as someone who had money (untrue) or a foolish patsy (probably true), but when the door man would say, “You all need to pay for one” everyone would run through and I would be left standing there.

Once inside, there’d be dancing and kissing, but that full length coat of hers was like body armor. I just couldn’t find my way through or around that damn thing. It was like a chastity suit for God’s sake.

We took a cab home and she made it clear that I wasn’t coming back to her place. Oddly enough she called me the next day to get together. After she stole something from a grocery store, we went and had coffee. She told me she wanted to be an actress and I scoffed, saying “Everyone in NY wants to be famous.” She sneered at me and said “I’m not like everyone else.” We talked about music and I asked her if she was interested in a saxophone my roommate wanted to sell. We agreed on a price of $45. Somehow or another she convinced me to give her the saxophone and she would pay me later.

Let it be known that by using the generally accepted Consumer Price Index numbers from 1980 to 2014, I have calculated that Debi Mazar now owes me approximately $129.67.

I was not the coolest man on earth.

© Curt Weiss 2014

I Am the Coolest Man on Earth, Pt. 11


I Am the Coolest Man on Earth, Pt. 11

Shoes: check. Hair: check. Clothing: check. What now? What else: go out to clubs all the time. We all liked music, dancing, clothes, stimulants…it was how you’d win friends and influence people. Like Ace Face in Quadrophenia, you could be a bell boy in the daytime, but at night you could re-birth yourself as whatever you wanted to be.

But my time as a bell boy, I mean retail record store employee, had its upside. I was able to keep up on the latest releases and dig out old chestnuts. Plus, “samples” always made friends happy. It also taught me the great lesson of blood. As stated in part 1 (see http://bit.ly/1vAO2Or), bleeding is cool.

During a Saturday afternoon lull at the shop I worked at on Lexington Avenue between 85th and 86th, I decided it would be a good time to take a deposit to the bank. I never got there. The two fellows standing by the bus enclosure pulled out a pistol and clocked me with it before I could get there. They were a few thousand dollars richer and I had a knot in my head.

Barely a week later, a cute cashier and I went to see Eight Eyed Spy at Tier 3. One of their guitarists worked at the same shop as us so it wasn’t really a date. Somehow or another, in the cab on the way back uptown, she says something about how she hopes I never have to get held up again, and before you know it…

Through this experience I learned a few lessons that have always stuck with me. First, I learned that getting pistol whipped isn’t like in the movies where people are immediately knocked out cold. I fell to the ground but I was still conscious. I started to get up but the gun wielder immediately pointed the gun at me. It was the international signal to stay put. I fully agreed with him that at that moment it would be safer to stay on the ground until they got away.

The second lesson was facing down guns can get you laid. It could get you killed too, but what a way to go?

© Curt Weiss 2014

Observations on my 84 year old father, post-Thanksgiving edition

Observations on my 84 year old father, post-Thanksgiving edition.

The Loid never ceases to astonish me. But then again, I shouldn’t be surprised by anything he does at this point. In fact, I can often predict what he’ll do. I think of what would be the most risky, brazen, selfish or illogical thing to do, and assume he’ll almost surely do it. It lessens the surprise.

The latest development with the Duke of St. Andrews Place revolves around his car. In spite of having no driver’s license or insurance…he’s driving!!! Yes, you heard it right ladies and gentlemen. Mr. “I’m legally blind”, who forgets his grandchildren’s names and his own address, is driving. (By the way: he also forgot a doctor’s appointment where they were supposed to remove a catheter from his pecker, and walked around with it for three extra days. Maybe he liked it?)

He first told me he only drives around the block to make sure the car will run since he’s trying to sell it. He then admitted to my sister, the one who still speaks to him (also known as “TOWSSTH”) that he drives to the gym. She then asked his doctor about it, who said she was calling the DMV as he shouldn’t be driving because he’s legally blind and has memory issues (is there an echo in here?). She also said she diagnosed him with depression almost two years ago and prescribed Remeron and Lexapro. Of course, he won’t take them. He says he’s worried about the side effects of bad dreams. I think he’s worried about impotence. Never mind that he’s 84 and the only action he gets is from his catheter. He’s looking for a younger lady to charm and take him to Florida after he gets plastic surgery.

Ya know, it really does hurt to say that with anything close to a straight face. As usual, I digress…

Finally, sister who doesn’t speak to him (hereinafter known as “SWDSTH”), in a fit of meanness, (or as the rest of us refer to it, “every waking moment of her life”) put a lock on his steering wheel Friday morning. By late morning, as he was getting ready for his daily joyride, he discovered the lock. He calls TOWSSTH and leaves a message. She texts both me and SWDSTH, but won’t call him back. “I’m afraid of his narcissistic rage.” Understandable. His message said he was calling the police! As the three of us exchange texts, it’s decided that I will call him. I’m a thousand miles away, so what can he do to me?

We finally connect. He assumes TOWSSTH did it and proceeds to tells me some dark secret of her teenage years, which I already knew, as if that justifies him continuing to lie and break the law. “What does that have to do with anything Dad?”

Me: “Dad, you can’t drive without a license.”
Dad: “I only drive it when I need to.”
Me: “Dad, that doesn’t change the fact that you can’t drive without a license or insurance. And anyway, first you told me you only drive it around the block, then you told TOWSSTH that you use it to drive to the gym, and we all know you drove out to Santa Monica yesterday. If you hurt someone or damage any property you’ll be fully liable.”
Dad: “I only drive it when I need to.”
Me: “Your doctor called the DMV because she said your memory and eye sight should negate you from being allowed to drive.”
Dad: “She only said that because your sister told her to say that.”
Me: “No Dad, she came to that realization on her own after TOWSSTH said you were driving. Ya know, lots of families take the keys away from elderly family members. If you’re so sure you can drive safely, then why don’t you apply for a driver’s license and take the test?”
Dad: “Because I don’t have the money for it.”
Me: “That still doesn’t allow you to drive without a license or insurance. What are you thinking?”

I never got an answer to that question. This is instinctual, not thought through. His wants are described as needs and then justified by all means necessary.

As to the cost, TOWSSTH is paying for his driver’s tests and lessons. If he passes he gets the keys back. But also relating to costs, note that TOWSSTH told me that he recently got a picture of himself from when he was twenty, with no shirt on, blown up and framed for $170. This is his priority. I think he’s going to use it on a dating website…assuming he ever figures out that internet thing.

Who would have thought that at 84, my dad would seem to have two things on his mind: cars and girls.

© Curt Weiss 2014