Mom, Dad is Making Popcorn
Disclaimer: Many of the stories are completely fictional. Other stories are fictional accounts of true stories. Other stories are completely true. Sometimes the names have been changed to protect the innocent.
I like to make popcorn. The microwave kind is really too dry for me. I like to make it on the stove when I can.
We had just bought a house in Starr, South Carolina. That house had a cooktop built into the counter. The cooktop was old, the counter was old, and the pot I normally used was pretty beat up and bent.
The pot was so bent that often, when the popcorn was popping, hot oil would pop out of the pot and start small fires on the cooktop. This wasn’t any problem, but it was rare that I cooked anything that did not set off the smoke detector.
One day, I was starting to pop popcorn when one of my sons yelled, “Mom, Dad’s making popcorn again. Call the fire department.” He went down the hall and returned with one of the fire extinguishers and said, “I want to be ready.”
I just had started when there was a knock at our back door. I wondered out loud, “I wonder who that could be.” My son said, “I’ll bet it’s the fire department.”
I opened the back door and sitting in the yard was a fire truck. It was one of the smaller trucks like they use to put out grass fires. On the side of the truck were the words “Flat Rock-Bowen Fire Department.”
The man knocking at the door was wearing a fire department uniform and he said, “I’m with the Flat Rock-Bowen Fire Department and we are raising money…”
My son got a great kick out of all of this. He rolled around on the ground laughing so hard I thought he would bust.
The poor man from the fire department had no idea what was going on until I filled him in on it. It got really bad for me the next year.
Every year, the fire department went around from house to house in the community selling tickets for portraits to be made at the fire department. Every year, we bought one.
One day, I was asleep in my recliner and my daughter Whitney decided that it would be a good time to practice putting makeup on other people.
I was sound asleep when she did this. When I am sleeping, you can land a 747 in the room with me and not disturb me. I actually slept through Hurricane Ike when it hit our small town.
Well, I got all the works: lipstick, eye shadow, you name it. She painted each one of my nails a different florescent color (she forgot she was out of nail polish remover, what a trip to the Bi-Lo that was). She sat back and admired her work and about that time there was a knock at the door. The knock woke me up.
I started towards the door and Whitney said, “Daddy.” “Not now baby. Daddy has to answer the door.” She pleaded, “But, Daddy.” I replied, “This won’t take but a minute.”
I opened the door and there stood the guy from last year. He looked up at me and bit his lip. He went through his presentation and I sat down to write him a check.
My wife whispered in my ear and I got a really stupid look on my face (as if I could look or feel any stupider). I gave the check to the guy and told him my daughter had been playing “make up Daddy.” He just kind of laughed.
I was sure all eyes were on me when I went to get the picture made at the fire station.