My dad got pissed one Sunday morning over the lateness of the paper. Pissed! Like, wow, as angry as I ever got to see him, I think.

Now, for all you young ones out there, you must believe me when I tell you there was a time when we had no internet. There was no cable television, no computers, no cell phones; no video games (well, we had pong, but that was lame-ass even for us back then)….no, there were none of these staples of life that we rely on today, so please understand that the newspaper was significant in our lives. It was a primary source of news, the main source for most folks, and it was a means of entertainment, with comics, crosswords and other puzzles. (as I write this, I feel like one of those old folks who, when I was a kid, would talk about gathering around the radio to listen to shows, pre-television….yikes!)

Well, this one Sunday the newspaper was pretty late. Why was it late? Jeez, who knows, but instead of being there upon waking, it didn’t show up until ten or eleven o’clock in the morning. Can you imagine the boredom we endured during those morning hours with no paper? Dang, what a drag. Well, dad was Pissed, like I said, with a capital P. Justifiably so? I can’t say. Was it just the paper being late, or was the delivery driver who brought it to the door a jerk on top of the lateness? Again, I cannot say. Memory fails me, even though the trauma to come has stayed with me this whole time.

Once more, I’ll say it: dad got angry. He was speaking angrily at the guy as he exited our little courtyard to go back to his car. And dad continued to speak angrily, borderline yelling, as he followed the guy out. I followed dad, unable to walk away and leave it alone, captivated and distraught at this display. I could tell that the delivery guy was getting nervous, walking away without responding, just heading for his car.

As dad kept yelling and growing furiouser, I really got scared at the prospect of physical violence, and I began to plead with him to let it be and come back inside. Well, the driver seconded my sentiment, saying “you see how you’re scaring your son?” And after that dad left it alone, allowing the guy to split and coming back inside to attend to his paper. I am not suggesting that I stopped it; I am sure, now, that dad was not going to engage in violence against this guy, so I don’t believe that I helped defuse the explosiveness of things.

But man, that was scary for my innocent little psyche to take. I don’t like confrontations, and I abhor violence. It was too much. Mind you, I am not trying to say anything bad about my old man. He was angry, but he did not lose control. I have another story that I’ll tell very soon which illustrates just what a softy he was.

Thanks for being here.