Our Dads Be Gone

Well, Fleck arrived later than we thought, he wheeling along in his wheelchair as usual and looking more glum-glum than usual. It was still rec time and the usual hundred-somethin lot was gargling down medicine and after-meal orange juice. The other bats wallowed in their adult diapers and sang merry hymns of the days before the internet, and in Trevor's case, before the TV.

"Hey Fleck, what's got you so wronged and mongery?"

"Hmph." He wasn't gonna let it out. He's vain and grumpy like that, I bet he secretly likes the attention he gets when he keeps us guessin and pretendin he was just miserable.

"Aw, don't be like that, you know we know you've been to the doc. How bad is it?"

"Hmph."

"That bad?"

He sighed.

"Come on, out with it, you're worst than my teenage grandaughter."

"Kidney Stones. Says I got five months."

"Kidney Stones? Kidney Stones!" Bill Husker overheard from the entirely opposite side of the common room. Too bad his eyes aren't as sharp as his hearing, cause now he's obliging us to wait for him while he stutters and stumbles through the obstacle course of brown baggy gnomes.

Thump. A-one.

Thump! A-two.

Thump!!! A-three! There he was, followed by some half-mumbled inarticulate cussing from his journey's victims.

"Kidney Stones he says! Well, well, well, don't get your hopes so downer."

"How would you know Mr. wannabe-seargent? You aren't having pretty flowers layin on top you in five months."

"Ha! I'm lucky if I got three, this damn ole heart gives me another MIA. Listen hear, you don't scare of em Kidney Stones, at least you got five wonderful months of excrutiating pain to look back on your life and cherry pick the memories for your goodbye note."

"Go shut your flap Bill."

"Now now, let him finish," I cautioned Fleck.

"You got that chance, mistah, and you best enjoy it like a blessing. You coulda been like my dad," he puffed out his wire-thin chest.

"Well My dad got his before he realized anything had happened at all. Some gales blew over a power line right on top o' him, electrecuted nigh-instantaneuosly. You be sure glad that wasn't your lot."

"Aww, Bill, put a sock in it," yelled another listener, Roger. "My Dad was electrucuted too- in the chair, for a murder he didn't do, and the state says he didn't do but too late, and they haven't paid me family any damages yet. Least your Dad been done in by Nature and the good Lord, not McRipper Republican Attorneys."

Well, and then Sawyer heard that and decided to throw his lot in, and that's how it got started."

"Well, shucks, My dad was killed in a train wreck, found his head and neck on the opposite side of the tracks."

"Well My dad ate some rat poison thinkin it was Raisin Brand Oats."

"Well My dad got a brain hemorrhage when he won a 100$ lotto."

"Well My dad set the Indiana record for most smokes in one day and got offed by - get this, brain cancer."

"Well My dad died of broken heart when his sixth wife left him."

"Six, shoo!~ he was that much a sucker how'd he survive the first five?"

"Oh, it was cumulative, they all pretty much ditched him same day when they found out about each other."

"Yeah, well pa done got typhus from where my ma shot his ear off."

"Typhus?!"

"Typhus, no kiddin no takebacks."

"Well My dad died from tetenus when he stabbed himself with a sharpie permanent marker."

"Well My dad got his neck broke when he a school bus ran down the ladder he was using to peep into the teacher's lounge."

"Well My dad died in a crash when he was stopped by a metro bus."

"Well My dad died of dehydration in the Wisconsin desert."

Well My dad died when he went to check a downed Boeing 737 and the escape chute deployed right on top him."

"Well My dad died in Vietnam."

"Oh yeah? My Dad was the first American shot in Vietnam."

"You think that's cool? MY Dad was the second-last guy shot in Desert Storm. Such a stupid lil war and he got tipped off at the very end, sucks doesn't it?"

"Sure does."

"My son died in a war."

"Carson we ain't talkin about our sons."

"My dad got himself shot when he went cleaning his gun wrong."

"Your dad a cop?"

"Yessim."

"Kay, you just keep telling yourself that."

"What're you insinuating?!"

"Bother, my dad just got pneumonia."

"My dad died on 9-11."

"Really!~" came multiple astounded cries.

"Yep, he got a heart attack when he saw the news."

"My dad got killed trying to kick-box a kangaroo in Tuscon Arizona."

"My dad died in a shoot-out with the FBI in Phoenix trying to smuggle cocaine back to Mexico. From Canada."

"My ma said my dad was disembowled by a malfunctioning garage door. Or a bank vault door. She told different stories to our aunties."

"My dad worked at an animal rescue shop, they were pretty thorough checking the dogs for fleas. Not so thorough good on checkin the employees. They estimated 18,000 fleas they picked off his corpse."

"My dad tried to do his own Mythbusters home-episode; he didn't get them to sell him dynamite and the store wouldn't even give him fertilizer, so he tried collecting the fertilizer on his own at night, spooked the cows, stampede, 90K$ life-insurance, cha-ching."

"Well My Dad was killed by a bomb."

"Oh weally? Weally?! My dad was kill by A-bomb!"

"We're sorry."

"You bettah be sowwy! Muslims weal lucky you bakas don't A-Bomb them too!"

"Easy there Kojima-san."

"You know, my dad was killed by swallowing a Japanese hornet."

"Aren't those as big as a hummingbird?"

"Pa was a Baptist preacher, I'd say he had room in the jaw."

"My dad was gunned down by the French Mafia. He was in the British Mafia, the two didn't get along."

"My dad just done drank too much, got water poisoning."

"My dad caught some super-disease cause he aids, got his skin turned to toenails."

"Ewww."

"My dad was killed by epilectic seizures."

"My dad was asphyxiated. A few seconds after he procreated me."

"That was not neccesary."

"Okay. Just saying, reverse-missionary, NOT a good idea."

"SHUT UP WILLANGER!"

"My dad is still alive." Cory smiled, then frowned. "He made a bunch o money on IBM stock but it got stolen by my kids."

"My dad died of stupidity."

"How?"

"He was just too stupid. Docs say it was 'autitsy-somthin but I think that's a load of crap, he was just too plain dumb to live."

"My dad tried firing a bow backwards, arrow shaft went down his eyesocket."

"My dad was eaten by a killer whale on an Alaskan cruise."

"My dad a test poilet. Outlived fifty-seven planes but was the helicopter that crashed."

"Never trust something that flies, doubly somethin that has no wings, friends."

"Trevor, how bout you?"

"Me?"

"Yeah, you the oldest here, how'd your pa die?"

"Knifed by a thug, couple weeks after he survived the Titanic sinking."

"Jesus save him, what a terrible thing."

"We're Jewish."

"Oh…" Because we all knew Trevor's siblings were holidaying in Poland in 1939.

We all hung our heads and relfected on our lost fathers. Solemn silence, only, at long last, broken by:

"My dad was run over by a reindeer."

Then we burst out laughing and began singing the obvious diddy.

When we were all rested, a few heads turned towards me. "He Mack, how'd your dad meet the maker?" They all wanted to know, because I was the only one who hadn't chirped in.

A smile came to my face.

"I killed him. With a dull hatchet."