Monday, February 17, 2014, marked the 13th year of my father’s passing. He died in 2001 from cancer. If you’ve read my blog, then you know the impact he had on my life and how much I still miss him. He was a real character, a force to be reckoned with, and someone that I respected. He was also unconventional, and liked to have a good time.
One of my funniest memories is of a trick that my Dad played on my sister, Cheryl, when she was in high school. Cheryl is four years older than me (although you can’t tell it by looking at her now; she looks fabulous).
One weekend, when I was in 5th grade, I was home working on a school history project. I was in the middle of the living room floor, making a city with monopoly houses and using brown molding clay as dirt to anchor the houses to the cardboard.
My Dad began playing with the clay, and had a great idea. Cheryl was gone with her best friend Sherry, and wouldn’t be home for several hours. In her bedroom was a brand new pair of “Earth shoes” that were all the rage that year. She had not worn them yet, but was saving them for school on Monday.
Now, I need to give you a little backstory on my sister. She is extremely sensitive to smells. We had recently gotten a new German Shepard puppy named Duke, and it was her job to feed him. My Dad bought him dry puppy food and Alpo in a can. So, Cheryl had to pour the wet Alpo over the dry food so that it would soften the dry food and make it easier for him to chew. The smell of the wet Alpo dog food in the can repulsed her. It was pretty strong. And she would gag from the time she opened the can until she put the dog bowl outside on the back porch from the smell of it. It did smell awful…but we all kind of thought it was funny…poor Cheryl!
Well, my Dad, being the comedian he could sometimes be, came up with a trick to play on her that day. He molded the brown molding clay into pieces of puppy poop and lined the hallway with drops all the way to her bedroom. Of course, the final largest piece was carefully placed atop her new shoes. It was incredible how much the clay really looked like dog poop.
We could not wait for Cheryl to get home that day. Even my Mom was in on it and thought it was funny.
The moment finally arrived. Cheryl and Sherry walked in the house and Dad immediately began.
”Cheryl, you won’t believe what just happened, Duke ran in the house and…”
Dad couldn’t even finish his sentence before she was gagging. Talk about the power of suggestion. When she saw what resembled dog poop, in the living room, she immediately started gagging at the “smell”. However, there was no smell, it was clay.
We could not believe her reaction and were dying on the inside, trying to hold our laughter until the big finale.
Dad started again…
“I’m so sorry, Duke ran in your bedroom and pooped all over your new shoes”.
“What?” she screamed, hurrying down the hallway to her bedroom, gagging the entire way while yelling “Oh my gosh, I’m gonna throw up”!
By this time, we could no longer contain ourselves.
I have to say, my Dad outdid himself that day. He walked over to the shoes, and said “Oh Cheryl, it’s just a little dog poop”, while bending down and picking up the clay and squeezing it in his hands right in front of her face!
I honestly don’t even remember what happened next. I think we all burst out laughing; telling her it was only clay, and chastising her for gagging at what she thought she smelled. She couldn’t believe it either. She was amazed at how real the clay looked!
We told that story for many years and it still makes me laugh to think about it now.
It is memories like these that make me miss my Dad so much. And thank God for the years we had together.
The collage was made by my sister and the photos are of her and my Daddy ~ except for the family one, which is of all of us (and a neighbor’s little boy that I was babysitting at the time).
Written by: Connie Crawford Morgenroth
February 20, 2014