Every morning my father, like clockwork, would be out the door headed to work. I only remember him missing one day... he was sick. Truly sick. He spent the entire morning in bed. When he finally did get up, he headed off to the shop! If it was me, I would have stayed home sipping tea. Not Dad.

Well this morning he was home, and he wasn’t sick? I was running around trying to get ready for school. There he was sitting at the kitchen table nursing a cup of coffee. After about the third pass, I stopped to ask him ‘What are you doing?’ He said ‘Nothing. Just having a cup of coffee.’ I didn’t know what was up, but something didn’t feel right. I continued getting myself together. Dad continued nursing his coffee.

After a few more minutes I went back and asked again. ‘What are you up to?!’ I could tell by his smiling face there was more to this morning than having coffee.

He stopped my questions with a held up hand. ‘Tsssh. Tsssh.’ Which meant to stop what I was doing... including talking. As he did, he noticeably shifted in his chair for a better view out the window. I stood there turning to watch too, but I didn’t know what I was watching.

The garbage truck had just pulled up. I scanned around to see what he was looking at. Nothing seemed out of place, that is, except the oddly attentive man sitting at the table with the coffee?!!

Two sanitation man jumped off the back of the truck. One man grabbed the first can and tossed the contents into the back of the garbage truck. The engine idled loudly, causing the men to speak with added effort over the noise. The second man began to ready the next can. He lifted the top... Then 'it' happened.

Like a cat, he jolted straight up into the air - duly accompanied by a curdling scream! The cover of the can went flying. The first sanitation man was clearly baffled by this sudden outburst... He watched as his partner grabbed his chest and hastened a few steps back.

At this exact moment Dad lost it. He was now a quivering crumpled ball of laughter, gasping for breath and trying not to fall out of his seat. The hands that moment ago, held a cup of coffee, were now being used to hold his stomach and chest from the, clearly painful, self inflicted bellyaches.

In the can were the remains of his hunting excursion. You see, Dad butchered his own deer. The head of the deer was perfectly positioned in the can - yes, by the now oddly overjoyed, physically impaired man I call my father. The tongue, pink and long, was duly hanging out. The shiny black eyes in a fixed glaze. Legs and hide were all set in position for the fright as well. The poor sanitation man! He didn’t stand a chance.

Dad couldn’t control his jubilee and the success of his feat. Forget that he had near killed a man without even touching him. The two sanitation men regained blood to their heads and started laughing as well. Neither could stand, for their legs were giving way.

I stood there taking in all that just happened.That is what you were waiting for?!!’  Through his red faced, teary eyed laughter he mustered a nod. I, too, couldn’t help but laugh - although it felt really wrong.  

‘Dad... you are demented!’ 

The garbage men moved on to the next house. Dad regained his senses... he took a last sip of coffee and ceremoniously stood up. ‘Okay, I’m going to work.’ He was still giggling as he walked out the door...

~ Nancy