Booing Them To Death By Embarrassment
On this day of days, this night of wonders, every dad faces a choice: Do I dress up to enjoy myself on Halloween or do I dress up to inflict maximum punishment on the spawn?
If you’ve been reading these for any length of time, I think you know into which category I gleefully fall. Yes, dudes, I dress not to impress, but to embarrass. It’s just so darn much fun.
There’s the pre-drive-to-school begging: “Dad! Come on, Dad! Don’t do this! Please! I’m begging you. For the love of all that’s holy. . .”
Then there’s the hushed ride to school. The terrified trembling coming from the rear compartment as the fidgety young spawn obsesses over what could happen, what will happen. I’m certain he’s asking himself the perennial question: What’s the worst that could happen? And coming back with something far more appalling than the earth being scorched in nuclear fire, cracking open at the core and extinguishing all life as we know it, leaving the planet a lifeless husk, it’s constituent pieces scattering our former orbit around the sun.
And then, finally, we get to school and there’s that pregnant pause as I pull up. I’m staying behind the wheel. . . Does this mean he might get away, into school, without being forced to die of embarrassment?
The young spawn, my Hyper Lad, bolts out of the car, his shoulders hunched up around his neck, dreading and anticipating. . . It would be a shame to not give it to him, after all. I live to serve, you know.
At which point, I open the car door and lean out into the parking lot and shout his name as loudly as possible. It’s ingrained, he looks back and sees me starting to step from the car. He might not be able to help the initial turn, but he doesn’t have to stick around. He turns and bolts inside, leaving me chuckling and settling back down into my seat without ever getting out.
I know I shouldn’t do this. I know I’m supposed to be the adult and take the high road. I know this.
It’s just so darn easy.
He gets embarrassed when I breathe while we’re outside together. Well, I say together, but he’s usually walking fifteen paces behind me and pretending that he’s never seen me before and, of course, has driven himself to wherever we’re at and is there alone because he’s that cool.
This year, for Halloween, I decided to go a little easy on the young spawn. I’m dressing as Captain Ameri-Nerd. I’ve got a Capt. America hoodie. The hood of which actually drops all the way down over my nose to form a mask. In addition, I’m sporting a pair of American flag long pants and a pair of American flag Vans sneakers. The topping on the sundae, though, would have to be the shield.
See, Hyper Lad himself purchased the shield in the weeks running before the original Capt. America movie. He thought he got rid of it, but he underestimated me. I saved that beauty because I knew it might become necessary, that there may come a day when the powers of any single stay-at-home dude would not be enough, that we would require a truly dedicated individual to really bring the blush.
That day, my friends, has arrived.
And it is joyous!
Have a happy and safe Halloween, everyone. Enjoy yourselves and make sure you’re all back safe, bloated and vibrating on a massive sugar high.