cbjme4erwc-42251002478299585773.pngLast week, I was driving down the hill on a Target run, and as I was trying to adjust the GPS unit on the windshield, my wife, Muri, asked if I’d turn down the air conditioning. At 74, doing two things at once is my limit, so I said … in that certain tone of voice … Hold your horses. She gave knowing look and I said, Yes, you’ve been Franked. Frank is, of course, my Dad, and Hold your horses was his favorite response to being told to do something when he was otherwise occupied. For some reason, horses figured prominently in our family’s repertoire of sayings. If you were being a bit uppity to my Mom, she’d offer, Let me hold your high horse while you get off, and if she was tired, she’d say, The old gray mare ain’t what she used to be. But this post is about being Franked, so we’ll leave Mom’s cliches for another day.

If you rode in the car with my Dad driving for more than 20 minutes, the odds were 20 to 1 that you’d hear, Look at that idiot, as someone whizzed by at 10 miles an hour above speed limit or ran a stop sign. And if he found himself behind someone going too slow, you were likely to hear, Move it Gramps, a saying that persisted even after Dad was a gramps himself. If we drove by a lawn freshly spread with manure or by New Haven’s East River at low tide, as the rest of us were all trying to hold our breaths until the odor passed, Dad would take a deep breath and declare, That will put hair on your chest. And without exception, if the subject of favorite colors (or even flavors) came up, he’d tell you, Sky blue pink with a coffee dot in the middle.

About 20 years ago, I was accompanying my Dad on a flight from Connecticut to California. He wanted to visit our new american airlineshouse in Anaheim Hills but was nervous about flying. I was in Connecticut on business and arranged for us to fly back together in first class. Dad was quite impressed with the first class service especially the free glasses of wine and choice on entrees. As he finished his second glass of wine, he said, I think I’ll ask the waitress for a another glass. Playing the seasoned traveller for Dad, I said, They don’t like to be called waitresses, Dad. They’re flight attendants.

20190319_001214When he finally got the attention of the leggy blonde serving first class, he looked up at her and said, in his cutest little old man voice, My son, here, says I can’t call you waitress. She laughed, patted him on the arm and said, You can call me whatever you want, Mr. Reed. As she headed back to the galley to get his wine, Dad didn’t say a word. He just looked at me with a smug little smile that said, See? You just have to know how to talk to them. I’d been Silently Franked by the master.

I sure do miss him.

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2 Comments on “Franked”

  1. Rita Altman Says:

    Enjoy learning stuff about your folks!

  2. your daughter Says:

    I can just see Grandpa with that smirk in first class!!!

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