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March 11, 2010

Before I start, can I just take a moment to apologize about something?

You know, I just feel bad because I’ve been given an amazing opportunity to write on the front page of Funny Or Die, and I just wanted to apologize because I’ve been slacking hardcore lately. And I’m extra sorry because it’s not even like I have a cool excuse for slacking. You know, it’s not because I’ve been out on drug and peanut-butter fueled bender -- which BTW is when I do my best work.

But the truth is, I’ve been slacking lately because I’ve been dealing with some personal shit that’s been distracting me from doing my work…

My dad is on his deathbed.

And to make things more complicated, the last time I talked to my dad was in September of 2005. So because of that, you can probably assume that we didn’t have the best relationship.

My dad’s nickname was Pontius Pilot -- after Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor who sentenced Jesus Christ to death:

Anyway, my dad was probably old enough to be Pontius Pilate because he was older than all the other parents I knew. Pontius was born in 1927 and he was like fifty-years-old when I was born in 1976. A lot of people often mistook us for grandfather and grandson. And looking back, I agree. There probably should have been another generation between us. He raised me as if we were living through the Great Depression.

Anyway, I think like most people, when I was a little kid I thought my dad was the greatest man in the world. And it’s true. In my opinion he could do no wrong. He was my hero. I wanted to be just like him.

That, of course, all changed when I was twelve, working after school to buy my own Nikes and dental braces -- only to find out that Pontius was pilfering $200 from my savings account to buy new tires for his truck because he’s having a rough month.

Maybe during the Great Depression, everyone pooled their money to support the family, but this was 1988 and I was a fat kid who wanted to fit in.

And before I go on, I just want to acknowledge that there are millions of fathers out there far worse than Pontius. You know, it’s not like he ever beat me or anything like that. The man provided three square meals a day and a roof over my head for eighteen years. He did what the state required of him -- and to his credit, he even tried getting me involved in fishing and golf. Obviously, I wasn’t interested in either of those activities so he never really fully supported me in any of my independent endeavors.

And its more than just not supporting me. He never instilled me with any sense of confidence. I was afraid to do anything. And on many occasions he even prevented me from enjoying good times with my friends for reasons only he’s aware of.

He also loved bitching. Bitching about my mom. Bitching about my brothers, Bitching about me. And my older brothers were old enough to drive themselves so I was the only one left to listen to all his bitching. He used to take me on these country rides where he’d just drive around the back roads of Maine and bitch about everyone. Because of him, I hate scenic views.

Simply put, Pontius Pilot was a miserable old fuck who wasn’t happy with his life and he paid that negative energy forward every chance he got.

But despite all that, I didn’t really start despising the man until he ran off from Maine to North Carolina to marry a woman he met on the internet only two months after my mom passed away. After that, I decided I wasn’t a fan of his politics and kept our communication to a minimal  -- that is until 2005, when I decided to visit Pontius and his internet wife in an attempt to mend our relationship. I don’t want to get into much detail, but on that trip I realized he hadn’t changed at all. And I’m pretty sure I also found evidence that they had an internet relationship going on waaay before my mom passed away. Seriously.

Not wanting any negative energy in my life, I decided to end our relationship and I ceased communicating with Pontius. I know it’s a little cold, but if I choose not to associate with the negative people I meet, than why should I be forced to associate with a negative person just because of blood??

Anyway, after that decision, I always kinda assumed in the back of my head that I would receive a call one day from one of my brothers alerting me of whenever Pontius passed away.

I got that call last week.

My brother Mark called me up last Thursday afternoon and told me he, “wanted to give me the heads up about dad.”

Basically, Pontius went in for some surgery a couple weeks ago to have the veins in his legs cleaned or fixed -- and that went well, but three days after he got home he had an aneurism in his chest. And by aneurism, I mean a vein exploded by his heart.

Pontius was rushed to the hospital where he lost two units of blood, had like six blood transfusions, and then died twice on the table.

After the doctors operated on him for like eight hours, they told my internet mom not to hold her breath because they didn’t think he was gonna pull through.

That’s when she called my brother and my brother called me.

And for the record, this isn’t not the first time Pontius has been sent to the hospital with a life threatening ailment. My whole life, he was in the hospital for strokes, heart attacks, and even brain aneurisms. In fact, my dad had such bad health, I often used it as an excuse to get out of work when I was in high school and college. And I hate to admit his, but I even used my mom’s death as an excuse to graduate college on time despite three missing credits.

I know it’s a horrible thing to do, but it was either that or saying I had diarrhea --which works equally well at getting out of obligations. Trust me, no one wants to work with someone they think’s been wiping their ass all day.

Anyway, both of my brothers traveled to North Carolina to visit Pontius last weekend and I’ve been struggling with whether or not I should go -- and this is the conclusion I’ve come up with:

I don’t buy it.

That's right, I said it. I don’t think the old man’s dying. Like I said before, my Dad’s been through this kind of stuff before. And quite frankly, a chest aneurism to Pontius is like indigestion for most other people. It’s not a big deal.

And second, it happened A WEEK AGO. I mean, how long can a friggin’ deathbed last?? If he were gonna die, it certainly would have happened by now. If my brothers thought it was over, they would have insisted that I visit him.

I don’t know, for some reason I have a feeling in my gut like Pontius has another ten years left in him easily. You know, I feel like he has it in him to be a 90-year-old, miserable fuck. At least that’s what I like to tell myself. And it’s better than thinking about having to get on a plane and visit him on his stinkin’ deathbed. But like I said -- I don’t have to worry about that because he isn’t going anywhere. The man’s got a healing x-factor like Wolverine:

But until I figure out what I’m gonna do, I think I might as well try using my dad’s deathbed experience as an excuse to get out of work this Friday. I mean, why not? I’ve already used it to get out of going to an Academy Awards party last weekend -- and more importantly, garner sympathy from you saps for slacking on my blog.