Dad Savage

Wait . . . Dad?


Have you ever killed anyone?

Not this week.

How 'bout ever?

No, dude, I've never actually killed anyone.

Have you ever hurt a real bad guy real bad?

Not in the last twenty minutes.

I'm serious. Have you ever hurt a real bad guy?


Well, then how do you know you can?

Just do.

Just do.

Men know what I'm talking about. Fathers even more so. Our particular brand of badassery knows virtually no bounds.

I mean, yeah, I don't look like much. My hands are supple, my height nothing to brag about, no tattoos or facial scars or NRA stickers, I don't own a gun or drive a truck, and I haven't been able to bench my own weight in almost twenty years, but, and you have to know this, you come between me and my family and you're going to die. And you're going to die horribly.

There will be no restraining until the police arrive.

I will simply not stop pummeling your meat until every ounce of blood has leaked back into the gutter.

The reason this came up, is because a day or two ago, a young girl was abducted just outside of her family home.

Spoiler Alert: She was found and the suspect taken into custody. And by 'suspect' I mean the guilty mother****er, who gets to spend the rest of his years being molested by very large, very angry men.

Praise the Lord Jesus for the vengeance afforded by an underfunded penitentiary.

So there we were, watching a movie, Calvin in his elf costume, sword in hand, when the Amber Alert came on.

It was clear that it was not a test, since it didn't say "This is only a test" but what came out of the speakers was 97% static and 3% what sounded like Charlie Brown's math teacher:


or something like that.

"What the hell was that?" Joann said.

"A vietnamese girl has been abducted in the Contra Costa area and to be on the look out for a gold Honda or Toyota." I said.

"How the **** did you hear all that? It was nonsense!"

Side story: This is exactly why I'm going to send my poor wife to an early grave. She could tell me that the house was on fire and I will have no idea what she's talking about nor will I be likely to get my ass off the couch, and yet, and yet, I can hear the ticking of a wrist watch four doors down and it will keep me up at night.

I don't know how I heard it, I just did.

And we had a good laugh about my ridiculousness while simultaneously sharing our deep concern and fear about child abduction, Calvin came screaming into the room wanting to know what all the fuss was about.

"A girl was kidnapped."

"Around here?"

"No, far away in Contra Costa."

"Is she okay?"

"We don't know."


And soeth begat a two day concern over the power of real bad guys versus a pasty faced homebody who only claims to be dangerous.

How do you know?

Just do.

How do you know?

Just do.

But how do you KNOW?

I've known it since the first day I held you in my arms. I mean, I've always suspected, cause that rage has always been there sitting quietly beneath the truest facade of congeniality. It's bubbles up to the surface when some one cuts me off, or you don't put your shoes on when I tell you to, but as long as I'm around, there's nothing out there that would dare hurt you.


But it did get me thinking. How do I really know, you know? It's true that I just do, but how do I really, really know?

Cause I do.

Cause this one time, and although you can't stop me if you've heard it, you can skip to the end if you like. There was this one time that the switch fully flipped. I went from being me, to crazy killer super me, and it all starts with my fear of dogs.

That's right.

I am terrified of dogs.

Ridiculously terrified.

Now, I don't like heights very much, and I would prefer to enjoy my life free from roller coasters and slasher movies and slightly cracked open closet doors in the middle of the night, but man's best friend could send me screaming into the rafters. And there are lots of little childhood dog traumas that I could point to, but in the end suppression seems a better deal than therapy.

Threaten me with knives or guns or fire or raging bulls or Jack Nicholson with a fire ax and I will only feel one tenth of the fear I feel when a Shi-Tzu barks.

If only I was kidding.

I can get acclimated to them over time, but never comfortable, if they flinch, I flinch.

Two for flinching.

But there was this one time, a few years back, a little after four in the morning; There was very little light and a wispy fog has settled on my street.

I got up, I showered, I grabbed a little lunch, I went outside, locked the door behind me and headed out to my car.

From across the street I heard a deep growl and looked up to see what was probably a chocolate lab looking at me and snarling.

And then, it just tore after me barking like mad, and I'm not sure if I screamed and ran, but I definitely ran, straight back to my front door.

I was only inches from the welcome mat when it dawned on me that my keys were dangling from my car door and because of my tunnel like entryway, I had no where to run.

Nowhere to hide.

And then,


I just turned around and started running back toward the dog, the metallic taste of blood in my mouth as the adrenaline pushed my heart into my throat.

But I wasn't turning to protect myself.

I was going to rip it's head off and stomp it's body into the pavement.

The dog skidded to a halt as I bared down on it, almost as if my entire smell changed, and it's barks turning to yelps as it cartoonishly scuttled backward and ran off into the darkness.

The creepy part was, I didn't make a sound.

I went from some very unladylike squealing to psychopathic bloodlust between two heartbeats.


I mean there have been other moments throughout my life that suggest a certain amount of capability when it comes to self preservation, but nothing that fierce, nothing that cold. It was both very weird, and kinda liberating.

I mean, I'm not crazy, I'm not gonna pick a fight, and if you want my wallet, just ask and then go about your merry way, but it's nice to know, to know know, to really really know, that Dad can be dangerous.

Yet I can't explain this all to an eight year old who has just discovered that there are real bad guys in the world. So he knows to keep his distance from strangers and strange cars and to never be alone and  what his address is and what his parents numbers are and exactly where to bite when it comes right down to it.

So it's enough to teach him to be safe.

And to stay away from Chihuahuas.

Those f**kers are savage.

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