August 01, 2005

He Should Have Pretended It Was A Pizza

In the years that they've been going to Sardinia, my parents have befriended an Italian family with kids of a similar age to my two little brothers. The father is a hulking brick shithouse of a man, an ex-pro athlete who now teaches high school gym (and believe me, you wouldn't want to see him in your gym class any more than you'd want to see him down a dark alley). Even his voice booms in a way that makes it more or less impossible not to do whatever it is he's suggesting.

I don't mean to suggest that he's not a lovely person, just that he's a huge and intimidating-looking one.

My experiences with him:

1. He came over and helped my dad make fire for our barbecue.

2. He wrenched a water-heater from the wall with his bare hands. (Well, okay, I don't know for a fact that he only used his bare hands or that he did it by himself— all I know is that one minute it was attached to the bathroom and the next minute it was lying in our front yard.)

3. He discussed with my dad the relative merits of different ways to build a mosquito screen.

In short, he was stereotypically masculine in pretty much every way imaginable. So imagine the cuteness involved in him prancing around on the beach in a tiny Speedo fumbling helplessly with a Frisbee (I know the Speedo thing doesn't sound 'cute', but it was, in the way that ridiculously small versions of everyday objects usually are— especially with 200 pounds of shoulders sprouting out of it). It was just so funny to see this huge, authoritative guy using all his carefully-honed skills to launch a frisbee, and have it wobble and flop pathetically to the ground about twenty feet from where it had been aimed. He'd never played frisbee before and clearly was having trouble working out the mechanics of how to make it do what he wanted to— and every time he'd throw it, he'd do it with this hopeful look on his face because he thought he had finally figured it out, and then it would just fizzle and die.

And then the sun set:


At 2/8/05 00:36, Anonymous alice said...

"Built like a brick shithouse" is a phrase that really reminds me of my Massachusettes uncle. I always forget your Boston connection (despite your blog title), but this really stuck out at me, moreso than the disturbingly hilarious image of the tiny speedo.


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