“What happened to all the girls you were dating? Did you cheat all of them?”
That’s the surprise quiz I woke up to when I found myself back home the time a Bat shut down the world. Apocalypse notwithstanding, it’s when I realized none of this shit was usual. You know how when you hear something absurd, you want to make sure you actually heard what you just heard—because, surely it’s can’t be that mental—so you ask the person to repeat what they said, and it turns out, it is actually what they said.
For me, it started with the question: “Should we get a peacock?” No context. And when I asked my dad for context, all he said was, “there’s this guy.”
So yeah, that’s how it began.
It’s when I decided to write down just some of things my Dad says. I started a notebook called ‘shit my dad says’ and it turns out, this is also the title of a book Justin Halpern wrote about his Dad. The things we do to avoid saying the words, “Love you, Dad.”
So we are clear, everything here are verbatim recordings of the things my dad’s said, much of it translated from Tamil. Every time I quoted my dad in my essays, earlier he’d call me and go, “I didn’t say any of that shit.”
So what better way to make amends than writing out what he actually said.
Here’s part 1 of many in shit my dad says.
“Onion is just bacteria.”
“Anyone can die any time. I am going to buy vegetables.”
(Watching me exercise) “I did this shit 20 years ago. What I do now is anti-gravitational.”
(On going to a restaurant) “I can’t eat there. The guy who makes the food scratches his dick.”
“When you boil water, you waste water. It’s all going away in the air.”
(Wishing my uncle on his 70th birthday) “The average age of an Indian is 70, hahahaha.”
(On being told his feet are dirty) “No, they aren’t, they are like baby’s feet.”
Dad: Smell this flower—it’s beautiful.
Me: It stinks.
Dad: You have Covid.
(On being told, you told me this already) “Please don’t interrupt me.”
“I know you are talking to me because you have run out of things to write about.”