How Old Are You?

My parents tend to be a bit "old school" and didn't think it was any of their children's business as to how old they were. My mom would simply ignore the question, but my dad -- as was typical for him -- had his own way to reply.

Anytime we asked him how old he was, he'd say "88". While over the years we grew suspicious about the accuracy of that number, since it didn't change to "89" for about a decade, when we were little we were suitably impressed, our curiosity was satisfied, and we'd go on our way.

My oldest brother once used the data point to his advantage. My dad was in the house with the window open when he heard my brother in a typical "my dad can beat your dad" type of one-upmanship argument. The neighbor kid did the usual "my dad is bigger than your dad" bit, and probably a couple of others, until my brother, Curt, figured out how to one-up the little brat.

"My dad is older than your dad," Curt announced. "He's 88!"

The kid, my dad was proud to note as he told this story again and again (and again!) over the years, walked away, beaten.

Posted February 6, 2015

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