As my readers (all 2 of you) know, my dad and I are very close and talk about really weird things. I assumed that I knew basically everything about him at this point in my life. There isn't much that is off limits. I know that he almost shot a guard when he was in Vietnam, so he stopped carrying his sidearm because he figured he was more dangerous to people he knew with it. I know that he dated a woman for 5 years when he was young, and she is still angry at him 50 years later for not marrying her. I know that his actual goal in life was to be a physicist and he had to give up on it when he couldn't pass Optics in 1957. I know that his family has a lot of bizarre and probably crazy people in it, and that he is one of them. I know that when he couldn't handle Optics, he decided to "settle" for being a doctor and then a psychiatrist.
I did not know the following.
We were talking about random things at lunch today, and somehow Danny Trejo came up. I said that I always get him confused with "Kung Foo Fighting" because I can never remember that actor's name. My brother pointed out that I was talking about David Carradine, and that reminded me that David Carradine died during autoerotic asphyxiation.
When I said that, I imagined my 76-year-old father would say something along the lines of, "NOOOOO SHIT!" or "Ew. That's not a fun way to die."
Instead, he said, "Really? People don't often die that way."
"Uh. How do you know?" I asked while entirely terrified of the answer.
"Oh," he said. "I presented a paper at a national forensic sciences conference about a guy who died while attempting autoerotic strangulation. He was watching a video while he did it, so I got ahold of the video and edited it down to be presented with the paper," he said matter-of-factly. "The paper was published in some national journals, and we did a whole presentation on it during the sexual perversions part of the conference."
…WHAT THE FUCK?!
I started laughing, but I think I wanted to cry. I mean, I know I wanted to cry. In fact, I may have been crying.
"So let me get this straight," I said to him knowing that I would regret it. "You were, at one point, an expert on autoerotic asphyxiation?"
AND MY 76 YEAR OLD FATHER SAID:
"Well, I guess I would still be considered one."
"I mean, I never tried it."
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?! LIKE HOW IS THIS A THING?
My father, my best friend, the person who I am most like in the whole entire fucking world is an expert on WHAT?!
I JUST CANNOT EVEN.
You learn something new every day. AND THEN YOU STAB OUT YOUR MINDS EYE UNTIL YOU CAN'T EVEN THINK ANYMORE EVER.
What number do I dial to get a lobotomy?
It's hip to be square, kids… I think.