The boy came down the steps wearing pants so short you could see the string to his yo-yo. The purple t-shirt had orange stripes streaking down in all directions. His long hair had been dyed orange and stuck way out on all sides of the baseball cap on his head, which advertized, “guns don’t kill people, I do”. He looked like Bozo the Clown on an LSD trip. He wasn’t wearing any socks and the shoes he had on were three sizes too large and had worn out a long time ago. They were some kind of mesh looking material and you knew any smell from that area would have no problem escaping to the great beyond.
Now this young man had the nerve to ask if I would like to accompany him to the mall.
“What in the world for?” I asked.
“Well, I wanted to get you a Father’s Day present, and I thought you might like to pick it out.”
I looked him up and down and realized I sure didn’t want him picking it out.
“Son, do you really want to make me happy, and give me a Father’s Day present I will long remember and cherish?”
“Well sure Dad,” he said.
“O-K, come with me.”
I took him upstairs and advised him to get undressed and proceeded to wash all the dye out of his hair. While he took a shower I went through his closet and found appropriate clothes for a young man to wear to the mall. I told him to get dressed and present himself to me for inspection.
It took about an hour, but he looked clean. He had on pressed Dockers pants, a nice blue pullover shirt with the tail tucked in, dark socks and penny loafers. He had combed his brown hair the best he could, it wasn’t great, but he wasn’t Bozo anymore.
Our first stop at the mall was the barber shop. All the remnants of Bozo hit the floor. Our next stop was the hobby shop where I picked out my father’s day gift. Then we had lunch.
I had noticed as we walked along that he kept dodging from one side of me to the other and finally I had to ask, “Son, why are you walking around like you’re drunk, can’t you just walk straight and normal?”
“Well dad, so far I have seen about fifteen friends, but they haven’t seen me.”
I said, “Well if that’s all you’re worried about, stand tall and walk with pride, they wouldn’t recognize you if you ran into them head on.”
During our dinner I received the present I had been hoping for the whole time. My previous Bozo-looking son actually made the observation that he had been noticed and smiled at by several lovely young ladies. He was a little confused because he always thought before he dressed to the nines and had been quite the lady killer, but nothing like the reaction today.
Then I heard music to my ears, “Dad, do you think we could hit the clothes store on the way out of the mall today?”
The moral of the story to all you hapless and confused parents out there is to just hold on a little longer. When Bozo goes, let your child be the one to bury him, not you.
This has been a Father’s Day public service announcement from the greater parents of teenager’s foundation.
I’ll be right back.