Did I ever tell you about the Christmas that Dad got me a Bowie knife?
Like, an actual honest-to-God, Rambo-esque Bowie knife? Very shiny. Very deadly. Of course, I was dumbfounded. I was certain I had accidentally opened someone else’s gift … you know, someone who actually participates in hand-to-hand warfare. I was poised to ask Dad his thoughts on said knife, but he was busy opening up his own gifts—none of which were serial killer-appropriate.
My mind raced. Why would my semi-astute father buy me this? I frequently traveled back and forth from KC to Des Moines. Maybe he was worried I would hit a deer and then would want to skin it immediately after impact. I had an upcoming trip planned to the tropics. Perhaps he thought I would get lost and eventually need to hack my way out of the jungle. Nah, that couldn’t be it. I would need a machete for that. (Granted—my birthday was mere months away.)
I furiously checked my Christmas list thinking I asked for a David Bowie CD and Dad somehow confused the two. Nope. This one was a stumper. Why in the all-holy, gay hell my father gifted me a Bowie knife was one of the great mysteries of life.
Like any dutiful son, I said, “Hey, Dad. Thanks for the Bowie knife.” Mom chimed in, “Oooh, that is really lovely.” Was she in on it? Was there some sort of conspiracy going on?
Later, after breakfast, I hit up Dad and asked nonchalantly, “Hey, Dad—why did you get me a Bowie knife for Christmas?”
His answer was the most Dad-centric answer in the history of the world. “Because I knew you didn’t have one,” he responded cheerfully while tinkering with his new electric razor.
To date, I’ve never received a more random gift since—so Dad wins the prize. The weapon of minor destruction now resides under my bed because that seems like the logical choice for that particularly illogical gift of knife-wielding lore.
Dad isn’t here this Christmas and I miss him horribly. But his spirit lives on through this story. And, now, oddly every time I see Rambo on TV, I think of my father. Bless.