My dad spent last week, beginning the day before Father’s Day, sailing around the eastern shore of MD as a “crew” on a sailboat owned by his obsessive-compulsive friend. It’s called the Delmarva Rally.
When he told us that he was going to spend a week – a week! – on a forty-foot sailing boat with no running water, six middle-aged strangers, and one captain who orchestrated watch rotations with an Excel spreadsheet, I thought he was kidding.
But when he returned with nine hundred dollars’ worth of new sailing equipment, including a ridiculous life jacket designed for surviving a tsunami, my first thought was that I had an extra week to plan for Father’s Day.
Some background: my dad, a lawyer who advocates consumers against big companies, has the worst hay fever allergies you’ve ever seen. He is the guy on the Zyrtec commercials. If he doesn’t take medicine every single day during the spring and summer, he is completely incapacitated by sneezing, itchy eyes and a runny nose.
The only thing that helps besides Benadryl (which you can’t take and still function as a human being) is Flonase. That’s it. Allegra, Claritin, Alavert, Zyrtec are useless sugar pills to him. Ever since Breaking Bad, Sudafed has been a cruel joke. Nothing works. Except Flonase.
The problem is that Flonase is technically a steroid, and as such is only available by prescription. So every year he treks to the medical complex in an outer suburb to see his allergist, who always wants to test him for a hundred different things to see what is causing the allergy. Of course, allergy tests involve sticking you with a gazillion needles in places where you’d prefer not to look like a heroin addict, like your back.
Besides the human pincushion thing, my dad hates it because he doesn’t care which tree or grass strain, exactly, is making him miserable, because the answer is probably “all of them.” He just wants the Flonase and to get the hell out of that house of pain.
It’s thus a running joke in our family that he’s only helping out with med school so that I can write him no-questions-asked prescriptions for Flonase once I get my degree and a scrip pad. (And yes, this is a joke, no I am not planning on violating an ethical code.)
Okay, background over. On to the present:
There’s an engraving store two blocks away from my apartment in the city and I’ve always wanted to go in because it seems so randomly placed (it’s next to an upscale restaurant, a sushi place, and a liquor store). I finally went in, since I am unemployed and have time for expeditions like these, and got an idea.
His Father’s Day present is now a six-by-eight inch black and gold plaque:
Which, let’s be honest, is awesome. Also, in the process of packing up my apartment I discovered my old set of calligraphy pens (another one of my more random skills, borne of an impulsive birthday present from my artist grandmother). So I bought a fancy card and inside I wrote a resolution, Declaration-of-Independence-style, in my florid whacked-out calligraphy:
WHEREAS he has provided physical, emotional, and financial support to his sons for twenty-five years; and
WHEREAS his eldest son, after much dithering, will after four years from today be a duly licensed and certificated Doctor of Medicine; and
WHEREAS he unduly suffers the indignities of Hay Fever and other assorted Allergies duly remedied by modern pharmacology; therefore be it
RESOLVED that the Plaque, given this 23rd day of June 2013, entitles
PHIL SON OF MORT, the Second-of-His-Name, Survivor of the Delmarva Rally, Terminator of United Cable, Conqueror of Comcast, and Member of the Tribe,
To Unlimited, No-Questions-Asked, Flonase or equivalent, from 2017 henceforth into perpetuity, that his affliction might be forever resolved.
SIGNED this 23rd day of June.
It’s good to be funemployed.