December 3, 2013
A love of tradition and a lot of time on your hands can be a bad thing. Case in point: my father.
In his later years, Dad wasn’t working and spent a lot time at home. It could get very boring but he managed to find ways to pass the time. Oh, I don’t mean fixing things around the house, or hobbies (although he had a killer model train layout), or even anything productive, I mean things like scamming Nigerian scammers.
Yes, I typed that correctly. He get an email from a “Nigerian Prince” promising him untold wealth if only he’d give him his social security number, bank account number, blood type, etc, and instead of doing what you and I would do (i.e.: delete it) he’d write back, or better, he’d call them. He’d call the number in the email and claim to be interested but he had a few questions. He’d ask them if he needed a checking or a savings account, he’d ask them about the political situation in Nigeria, he’d ask them about his tax implications of accepting the fortune, he’d ask them the best time to call back with more questions, etc. You’d be surprised how long a Nigerian Prince will stay on the line. One email could keep Dad entertained with the back and forth for weeks.
He didn’t always get satisfaction (nor did he get the Nigerian fortune.) For example, one year he was watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on TV and stayed with it all the way through to the end, not an easy thing to do, depending on how you feel about 3 hours of Al Roker. Anyway, Dad watched it to the end and got very upset because it ended with Santa pulling up in front of Macy’s and waving. Roll credits, fade to black, go to commercials, cue football.
This was not good.
Because when Dad was a kid, the parade ended with Santa getting off his sled and walking into Macy’s (where he and the elves presumably did all their shopping). After some more waving, he’d sit in his chair in Santa’s cardboard workshop and await all the little kiddies on his lap. (Good thing he’s Santa. Guys end up on the sex offender list for a lot less.)
So this particular year, Santa did not get off his sled and walk into Macy’s. He just sat there and waved and the show ended. That was not right. Something had to be done. And Dad was the one to do it.
He called Macy’s and complained.
God love my father, and God knows I loved him, even I had to pause at that. Wouldn’t the TV network be the one to call? I’m sure Santa went into Macy’s (though how would I know? It wasn’t shown on TV and I wasn’t there) but the network cut away before he got off the sled. Anyway, Dad called Macy’s where he registered his complaint. Who did the operator direct him to? Who did he speak to? I have no clue. I am sure that Dad let loose his anger on whoever was the first to pick up, and I feel sorry for the low-level Macy’s operator who had to take that call.
Dad never forgot the insult. He wasn’t one to take a slight like that laying down. He had a grudge against both Macy’s and the parade for a long time.
The parade has never been the same.