Sunday, December 07, 2008

Pearl Harbor Day and I'm a Jerk

After church I went to a large warehouse store with my son to get something to eat for lunch. His choice was pizza and I'd settle for a hot dog at a low low price. This is not a normal lunch as we almost never eat out together but today's schedule demanded it.

My son will be 3 soon and we are at the beginning stages of holding conversations together. This is how today's went:

Me: It's Pearl Harbor Day today, bud.
Son: Perr Hobber Day?
Me: Yup.
Son: What's that?
Me: It's the day we decided it wasn't over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.
Son: (chomps away on pizza)

I decided to forego historical accuracy with the conversation and quote a portion of the famous line from the 1978 movie Animal House. Honestly my son wasn't paying much attention anyway. The conversation continued with a man who was sitting near us:

Man: The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor (giving a stunned look at my ignorance)

I had a choice to make at this point. I could let him correct me and say thank you. I could give him the backstory on my attempt to comically encapsule history or I could do what I ended up doing: Act extra dumb to piss him off more.

Me: No, I'm pretty sure it was the Germans. (pretending to think about it)
Man: You've got it all wrong! It was the Japanese in the Pacific theater. (shakes his head stunned at how stupid I appear)
Me: Right! The must have been the Germans. See?
Man: Oh brother! You don't know anything.

I'm sure he's telling anyone who will listen in his life that he witnessed this dumb guy telling his toddler son that the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor and that people these days have no respect for history but I really had to do to this. It was his own fault that I acted this way.

He expects me to know specific details from an event that occurred 27 years before I was born but he can't know a famous movie line from a movie that came out in both of our lifetimes? Sure maybe he didn't see the movie or wasn't a big John Belushi fan but I couldn't resist being a jerk.

I find it entertaining that I quoted something historical correctly and was corrected by a man that didn't know what I was talking about. So I more strenuously responded incorrectly to make his factual correction demonstrate how dumb he was actually being. In the end, he feels smarter than me and I felt entertained. Win-win.

Someday one day my son will utter the words:

Was it over when the Mexicans brought down the towers?

I'm sure most of you would've handled it differently, but to quote the Yardbirds, "Mr. You're a better man than I."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We have a President who thinks Iraq blew up the World Trade Center, so it's fashionable to be ignorant of historical facts.

I think it was the late, great Doug Kenney in the same classic film who said, "Whatcha gonna do, mo-ron?"