Thursday, March 10, 2011

Anderson Talent: Part II

What with my beached whale status, and the fact that for $7.99 a month I can watch Netflix episodes without even needing a disc...means that I have been in an Apache Avenue Time Warp the past couple of weeks. The Cosby Show People! It was the sitcom of my childhood, and according to some, the sitcom of the century.

But mostly, it's a sitcom about my dad. I have been watching episodes while folding laundry, while doing dishes, and I laugh at Dr. Huxtable and think of my dad. Although I would say my dad is more of a cowboy version of ole Bill, there's the undeniable similarities: the dry sense of humor, the deflection of tension through silliness, the athletic prowess relived through the offspring. There's the interest in your kids lives, the interest in your kids friends, the waiting for the kids friends to get the dad's weird sense of humor.

The loving to hang out on a Friday night in High School with your best friend while your dad lounges out hours of riddles which he will only answer with a yes or no question. What dad is ever cool enough to get their high school offspring (and buddy) to want to hang out with him on a weekend night?

Ummmm, that would be my dad.

This is a picture in the 80's at my Grandparent's 50th Wedding Anniversary. Apparently I'm not the only one who compared my dad to Bill Cosby, because it was at this somewhat formal family event my dad was invited to be the Master of Ceremonies. He was funny. All the grown-ups were comparing him to everyone's favorite funnyman, Bill Cosby, and I heard it often growing up.

So now watching The Cosby Show, I'm not obsessing over what amazing outfit Denise is going to be wearing next. I'm a mother now, and I think of what kind of parent I want to be. The parent I intend to be. And yes, the parent I wish I could be but decide not to be sometimes.

That folks, is talent!

Like American Television searching for "Who's Got Talent", I get caught up and even rightly impressed with busy mothers composing hymns, and people with vocal pipes to light up a stadium, but I'm trying to not forget the network of quiet talents that, like their showy counterparts, require work, discipline, patience, and perseverance. The talents of:
* listening
* forgiving
* laughing
* playing ball
* and filling your punk kid's gas tank every other month just to be nice

These are the talents of my favorite funnyman, my own little dad! (P.S. The gal on the right ain't so bad either)

Here's some awesome memories of my dad that have spawned from the depths of my brain while watching The Cosby Show:

- He taught all of us kids our address and phone number with a little chant we would sing. He also taught us a chant to know what to get when it was our turn to set the table: "Bread-n-butter, Salt-n-pepper, Knives-and-Forks-and Spoons!"

- When I was in Jr. High, the little Siepert kid up the street ended up at our house one day looking for his older brother. My dad joked around with him, probably teased him. The next day, this kid knocked on the door and asked me if my dad could play. No kidding! So cute.

- When my nephew was a baby, he was put down for a nap. My dad stood above the crib and grabbed a children's book and started singing the pages (cool cowboy voice mind you). Pretty soon the kid settled down and all was quiet, but Hoser was gone a long time. When he finally came out, he was asked what took so long? Your grandkid stopped crying a long time ago? My dad simply replied that he had to finish the story (I'm pretty sure he kept singing it too).

- When new friends would come over to my house, they all seemed to be intimidated by my dad. He was a coach, and his humor was dry. Inevitably (especially this happened with friends that were boys) he would sullenly walk up behind them, grab each ear in his hands, and then tilt their head from side to side while making airplane sounds. After 3 rotations, he would start shaking their head (by their ears) and make machine gun sounds. Duh. He was a fighter plane people!

- Speaking of chants. As a coach as a church-owned school, he helped during the summer with boys basketball camps. It was b-ball morning, noon, and night. After meal-time all the boys would fill the gym and get ready for a group stretch. Then Hoser would state they were to stretch while chanting an old Indian saying..."Repeat After Me!"
{Stretch to the right} Oh-wah!
{Stretch to the left} Tuh-nah!
{Reach for the sky} Siam!

Repeat 5 times..getting faster each time. Little boys at a church college chanting this over and over? Now that's funny!

- And lastly: A woman turns off the lights to her house. A couple hours later she turns on the news. What she sees on the news makes her kill herself.

What happened and why did she kill herself?

(p.s. in riddles, every detail is significant. Only yes or no questions allowed!)


Wade and Marilyn said...

You, my dear, are priceless. What a memory!

Lee Family said...

I know the answer to that stupid riddle because Hoser never would give us an easy answer - so those riddles are ingrained in the brain. I have never seen Dad do the airplane thing to boys - that is funny. There are so many more about Daddio too. He always made us feel confident and good about ourselves. I need to watch some of those Cosby episodes.

earwaxtasteslikecrayons said...

I remember the address song for your house. I also sing, "If you make a mess, you clean it up" to my kids. Love your dad--he IS a lot like Bill Cosby.

Allen Family said...

Hoser. :-)

(She lives in a lighthouse and turning off the light made a boat crash, which she saw on the news.)