P. S. Gifford
© Copyright 2022 by P. S.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay..
son turns twenty-one in March, and since my separation from his mom I
have hardly spent any time of him. I am not his biological father-
but I raised him from 18 months to 16 years- and legally adopted him.
I have dozens above dozens of little anecdotes about him…Like
at three twenty this afternoon my fourteen year old son arrived home
from high school, screaming and hollering.
instantly jumped up from my desk as he is began chasing from the
garage through the laundry room and into our downstairs
I saw his plight, for he was literally covered head and foot in tar.
this off, get this off,” he was screaming at the top of his
lungs as he began to race inside the house.
it,” I said, “strip in the garage.”
tried to argue, but caught the sternness in my eyes, and promptly
god he was wearing a crash helmet, and blue jeans, as he would have
been on the way to the hospital at this point.
naked as a new-born, upstairs he marched, and jumped into the
bathtub. I began to scrub with a wash cloth and soap. He had grazed
all along his right arm, from his elbow, to the back of his hand and
all of it was coated in black, sticky, stinking tar. The bar of soap
was having little impact in removing the tar.
raced back downstairs to quickly research on the internet for my best
turns out that mayonnaise is the ideal product for de-tarring. I just
so happened to have a large jar of it in my refrigerator. So
retrieving it, with both of my dogs in hiding, I ran back upstairs to
him, still bawling, in the bath tub. Now, I will say, neigh brag,
that Jonathan is a typically sweet natured lad, and not aggressive in
the least. Furthermore he rarely, if ever uses swear words. But
swearing he was, more colorful than a pissed of sailor, and as
red-faced as a freshly pickled beetroot.
began with his hands and face. Coating liberally the tar covered skin
in mayo. Then, after a few moments we began to remove it, as gently
as I could, with a washcloth. After several attempts, we got the
majority of it off. Then we did the same to his left arm, he was
beginning to regain his composure, and his choice of swear words were
far less dramatic by this point. Then after thirty minutes, we came
to the unavoidable, his grazed left arm. I told him to grit
teeth as I proceeded to coat his injured arm in the mayonnaise. He
physically shook, and tears formed in his humiliated eyes. At this
point I was still unsure whether to rush him to the emergency room. I
was further unsure as to whether waiting for the tar to fully set,
would be to our advantage or not. After removing the top layer of
tar, I could tell that the grazing wasn't to deep, and there was
thankfully no blood. I decided to proceed myself, and re-coated the
arm with mayo, and once more allowed it to soak.
though he was in pain, he began to calm down further, and no more
swear words were uttered or even mumbled... Jonathan even apologized
for turning into, and this is a direct quote, ‘the exorcist
Jonathan’. “He further added that a friend had told him,
just after the incident, that tar cannot be removed ever! Can you
imagine how he felt?
it took an hour for all the tar to come off and I cleaned up his
wounds. He is in good spirits now and getting on with his homework.
All his clothes he was wearing are in the trash, along with his brand
new back pack, and trainers.
the accident his bicycle chain apparently came off, he arrived home
on his friend’s bike. His school mate just returned his bike,
after fixing it, that is a true friend right there.
the question begged to be asked.
were you speeding through tar, was there no tape around it, and
looked blankly at me.
furthermore how darn fast were you going?”
bit his lip before answering.
was just going ten miles dad, and there was no tape.”
a father with experience in such matters, and who still vividly
remembers being a teenager, I can smell a lie.
repeated my questions.
it turned out he was pedaling as fast as his legs could go, racing
his friend, taking a short cut through an apartment complex. He saw
the warning tape on the road, but noticed there was room to cut
lesson learnt I hope. And a sound reminder to insure that your own
children always wear a helmet when on their bikes. The one he was
wearing was cracked- and covered in tar it is now in our garbage can.
I shudder to consider the scene if he hadn’t been wearing it.
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P. S. Gifford's Story
List and Biography
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