“Ah, Son, you’re here. Good.
Son managed to swallow half of his mouthful of Cheerios before replying:
– Mmm… Good… morning… Dad.
– Good morning, Son. I’m glad you’re here, I…
– How was the dinner with Grandpa yesterday? Son interrupted after swallowing the rest of his Cheerios.
– Yes, right. That’s exactly what I wanted to talk to you about, and…
– Oh, something went wrong? Asked Son.
– Huh… no, no. Nothing more than usual I would say.
– Ok. Did you say hi to him for me? I’ll join you next time, after my exams.
– Yes, yes. No problem, Son. He knows you have exams, and he wishes you good luck, by the way. But it’s just that… I think… I was wondering…
– Is everything ok, Dad? You seem a bit confused…
– Listen, Son. I realized something yesterday and I have been thinking about it all night.
– Yeah… mmm… you look terrible, Dad. Said Son as he swallowed another mouthful of Cheerios.
– Yes. Agitated night. And I really wanted to see you, first thing in the morning.
– What’s that got to do with me? Did Grandpa say something about me?
– No. Nothing in particular.
– So what?
– It’s just that I have the confirmation he is becoming… how do you say… He really is becoming… an old fart.
– Yes, Son. A real one. A true, 80 year old, old fart.
– I guess you and your mom already knew, and maybe I did not want to believe it. But… for me… yesterday was like a punch in the face.
– Mmm… you ‘now Dad… that’s no’mal fo’ his age, said Son, between mouthfuls of Cheerios.
– Yeah yeah, maybe… but I don’t know how or when exactly this happened. And that’s what made me think a lot. Maybe I was thinking that you don’t have to become an old fart… that maybe you can age well.
– And I’m gonna become an old fart too Son, if we don’t try to prevent it!
– There is no reason why I would not become an old fart myself, if we don’t act! You understand, Son? My Dad became an old fart. I will become an old fart. And listen, Son, sorry to break the news, but you’ll become one too!
– You sound crazy, Dad. Did you have breakfast?
– Sure, I sound crazy, right… But you were not the one listening to two hours of gibberish, yesterday!
– But I might be, this morning…
– Two hours of complaints, nostalgia about the good old days, racist comments, more complains and so on! And I have to admit, Son… maybe… I have already started to do the same thing…
Son was about to add something but Dad cut him short and continued:
– And that’s where I need your help, Son!! Dad was clearly yelling now.
Son jumped up from off his seat, his spoonful of Cheerios landing on his knees.
– Shit! Dad! You scared me. Don’t yell like that, so early in the morning!
– Sorry, Son, but that’s important. Maybe more important than your exams. That’s the school of life we’re talking about here.
– Here comes more gibberish.
– Joke as much as you want, but you should be glad I’m realizing all of this now, when something can still be done about it.
– Realizing what, Dad?
– Have you been listening to anything I’ve been saying? I. Am. Realizing. That. I. Might. Become. An. Old. Fart.
– BUT, Dad started to yell again… but we are going to prevent it… Ok, Son?
– Sure, Dad. Whatever you want.
– Because, I believe, the key is to be aware of it and ask for help from family.
– You sound like an alcoholic, Dad.
Dad ignored Son’s last comment and continued:
– So, the only thing I’m asking you, Son, is… from now on… every time I start sounding like an old fart… please tell me so. Tell me, ok?! I might not like it at first, sure. But be certain that I’ll think about it and I’ll manage to convince myself that you are right. That’s the only way.
– Huh… Ok, Dad… I will.
– If! If I start talking non sense about what’s going on in the world or… or if I start complaining about stupid things like the lighting in a room or roundabouts or…
– Yes, Son, roundabouts! Your Grand Pa spent 20 minutes yesterday, complaining about the new roundabouts near his house! 20 minutes for Christ’s sake!
– Ok Dad. I’ll tell you. I promise. I’ll do that.
– Or… if I start making racist comments.
– Oh I’ll be surprised, Dad. I’ve never heard you saying anything close to a racist comment. That’s just not you.
– Mmm… yeah… maybe, Dad sighed.
– Dad? Why don’t you seem convinced? Have you been saying racist comments to other people?
– No, no… not yet…
– What do you mean by “not yet”?!
– I mean… it’s just that… Sometimes… I start to have racist thoughts. And that’s probably the first step on the way to racist comments.
– Racist thoughts?! What the hell do you mean “racist thoughts”? Against who? Blacks? Don’t tell me you have racist thoughts against black people, Dad!
– No, no!
– Who then?!
– Yeah, Chinese.
– Do you know any Chinese, Dad?
– No, I don’t know any Chinese… It’s just… The news, you know. And even if I don’t know them personally, I see a lot of them in the city… in shops… taking over our local businesses… fucking Chinese.
– DAD!! What the hell are you talking about?! Leave the Chinese alone, ok? And the first thing you should do, in order not to become an old fart, is to stop watching the news on TV! Ok?
– Yes, yes, I know. I’m sorry, Son. But you see, that’s exactly what I meant. You have to help me.
– I will, Dad. I told you I would help you. I don’t want to hear any more racist comments about the Chinese. So be certain I’ll help you.
– Thank you, Son.
– You’re welcome, Dad.
– One more thing: does your stupid phone record videos?
– Yes, Dad, Son sighed. Why?
– Let’s take a video. You and me saying that we’ll try our best to prevent me from becoming an old fart.
– I’m serious, Son. That way, you can show me the video, every time I cross the line, ok?
– Ok, Dad, come here.
– Thank you, Son. Thanks a lot.