erik lundegaard

Christmas Leftovers

Scene: Small family dining room. Five adults in postprandial conversation as a six-year-old squeezes by after using the bathroom.

Mother: Hey hey. Did you wash your hands?
Son: No.
Mother: Go back and wash your hands.
Son: Mom! I haven't finished eating yet.

Cue adult laughter.

**

Scene: A larger family dining room. Six adults in postprandial conversation as a nine-year-old plays with the potatoes on his plate. The adults are talking about opera. He looks bored. He looks at his uncle.

Nephew: What's opera?
Uncle: It's a form of music. Like rock n' roll. You know.
Nephew: Oh. You mean like the Opera Winfrey show?

Cue adult laughter.

**

Scene: Target Field in winter. Two families are being led on a tour by a 78-year-old man, my father, Bob Lundegaard, who began his career as a tour guide earlier this year. One of the familiies is ours: Patricia, my brother Chris, my sister Karen, her husband Eric, and their two kids Jordy and Ryan. The other family—an upbeat woman, a really knowledgable baseball guy, and three kids—is from...Iowa? I forget. They arrive last-minute, don't know the tour guide is our father, and keep us on our best behavior. They keep us from being us. Partially. Early in the tour Dad shows off a shot of Met Stadium, where the Twins played from 1961 to 1981, and the really knowledgable baseball dude asks about all of these empty seats along the third-base/left field line. The place is almost filled but these seats, bright orange, are all empty.

Dad: Good question. I'm not sure why those seats were empty. I believe there was some construction going on.
Me (feeling cheeky): I wouldn't be surprised. I know the seats just above those were among the cheapest in the park. I know because my father, a notorious skinflint, always made us sit there.
Dad (without missing a beat): Sounds like a very intelligent man.

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Posted at 06:50 AM on Wed. Dec 29, 2010 in category Personal Pieces  

COMMENTS

Jerry Grillo wrote:

The mere fact that you guys went on a ballpark tour in the middle of a Minnesota winter (skinflint tour guide dad or not) gives me hope. For what, I'm not sure. But I am hopeful.

Comment posted on Wed. Dec 29, 2010 at 07:34 AM

Jordy wrote:

Nice story. Are you going to make more? Did you get my top 5 list?

Comment posted on Wed. Dec 29, 2010 at 07:52 AM

Tim wrote:

Brilliant.

Comment posted on Wed. Dec 29, 2010 at 11:45 AM

Mister B wrote:

Those first two stories remind me of one when I was about six or seven years old. I was at my grandparents' house and it was (probably) around the holidays. I was sitting by myself on one side of the room, bored, and I overheard them saying something about gin. I thought I'd jump in to let them know I knew something about gin, so I yelled “Cotton Gin!”

Cue adult laughter.

Cue child realizing — sooner rather than later — that my relatives seldom talked about anything other than alcohol.

Comment posted on Sat. Jan 01, 2011 at 02:49 AM
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