Saturday, October 20, 2007

Ladies and gentlemen, my father

I've posted before about my father's letters, haven't I? They're just too good to miss. He makes strange spelling and grammatical mistakes that make one wonder if he actually does live on the Central Coast or in some bizarre alternate wonderland. He gets 'accosted' by dogs. He doesn't wear 't-shirts', but he does wear 'tea shirts', regularly. All food is kept and stored in 'the frig'.

The latest missive from Fatherville is better than ever. Let me give you some of the choice quotes:

Left in the car posting your latter on the way.

Visited the library and got some fruit then came home.

Also bought some semi dry olives. Both are awful, but H. likes them.

Judging from these quotes, Fatherville has several interesting features, including: a post office that deals in formers and latters; a library that stores fruit (and presumably a grocery that sells books); and olives that come in pairs. But the choicest quote is this:

Morning spent making some short bread.

Yes - shortbread biscuits, my father disdains, but he is very fond of yeast-based rolls of a minimum length! Huzzah for Fatherville!

(What's that? It's not nice to make fun of parents? Oh bugger off, he's my dad and I'm very proud of him, but his letters are too good not to make fun of.)


nailpolishblues said...

I can't imagine my father writing me letters. This is mostly because I can't think of any paper that would withstand his writing. Also, it would hurt his little old hand to write an entire letter - he only writes in capitals.

TimT said...

Dad uses a Mac that is about 15 years old, and composes it in a program called Claris Works. If he were shown Microsoft Office it might cause him to have an implosion.

I've got three brothers and he saves a copy for each of us, though he only makes minimum changes to each letter. He'll print them out with our names changed at the top, and not much else. I used to get letters from him telling us what I was doing as if I was one of my brothers*. He seems to have all that stuff sorted out now, actually, so he'll make personal references in the letter, though most of the content is just him talking about the weather, stuff that he's cooking, etc. Also, I think he does run a spell check through the letter, though obviously he keeps on getting caught out by some words. Frig, for example....

Your father must have quite a forceful hand, slashing through the paper like that. And the writing in capitals - well, my dad's handwriting isn't in capitals, but it isn't exactly in English either. It's a weird spidery scrawl that bears a vague resemblance to normal handwriting.

*Or as if Tim was one of my brothers. And I guess, in a way, we are.

Maria said...

My Dad doesn't know how to use a computer.

He makes excuses such as "I think we should give Australia Post some business" but actually, he's deathly scared of email.

You be proud of your Dad, TimT.

Caz said...

I think it wonderful that you are blessed to still be receiving hand written letters. Such old-fashioned fun.

I knew a man who wrote a novel (published) in which he quoted verbatim, through out the book, from his alcoholic, lonely, batty, dead mother's letters - not long dead either - sent to him in Oz, from Britain. The letters that is, not his dead mother.

Perhaps in some other context, or if he'd at least attempted to disguise the material, I would have viewed the exploitation more sympathetically, but I found it all horribly ugly and offensive. He didn't like his mother, that's fine (they only saw each other once or twice in three decades), but I still didn't feel that he was entitled to humiliate and degrade her after her death. Her earthly life had clearly been sufficiently humiliating.

Humiliation should be saved for the living.

Your father obviously lives in an eccentric town, and he and the town get along very nicely.

I wish I had some stumpy bread rolls.

TimT said...

Speaking of letters and technology, what happened to the smokin', typewritin' baby at the top of my blog? I quite liked him. Flickr is having a spazzo at the moment, and if it doesn't bring the kid back soon, I might have to change to a better photo website.

TimT said...

Email is the go these days - that, and text messages. Or blog comments...

Incidentally, one of Dad's other frequent malapropisms is 'Went to the library and looked up the internet.'

Good God! It's only a matter of time before he finds google, types my name in, and finds a certain blog named 'Will Type For Food'...

nailpolishblues said...

I made the mistake of teaching my mother to text. SHE NEVER LEAVES ME ALONE! And she gets all cranky if I don't reply. Stupid Shelley.

Daddy-dear can make braille out of the best paper and cardboard. I think the capitals are a habit from the army - and the fact that his writing is borderline illegible. I've seen him type - he bashes the keyboard even more than I do and every letter is, um, considered. His reports must have taken days to get out!

Maria said...

My mother uses T9 and restricts herself to the use of the words in the standard dictionary, and tries to use the words that are suggested first. Makes for some interesting smses!

Mum has also discovered that SMS abbreviation is cool, so her abbreviation for "Mum and Dad" is "mad"

Hi where r u mad xxx

fine ill pick u up mad xxx

Martin Kingsley said...

My dad has been a computational whiz for something like forty five years, I believe (you should see the number of database programming books from the years between 1980 and 1993 we had, up until recently, during the Big Clean Out '07), and though he is exceedingly literate, his grammar would cause your head to explode and your eyes to bleed, not necessarily in that order.

It's the commas. He, uses, so, many, often in, Place of full stops, and it, just, goes on and, on. H,e,l,p,.

I was recently informed that he would take more care, but he knows that it drives me up the wall to read, so as such he simply continues on, often inserting simply for the joy of winding me up.

Mr. Klaus said...

Its funny but my dad comes from Germany, and while that's not really that funny in itself, having never spoken English or written an English sentence before he migrated over here 30 years ago, his English spelling and grammar would put many, many Australians to shame - and that is funny. He doesn't use a computer though, which is probably for the best because I'd spend every waking hour fixing it for him if he did.

TimT said...

Parents and technology, a dark and dangerous combination.

This got linked in Crikey's blog watch - they're obviously doing their best to get this site more google hits, thus contributing to that inevitable day when Dad is looking up the internets and finds my site...

*Shivers in dread*

Email: timhtrain - at -

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