Father and Daughter — By John Kaufmann

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“How’s MCity?”
“Good.”
“How is Santi?”
“Good.”
“Who are you thumbing the phone with?”
“People.”
“What kind of people?”
-People.
“How is Jubjub?”
“Good.”
“What is she doing?”
“Vibing.”
“Vibing?”
“Simply vibing.”
“Not complex-edly vibing?”
“Just vibing.”
“You know, Jazz is the first step on the road to perdition.”
“Whoo-hoo! Mind blown! Area man shocks!”

“You know, there is a Garfield meme. He is being shot, and he says, ‘You are only killing a cat’.”
“Huh?”
“Like Ché? ‘You are only killing a man’? He said that when they shot him.”
“The CIA?”
“Yeah. In Cuba.”
“It wasn’t Cuba. What the hell would the Americans be doing in Cu-ber?”
“Oh, gee, Dad. How could that be?”
“It wasn’t Cuba. It was another Latin American country. Isn’t this why God created Google?”

“Bolivia.”
“That’s right, Bolivia. ‘Shoot straight, you bastids. Don’t make a mess of it’.”
“Is that a reference to something?”
“You want to do Birthright? You could make Aliya and serve in the Israeli army.”
“Oh, yeah, dad. I could be the first Asian American lesbian Israeli soldier.”
“I do not think that you would qualify as a first on any of those grounds. Plenty of stupid-looking Jewish guys have children with Asian women. Some of them make Aliya. All of those have to serve in the army. And lesbians are like cockroaches, or bellybuttons.”
“Can you imagine being mixed race?”
“It would be weird for, maybe, fifteen minutes. Then you’d get over it. It ain’t no thang.”

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“Or so I think.”
“Why would you give fifteen dollars to a movie theater that makes, like, millions of dollars but nothing to a beggar on the street.”
“Jesus. Where do I start. For one thing- that beggar has done nothing for you. The movie company produced a movie that, hopefully, entertains you.”

“But”
“Yes, marginal utility, bottom dollar versus top dollar, yak, yak, yak. Are you a communiss?”

“Hey!”
“I don’t disagree. You just need to convince the other guy that money is for redistributing wealth, as well as as a medium of exchange.”

“Say something.”

“Anything?”

“Hey – I want you to clean your room. I have seen meth labs cleaner than that.”
“You’ve seen meth labs?”
“Not very good ones. Mobile homes used as meth labs. We kick em out and clean em up.”

“They are a meth!”
“Hah, hah! Fun-ny! Fun-ny!”
“Look – I’m the good cop. When your mother comes home, she is going to nail your head to the ceiling. I’m the only friend you got here. You gotta work with me.”
“Fun-ny! Fun-ny!”
“She’s like Lou Piranha, only worse. You don’t want to piss her off. And that room will make her ears pop off”
“Fun-ny man! Fun-ny man!”
“Clean your damn room, please.”
“Is everything you say just recycled content, internal references and dad jokes?”
“Pretty much.”

“Look, straight white men are not all that bad. They have written some good plays, and they have written at least two good epic poems. They split the atom. A few have even walked on the moon. But you don’t want your daughter to marry one.”
“Fun-ny! Fun-ny! Fun-ny man! Fun-ny man!”
“Clean room, please.”


John Kaufmann is a former big-firm lawyer, current mobile home park owner who lives in southern New York State. His writing has been published in Adelaide Review, Analecta, Tax Notes, The Journal of the Taxation of Financial Products, The Journal of Taxation of Investments, and Whatever Keeps the Lights On.
Kaufmann blogs at https://dirtlease.com