Three actual father-daughter dialogues, on the occasion of my first Sehome High School Homecoming football game
[in the living room]
ELEANOR: I have a headache.
PAPA: I have a sinus infection.
ELEANOR: Don’t give me MRSA.
PAPA: Do you know the difference between a “malingerer” and a “hypochondriac”? Why can’t we both go to bed now?
PAPA: I’ll grab my keys and change out of my sweatpants.
[in the front row of the minivan]
ELEANOR: [suspiciously] Papa, are you writing?
PAPA: Why do you ask?
ELEANOR: I can tell.
PAPA: How? [wondering if anyone else has noticed his perpetually beatific expression lately]
ELEANOR: Your nostrils flare.
[approaching Civic Field]
PAPA: Did I tell you Vancouver Men’s Chorus has been invited to sing the national anthem at a major sports event? We have a lovely new a cappella arrangement. Unfortunately, I memorized “Oh, Canada” when I was in elementary school in the 1970s, so it’s much too late for me to learn the new inclusive language.
ELEANOR: Will you be televised?
PAPA: Maybe on cable somewhere. It’s the International Gay Curling Championships.
ELEANOR: Grandpa will watch it. He loves curling.