The Dude Abides

23 Aug

A few weeks ago my stepdad had knee replacement surgery.  He’s doing well, despite this ridiculous scar and an ongoing, painful rehab. And in a few more weeks he should be, almost, back to normal.

During his first week home from the hospital he had to use a walker to get around. And it was slow going. My mom thought it might be nice for him to be able to carry around some small things, since his hands would be busy balancing on the walker.

So she made him a bag. And attached it to his walker.

When word of this got out, my brothers were merciless. No self-respecting man would have a cute little walker purse, no matter how full his hands were, or how much stuff he needed to carry. Or so they said. They insisted that if he really needed to have stuff with him he should wear a camo vest with lots of pockets instead. Ya’ know, full of bullets and raw meat.

Yes, there are three of them. All brothers. I’m the only girl.

Somehow that picture of my stepdad with his Steelers walker bag (way to man it up, by the way, Mom) is much less disturbing than the mental image of him shuffling behind the walker wearing a vest full of ammo and bloody beef.

But the thing is, my stepdad already had it handled. Because in his quiet, steady way, he had found a way to toughen up his walker bag, and make good use of it at the same time.

Turns out that one day while he was in the front yard with the dogs, a car drove by just a little too slowly, the young punk at the wheel staring for just a little too long at the crippled old man and his walker. (The Facebook ad for a Hovercraft that popped up later that night didn’t help much either).

Yep. That’s a gun. A Walther PPK to be specific. Right where he can reach it, next to the remote control and the dog brushes. I’m actually kind of surprised there was only one. There’s an awful lot of room in that bag.

Anyway, after getting leered at by the creep in the car, the walker bag has become a holster. Because hey, he might have to gimp around and look helpless for another month or so, and they might get him in the end, but sure as hell not without a fight.

Nice. It’s good to know where you come from.

So this one’s for the fighters. For everyone who ever refused to give up or give in, even when it sucked. For everyone who listened to that determined little voice inside that said, “Not me, Pal. Not today.”

But mostly it’s for you, Papa. Thanks for keeping it most real.

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2 Responses to “The Dude Abides”

  1. Ryan Damaska August 23, 2010 at 9:44 am #

    For the man who taught me to shoot straight, speak the truth, and always ask for whatever beer is coldest. The Steelers pouch is awesome!!!

  2. Marc Kephart August 23, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

    Only Ray could rock the steelers bag ….. and only a steelers fan would do the math and come up with the need for a pistol, during rehab strolls through the yard!!! Awesome!!

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