Monday, August 20, 2007

Ten seconds after I took the picture a chupacabra came out of the UFO and my son ate him

After making the trip to the monument marking the official middle of nowhere, I was driving the family back home. There was an eBay auction for a robot toy I wanted to get back in time to bid on. Then we passed a sign that said "Devil's Tower 50 miles" and I thought, screw robots!

Devil's Tower has been something I always wanted to see and I felt like a real dad going for it. I always laughed at doofus dads in the movies that took their families on trips that the family obviously never wanted to go on. But it wasn't so funny when the tables were turned and the doofus dad was me. How could that happen? I thought I was a cool dad. I should have known I was dumb when I invited my own father to come with me to see the tower the first time he came to South Dakota and he didn't want to go. My wife really didn't want to be there and my son is too young to know the difference between Devil's Tower and a strip club. I now realize I drug them along. I thought I was a cool dad. As I stood at the base of Devil's Tower with my own family and we looked up at this big weirdly shaped green mountain I realized I had become Homer Simpson. I also realized Homer Simpson has a great time being Homer Simpson.

There's a little campground next to a small post office and some souvenier shops at the entrance before you pay ten bucks to get into the Devil's Tower national park. For half a second my wife and I were debating whether we were going to go to the park or if the view from far away was just as good as the up close ten dollar one. Of course since I was the dad I was determined to get us all as close to the tower as possible and the only reason we stopped before the entrance was to get t-shirts. Unfortunately my wife didn't want one but I got one anyways, plus some awesome UFO themed post cards!

The whole reason I even wanted to go in the first place was because of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Knowing what I know now, my mom probably didn't think taking me and my sister (who were four and three in '79) to see that scary movie with aliens was a good idea. I was too little to understand what movies were really and I was so frightened at the end of that movie I thought aliens really were abducting us. But taking your family to scary uncomfortable places is just something dads do. I understand that now. Taking me to see Close Encounters when I was four was probably just as bad an idea as me taking my grumpy family to Devil's Tower one late Saturday evening 28 years later. I wonder if in thirty years my son will torture his family in a Devil's Tower related fashion. It's becoming somewhat of a dad tradition around here.

5 comments:

Bruticus said...

Growing up that was one of my dad's favourite films (Along with Jaws) and every single time it came on TV we was made to sit and watch it...

Good film once or twice but kinda boring when you're watching it for like the 38th time or whatever...

Cool to actually see Devil's Tower in person though...

*Makes plans to not drag his son to see crap that will probably not interest him based on the fact that it interested me*

Evil King Macrocranios said...

The problem is we can't make decisions based on what we think our sons will or won't like. The only way to find out what they're into is to show them everything. For every Close Encounters that scared me or Clint Eastwood monkey movie that bored me to death there was the occasional Star Wars or Laserblast that my dad took me to see at the drive in that I really liked. As a father I owe my son no less than to take him to every Steven Spielberg related national monument.

Bruticus said...

Well i already know he has no interest in Transformers because they get completely ignored and he goes straight for the Clone Troopers instead...

And he'll appreciate Clint Eastwood monkey movies if it kills me...

Artoo Convoy said...

You know, I've never seen Close Encounters. Growing up, I had a fierce loyalty to Star Wars and at that time I felt all other Sc-Fi/Fantasy was an afront to Han, Luke, and co. I've long since outgrown that, though I wonder where it came from, and I have a lot of catching up to do so far as movies are concerned.

Weasel said...

You actually went to Devil's Tower?!

I envy you, sir. I am obviously much lower on the geek scale than you.

I now have the urge to watch Close Encounters again. I loved that movie when I was a kid. (Explains a few things, doesn't it?)

 

Minibox 3 Column Blogger Template by James William at 2600 Degrees

Evil King Macrocranios was voted king by the evil peoples of the Kingdom of Macrocrania. They listen to Iron Maiden all day and try to take pictures of ghosts with their webcams.