I found out a little while ago that my dad is getting a BlackBerry, and I’m pissed as all hell. You’re probably asking yourself right now: “What’s wrong with that? I have a BlackBerry, and so does my dad. He uses it to check his e-mail when he’s traveling on business.” Well that’s all nice and cute, except there’s a huge, fundamental difference between your dad and my dad, which is that my dad could kick your dad’s ass. He is a man among men, and this BlackBerry is a terrible blow to the Zier family testosterone pool.
My parents are both archaeologists. They spend their time romping around the Rocky Mountain West, digging up arrowheads, killing rattlesnakes with shovels and running up mountain slopes because rogue steers are charging them. Your dad may need to talk to his clients while he’s traveling on business to London, but my dad’s clients are the Navajo god Estanatlehi and the Cherokee god Asgaya Gigagei. No BlackBerry can get in touch with them anymore — only shovels, and the dead rattlesnakes that accompany them.
This is the man who harbors an utter disdain for crowds, cell phones and the Nancy Pelosis who use them incessantly. If people talk on their cell phones while they drive, he’ll speed up to them just so he can give them a dirty look. And if people drive by in Subarus with Kerry/Edwards ’04 stickers on the back, he speeds up in the hope that they’re talking on their cell phones, so he can hate them for two reasons.
Yet somehow, in spite of all of this, he’s getting a BlackBerry — the worst cell phone of them all.
This is the man who calls Northeasterners “a bunch of flatlanders” and French people “cheese-eating surrender monkeys.” He met my mom in Laramie, Wyoming, and for their honeymoon they went on a cross-country skiing trip in the Grand Canyon, because nothing means serenity for my dad like being out of touch. My mom still claims she wanted to take her wedding ring off the entire honeymoon, but couldn’t because her fingers were so fat from drinking only powdered Gatorade. My dad still claims it was a great trip, and is looking for someone to do it with him again, since my mom refuses.
Yet somehow, in spite of all of this, he’s getting a BlackBerry, so that he can get reception in remote locations.
This is the man who periodically takes a month off from killing rattlesnakes to go whitewater rafting the Grand Canyon. When asked why he doesn’t wear a helmet while running the most dangerous rapids in North America, he responds, “Because I’m not a candy-ass sissie, that’s why. That’s the family motto: ‘No sissies in this group.’ Didn’t I teach you anything?”
When asked why he wouldn’t put on a helmet for just a few minutes of dangerous rafting, he responds, “The other guy in my boat had one on and he looked ridiculous.”
Yet somehow, in spite of all of that, he’s getting a BlackBerry. He’ll probably get one of those Bluetooth headsets, too.
This is the man who, every summer since I was five, has taken me camping and fishing in western Wyoming and southern Montana. It is, without fail, a week of unabashed joy in which my dad and I jointly partake of our favorite activities: fishing, drinking beer, blowing things up with fireworks that are illegal in 49 states (God bless you, Wyoming), and yelling, “Goddamn Democrats!” when our fishing lines get tangled in sagebrush.
This is the man who will scamper 2,000 feet down a canyon in the middle of Wyoming with his son because he thinks there might be fish in the river at the bottom, the man who was pissed off he had a layover in surrender-monkey Paris on his way to do an excavation in the Congo and the man who orders his beef “with the heart still beating.”
This is, above all, the man who should not have a BlackBerry, lest my world come crashing down onto itself. I don’t know how he could do this, and I don’t know how he could do this to me. I have nightmares where, while scrambling down a canyon with my dad, he pauses so he can BBM my mom, who refuses to go on any trips with us because we still drink powdered Gatorade.
I lie awake in horror at the prospect that my dad will be so enslaved by his new BlackBerry that he’ll develop a love of scented candles and hair products. He’ll spend all his time searching for cute antique lamps and new recipes for foie gras on his BlackBerry. Then, one day while he’s researching bath beads on www.thebodyshop.com, he’ll be so enraptured by his BlackBerry he doesn’t even notice your dad is trying to fight him. As he clips his BlackBerry into his customized leather holster, your dad will kick my dad’s ass.
For the love of God, Dad, don’t get a BlackBerry. Don’t use bath beads and don’t get a BlackBerry. Unless you plan on using it to kill rattlesnakes.