I was recently telling you about my chronic anxiety over my having three beautiful and very headstrong daughters as I’m now firmly imbedded in the second half of a truly enjoyable life. I’m comfortable using the phrase ‘second half’ because well, let’s face it, anyone placing any side bets on me breaking the century mark? It wasn’t all that long ago that the Vegas odds had my over/under at 40. I not only bucked those odds, but repeatedly spawned since then. I’m perpetually proving that whoever is in the driver’s seat of this bus we call life not only has a sense of humor, it’s also a bit twisted. When last we chatted, I was filling you in on all the preemptive strikes I’m taking, and future plans for when poor unsuspecting, hormonally challenged adolescent male counterparts come to lay their ill advised knock upon my door.

I began to bring you up to speed on the preemptive strikes I’ve already begun taking toward being a ‘middle aged’ man with three teenage daughters and the lengths I’m willing to go to strike fear into their potential suitors. To put my situation into perspective, I was still in my thirties – all be it barely clinging, when I went to visit my son for parents’ weekend at Coastal Carolina University. When my youngest daughter graduates high school, I’ll be 60. Go ahead and chew on that for a moment. I’ve already come to grips with the fact that my physical prowess or lack thereof is not going to initially intimidate this next generation of dirtballs. So at that point I will play whatever cards I have left in the deck to drive home the importance of having my girls home by curfew, and well cared for. I already think of this scenario to a point that could almost be viewed as obsessive.

I’m one of the few men my age who at this juncture has never owned, fired, or even held a weapon of any caliber higher than Nerf. I have no personal or political feelings on it, I just haven’t had call for one. But I haven’t completely ruled it out as a viable option for the dating years. I don’t necessarily have to purchase a gun, or crossbow, or flamethrower of my own. I can probably just borrow one from any number of my crimson throated friends. I don’t even need any ammunition; I simply require the weapon of choice, and a cleaning kit. This way when the first boy pulls into my driveway, I can simply be sitting on my front porch with a psychotic grin on my face and distant catatonic gaze while polishing up the barrel. That should be a deterrent to some strongly ill advised behavior.

I also haven’t ruled out obtaining a roll or two of yellow crime scene tape to adorn the front of my home as a nice side dish to the chalk outlines of bodies I intend to draw in my driveway. You call it crazy; I call it looking out for Daddy’s girls.

I’ve also considered potential wardrobes for when I open the door and greet these young men. One ensemble I’m strongly considering is wearing nothing but a sombrero and a bandolero. I’ll of course greet him with a grin and invite him in for a chat. This should firmly establish right out of the gate that the father of the girl he’s about to take out is completely, certifiably insane.

The next option I’ve been entertaining is a bit costly, but under the circumstances I’m more than willing to pull money from their college funds to finance it. I’ve considered eliciting the talents of a wax museum to create several heads, only from the neck up of fictitious adolescent looking males. I would then have them mounted on placards, and hang them on the wall of what I’ll call my ‘trophy’ room which is where I’ll take the boys for a chat.

Against her will, and better judgment, I’ve already had my saintly wife rehearse the first date scenario with me. A young man comes to my home for the first time to take one of my girls out. I get to know him by asking him questions like, “what’s the deepest you’ve ever traveled into the woods, and how long do you think you could survive out there?”

I’ll tell him that my favorite color is waffles. I’ll regale him with tales of when I lived under a bridge and ate goats. Right about then my phone will ring with the ringer set on high. I’ll have the ringer set to an intimidating ringtone; I’m thinking “In a gadda da vida” by Iron Butterfly. I’ll let it go long enough that my wife gets irritated and answers it. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the walking gland sitting next to me, it’s actually her dialing my phone. She will then have a brief phone exchange with no one after which she’ll bring the phone out to me with her hand over the speaking portion. She’ll look at me and say, “It’s your parole officer and he sounds pissed! What have you done this time?!” I’ll look at the young gentleman, and very passively and politely say, “Excuse me please. I have to take this call. But stay right there because I want to talk to you about time travel, werewolves, and donuts when I get back. ”

I’ll grab the phone, and leave the room but be close enough that he can hear every word. And this already timid young man will hear the following:

“What the hell do you want?!!” “You think I give a damn?!!” “I have no problem whatsoever going back to prison!” “Listen, I gotta go. My Princess is going on her first date.” “Don’t call me again til they find a body!” At this time I will return to the room, look at him and say, “Sorry about that. It was my accountant. By the way, have you ever driven a power boat?” There’s one more I don’t have support later on.

There’s so much more, but I think that’s enough of my intellectual inadequacies for this week. Don’t be shy about emailing me at sydnichols@yahoo.com. I’d love to hear any thoughts or input you might have. Thanks for playing along.

Until next week,

Syd Nichols