I’ve been thinking a lot about my Dad lately. He passed in 2005.
Yesterday, someone asked me the question, “What’s the funniest thing you remember?”
I couldn’t help thinking about my Dad. He liked to bet, and a lot. But he knew what he was doing, and never had a real gambling problem. On Saturday’s and Sunday’s, he bet on every college and pro football game. During basketball season, again he bet on every college and pro game. He even bet on an election one year.
Later, he started betting on baseball. I was with him one evening, when the Cubs were playing the Mets at the old Shea Stadium. He was betting on the Cubs. It was the bottom of the ninth, the score was tied, 3 to 3, the bases were loaded, and there were two outs. The Mets were batting One mistake by the Cubs, and Dad loses a bundle.
He said, “I might get out of this alive.” Then, the Mets sent up a pinch hitter, the old red head, Rusty Staub. My dad’s reaction was, “Oh Shit!” Rusty Staub was a very good hitter. On the first pitch, Rusty got a base hit to right field.
GAME OVER. METS WIN 4 to 3. DAD LOSES A BUNDLE. HE’S PISSED.
Dad was cursing like you couldn’t possibly imagine. I left the room, afraid I’d laugh, which would have made him even madder. Then, five minutes after the game, Dad had finally calmed down. Then, the unthinkable happened. This was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.
Do you remember these old American Express Commercials that began with a celebrity asking, “Do you know me?” In case you don’t here’s one that will bring back memories:
After Dad was calm, an American Express Commercial like this came on TV, featuring, guess who? Rusty Staub. When he asked, “Do you know me?”, Dad said, “Yeah I know you, you Son of a Bitch!”
I’ve never laughed as much in my life as I laughed when this happened. And the strangest thing was, Dad didn’t get mad at me.
By the way, I searched for the Rusty Staub American Express Commercial everywhere, but couldn’t find it. If anyone finds it online, please send me the link.