Thursday, August 24, 2006

Parlor Tricks

I wish could remember all of this party gimmick my father used to do when I was young. My parents had lots of parties. We had outside parties with lights in the backyard with a keg of beer and oysters on the half shell. There were inside parties. One in particular had my mother enlist the help of my sister and I lining the walls of our den with foil and hanging a mirrored disco ball. Other parties were dinner parties involving neighbors and friends.

At many of these parties my father would be asked how hard it was to fly a helicopter. "Aw, not hard at all. Pull up a chair." He'd get two dining chairs lined up in the middle of the room and sit the unsuspecting person next to him. (And from here on I'm going to totally butcher which hand or foot does what, but you'll get the picture.) He say something like, "Just follow me," and continue with the trick.

"So with your right hand you control your forward or backward motion. So grab your joystick." He'd grip an imaginary joystick.

"Then with your left you control the altitude. You know, up or down, for flying over trees and such." With a big smile he'd add, "Go on, like this" as he pretended to hold a lever next to his seat.

"Now you have to add your feet for direction." His feet would be suspended a few inches above the ground his toes working imaginary pedals. Dad never had trouble with the coordination. The person next to him would be struggling.

"You've almost got it." He'd look around the room at some of his helo buddies with a wide, mischievous grin. "Hueys bounce around a lot so while you are doing all of this your butt has to bounce in the seat." Dad would add in bouncing for effect, which would leave the tricked person laughing hysterically along with the rest of the room.

He was so much fun at parties or gatherings. I think it was because he was so sure of himself. He was so confident. He knew who he was and what he could accomplish. He was such a leader, so much a person that you wanted to follow. You knew if you followed him you would either be fulfilled, happy, or in the right place. He was not without faults, but his ability to lead us all was spectacular.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I loved when Daddy did this. I practiced forever to be able to do this - and I can! Hee. Hee.