1.23.1997

Dad had another episode this past Sunday. He showed up for work at the firehouse and then abruptly left “sick” after being on the job only a few hours. Mom didn’t hear anything else from him or about him until late that night. The county Sheriff called her from a remote spot on the coast far North of here and informed Mom he was driving Dad back down to the mental hospital. Coincidentally, the mental hospital is within walking distance of where my parents live. My grandmother ended up in that same loonie bin on one occassion a few years ago. She had a bad habit of getting plastered on Jack Daniel’s and eat nothing but Hostess’ Sno Balls for days. Then she’d wander around neighborhoods at night in her 1971 white Ford LTD station wagon until she was completely lost. Once lost in her suburban rat maze nightmare she would leave the car running and walk up to someone’s doorstep to howl and pee while wearing nothing but her nightgown. Dad had to take her station wagon away…

When the Sheriff got to the mental hospital with Dad in the back of his patrol car, he refused to check himself in. He had to let him go free. Dad walked through their neighborhood to get home. Mom has since forced him to see the family doctor and get some psychiatric help. Both are good I guess, but it’s unfortunate he wasn’t locked up in the nut house for a few days. That would have knocked some sense into his thick skull.

So here’s what happened. He left work and drove North on the freeway to the coast. He got to a tiny town in the coastal mountains. Once there, he picked a peaceful remote spot and parked his truck. He placed a length of garden hose into his truck’s tailpipe and then got back into the cab of his truck with the other end of the garden hose pouring engine exhaust into the cab. He had all the windows rolled up. A time later some hikers came across him and saw what he was up to. They pulled the hose out of his tailpipe and banged on the windows of the truck until he came to. When he saw people around he freaked out, put the truck in gear and fled. I think if I ever find out who those hikers were, I’m going to hurt them badly.

He then drove further North along the coast. He was trying to find some other secluded spot to off himself, but this time he would take the real coward’s way out and shoot himself in the head with his little .22 pea shooter. It got dark, and while turning off the pavement onto a dirt road that seemed isolated enough for his business he blew out a tire. For whatever reason he couldn’t change the tire out so he walked quite a ways until he came across a roadhouse bar. Inside the bar he was acting real strange so someone there called the Sheriff on him. When the Sheriff arrived at the joint and talked with Dad it became fairly apparent Dad was borderline wacko, and the Sheriff successfully talked him into checking in at the mental hospital. Since it was voluntary I guess the cop couldn’t force Dad inside when they got to the hospital, but I wish he had been able to.

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~ by factorypeasant on May 29, 2005.

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