My dad calls me approximately three times a year, most often with questions pertaining to my computer (e.g., Dad: "Is your computer still working?" Jenny: "Yes." Dad: "Well, good. That's good. Alright, talk to you later.") Or with questions pertaining to Mom: (e.g., Dad: "Did you remember it's your mother's birthday on Wednesday?" Jenny: "I did just now.").
Now, keeping that in mind:
Scene - The phone rings. Jenny runs to answer it because her parents have been trying to reach her and if she doesn't, she'll get another of those guilt-inducing messages where her mother sighs and uses her sad, Jennifer-are-you-deliberately-avoiding-your-mother voice.
Dad: This is Dad.
Jenny: Hey, Dad, what's up?
Dad: Well, let's see. What year was Raphael born in?
Dad: Are you sure?
Jenny: Uhhh...yes. Yes, I'm sure. 1973. Why?
Dad: Okay, well, that's all I wanted. Talk to you later.
Jenny: Wait, what?
See what I mean? What the heck? In order to solve the mystery of this unusual and puzzling conversation (which probably relates back to the computer somehow), I have attempted to think like my dad. No mean feat, that. But I'm pretty sure the following accurately represents his thought process leading up to our odd little conversation:
Raphael's birthday is coming up according to my wife who pays all kinds of attention to these things. That Raphael...he's an interesting character. He's apparently from Guatemala. I have never been to Guatemala but I understand from my daughter Jenny that they like their fireworks over there. I like fireworks too. I like watching fireworks pretty well, at least, although I never liked being the one who had to drive everyone home from the big Wright-Patt Air Force Base Fourth of July fireworks show every summer. That was really terrible. I really hated sitting in all that holiday traffic for hours while every yahoo and his brother tried to cut me off so they could get out of the parking lot first and my daughters made their annoying stuffed parrots sing "Hey Jude" in the backseat. Come to think of it, how come my wife never offered to drive? Criminy. You know what was a good year? 1973. Two years before Jenny was born. A decade before I had to start going to those damned Wright-Patt fireworks displays. Ah, 1973. I was a free man then. A man with no troubles. A man, his wife, his dog Wendy, a mustache, and a good hose for watering the front lawn. That was all I needed back in those days. What a life. 1973 was even before the internet, of course. I like the internet a lot. I like video Skyping with my grandson, Jack. I wonder if I can get Jack to learn to say "yahoo" without people suspecting that it was me who taught him? I wonder if I can get him to call my daughter Julie a yahoo? I bet I can. I'll bet he's right on the cusp of that one. Wait just a goldarn minute here. How old is Raphael anyway? Hmm. It would sure be something if he was born in 1973. I'd certainly like him better if I knew that about him. I think I'll call Jenny to ask.
Yep. Mystery solved.