What’d You Call Me?

Nobody calls me ‘chicken.’ (copyright Universal Pictures)

What’d you call me? Though usually superfluous and rhetorical in nature, I must profess that I absolutely love this question – in fiction, and in life. Why?

Because most often, when asked, we already know the answer. But for some reason we need to hear it again. It’s a confirmation, a reassurance of what was said, heard, and in some cases believed. It’s a message, a critical moment, a build-up to a cliff’s edge where on the landing side of a perilous drop waits a fight, witty retort, or acceptance that no, it wasn’t too good to be true.

I like the question because only in exceptional cases is it really asked for audible reasons: What’d you call me?  A cotton-headed ninny-muggin.  Oh, sorry, I thought you said chicken.

We were in the operating room (or theatre, as they say) and the anesthesiologist asked “Dad, do you want to sit down?”

I looked over my shoulder and scanned the perimeter. I was the only male capable of reproduction on our side of the curtain. “What’d you call me?” I wanted to ask, my brows flattened to a seriousness only a man in scrubs could understand. But I didn’t, since all my energy went into keeping my knees from cracking each other. But I wanted to, because I wanted to hear it again, I wanted to make sure what I believed was true. I was on that cliff, right where I wanted to be; it was all real, wax build-up had no chance and I wanted to hear it again.

I may not have said it out loud, but make no mistake I asked the question: “what’d she call me?”  I asked, because I‘ve been called a lot of things, but nothing has ever sounded so sweet.  Dad.

Categories: Creative Writing, Dad, Perspective, Rambling

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

9 replies

  1. I have a secret to tell you: I regularly read your posts from afar. This one makes me want to tell you how much I enjoy them. Loved it. Congratulations, my friend. Miss you!

    • Kelly! Thank you so much!!! I am so tickled you read my posts – and even happier to hear from you. Thank you – and btw, not a secret at all – I work with a small IT company in a remote Russian villiage that trace all IP address for me so that I know at all times if anyone is reading 🙂 Thanks again for checking in, hope you are doing well!

  2. I wasn’t expecting that! Real sweet post:)

  3. Aaaww! That is so sweet! Such a wonderful word, ‘Dad’, with all the connotations it brings with it. I’ll bet you can hardly wait until that word comes out of your child’s mouth for the first time! 🙂


  1. What’d You Call Me? | The Community Storyboard

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