It's been more than 4 years since my father died, and in that time I have spent a lot of time pondering what happens when we die. I grew up catholic, so I was always told that we go to heaven (unless we didn't give enough money at church, or jacked off from time to time, in which case we went to purgatory.) I always imagined a sprawling castle in the sky, with a kindly old man with a long white beard and a flowing robe.
No matter what it looks like I now know that there is an afterlife, because my father is making his presence known among the living.
I was perusing the web this afternoon when I came upon a story that had my old man's fingerprints all over it. It seems that as many as 300 people who ate at a north Indianapolis Olive Garden have become very ill. It has gotten so bad that health officials in the area are examining the victims stool to look for possible causes. The health department says they can find no problems in the kitchen which would explain the sickness. They won't find them in the stool either, because it is the ghost of my Pop trying to warn people about the evil that is chain restaurant Italian food. This is the stuff a pig farmer from Nebraska is talking about when he says: "Let's go out for some EYE-talian food."
My father was adamantly against this type of food, and as a man who traveled a lot he ran into a ton of it. After seeing the movie "Goodfellas" my dad adopted Henry Hill's line: "Egg noodles with Ketchup" to refer to this type of affront to the food of our culture. To be clear here, i'm not talking about the Italian culture, i'm talking about the Italian-American culture. They are very different, but the Olive Garden is neither of them. Inky and I went to a place in the Harrisburg suburbs with another couple the other night, that is real Italian-American food. The type of place my father would never haunt.
But O.G. is. And he was at work in the nations heartland, putting the whammy on people who call that garbage Italian food. That's as ridiculous as if the Vice President of the United States claimed that Don Rumsfeld was the best Defense Secretary in our nations history. Oh, shit, Dick already said that. Crap! Well maybe my dad will have to haunt some places in DC next.