Bullitt's Bros

Saturday, July 03, 2010


You know those Kung-Fu movies where an old master can send a younger upstart sprawling seemingly without moving a finger? That's Aikido, the art of using your opponents energy against them. My dad is the Aikido master of passive aggression and today he sent me flying through a plate-glass window without moving a muscle. Metaphorically.

As is usual, he woke me up early to ask about where I'd want to go for breakfast... Or more accurately, where he wants to go for breakfast while pretending I wanted to go there.

"Where do you want to go, Daddo?"
"Oh it is fine. Wherever you would like to go."

This line means the opposite of what it says.

"So where would you like to go?"
"Perhaps Burger King?"

Crap. I do not want to go to Burger King. But, this being the master of passive aggression, I don't exactly know how to get out of that.

"If we go to Burger King, though, I want to get it to go. I don't want to eat in a Burger King."
"Perhaps Bob Evans?"

Okay, this is much better. I actually like Bob Evans and it's fast and I have to go for a meeting in not too long.

"Great, let's go to Bob Evans."

So in the car, Dad makes his move... Bob Evans was just a head fake as it turns out.

"Burger King is closer than Bob Evans."

This translates into, "You are more likely to walk on the sun than eat at Bob Evans today."

Fine. Whatever. I really don't want to go to Burger King but he's set on it so I can deal with it for one day.

"Fine. But we are going to the drive through."

So at the drive through I order.

"I'll take a... number four, I guess. With coffee. Can I get anything else than coffee?"
"Orange juice or soda."
"Okay, fine. Coffee. Dad, what do you want?"
"Oh, nothing."

Wait a second...

"Nothing? Are you having trouble reading the drive through window?"
""No, I ate breakfast at home."

So there it is... Dad didn't even want to eat at Burger King but he forced me to go there anyway. Dad is the gold medalist of passive aggression. No one else is even close.


  • LOL.

    I think he was getting back at you for our speaker-phone conversation yesterday.

    In case you don't know, audience, what happened is this:

    I was talking to Joe as he was driving from Detroit to Dayton. During our call, Joe actually arrived at our house in Dayton and Dad got in the car. Dad asked whether Joe wanted to go to Applebee's, which of course meant that Dad wanted to go to Applebee's.

    I told Joe that he'd been trying to get me to go to Applebee's the last time I was in Dayton (two weeks ago), so I continued that this was something Joe would have to just get through.

    Joe said that that was Dad's approach, and Dad laughed, "oh, do I have ... an ... approach?"

    Joe: "You totally have an approach, Daddo."
    Dad: "Ok, I have an approach."
    Me: "Yeah, your approach is to say to your victim, 'let us do whatever you want', and then you keep on suggesting what *you* want until they give in."
    Dad: "It is like Ford, you know? He said, 'you can have any color of Model T you want, as long as it is black."

    Here's the thing about that. Dad has used that line on us for years. I always thought he was using it to make fun of people who acted like Ford. But it turns out, he's been repeating the line because he admired it so much!

    And here's the mistake I made. I enunciated the above thought out loud to him and Joe because I was so pleased with my insight.

    Well, Dad laughed along with Joe and me, but it turns out he was laughing because what he was really thinking is this: "oh, you think it is funny to make fun of my approach? Well, I shall change my approach to: you can have any model T you want, as long as it is black, and also you cannot have a model T."

    By Blogger Bobcat, at 1:38 PM  

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