Terri Psiakis crunches the numbers on the men in her life
I make a lot of jokes about my dad. I adore him but the fact remains that he is an accountant. He’s a very good one, mind you, but the thing about accountants is that, generally speaking, they all think they’re hilarious. Take my dad’s favourite joke (please – I’m still trying to offload it): “What did the constipated accountant do? He worked it out with a pencil.”
Throughout our lives, my two younger sisters and I have heard this joke and others like it more times than I can count, which disappoints my accountant father because I know he always hoped his skill with numbers would rub off on me. Sadly, I turned out to be a word-nerd instead of a number-nerd, although I’m pretty sure dad was rapt when I married a number-nerd (The Bloke works in finance).
They say women marry their fathers and the similarities between The Bloke and my dad – while not profound – are definitely there. Both are number-nerds. Both go spare for any type of processed meat. If you dish them up a vegetarian meal, both will ask: “That was a nice entree. What are we having for main?” Neither will let me near their lawnmower.
Once, while hugging The Bloke upon his return home from work, I said, “You smell like dad” – it was then I realised that my dad and my husband wear the same deodorant. Furthermore, they both enclose that deodorant with a business shirt and a windowless office, resulting in them both sporting the exact same not-unpleasant scent at the end of the day. However, if I told dad that he and The Bloke smelled alike he would undoubtedly find a way to make another joke about digestively challenged accountants.
My dad is incredibly generous. He would give you the shirt off his back (and now you know what you’d smell like if you took it). However, being an accountant, he’s also careful with money. When my sisters and I were younger, we mistook his care for stinginess and ribbed dad mercilessly: “Dad, you’re so tight you squeak when you walk.”
The door to our kitchen pantry had a magnificent creak and whenever anyone opened it, you could guarantee that one of the three junior resident smartarses would pipe up with “dad’s home”. Dad took our jokes well and got his own back on me years later when I called to tell him and mum that The Bloke had proposed, and instead of congratulating me immediately, dad pretended to leave my phone call hanging with the phrase “I’ll get the calculator”.
Father’s Day has come and gone* but it’s my dad’s birthday this week. His birthday is two days after mine, actually, and it falls the same way every year (that’s a dad joke). I may not take after dad in the number-nerd stakes but this year, for his birthday, I’m making a concerted effort to be more like him. Dear dad: I’m finally being careful with my cash, so for your birthday this year I’m giving you this column . . . and a bulk-buy packet of laxatives.
*You can tell because of the high number of men now wearing new socks and undies.
■ You can follow Terri on Twitter @terripsiakis