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nxknxk's avatar

What is the strangest thing your father ever taught you?

Asked by nxknxk (2310points) November 2nd, 2009

This is a kind of research. I don’t expect many answers but hopefully you guys can help me out.

Better put: what is the most frightening or disconcerting thing he ever taught you?

I mean ‘taught’ in the pedagogic sense. I mean something he explained directly and verbally to you. I do not mean the lesson you learned about fathers being the scum of the earth when he walked out while you were still in grade school although if that’s the case feel free to share your story because it would be interesting as well and I don’t want to discriminate etc.

The most important part of the question for me: how did he explain this to you? What kind of language, gestures were involved? Where did it occur? The details interest me the most.

Thanks in advance.

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52 Answers

rooeytoo's avatar

My dad taught me to never mow the grass in the same direction 2 times in a row. If I went up and down one wee, the next week had to be back and forth.

It isn’t really frightening but I can’t remember my dad teaching me anything really frightening or disconcerting.


nxknxk's avatar

Haha that’s okay. I’ve never heard of such a thing before. Was it superstition or pragmatism that instilled that habit?

Samurai's avatar

I think kids forget the strange things their fathers say.

rooeytoo's avatar

It’s like they mow a golf course green (I had an uncle who built golf courses) it causes the grass to grow sparsely or something like that.

augustlan's avatar

My father taught me how to parallel park by using himself as one of the ‘cars’ I was supposed to park in between. I was in his brand new, huge honkin’ pickup truck, and it was my very first time attempting this maneuver. If I’d screwed it up, I might have run him over!

nxknxk's avatar

These are all good, even the one about forgetting. I am writing about this right now so it’s interesting to see what kind of experiences the flutherites have with paternal pedagogy.

Sarcasm's avatar

My father never taught me anything frightening or disconcerting (I’m 75% sure I know what that word means).

The weirdest thing he taught me was to take down agave plants with a machete (Bought from a blacksmith in ‘Nam) and rope.

forestGeek's avatar

He taught me how to smoke from a bong. At age 12. He picked up the bong and showed me. Then he had me do it. Yup, awesome huh?

fundevogel's avatar

Honestly, the strangest thing I can think of is something he wouldn’t explain to me or my sister. He could gleek, that’s what you open your mouth and squirt a little jet of water directly out of the gland under your tongue.

I can only do it on accident when I’m trying to work a popcorn shell out of my teeth or something.

nxknxk's avatar


Holy shit, I didn’t know anyone else was aware of the word ‘gleek’, let alone its definition. I am also capable of gleeking.

Try yawning widely for practice. You know, if you really wanna learn. I’m small and it was a great defense mechanism against my bigger friends in early high school. Like that lizard that shoots blood out of its eye(s)....

@Sarcasm: Was this like a hands-on demonstration? With an agave plant and everything? Do you remember why he decided to teach you this?

@forestGeek: Very.

Facade's avatar

It wasn’t really a lesson, but it disturbed the hell out of me anyway.
My father and I were shootin’ the shit when he was like “guess who’s pregnant!” I said “Who?” ”[Person’s Name]!” “Oh wow. Congrats to her.” He then holds up four fingers. I say, “Oh she’s four weeks?” “No, four months… Yea, there’s no getting rid of that one [Weird, creepy chuckle]”

That creeped me out…

fundevogel's avatar

@nxknxk I had to look up what it was called, dad called it “L.E.” or “elly” which was probably a very very colloquial term for it.

Sarcasm's avatar

@nxknxk Yup. He taught me it cause we had overgrown agaves in our yard and they were threatening to fall over and wreck our neighbor’s fence and some property.

judochop's avatar

Son, this is shit….this is shinola. Got it? Shit….. Shinola.

cyndyh's avatar

When punching someone you should aim through their nose to the back of their head. There are two reasons for this. First, you want to aim through your target, not just at it, so that you’re connecting with some real force in the follow-through. Second you aim at the nose because if you miss a little you still hit an eye, ear, lip, chin, etc.

Never hit anyone unless you’re ready to do some real damage.

When people are jumping you, you’re already in an unfair fight. Use anything within reach and let them have it.

Jack79's avatar

Well he taught me how to shave, drive and tried to teach me to take care of plants but failed. So mainstream stuff. Nothing freaky unless you take into account that I learnt to drive when I was 12 and could take the car alone by the time I was 14.

The most unusual thing I guess was teaching me to graft trees, a weird process which starts with finding the best, softest manure and mixing it nicely with your grafting knife in a pot (yuk!). It’s almost as disgusting as it sounds, and no, we didn’t taste it to see if it was good quality. But his handling of it and the making of this sort of ointment looked as if my dad was cooking some sort of mousse or other dessert that we’d later have to try.

JLeslie's avatar

A theme from him was not to go for the girl thing just because you are a girl.

When I said, “I want to try out for cheeleading,” he said, “why not try out for the football team.”

When I said, “I want to marry someone rich,” he said, “your goal should be to become rich on your own.”

Jack79's avatar

@JLeslie sounds like a great dad :)

rooeytoo's avatar

@JLeslie that is great advice, how wonderful that your dad would give it to you.

Chrissi85's avatar

My dad taught me everything through a complicated system of shouting, raging, yelling, and bawling. This made everything quite frightening! I think the scariest thing he ever taught me was how to sail by pointing the boat at a 10 foot dock wall, tacking towards it, and handing control over to me.. Sink or swim much! Oh and that Moray Eels might eat my feet.. possibly untrue but a damn good phobia starter! And that being thrown over stuff you are too scared to jump over can break your ankle.. my dad had a hands on approach to child rearing, it involved occasional throwing

MrItty's avatar

When I was 12 or 13, my father had a bit too much wine at dinner. My parents used to buy those “wine in a box” things. Well inside the box is a silver bag. Dad was trying to get the last little bit of wine, so had to take the bag out of the box. As he did so, he said to me “Hey son, wanna feel what a titty feels like?” (referring to the sack of wine left in the corner of the bag) and then started giggling

I just stared at him. My mother’s jaw dropped. Having no idea what to say and not at all comfortable with my father being inebriated, I just left the dinner table.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@MrItty OMG! Did he sober up & remember what he’d said?

My dad taught me to never back down from anyone if I truly feel I’m right in something. He’d also say that I was no better than anyone else, but no one else is better than me, either.

Something that I COULD have done without that he taught me was how to run a hoola-hoop around my neck. LOL That resulted in me getting some vertebra pushed out of my neck. It resulted in several years of chiropractic adjustments to repair the damage.

MrItty's avatar

@jbfletcherfan I have no idea. I never spoke to him about it ever again….

ccrow's avatar

@judochop My husband had heard that saying but had no idea there actually was such a thing as Shinola until we were helping clean out my aunt’s house after she passed away. He found an old box of it in the cellar; he has it in his workshop now! :-)

pinkparaluies's avatar

Not to control my temper?

nebule's avatar

On a long car journey once I asked my Dad why car wheels look like they are turning backwards (on the motorway) when they are indeed turning forwards.

It took him ages… like….25–30 minutes to explain it to me so much so that I completely forgot what the explanation was…I remember this incident more for the fact that it taught me never to ask my dad questions unless I was really interested in the answer and prepared to listen for really long time. Bless him.

JLeslie's avatar

@lynneblundell I am fascinated by that also.

nebule's avatar

and of course I daren’t ask him again…on many levels lol

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

That beer and tomato juice is a pretty good drink.

MacBean's avatar

Thanks to my dad, I can get a pumpkinseed off the hook without bleeding, use a piece of grass as a musical instrument, change the oil in a motorcycle, and do my own handicapping at the race track.

Okay, I was five when he taught me how to change the motorcycle’s oil, and we got rid of it later that year, so I probably can’t do that anymore.

IBERnineD's avatar

I remember my father at the dinner table clearly, teaching my sisters and me how to swallow spaghetti noodles and then pull them out again. My mom yelled at him while, we all gagged.
Another thing he taught me was how to grout tile. He taught me how to, while re-doing the kitchen.
He also taught me about zits. Her drew many diagrams. It was gross.

my father is a little odd…

MacBean's avatar

@IBERnineD: Ah, but did he teach you how to get the spaghetti to come out of your nose so you had both ends of the noodle hanging out of your face? That would’ve been a winner. My dad didn’t teach me that. I figured it out all by myself, thanks. And then taught him.

IBERnineD's avatar

@MacBean No he didn’t. I’m a little jealous. I’m the only one who couldn’t figure out the original noodle trick! :(

MacBean's avatar

@IBERnineD: Don’t worry. You’re not really missing much. It feels really weird. XD

IBERnineD's avatar

@MacBean Still jealous. :)

Psychedelic_Zebra's avatar

It’s not strange or weird in any ordinary sense, but it is unusual. He taught me how to ‘soak’ a wooden fish trap so that when you actually used it, it would stay down at the bottom of the river, where the fish were, instead of floating.

He also taught me how to ‘read’ the river while boating, and what NOT to do should a fierce wind storm pop up out of nowhere. His lessons of respecting Mother Nature and Old Man River saved my life more than once.

wundayatta's avatar

He taught me how to run down mountains. Later on he would freak out when any of his children went near the edge of a big drop off.

He taught me how to run a table saw without cutting off my fingers.

He taught me to use wood carving tools without gouging myself.

He demonstrated the art of getting up into a handstand.

valdasta's avatar

When you are in a fight, no matter if you think you will win or loose, slap the man hard with an open hand to the face. So, even if you loose, the only thing people will remember is that he got slapped like a woman.

Other than that, my dad didn’t teach me anything, let alone speak to me.

rangerr's avatar

He taught me a lot of frightening things that I’d rather not share.

rooeytoo's avatar

@daloon – do you still carve? I never heard you say anything about it before. I love carving, it is my passion.

Naked_Homer's avatar

He taught me how to frustrate lawyers as a technical witness in a trial.

Judi's avatar

There are three things a boy should have and keep with him for life. A hankerchief, a pocket comb and a good sharp pocket knife.

There are three things a girl should have to call her very own. A secret book to keep her thoughts, a mirror and a comb.

By my Daddy.

JLeslie's avatar

@judi, you reminded me that my dad also always made sure when I left the house I had money to call and/or get home. Oh, and when I wanted a diary in 6th grade my mom told me never to write down anything I dont want others to know. LOL.

rockstargrrrlie's avatar

My father taught me that parents are not perfect. When I was thirteen, on my first trip to visit him at his new home in Miami Beach, he pulled me aside after we ate dinner. He talked to me about his history of drug abuse and how it wasn’t so long ago (within the last few years at that point) that he was going to NA meetings. He told me that if I ever had any questions about drugs, I shouldn’t be scared to talk to him. This was among one of the most important things he taught me, and a reason why I respected him so much during my teenage years- he didn’t hide his imperfections and he knew to approach it at an age when I was vulnerable to peer pressure.

He also taught me to recognize that I had symptoms and signs of both clinical deprssion and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

cyndyh's avatar

@Judi: the comb comes in handy in the desert, too. That’s how you remove jumping cholla from your arm. It’s not fun but better than the alternative.

wundayatta's avatar

@rooeytoo No. I stopped when I left home. I didn’t do it much before then. On the other hand, if you count pumpkin carving, then yes. Used to just use those little saws, but we finally broke down and got a cheap set of gouges. We make very fancy pumpkins. I’ve passed that joy down to my children, although my son got a bit carried away, and created a design that was way too complicated to carve in a few hours.

rooeytoo's avatar

@daloon – that’s a shame, it is a good outlet, I pour my heart into some carvings. Anyhow you should post some pics of your pumpkins, they sound great!

dazednconfused's avatar

lol nothing at all to be honest. i can say he helped me learn my multiplication tables for the 9’s when i was younger, but eh thats about it! lol

judochop's avatar

I was quoting the movie, The Jerk. The scene where he is leaving the country for life in the city. His father stops him and tells him that. I was hoping more people would catch that. It’s a great moral though really. You can’t polish a turd and that really is something hard to learn for some people.

MacBean's avatar

@judochop Actually, you CAN polish a turd. It is, of course, still a turd, but…

vicnav's avatar

My dad once told me he could talk to birds. But I was young and he was just messing with me.

monocle's avatar

He taught me how burp the ABC’s and how to break someones nose.

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