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An Unforgettable Salute


“Frank my ass!” he shouted, the boom in his voice echoing the violence that was about to flow from his huge painful fists. All hell was about to break out as Dad slowly pushed himself away from the table. He stood up and eyeballed me with an evil look as if possessed by demons.

Slowly raising my head from my soup bowl, I timidly looked into Dad’s eyes and knew what to expect. However, my fearful eyes immediately filled with water as my heart rate increased and hands continued to tremble. I watched this immense wall of flesh and muscles reach for a pepper-shaker on the dining table. Of course, it wasn’t just any pepper-shaker; it had to be a ten-inch solid oak pepper-shaker that was last year’s Christmas gift from a relative. I knew what to expect at that very instant and did what any kid would have done.

I attempted to make a life saving break from the table but there was no escaping the powerful grip of my father’s massive hand when he clamped down onto my left arm. Struggling to pull away and resist the forthcoming onslaught was a futile attempt at self-preservation. I peered over my left shoulder. I saw from the corner of my eye the downward stoke of the pepper-shaker. I frantically tried to protect myself with my other arm behind the back of my head. I immediately felt – and simultaneously heard – the crack of the pepper-shaker over my back and shoulders. My Dad somehow was smart enough to know not to leave any facial bruises or marks that would taint his image at the local bar and around the neighborhood.

“Dad…stop! Please!” I begged ......

Copyright © 2010 John R. Gouin