I’m a boxing fan. Have been ever since listening on my transistor radio to a young Cassius Clay knock out Sonny Liston. And if you don’t know what a transistor radio is, then please somebody shoot me. Anyway, there have been some great, classic fights: Jake LaMotta/Sugar Ray Robinson, Roberto Duran/Estaban DeJesus, of course the Ali/Frazier fights. But the ugliest, meanest, longest, shrillest fight I’ve ever witnessed is the one that’s still going on between my wife and daughter. There’s something about mothers and teenage daughters, but I haven’t a clue what it is. They don’t like each other is the simplest way of putting it. Yeah, yeah, they love each other, but you couldn’t prove it in court.
My son and I fight, but it usually lasts three seconds. It goes like this: Me: “Knock it off. You’re being obnoxious.” Him: “I think I’m being funny.” Me: “You’re not.” But then he just smiles and we both laugh. Sometimes we punch each other, but he’s getting bigger and stronger so I’m trying to stop that. But the point is, it’s over as quick as it starts. My wife and daughter? I think they started before the Mid-East crisis and it’s still going strong. And as my daughter gets more and morre entrenched in teenagerdom, the bloodier the fight becomes.
I try to stay out of it. By staying out of the house as much as possible. Probably why I love my job so much. But sometimes it’s inescapable, and then each of them will come to me to complain about the other and that’s when I hear “Danger, Will Robinson!” in my head. And once again if you don’t know that reference, shoot me. Actually, when my wife complains about our daughter it’s easy to just say, “Hey, you don’t have to tell me! She’s horrible.” I can say that because I know my wife would never tell my daughter I said that. But if my daughter says anything bad about my wife and I agree, she would run to my wife and yell “Dad agrees with me!” And then, my wife turns on me! And no man wants that. So with my daughter I gently try to calm her down, while subtly defending my wife, but then my daughter explodes at me, “You always take her side!” and runs off. I like the running off part, but that’s about it.
We have a friend whose kids have already gone through college and her theory is that the natural order of things is for teenage girls to become so intolerable that you’ll want them to go to college. And then they’ll come home changed for the better. But my daughter is years away from college! And these two battle-weary competitors are getting stronger, and MEANER! I see no end in sight, and I don’t know who is going to win. I’ll tell you who the big loser is: ME! I’m sensing there will be a lot of overtime this coming week. Month. Year. Oh no. I just heard the bell. They’re coming out of their corners. I’m out of here!