I finally have a chance to ask Primo about his dad when Doris leaves to start supper and Sly turns on the TV news.
Oh! Did you think Sly was going to help Doris with supper?
No! That is not happening! Preparing food is women’s work!
Me: What’s the deal with your dad? He’s convinced that there is no valid opinion but his. Is anyone who disagrees with him stupid by definition? Is he not capable of a rational discussion? Can’t there be a quiet, calm conversation about an issue without someone having to be labeled stupid or idiotic?
Primo: Nope. Only stupid people disagree with him. That’s the only logical reason for someone who doesn’t think the way my dad does. Come here. I want to show you something.
He leads me into his dad’s office, which contains a futon (no, I don’t know why and I really don’t know why Primo couldn’t sleep there if the spare room is too much hassle), two computers, and a lot of books and boxes of books and books stacked on top of each other. Books Sly had paid to move from Pittsburgh to Florida and hey, it’s his money, but dude, if you are retired, do you need to keep all of your professional books?
Primo: Look at this.
He points to a framed cartoon hanging on the wall. It shows a man with a big nose, nose in the air, saying, “I’m not arrogant! I just happen to be right!” Only the “I’m” and “I” are covered by small pieces of paper taped on the glass that says, “We’re” and “We.”
Primo: I found this at a crafts fair. I laughed because it was my dad. He always raises his nose and sniffs like that. And he is so arrogant! Everyone else is always wrong. He won’t even consider other opinions. I bought it and had it framed and mailed it to him for his birthday. I thought he would think it was funny.
Me: Except your dad doesn’t seem to have a sense of humor, at least not about himself.
Primo: Nope. My mom said he got really mad when he opened it, so she taped the corrections on the glass. I’m surprised he just didn’t throw it away, but my mom probably wouldn’t let him. She thinks it’s really funny.
Me: Do your parents always cuss like that?
Primo: What do you mean?
Me: I mean the cussing! I mean their potty mouths! It’s not like I’m perfect, but I don’t talk like that in front of people I don’t know.
Primo: I never noticed.
Me: They cuss. I don’t know how you can’t notice. You don’t talk like that. You must have noticed at some point.
He shrugs. I guess he is immune.