Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dads, Wrenches and Red Foxes

When a male red fox' cubs are three months old he kicks them in the ass and makes them go outside.  The fox will pretend to ambush his cubs to teach them to be on alert when out and about.  He will hide food underground and lead the cubs to the area letting them think they found the food.  He teaches them to hunt, forage and pull security by giving them these experiences under his protective paw.  I am sure the whiny snot nosed cubs at first are not so happy about dad taking them out of the warm den and making them give up the free meals from mom's teet.  Later on though, whether they realize it or not, those cubs become foxes and the ones that are thriving are the ones that picked up on what mean ass dad taught them; self reliance, confidence and independence.

When I was little I had books about cars and a poster of a Lamborghini Testorosa on my wall.  I loved driving my go cart and riding my dirt bike.  I loved (and still do) everything with wheels or a motor.  However, I didn't love to work on them.  I was lazy and I wanted someone else to do the dirty work.  None the less, my dad always pulled my little brother (sometimes he would take long poops to get out of some work) and me outside when the 72 Cougar needed brakes or that time when the  65 Ford F-100 threw a rod and needed a new engine.  He walked us through how to clean and rebuild the carb on the go cart and how to bust and replace tires on the 84 Chevy pickup...I always remember being a little upset that my friends were out playing while I was handing wrenches to my dad as he had good time spening the day with his sons and listening to the oldies station blaring (on some stereo we had found and fixed) in the driveway.  Now that I am no longer a boy I realize how awesome it was of my dad to teach me the difference between standard and metric wrenches and how you can be self reliant.  He showed me to not be afraid, if you can take something apart then you can put it back together.  He grew up in a time where you fixed things instead of buying new ones and you used your noggin to figure out how to make something broken work again. He showed me how to use ingenuity, smarts and elbow grease and also to spend time with your but head kids.  I love him for teaching me that...those skills don't just work on broken CV shafts and burnt out clutches.
I read a little statistic in Men's Health  the other day that said that by the year 2048 do it-yourself skills will vanish.  Not with this fox, and I hope my cub still remembers how to change her own spare tire when she grows up.


  1. Awesome post, Neto! It's funny, when I met your dad he was putting new brakes on his '54 Ford. That truck had a 350 Chevy engine and the front seat from the car he drove off a cliff and shattered his spleen in. I think that's where the seat came from, anyway. It sat in the truck so low, I could barely see over the steering wheel after we got married and I was lucky enough to drive it.

    I always admired your dad and my dad for being able to fix things and I'm glad it rubbed off on you and Angel, even though he did take long poops. LOL! Your other brothers got a bit of that in them, too.

    We live in a time where we don't trust ourselves to do anything. Everything's corporatized, from being born to dying and getting buried. People used to handle all of these things, and everything in between, themselves. Babies were born in the bedroom. Funerals were held in the parlor and grandma was buried out back. Everything changes - unless you live in Afghanistan, or some such place. It's important, though, for us all to remember how to make things and fix things and keep OURSELVES alive. As sure as things have progressed to the point we can pay other people to handle things like this, they can regress much more quickly. One bomb. One pandemic. One asteroid. One second. That's all it takes. I don't think any of us realize how dependent we really are on things that could disappear instantly.

    Thanks for the insightful post, my little fox. :)