Dad Is Fat

Dad Is Fat by Jim Gaffigan

Book: Dad Is Fat by Jim Gaffigan Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jim Gaffigan
bored. They scream. I’ve actually learned to love the sound of a vacuum cleaner. It’s just so peaceful.
    It’s amazing how you get numb to a certain amount of the screaming. I’ve learned to focus on work with screaming in the background, like a surgeon in a MASH unit while being shelled. Incoming!
    You also learn to decipher the many types of screaming. I’ve had thoughts like “That’s the ‘I had too much sugar’ type of screaming.” “Oh, that’s an ‘I don’t want to take a bath’ type of screaming.” Then there’s the “Did someone just get their hand caught in the door … let me get out of bed and run and find out” type of screaming.
    There is a tipping point with screaming where the screaming eventually becomes contagious. If one kid starts screaming, even the children that were docile or napping start screaming. I was never a screamer, but now I scream. Well, maybe I’m not screaming, but I raise my voice over really important things like washing hands. Initially, I was shocked. Wait, why am I raising my voice? Now I know. I yell because my kids don’t hear me otherwise. To them, my normal voice doesn’t register. They only hear, “Carry on. Don’t acknowledge I’m even talking to you. Carry on.” Unless, of course, I scream.
    If you come to visit us at our apartment building, there is no need to ask what apartment we live in. Just follow the screaming.

    An amazing source of income
.

The Chud People
    Like many of us, I grew up in the type of neighborhood where you had to go outside and look in your neighbor’s driveway to see if anyone was home. In New York City, if you live in an apartment building, there are likely people living beside you, below you, and above you. You can hear your neighbors leave for work and come home at night. You know their traffic patterns and when they take a shower. Sometimes you can hear when they are arguing or even when they have a cough. The unspoken NYC apartment etiquette is that neighbors should make every effort not to deliberately disturb each other or look each other in the eye.
    Many people in New York live above or next to a bar or a nightclub, and I am sure that is incredibly annoying. I am also sure that the nightclub scenario would become much more attractive if one were faced with a choice between that or living in the apartment under my family.
    We have five small children climbing, jumping off furniture, throwing themselves on the floor in a fit, and for no reason at all just tapping. Not to music. Just tapping. No reason. Just tapping. Tap, tap, tapping. Annoying, right? We’ve lived in our apartment for six years, and we are on our third set of downstairs neighbors. Living there presently are two brothers from Italy who seem to be visiting the U.S. less and less since moving into the apartment. Hopefully we are not damaging our country’s relationship with Italy.
    We make efforts to stop our children from making noise, but it’s like trying to stop the sun from coming up. We’ve explained to them that there are people living downstairs. We explained that our neighbors don’t like the knocking and the bouncing of a basketball at 7 a.m. on Sunday morning. We have explained and explained and explained, but alas the thumping continues. In the entire time we have lived in the apartment with our children, there was only one incident when I could even temporarily stop the incessant banging. I was telling my then four-year-old daughter Marre that she couldn’t jump up and down because she was disturbing the people living below us. Suddenly she stopped and looked at me very seriously and said, “Wait, there are people living
in
the floor?” Thinking fast, I replied, “Of course there are people living in the floor. They are called the Chud people, and they get angry when they hear noises. Please don’t wake them up or else they will climb up here and come after us!” Evil? Yes. But it freaked her out and stopped the noise for at least

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