Shock & awe the father-in-law

It’ll take more than this to keep my father-in-law out

“Time to teach your dad a lesson! Sorry, sweetie. This behavior ends right now.”

“No!” my wife gasped. And giggled a little. “You aren’t going to… okay… wow, looks like you are.”

Allie laughed as I ran out the door.

It had been a perfect Saturday afternoon in every way. My wife and I were in bed, naked, doing what newlyweds do. This was my sole criteria for perfect, and ten years later it hasn’t changed much.

“Hello!” Allie’s dad called again from the living room. “What are you two doing today?”

Dave lives 5.2 miles away. Allie gave her father a key to our house, which quickly ranked on the family brilliant decisions scale right below my drunk sister walking into a Vegas tattoo parlor at 3am. For the tenth time in the three months we’d been married, Dave let himself in. In most cases I came home from work to find him cleaning or gardening, which I found creepy but useful. A few times he dropped by during dinner to tell knock-knock jokes and comment on the nutritional value of my cooking.

“Anybody home?” Dave called. “Looks like your cars are in the driveway.”

I walked into the living room naked. Naked, sweaty, and still flying at full mast.

“Hi Dave,” I smiled. “How’s it hanging?”


“Come here,” I spread my arms wide. “Give me a hug.”

“Uh … I … I’m … that’s okay…”

My father-in-law reacted like I’d just announced I have a wildly contagious combination TB-leprosy-Asian Bird-SARS-Swine Flu-Ebola-herpes-zombie plague. He backed away fast. There would be no hugs today, or possibly this decade.

“Sorry … ah, Marshall … did I catch you in the shower?”


“Oh … did you just wake up?”


Dave earned points for trying to maintain a normal conversation and not making eye contact with the elephant (trunk) in the room. He lost those points for missing what the elephant was obviously doing before he interrupted.

“So you’re … changing after a run?”

“Strike three.”

Dave didn’t know! I wondered if Allie and her three siblings had been adopted. Or divinely conceived. Maybe a horny UPS driver was involved.

“Hmm …” Dave pondered this riddle.

Maybe Allie’s parents had spent their wedding night just holding hands and watching Disney movies.

“Is my daughter home?”

Probably something with Dumbo or Mickey Mouse. Male and female characters would have been too suggestive.

“Allie is in the bedroom,” I said. “Should I get her?”

“Is she sleeping?”

“Definitely not.”

“Well … if she isn’t doing anything …”

Dave weighed his options. I put my thumb on the scale.

“Dave, Allie isn’t dressed either.”

“Why? It’s eleven in — oh … OH!

Dave realized the mechanics behind the prince and princess living happily ever after. Soon he’d question the proliferation of babies and the absence of storks to deliver them.

“Allie, come out here!” I called. “Your dad wants to hang out.”

“That’s okay!” Dave gasped. “I’m — sorry I dropped by unannounced! Bye!”

Dave turned and fled. He even locked the door behind him.

Dave next appeared in our home several months later. Prior to his arrival, he had emailed Allie and me twice to confirm the drop-in date and time. That day he texted us both to re-confirm. At the correct time he rang the doorbell rather than use his key.

I answered in my bathrobe.

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