Stephen Fahey: Evil Genius Strikes Again
So I tried skiing two years ago and while it was enjoyable I swore off it this year, hoping for a holiday of unhindered beer and a distinct lack of physical injuries. However, despite the father in law having been told this, didn’t he go and buy ski boots for me. Because he’s some kind of Evil Genius. I’m not morally or religiously opposed to skiing, per se, I was just hoping to not have to endure the arduousness of it and the lack of a free hand during the whole skiing experience, with which to grasp and nice cold beer. However, and despite these excuses and my overall lack of determination to learn to ski (or perhaps because of same) there is reason to the madness of said Evil Genius.
Because I din’t want to ski, or to be more specific, because I didn’t want to slog it out learning over to ski while on holiday, I was avoiding developing a new skill. And because I was avoiding doing so, I was precluding myself from any and all future skiing-related holidays. And without Evil Genius there to push me I would likely never learn to ski. Thus, Evil Genius did me a favour. Initially, it was not pleasant news to learn that I would, after all, be hurtling at the cold, icy ground repeatedly, for days on end. But now that I’ve had time to think about it, I’m glad.
The communication between myself and Evil Genius is severely limited by language. And while that’s not to say that we can’t communicate, or that we don’t have a laugh together, or enjoy one another’s company, there is a barrier there by which he can’t gift me his wisdom, as fathers and fathers in law are want to do. This integral facet of the father in law/son in law bond is especially significant for me because Evil Genius has a wealth of practical information that I lack. I would dearly like to learn from the man, as would he enjoy sharing his knowledge. But there is a huge disconnect.
Despite the linguistic barrier, and aside from our ability to communicate without a common language, acts such as buying me ski boots after I tried to bitch out of relearning to ski are exactly the kind of wisdom I seek to receive from the man. So he’s done me a favour, on top of purchasing me a pair of ski boots. It just took me a little time to stop being a little bitch about it and realise what he was really doing.
I mention all this because I know first-hand what it’s like to be the son in law of a man with whom you can’t communicate directly, but who also has your best interests at heart. The machoism of the classic Polish mustachio isn’t always easy to face when you don’t have vast DIY knowledge, a toolbox the size of a school bus and the hides of one’s enemies dried and hanging over your fireplace.
All that being said though, Evil Genius is good hearted, not too megalomaniacal, very not evil, and wholly ingenious, not to mention resourceful, diligent, hardworking, funny, dapper and in possession of many other fine qualities. A evidenced by his giving me a push when I needed it. I’m just glad he didn’t literally push me down a mountain.