"Daddy's Itchy"

I shall now tell the tale of when my father accidentally taped himself for an entire day in his BMW, as told, over and over again, by my little brother, and then everyone we know. It had been a pleasant weekend in North Carolina. A few years ago my little brother Vinnie and my friend Slavomir had been down to visit, and driven together. They'd taken the car my father was currently leasing. On their return trip to D.C. Sunday evening they searched the vehicle for something good to listen to and picked up an unlabeled tape.

"Let's try this," my brother said.

They put it in and heard nothing much but the faint noises indicating that the tape wasn't blank, exactly, but wasn't music or a great novel or anything else purposely recorded. They waited, the air thick with their expectation.

And then, "Ohhhhhhhh Daddy's tired."

What the boys had stumbled upon was a tape my father had recorded - of himself - during an entire day while riding around the city in his car. The car, for whatever reason, had a feature so that one could tape him or herself if he or she wanted to. My father had discovered this feature accidentally and proceeded to use it all day without knowing it.

What followed was a series of comments, mock conversations, and explanations, the favorites, of course, the typical "Daddy's tired," and "Daddy's itchy," remarks our father uses on a regular basis. It was just surprisingly delightful to learn he uses them when when alone in his car, too.

There was a practice telephone conversation with a colleague, a "What the fuck are you doing?!" to a another driver, and an "I knew that!" that we think came after a glance at the day's newspaper, due to the rustling sounds in the background.

Vinnie made sure we all knew about his find and the story soon became common knowledge among family and friends. Guests would arrive at my parent's house to ask, "Fred, you taped yourself in the car all day?"

To which he would reply in his typical, and now semi-famous fashion, "How the hell should I know how the fucking thing works?!"