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My Father's Penis
By Rich Caplan

To truly appreciate this story you need to create a visual image of my father. When I say he looked Jewish, don't picture a swarthy, barrel-chested Israeli soldier type. Picture a skinny bald accountant (with a huge shlong, mind you). Picture a not-so-virile Woody Allen. Now picture him spontaneously kicking the legs right out from under the loudmouth's stool. The man, the stool, and his drink all went down, and all made distinctively different sounds as they hit the floor. Did I mention this guy was big? He was big.

As he scraped himself up off the floor I could already see a purplish welt forming on his temple. He looked at my dad like a tiger might confront a cottontail. "WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT ABOUT?!"

My dad didn't say a word, just defiantly held his ground like a batter on the receiving end of a little chin music. After a moment something kicked in, because the big man abruptly sported a big toothy Rosedale shit-eating grin. "What's the problem, Jew-boy? Cat got your tongue sandwich?" I couldn't believe my father was being spoken to in this derogatory fashion, and I couldn't figure out how this guy knew we were Jewish (unless our clean hands gave us away).

Things just got nuttier from there. Remember that, to my knowledge, the most physical thing my father had ever done was long division. Imagine my surprise then, when my unassuming, albeit well-endowed, role model reached up and boxed the big man's ears and in one swift movement -- well, two really -- brought the big head down while he brought his own knee up and the twains met with a THWACK that was heard up in the gray seats. Blood literally projectile vomited from the man's face. I suppose that technically it was just coming from his nose, but there was so much of it that it looked like everything from the neck up was bleeding.

My father did this. It was a move that The Green Hornet might have done. It was simply the most staggering thing I'd ever seen. He could have followed that up by having monkeys jump out of his ass and I'd have been no more enthralled. I'd forgotten all about the penis by this point and, in any case, I'd never really had it in any proper perspective. Since I'd seen it, all I had been thinking was what a rotten deal my dad had gotten, what with the lack of height and hair to also have to carry the burden of this freakish third leg. Had I known that, in reality, it inspired bragging rights, I might have had the wherewithal to yell some encouragement during the fisticuffs like, "Hey Dad, hit 'em with the dingleberry!"

I felt very proud of my father at that moment. I wasn't sure that I understood all that had transpired, but I knew enough to know that this anomalous act of violence had been completely justified. The guy's friend knew it too because he looked at my dad like he was Pamparo Firpo, The Wild Man Of Borneo, and actually said, like they do in the movies, "Look, I don't have a beef with you, I don't want any trouble." So intimidated was the guy, in fact, that he apologized to the management on behalf of his semi-conscious buddy, as he carted his ass off the premises.

Such is the innocence of youth. As fate would have it, on the day that I first saw my father's penis, I learned far more about his cojones.

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