Parents can have a unique way of surprising their kids with hidden talents, apparent fearlessness, or heroic feats of strength. The parents in these Reddit stories put on quite the show for their kids. Has your dad ever rescued a drowning child, lassoed a rattlesnake, or fought a hornet with Matrix style moves?
My dad was driving me to his office when I was about ten. There was a group of five people outside of the library kicking the life out of this guy's face. They picked the wrong day to do it. My dad just calmly parked the car, got out, and started pulling these dudes off this other guy like it wasn't even a thing. Someone called the authorities while my dad held them all off.
When I asked him why he did it he said, "I was having a terrible day, and I could tell that guy was too". He's a lawyer in a relatively small town, and it turns out the guy he helped had actually got sent to jail because of him three years previously. He was still insanely thankful for what my dad did that day, and he sends us a Christmas card every year.
My step-father won one of those carnival games that few people are able to win. This one was the mallet/hammer-slam thing where you take a huge mallet and whack a pressure plate on the ground, which, in turn, sends a small, metal slug up a pole and, to win, rings the bell at the top of the pole. You ring the bell, you take home the prize.
We stood around watching men of varying sizes with rippling muscles slam the mallet as hard as they could, over and over, without ringing the bell. Sure, the slug made it WAY up the pole, but not ALL the way. They were having a friendly contest, ribbing each other about who made the slug go the highest. So, my step-father (who was in his late 60s at the time) steps up. They had no clue what was coming.
Let me stop here and describe my step-father: he had polio as a child, which took some sensation out of his legs. He also has diabetes, which also took more sensation out of his extremities. He has a bad back from years of fieldwork. But he's got a tough head and body…and he's insanely smart, too. So, step-father steps up to the plate.
He takes the mallet, pulls it up over his head, and basically lets gravity do the rest. It didn't seem like a huge swing at all, and we've got some muscle men standing around joking that he couldn't possibly beat them. The mallet makes contact, and the metal slug nearly takes the bell off the top of the pole, it hits it so hard. He walked away with some four-foot-tall puppy dog stuffed animal. The muscle men's mouths were agape.
Later on, he told me his secret: this particular game isn't about strength at all. You could hit the pressure plate with the force of a thousand bowling balls falling from the sky and the slug won't ring the bell. Rather, it's all in the way you make contact with the pressure plate. He simply knew that guiding the mallet down toward the pressure plate, ensuring that near 100% of the flat face of the mallet makes contact with the flat face of the pressure plate will ring the bell with a fraction of the force needed if you had contacted it slightly off-center.
The muscle men were putting all their effort into force and power, and failing to connect the mallet and plate flatly and perfectly on their faces. They were either off center, or hitting with the edge of the mallet, and that just didn't work. If you're accurate, you don't even have to swing…just let gravity do all the work, and you'll win almost every time. That's probably the day I decided I wanted to be smart like my dad.
My dad was fetching my sister at her primary school when some thieves on a motorbike snatched a lady's purse off. He dropped my sister down, asked her to wait, chased after the thieves on his motorbike, kicked the thieves down, and then proceeded to beat the daylight out of both of them, and handed them to the authorities.
Some days later the authorities called him up to the station to get some kind of award, but he refused because he didn't want any publicity. He told me later: "I didn't want the thieves to remember my face. It might endanger your sister since it happened near her school". He really was a hero that day, and I’ll never forget it.
My dad has always been a big physically impressive guy (6'3", about 220 pounds, getting portlier in his old age, but used to be pretty fit too), so he's always been a towering figure to me, seemingly physically unstoppable. But what really set him apart for me was his charisma. So he took me, my brother, and our two best friends to Cedar Point for a weekend trip (for those unfamiliar, Cedar Point is probably one of America's most famous amusement parks, known for being home to a number of record-setting roller coasters).
When we arrived, disaster struck. It turns out that the hotel (The Breakers) had erroneously overbooked, we were told that our rooms had been given to other guests, and after a lengthy discussion with management that with apologies, were basically out of luck. Now my mom has always been very uptight, by the book, what you see is what you get kind of person, and I kind of took after her in that regard.
I was ready to admit defeat. My dad, however, told us kids to wait nearby, and he'd fix this. I idolized him, but I wasn't sure how he planned to get us into a full hotel. He popped into a nearby gift shop, walked up to reception with a flower in hand, and after a wave of smiles and giggling on the part of the clerk up front, twenty minutes later we were escorted to the hotel's premium suites, for free no less (we were given vouchers for another stay, and then were allowed to pay the rate for the suites for which we'd originally booked). My jaw dropped.
Now that I'm an adult, I've had more experience in the idea that just being kind and talking to someone rarely if ever hurts your chances, so I can understand better that it wasn't magic, just being nice, but to ten year old me, it was like wizardry. It was just so effortless! Everyone liked my dad! He could talk his way out of anything! To a kid that still stammered nervously when forced to order his own food in public because I was so afraid of strangers, it really made him seem larger than life.
I was sleeping at my cabin once with my family (immediate family and grandparents). I wake up to my grandma screaming at my grandpa in the middle of the night. I look out the window and see my grandpa in the buff holding a 9 mm staring down a black bear. Apparently he got up to go to the bathroom and saw a black bear trying to climb in his bedroom window. Still not sure how he got a 9 mm out so fast......
My uncle was a cameraman for Fox during the Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl riots in ‘93. He noticed a group of men beating the daylights out of somebody across the street. Nobody was doing anything about it so he decided to take matters into his own hands. He was wielding one of those giant news cameras since he was supposed to be filming the parade. He knew just what he had to do.
He ran across the street and started swinging the behemoth of a camera at the group of people. They all scrambled out of the way but didn't leave. My uncle stood over the beaten man while swinging his camera at anyone that came near. The authorities showed up and took over from there. There is a video of this somewhere. They interviewed my uncle and showed some clips of him standing over the man. I wish I could find it...I'm surprised it's not on Youtube.
When I was a kid, I watched my dad lasso a rattlesnake with a shoestring. He was a park ranger, and he's always been very into wildlife. He was getting ready for a yearly presentation that his organization would take around to the area’s elementary schools about local wildlife and ecology. So of course, he needed a rattlesnake. We went out driving one afternoon and happened to see one across the road, so he stopped to catch it.
He had a glass box for it in the back of his truck (who doesn't drive around with a snake box?), but he didn't have the stick he'd usually use to capture it. So he pulls off his sneaker and takes the shoelace out, and after a couple of tries he proceeds to lasso the thing, put it in the box, and take it home. My dad is awesome.
My dad ended the America/Soviet Union conflict. He was studying abroad in Russia during the late 80s, right around the end of it. One day, he and some of his friends from the States went on a huge party boat with some Russians. A local news crew was there and they interviewed him; Russian women in either arm, of course.
He said something along the lines of: "Us Americans don't want to keep this feud going, we love the Russians. We want to be allies and partners"! Apparently, Gorbachev was watching this live feed and later wrote in his memoirs, "I saw American and Russian students getting along, having a good time and being friends. I then decided to call Reagan and begin talks of peace". So now my dad likes to tell people he ended the Cold War.
I like to complain about my dad because, let's be honest, he's kind of a jerk. But he does have his awesome moments. When I was maybe ten, we had an old bull named Bruce we used for breeding. He kinda reminds me of the guys on Jersey Shore. All pumped up on testosterone, completely idiotic, and wanting to beat everything up.
One day, I'm minding my own business, doing my farm chores, when I suddenly hear a loud BANG. I turn around. There's a crumpled-up gate and Bruce is out of his pen, staring me down. He's moving his head back and forth, sizing me up, deciding whether or not I'm a threat. There's a soft clinking noise as the chain attached to his nose ring drags across the concrete.
Then he stops, lifts his head, stares behind me. And my father, driving the skid loader, charges in from seemingly nowhere, placing himself between me and the bull. I flee to the safety of the barn. As I turn around to shut the door, I see my father ram the skid loader into Bruce, shouting his redneck cry: "HEEEYUUUPPP IN THAR!!!". Bruce, startled, jumps back into his pen. Dad parks the skid loader in the gap, climbs out, and walks away. Like a boss.
One time, there was an armadillo that was basically ruining our backyard, and my dad is a madman about the grass so he complained about it every time he went outside. After a week or so of armadillo infestation, I'm awakened at 4:30 am by loud bangs and probably some of the most magnificent swearing I've ever heard.
I run downstairs to see what's going on and join my mom at the window where we watched my dad attempt to annihilate the armadillo. What he was unaware of was the apparent speed and the agility of the armadillo. The thing was running, dodging, and jumping into the air to avoid the bullets. My dad was chasing after it and screaming his head off. He eventually hit it, the armadillo was vanquished, the yard was saved, and I had the dirtiest vocabulary in my third-grade class.
One time my dad went to father’s weekend for my sorority. My dad likes to believe he's 21 despite being 50 with four kids. At father’s weekend he got bored at our father’s event and decided to recruit my roommate's dad to crash a frat party. Well, he succeeded and proceeded to walk down our street until he found a party to crash. He and his new friend knocked on the door and asked to see the place. Once inside they made fun of the lack of good booze the party had and proceeded to buy a keg of "the good stuff" for the party.
He then starts to make friends with the guys at the party and starts drinking with them. Fast forward an hour and now my dad is showing the music he used to listen to when he was in college. They ask him to go on the stage and play it on the speakers. Well he proceeds to play some songs and jumps on the table and starts to dance on the table. The table then breaks and my dad is carried off as the coolest dad ever. It's been a year and I am still hearing people talk about him.
A neighbor once gave me trouble for "speeding" in our neighborhood. She thought the limit was 20 when it was 30. She would jump in the road waving her arms and then yell at me because "her kids play in the streets sometimes", but of course, this rarely happened. I told my dad and he told me to take a picture of the speed limit sign and show her. So I did, and I explained that the limit was 30.
Well, she didn't take too kindly to logic and reasoning. So, at the neighborhood association, she singled out my family as "speeders", petitioned to have the speed limit reduced, and hired a patrol officer to watch. Some months later the officers she hired pulled her over for speeding in our very own neighborhood. I pulled over long enough to take a picture of her giving me the finger, then the officer told me to leave. My dad made a Christmas card out of the picture and mailed it to everyone in our neighborhood. I like my dad. He takes no prisoners.
At a local green space, some kids were doing jumps with their BMX bikes, biking up little hills to get air, or whatever you call it. My parents and I were out walking our dog when we heard screaming start. I ran over and saw that this boy had come down in such a way that the handlebar of his bike was in his thigh. My mom was so calm.
She told my stepdad to take the dog and go get the truck (this was pre-cellphone days), and started tending to the kid's leg using an extra shirt to stop the bleeding. She talked to the kid to keep him calm, and never batted an eyelash. I definitely thought she was a superhero in that moment.
I (19 back then…and I'm a girl) was on a holiday with my parents and sister when it was getting dark on the streets of Jerusalem as we were wondering about. I walked next to my dad when a guy tried to pass me in a—as I thought—clumsy way, which made him walk up against my side. His hand landed on my upper leg. I looked back at him passing only to see my mother, a calm, friendly, intellectual woman, slap the guy in the face hard.
It must have been my imagination that made her grow bigger and the poor guy smaller. She stood close as she pointed her finger at his face and calmly but very loudly said, “DON'T. TOUCH. MY. DAUGHTER”. By that time, she was about 2.5 meters (8 ft) tall and the guy almost disappeared into the ground. The guy mumbled "no no no" and ran off. Apparently he tried to grab me. Thanks mom! One grabber down.
Once a burglar entered our hallway without us knowing it (Obviously?). I was getting ready for school, my dad was going to ride the bike with me like usual, yada, yada. So I open the door to the hallway and there's this guy, holding up my bike. I'm just looking at him looking at me with a "Oh no...this wasn't supposed to happen" face. Dad comes in, yells manly yells at the aforementioned burglar and kicks him out of the hallway, and proceeds to cycle to school with me. I've never felt threatened in my home. I must've been about nine.
My dad was the type that hated doctors and dentists. He grew up poor, so his family never could afford to visit them (before the days of medicaid). One time while securing a load on his trailer (he was a truck driver) he had the come-along break and the chain snapped back and hit him in the face causing a big gash in his forehead. He came into the house and washed it off, then grabbed some needle and thread and Rambo-style, sewed up his cut. He also pulled his own tooth once with a pair of needle nose pliers.
We were in the mall parking lot leaving a late showing of some movie. My father and I were in this old Dodge Ram Charger that we used to own. As we get up to this one stop sign, I instantly recognize the car in front of us. This was a local kid who was maybe one grade ahead of me in high school. He had a bunch of money given to him from somewhere, and he had put every single dime of it into this old car to turn it into a lowrider.
He had the hydraulics and everything. The kid was one of those "spoiled white douchebags, loves to act like a baller" types. So the car is the only one in front of us at the stop sign. And instead of going, the dude starts playing around with the hydraulics. He and his friends are in the car giggling and looking back at us knowing we were waiting for them to go.
After about ten seconds of this, my dad just goes "welp..." and puts the Ram Charger into reverse. I figured he was going to back up, turn around and find another route. INSTEAD, he puts it in drive, and smashes the gas pedal yelling out "TIME TO MOVE YOUR BUTTS, SPORTS FANS"! Tires start squealing and looks of giggling teenagers quickly turned into looks of terror from the douchebags in the lowrider. Needless to say, they moved pretty quickly and then proceeded to run the next stop sign for fear of my father rear-ending them. I miss my old man.
Both my dad and my uncle were in the service for a long time. My uncle was for sure a commando and my dad did some crazy stuff too. They won't really talk about it and they're both older now and aren't very active so you can't really tell that they had this history or any type of physical abilities. A few years back, we were at a cabin in the mountains with my whole family.
It's nighttime and the whole cabin is lit up while it’s pitch dark outside. Some family member made the mistake of opening the door briefly. As I'm sure you can imagine, a bunch of bugs came in. One of these bugs was unfortunately a hornet the size of a grown man's fist. This was like a 50s horror movie hornet. This thing flies up all the way to the corner of the ceiling on the second floor which was a lofty/high ceiling situation. We're all absolutely terrified.
My dad, in a moment of superhero-ness, takes the hornet spray can and stands up on the pool table underneath the ceiling where the bug was. He's gingerly approaching the bug with the can when all of a sudden the hornet realizes what's going on and bum rushes my dad. My dad, in a truly Neo-inspired moment, SIDE FLIPS OFF THE POOL TABLE WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY WRECKING THIS HORNET WITH THE SPRAY.
He is spot-on accurate while flying through the air and lands on his feet and tucks into a roll. The hornet, not knowing how his day could be ruined so thoroughly and awesomely, flies into a few walls and collapses to his end. The family is literally cheering after finally managing to pick our chins up off the ground. He never did anything like that before or since but to this day I will never forget him and his Matrix-y night.
One time my dad was parallel parking at night in a city near us, on a one-way street. He did so politely, slowed down, used his blinker etc. This jerk ricer was coming up behind us, blaring subs and honking at us, with the driver yelling and cursing at us; "get out of the way"! My father calmly honked back a couple times, until the guy pulled up closer, got out of his car, and ran up to ours. He had no clue, but he was making a HUGE mistake.
My dad looked at me and said in a calm firm voice, "stay in the car". My father proceeded to get out of the car. He cracked his knuckles and yelled, "I've had about enough of you punks"! My dad is a big guy, about 6'2" and built like a truck, yet he is a very calm, professional, nice guy. When the driver of the ricer saw my dad, jumped back in his car, threw it in reverse, and backed down the entire street. My dad got back in the car, completely straight-faced, and finished his parking job like nothing even happened. I was so proud, and legitimately thought I was about to see my father destroy some little punk.
Beside my old grade school, there is a family that lets their untrained large dog crawl under the fence and bark and block the path. One time when I was with my dad, it grabbed a huge chunk of my hair and started pulling. I started screaming and crying like mad. He wouldn't let go and was literally ripping my hair out of my head. My dad turned around, sprinted back (he was walking a bit in front of me) and booted the dog in the side so it let go. It was a small quick thing but I seriously love my father for it. I love dogs but man, I hate people who don't train their dogs and they get like that.
I was about 12 and we had a bee infestation in the front yard of my parent’s house. My dad is very allergic to bees but wanted to get rid of them for the sake of me and my younger brother. So with two cans of bee killer and an epinephrine device between his teeth he went to battle. From the safety of the inside my brother and I watched as my dad sprayed the beehive. Every couple of minutes he would back away, pump a stage of the epinephrine into his arm and head back in. He came back inside after a bit, grabbed himself a drink, and sat down to read the paper. Insane.
My dad was scuba diving off the North Carolina coast about five years ago. An old bridge was sunk about a mile out and the flounder packed in on the cement to pick up the warmth from it. My dad had speared a couple of big ones and put them on his stringer. He always leaves his stringer six to eight feet long so the fish aren't right on his side. "Why"? you ask. Visibility was low that day (two to three feet). Next thing my dad knows, he gets jerked back.
He pulls on his stringer and there's a huge sand tiger shark on the other end. The shark swallowed the fish whole, but the string was still attached. Pops cut the string and came to the top. His dive buddy came up as well (they were split up), and said that the shark was caught on the bridge. Apparently the string hanging out of the shark's mouth got stuck on the bridge. Dad goes down and cuts the string close to the shark's mouth so it could survive.
My brother was crossing the street at what he thought was his turn. Out of nowhere, two bikers are surrounding him and yelling at him for crossing the road at such a busy time. They stopped their bikes completely and continued their rants until the one guy hears something buzzing past his ear and looks down to see an ice cream cone had just been thrown at him. My mom threw her ice cream cone at the biker. He turned around and looked at her then sped off with his friend.
Not long ago my dad told me about how he was using a public washroom stall when some pervert peeped over the wall thinking he wouldn't get caught. Well my dad looked over at him and the perv hid away in his stall hoping he wouldn't get himself beat. Being the calm person he's known as, my dad didn't rush over to rip out his esophagus, but instead finished his business, zipped up his pants, left his stall, and kicked the perv's stall in so hard it knocked the guy out. Then he basically left and called for security.
An old lady crashed her car in my friend's backyard, eventually smashing into a large mound of dirt. The horn was blaring and smoke was issuing from the engine compartment. The old lady was stuck in the car and everyone was struggling to get the hood up, disconnect the battery, and stop the engine fire. My dad ran over, pulled the hood up, bending it in half, and ripped the wires off the battery. To this day it seems so implausible to me and I attribute the feat to old man strength mixed with adrenaline.
My girlfriend’s mom and dad went out to dinner one night. When they came home there was a strange car in the driveway and the lights were on in their motorhome (which was parked in the side yard). So her dad sees people moving around in the motorhome, puts the car in park, gets out and walks up to the door of the motorhome.
Inside are three guys ransacking it. But this was the WRONG place to mess with. He walks right in without saying a word, pushes the first guy out of the way, reaches into the closet and grabs his 12 gauge and racks it. Then calmly asks, "can I help you fellas with something"? First guy runs out the door, the second guy runs out the door, and the third guy starts to go out the door and turns in the doorway and starts to make a move back inside.
My girlfriend’s dad hit him square between the eyes with the butt of the 12 gauge, knocking him out the door and just plain out. My girlfriend’s mom had already gone inside to call the authorities, and they were there in minutes. Did I mention her dad is a retired detective and in his early 70s when this happened? That guy is incredible.
When I was really little, my mom was just pulling up to the house with me and my brother (who was a baby at the time) and saw that right across the street a bunch of teenagers were attacking a kid. One of them was literally choking the life out of this kid, holding him a few feet up off the ground. (These guys were really notorious for causing mayhem in my neighborhood for a while).
The second my mom saw all this happening, she charged across the street and shook the guy doing the choking, screaming at him, until he let the kid go. He and all the other teenagers were just staring at my mom during all of this. She yelled at them that if she ever saw them doing something like that again she would call the authorities on them immediately. Then she comes back across the street, picks up me and my brother, and goes inside without another care given. I love my mom.
My dad rescued a kid that was stuck in a 15-foot-high jungle gym. (And when I say this, I mean the kid was stuck IN the hole at the top of the jungle gym). He ran up the narrow pipes, hopped on top of the jungle gym, grabbed the kid, ran down the narrow bars once more, and set the kid down on the grass. I was about 11 years old, and thought this was the most incredible thing I have ever seen my dad do. He also did all of this in boots. Not work boots, but the dressy boots that are a little pointy. Try getting a good grip with dress boots on slippery, narrow, metal bars!
My dad was riding the T in Boston after a particularly rowdy Bruins game. He notices a group of men picking on a father who had also brought his young son with a mental disability to the game. To make a long story short, my 5'7”, pacifistic father stepped in and told them to knock it off. He got shoved around a bit, took some knucks to the jaw, lost four or five teeth, and saved a father and son from being heckled. A quick trip to MGH fixed him up (along with what I assume to be very painful and expensive trips to the dentist) and my dad made friends for life.
I got mugged several years ago while walking back from the grocery store one night. As I'm turning the corner to go back to my house, my dad pulls around in his car and I tell him what happened. He asks "where did this happen"? so I have him drive over to the area. The guy is still walking around in the area so my dad drives at him at about 40 mph (64 km/h), and swerves/drifts the car into park, blocking the road.
He jumps out of the car and goes chasing after the guy screaming stuff like "YOU BETTER HOPE I DON'T CATCH YOU BECAUSE I WILL RIP YOU APART" and "DROP THE PHONE OR I'LL MESS YOU UP"! I just kind of stood there like oh my god my dad is Liam Neeson. He actually got the guy to drop the phone though...but he dropped the wrong one, so I ended up with a mugger's cell.
I went to the market with my father when I was about eight. We put the groceries in the trunk of the car and walked off to do another errand. When we got back we found someone had stolen the groceries. I asked if we should call the authorities. My dad said no. Anyone who has to steal groceries needed them more than we did. We would just go back in the store and buy more and be grateful we could afford to do that. It made me think. But it makes me cry to remember. I miss him. He was a hero.
My family and I were going to the lake for our weekend swim when I was about seven and my brother was about nine. The two of us had jumped on this raft and it was drifting out into the middle of the lake. My brother and I didn't want to be trapped on the raft in the middle of the lake so we thought we'd doggy paddle to shore.
I was doing just fine, but I soon realized something was very wrong. My brother started lagging behind...then he started sinking. The rest of my family was barbecuing, and when my mom pointed to the middle of the lake, my dad started running. I had NEVER seen my father run so fast in his life ever. He swam into the middle of the lake, and grabbed my older brother at the bottom, and swam us both to shore on his back. I have the best dad ever.
When I was growing up Mike Piazza was my favorite baseball player. I always wanted to play catcher because of this, but I was an excellent shortstop and second baseman so my coaches never wanted to let me play catcher. Well finally one day at practice they put me at catcher and I was GREAT at it. So the first day is going great and we start a scrimmage game.
A guy gets up to bat and foul tips a ball that somehow gets around my too-large chest plate and hits me right over my left chest muscle. That's all I remember. The next thing I know I wake up and I'm in the back of a truck going about 120 down the highway with my dad and coach looking down at me. I remember it vividly because it was the only time in my life I've seen my dad cry.
I woke back up and all I hear are the "beep...beep....beep" of the hospital machines and I have a million wires connected to me. It turns out the ball had hit me in such a way and in such a perfect spot that it had stopped my heart. My dad immediately ran to me (he went to all my practices and always threw with me and took me to batting cages) and found me unresponsive and with no pulse. He performed CPR on me and saved my life.
When I lived in Florida, my dad would always go for jogs with our black labrador retriever Khan. One morning he came back soaking wet, carrying the dog, and both of them covered in blood. Apparently Khan had jumped into one of the neighborhood ponds while chasing birds and an alligator had grabbed him by the chest and tried to drag him underwater.
My dad, a 60-year-old ex-marine, dove in after them, pried the alligator's jaws open, and carried our bleeding dog two miles home where we rushed to the vet. Khan survived with numerous stitches and lived to be 15. My dad got away with three stitches to his thumb when he'd stuck himself on one of the gator's teeth and was known as "the alligator man" for the next five years that we lived in that area. The alligator got turned into shoes I think.
One time my dad scared the daylights out of a guy that wouldn't take no for an answer. I got pretty much peer pressured into going on a double date with a guy I hated and I had told him I hated him. We both worked at the local fast-food joint. I was fresh out of high school and naive and felt like I had to be nice. He asked me out in a way that put me on the spot too.
On his day off in the middle of my shift he showed up dressed like he was going to a wedding, brought me a bunch of flowers and asked me in the middle of a lunch rush mortifying me, and everyone started chanting “say yes”! I agreed and ran out on my shift crying and feeling like I couldn't back out. It was painfully obvious during and after the date that I was not interested.
He kept calling me, texting me, leaving me threatening and weird voicemails. He even drove by my house a few times. My parents, noticing my change in mood, asked me what was up and I told them and played them the voicemails. My dad asked me when we next had the same shift, and I told him. My dad came to the restaurant after his factory shift. My dad is a big dude and looks scary, especially covered in grease and wearing a uniform
My dad burst into the restaurant, gave me a hug, asked me "where is the jerk"? Everyone is frozen in place and slack-jawed. Anyone that knew my dad knew him as a goofy, kind guy so they were just in awe of this whirlwind that had burst in the door. I pointed to the kitchen and this dopey idiot looks like he is going to wet his pants.
My dad points right at him and says “LEAVE MY DAUGHTER ALONE OR I WILL GO BACK TO JAIL”!
He tells me he loves me and that mom is cooking dinner. He waves to some of my friends he knows and walks out the door like nothing ever happened. That guy went on break and never came back. And he never bothered me again.
My dad liked to do carpentry stuff as a hobby. Well, when I was about eight or nine years old he decided he wanted to build me a treehouse. He had a makeshift wood shop in our garage with a table saw and everything. I wasn't ever really allowed to go in there when I was young because of the "saws and nails and what have you".
Really, I wasn't allowed in because it was one of the only places he could go to be alone and do dude stuff like work on cars and build things. He was really quite attached to it. One night, my mom told me to go out to the garage and tell my dad to come in for dinner. So I walked out to the garage feeling super bold, and I opened the door and strutted in. "Dad, mom says dinner is ready".
My dad was sawing wood on the table saw, and when he heard me talking, he looked up. I guess he was surprised because he knew I wasn't allowed in there or something, and he stopped really paying attention to what he was doing and opened his mouth to say something. Then suddenly, all I saw was blood. His hand went over the moving table saw and he cut off two of his fingers.
Blood was immediately pouring out of his glove, but he didn't miss a beat. He picked his fingers up off the ground and said, "tell mom I'll be late for dinner". He paused for a second while he dropped his severed digits into his shirt pocket and then said, "and get out of my garage". But he didn't immediately leave for the hospital…he CONTINUED TO SAW THE WOOD, until it was finished, and then he got into his car and drove himself to the emergency room.
I went to Catholic schools. In the eighth grade, one of my teachers (who was a replacement for a regular teacher then away on maternity leave) decided to give me a zero in our religious studies class. At the time I had no idea why. I was hardly an overachiever (AKA, I was lazy, my class marks were generally propped up by exams and dragged down by a specific and chronic lack of homework,) but it's pretty tough to end up with a zero in any class where you show up and do even just the "busy work".
Religious studies is basically 100% busy work. Looking back, it's almost certainly because (and I swear I wasn't trying to be a jerk) I randomly opened up the bible and hit on something about Lot. Who knows what. All of that is fairly crazy, even for the bible. Being in religion class, I asked about it. Not in front of the class or anything, just to her directly.
I don't recall her answer, whatever it was, but I do recall her not liking that I asked her about it. So anyhow, we got our report cards. And sitting in the middle of all these other marks that I'm dreading my parents asking (and inevitably berating) about is this big fat zero. I was, honest to god, almost in tears as I walked into my father's den to tell him. I'm quite certain he knew it.
I went the quick band-aid route and just blurted out “Dad...I got a zero in religion”. Tears were about to spill over. I had a quaver in my voice and everything. And my father laughed, and said,
"Well, don't tell your mother"! And that was that. There are a hundred stories about him that make him seem tougher, but right then is what sticks, for me. Geez, dad, I really miss you.
Two years ago, the Midwest had a series of floods that devastated my area. My dad is a coal miner, and they are expected to be at work every day no questions asked, or they are fired. In order to get to work, which was roughly 25 miles (40 km) away, he would have to take a 75-mile (120 km) detour into a different state.
My dad is a true outdoorsman so he decided to take his kayak, put it in where the flood water started which was about four miles (6.5 km) away, and kayak to work. He did this for a month, and two of those weeks were double shifts. He got employee of the month that month and will be forever seen as invincible to my friends.
I was maybe two or three and my parents took me to a pond for a picnic. My mom was off looking at something and my dad went to the bathroom in the woods. A baby goose waddles up to me and I'm giggling and I try to pet it. The mother attacks me and starts going absolutely crazy. By this time, my dad finished his business and I'm curled up in a ball being attacked by a mother goose.
The thing keeps pecking at me so I can't see much, until my dad grabs it by its neck and throws it into the lake. I wasn't really hurt at all but I was crying my eyes out, and he picks me up, carries me to the car and puts a bandaid on my cuts and whatnot. At that age, I was pretty sure my dad was superman, but looking back on it, he was pretty scrawny. He wore his shorts above the knees and had really big glasses and a dorky haircut.
One happy sunny summer day, at the river, my family was all splashing around in the water like many others. A few yards away was a group of very young kids (about four or five), all around four to six years old. They were playing around on a pool float that was not made for a bunch of rowdy kids. I should point out that none of the kids spoke English and that all their parents were not watching their kids, and there was no lifeguard on duty.
The kids being little monsters flipped the float and they all fell into the water which at that spot was about 5 feet deep. My dad and myself pulled most of them out of the water after we realized they had no idea how to swim. The kids were on the shore yelling (in horribly broken English) that there was still one kid under the water. My dad dives under the murky river water and pulls out this tiny blue-lipped little girl.
He carries her up the shore and proceeds to give her CPR, the one you give to babies I might add, and the girl throws up an Exorcist-style amount of red juice and river water. By this time the parents see that something has happened and are running down to the shore. My dad hands over the little girl to who we assume was her mother (none of the parents could really speak English either) my dad then proceeds to go over to our boat, go into the cooler and pull out a beer. He said "I will now need someone to find me some grass, and to not be bothered for the rest of the day".
My father was on his way to give a talk, heading towards the freeway. Average sort of day. Then a car pulls in front of him, and there is clearly something going on inside. The driver is a man, and there's a woman in the passenger seat, and he has his hand on her throat or in her hair (it's difficult to see with the tinted windows). He can faintly hear her yelling coming from the car. Then he hears a terrified scream and jumps into action.
Without missing a beat, he hangs up his work phone call and calls the authorities. He gives them all the details of the car, license plate, and location. He decides to continue following the car, despite knowing he'll miss a very important meeting, and stays on the phone with authorities the entire time, detailing their location and what he sees in the car.
After ten minutes or so, on a very high-speed road, he sees something absolutely terrifying. The passenger door swings open suddenly, and the woman's head comes into view. She looks as though she wants to climb out of the moving car. Before she's able to, the man leans over and pulls her inside by her hair, and their car swerves wildly.
My father decides to do arguably the most dangerous thing possible for himself: He speeds up, swerves in front of the car sideways and skids to a stop. Their car stops barely in time to avoid a collision, and in Hollywood timing, the authorities pull up not 15 seconds later. Turns out the woman was pregnant with the man's child and had left him because he was treating her horribly. It probably would have gone south really quickly.
One of the coolest things my dad ever did was interrupt a Clay Aiken concert....with a train. That's right, a train. A few years back my sister got my mom tickets to see Clay Akin because my parents love American Idol. My dad had to work that night (he was a locomotive engineer) so she went with my grandmother. Before he left, my dad was joking he'd blow the whistle for my mom.
(The train tracks are right across a small river from where the outdoor concert venue is). My mom thought he was joking, until there were five long whistle blasts in the middle of the show. Clay Aiken stops and says, "Wow, I've never been upstaged by a train before", and my mom tries to hide behind my five-foot-nothing grandmother. I've never been more proud of my dad.
When I was probably six years old I was in Hawaii for a family vacation. We were hiking a trail that had a steep 1500-foot drop straight down to the rocky beach below and no guardrails. A few people were having their picture taken with the backdrop of the cliff side, but the person taking the picture accidentally stepped backward off the cliff.
He grabbed onto the vines growing on the side of the cliff and held on while my dad went and found a long stick and, flat on his stomach, lowered it to the guy. My dad pulled the guy back to the path. The man had dropped his camera and backpack, and both ended up on the rocky beach. He also had inch-long thorns in his hands and such, which he just brushed off.
He didn't realize he had one through his lip too, though. Too much adrenaline. I didn't realize until many years later how serious the situation was. My mom had actually been upset with my dad that we were even on that trail because of how dangerous it was. But yeah, I felt like my dad was superman when I realized he helped save the dude's life. I'm proud of my dad when I look back at that day.
Me and my dad were in upstate New York driving through an area heavily populated with deer. After hearing so many horror stories of people crashing into them you bet I was worried. Then it happened. We collided with a deer and it went head first through the windshield. The antlers missed my face by four inches at most. When we got out of the car I panicked a little.
My dad is totally cool and calm. I ask him if we are gonna call the authorities, but instead of answering me he goes to the trunk of our jeep. He pulls out a chainsaw and starts cutting the head off the deer to separate the body and now he's drenched in deer blood. He turns to me and goes, “what authorities”? Just our luck, a sheriff passes and sees my dad covered in blood holding a chainsaw. We had some explaining to do.
I am a Bengali, and like all good Bengalis, we went to see tigers in North Bengal. (Spoiler alert: no tigers). After one pretty disappointing day of missing two elephant herds and seeing no wild cat, much less a tiger, we stopped at a dried-up river bed. We are so tired, the sun is setting, the peacocks are screaming, the usual. Suddenly, we hear a growl.
Monkeys are going nuts. It is the tell-tale sign that a tiger is nearby. The guide tells us to rush to our jeeps. We oblige, but just before boarding, I see my dad smirking, HARD. After an hour of waiting, we see no tigers and head home. The next morning, while everyone is freaking out over the growl, dad pulls me aside and says that it was a burp. A BURP. So I can proudly say that once my dad burped so hard the jungle thought it was a tiger.
In my house growing up, we had a split basement. Half of it was my dad's workshop where he had the basic layout: table saw, drill, workbench, etc. The other half, divided by a wall, was renovated to be a playroom for my brother and I. I would often hang out on the playroom side while my dad was working in the other half.
When I was about 13, I remember one night when my dad was using a drill in the other room while I was playing with my Legos. At one point, he calmly called to me from the other side of the room, "Could you come in here for a minute"? So I open the door—and just start screaming. I'm staring at my dad...who is holding his left thumb with his right hand.
Blood. Everywhere. All over his right and left hand. He had put a drill through the top of his thumb. I was mortified, but he sat there calm as day and reassured me that he was fine. All he said was, "Don't tell your mother. Could you just hand me that paper towel over there"? I complied and he sopped up all the blood, washed his hand out and wrapped it himself. Then he went back to work. I have to thank my dad for raising me to be more tough. Crazy stuff.
I should preface this story by saying my dad is a pretty large guy. Back when this story happened he was very into bodybuilding (just for fun though, not competitively) and he had naturally been muscular prior to that. Somewhere around 1988 we were living in California. Middle of the night our dog barks that special "something is wrong" bark.
My dad snaps halfway out of his sleep, in his tighty whiteys, and bolts outside with mom, me, and the dog in tow. In our front yard are two men preparing to slash all the tires on our cars. My dad full-on charges both of them, grabbing the closest one and throwing him into the second guy. He then shoulder-tackles them into a big pile on our driveway. In his tighty whities.
He managed to single-handedly hold them there until the police arrived (five to ten minutes maybe?). Turns out they had just been walking down the street slashing the tires on any cars they saw. We were the seventh or eighth house they had hit on that block. I’ll never forget the image of my dad tackling these guys in his underwear.
Basically, I didn't know my dad was a Jiu-Jitsu black belt. One day, my dad, his friend Raj from university, and I went somewhere, I'm not sure where anymore. I was dozing in the back of the car because it was quite late. All of a sudden my dad stops the car, puts it in reverse, drives backward for 50 feet or so, and says, "Let's go Raj".
Raj, unlike my dad, was a very tall and buff guy from India who could not be brought down easily. My dad on the other hand is about six feet tall, which is quite average. Anyway, they take off their seatbelts and get out, walking down a random alley. That's when I realized what was happening. I get out and see that there is a commotion at the end of the alley. I hear my dad start shouting the same thing over and over.
After about a minute he and Raj disappear into the kerfuffle. Thirty seconds later, everyone is on the floor, except for my dad, Raj, and three women. They walk back to the car, and my dad says, "Get in the trunk, onion bag! We have some ladies that we need to escort to their homes". What a guy!
My Dad's a Vietnam vet. When my sister and I were little, he took us into Chicago on Chinese New Year to watch the parade in Chinatown. The day was wonderful, everything was magical, so on and so forth, and while we were walking to the nearest subway station, some homeless guy who was obviously tweaking out on something got in my dad's face.
He started screaming that my dad was a liar and a fake, he wasn’t a vet, he'd never seen conflict, etc. (my father always used to wear his jacket from the service). My dad just ignored him and moved us to his side away from the crazy dude. The hobo didn't approve and got in my older sister's face (she was eight or nine, I think) and started to scream at her, "YOUR DADDY'S A FAKE"! and that sort of thing, really scary and threatening.
We both started to cry. That's when my dad finally snapped. He just kinda shoved us back and then roundhouse-kicked that guy right in the face. He went down like a sack of potatoes and my dad picked me up, grabbed my sister's hand, and we pretty much ran down the street. I remember watching the hobo over my dad's shoulder just laying on the ground, holding his head and wailing at the top of his lungs.
I had no idea that my dad knew any sort of martial arts (I was in little kid karate, so I kinda had an understanding of what he did, even though I wouldn't know the name for it until I was a lot older) and I've never to this day seen him do anything remotely close to that.
My father works on offshore oil rigs and was stationed off the coast of Nigeria. He was in an airport waiting for his next flight out when the flight was suddenly canceled. The country they were going to fly over had just started an internal conflict (I'm not sure, but I believe he was in Togo). With no way of getting in touch with the office and little money on him, he bribed his way off the airport and tried to make his way to the embassy.
He never made it. A few hours before he was supposed to arrive at the site, the office received a call asking for a ransom for my father. My father is insured for this through the company (It happens more times than you would think), so they brought in someone to handle the issue. They spoke with the guy and they came to an agreement.
The guy demanding the ransom said he would call the next day to say when and where to perform the trade. The next day, he never called. He never called the next day either. The man got in contact with the proper authorities to file a report and see what needed to be done.
Early in the morning of the fourth day after the event, a beat-up jeep, with my father at the wheel, showed up. He was a sight for sore eyes.
They said he was covered in blood and dirt, and sunburned like you wouldn’t believe. He was escorted by guards into the embassy where he told them who he was. They were briefed on what happened, but no one had completed any kind of transfer, so they asked what happened. He said, "I took care of them." It then became apparent the blood on him wasn't his.
The embassy called the company, the company called me, and I flipped out. My father went to the hospital to get checked and then headed home immediately. He went to the office and told his boss he's never going there again. He said okay. His boss is now scared of him. When my dad came home, I asked him if he was all right. He said, "yeah, I'm fine. I really want to get a Jeep, though. They handle real well".
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