Classic Arnie Silverstein
My dad is a chill dude who tends to get into weird situations that start out benign but end up verging on dangerous. This is a list of some of his most classic moments. (Since you probably don’t know my dad, it helps to picture the late Sidney Pollack in these scenarios).
- •THE GRILL OUTMy mom was out of town a few years ago and my dad decided he wanted to grill a steak. He went out on their deck to light the grill but mistakenly locked the door behind him. Did I mention it was snowing? Or that my parents' deck is off the second floor? Freezing and out of options, he climbed over the railing of the deck and hung off before letting himself drop, dislocating and tearing the labrum in BOTH of his shoulders in the process. He’s still in physical therapy.
- •THE MOISTURIZERMy dad was in Atlanta to play some golf with my uncle. Before they left my dad grabbed some moisturizer from the guest bathroom and put it all over his face (cuz it’s dry in Atlanta?). On the second hole my uncle saw what he thought was some toilet paper on my dad’s cheek and flicked it off. A few holes later, same thing. They soon realized it’s not toilet paper, it’s his epidermis, coming off in sheets, thanks to the glycolic peel he mistakenly slathered all over his face.
- •THE ISLANDWhen I was in high school he took my car to our local gas station to get a tire fixed. It was the only gas station in town, one we went to almost daily. As he was taking a left out of the station to return home, he drove right over the median island - one he wasn't looking for because it had been installed literally OVERNIGHT - and popped all four tires. He sat in the car as it teetered back and forth, waiting for the tow truck from the gas station he just left to come free him.
- •THE CLEANSEA few years ago my dad and my uncle decided to do a cranberry extract cleanse. They would check in with each other on the phone daily - my uncle claiming to enjoy the cranberry cleanse drink and my dad saying he could barely get it down it was so gross. Finally, after a week of this, they realized my dad was not diluting the cranberry extract as directed and was instead drinking it in its highly concentrated state. Which caused to him to get gallstones almost immediately.
- •THE CLEANSE (THE AFTERMATH)After many failed attempts to use a laser to break up the gallstones - my dad had to go in for surgery. Which went well. Except two days later my mom got a call that my dad had hit and run two cars in the McDonalds parking lot (right next to the aforementioned gas station). Turns out he got sepsis of the blood in the hospital and was running a 105 fever and was delusional. He’s fine now.
- •THE MAIL ROOMWhen my dad was 21 he left the army and moved to Los Angeles. His first job was in the mailroom of the William Morris Agency. On his first day he got his tie stuck in the mimeograph machine and started choking - a co-worker had to cut his tie to free him. It was his only tie.
- •THE COMPANY CAR PT 1After a few months at the agency, he got to drive a company car to run deliveries. Though he had a license, he was from Brooklyn and could barely drive. He promptly drove the car over an embankment on Mulholland, falling 30 feet and totaling the car. He was fine.
- •THE COMPANY CAR PT 2Somehow the agency gave him another chance to get behind the wheel. He was smoking in the car, heading back over Laurel Canyon, as he passed the sign advising against smoking in the canyon. So he tossed his cigarette out, not realizing it had blown back in the rear window. He arrived at the William Morris offices backseat engulfed in flames. He soon gave up his Hollywood dreams and moved back to Brooklyn, met my mom, had me and my brother, decided he wanted to grill a steak blah blah etc etc