My Daddy Was the Family Bassman (Minnesota Miracle)

It's a miracle -- a true, blue spectacle -- a miracle come true.

My Daddy Was the Family Bassman (Minnesota Miracle)
By Angela Rasch

“What’s with the shirt?” Ed asked while he sat down in the booth across from me. I’d ordered an IPA from Bad Weather Brewery for him. A beer that Ed usually favored. I was drinking ginger ale.

We were in our favorite pub on West 7th, a place known for its savory bar food and questionable clientele. I’d picked a spot far enough away from the door so as not to get blasted with the sub-zero air when someone came in or went out.

“Do you like it?” I asked demurely. “I tried to find something purple, but this top only came in pinot noir, which I guess is close enough.”

“Don’t you think it’s a little swishy?” He asked, gesturing toward my maternity top’s bell sleeves.

Oh gosh! I haven’t even told him yet and he’s getting all ‘judgie.’ “Everything I found was so skin tight and showed everything. It’s soft and stretchy, which is all I want.”

He grunted, but continued to look perplexed.

I took a drink of my ginger ale and wished that I could drink something a whole lot stronger. “There’s no easy way to tell you this. You’re my best friend. Right?”

“Are you ill? You don’t have cancer . . . do you?” His face registered deep concern.

I shook my head.

“Thank goodness. I’ve been going to too many funerals. Do you need money?” He asked. “I don’t have a lot, but what I got is yours.” He reached for his billfold, which was attached to a chain that spoke of how tightly he watched his finances.

I raised both hands and turned my palms toward him. “Mary and I are doing okay. That’s not it.”

He waved to Wally behind the bar to bring him another glass of beer. He’d already drained his first and had that thirsty look.

I swallowed and started. “There’s no easy way to tell you this, so I’m just going to come right out with it. . . . I’m pregnant and Jon Hamm is the father.”

Luckily, he didn’t have any beer in his mouth or he would have sprayed it all over the table. As it was, his mouth dropped wide open and his eyes looked exactly like those on the mounted walleye hanging on the wall next to our booth.

His mouth snapped shut. “Do you have your driver’s license with ya?” He asked with a certain amount of irritation.

I nodded and took out my billfold.

“Take it out so I can get a good look at it,” he demanded.

I did what he asked.

“You can’t be pregnant, ya damn fool!” He whispered just loud enough for me to hear, and then laughed uproariously. His hand shook as he held the license where I could see it. “See here where it has an ‘M’ under ‘Sex’?”

I nodded silently.

He continued. “And, you see right here where it says ’01-28-1948’ right after Date of Birth?”

Again, I nodded.

“Do you guys want burgers and fries?” Wally asked, while setting a glass of beer in front of Ed. “You want another ginger ale, Jerry?”

“I’m okay,” I said. The smell of frying onions from the back tempted me. I wanted to have my usual cheeseburger and fries covered with catsup, but the doctor had suggested that I watch my diet. Besides, I’d been experiencing a lot of morning sickness and the thought of a greasy burger caused me to feel a little green.

“I’ll pass on the food right now,” Ed said and waved Wally off to wait on a couple of guys from the construction crew working on the new restaurant down the block.

Ed resumed his prosecution, but returned my license. “You’re going to be seventy next week, and despite that frou-frou shirt you’re wearing, you’re male. The great state of Minnesota don’t lie on those licenses. Those are two very good reasons that rule out you being pregnant.”

“And yet, I am.” I smiled. I’d become quite comfortable with my condition. I’m looking forward to having a child to play with my two grandchildren.

“No . . . you’re not going to have a baby,” he argued. “It would take a miracle.”

“Miracles happen,” I stated flatly.

“Not lately,” he laughed. “Not in this state, during this century.”

“Sure they do. Remember last Sunday. The Vikings were down 24-23 with ten seconds left. They were sixty-one yards from a touchdown and the best they could hope for was a quick pass and then a shot at a record-setting length field goal.”

“I know. I know.”

“If they lost, their playoff hopes would have been crushed and the Viking’s would have choked away another shot at the Super Bowl. You would have to agree that it would have taken a miracle for them to win?”

“Uh huh,” he agreed warily.

“Any yet, the Vikings did win and are on their way to Philadelphia.”

“Okay. . .?”

“So miracles happen. The Vikings won and I’m pregnant and Jon Hamm is the father.”

“Jon Hamm? The guy from Mad Men?”

I giggled. “Maybe not the misogynist from the fifties. More like the unctuous pitchman for H & R Block.”

“Are you crazy?”

“I don’t think so. Why do you ask?”

He took a gulp of beer that emptied half his glass. “You haven’t switched teams? Have you?”

I shook my head. “I’m faithful to Mary. Always have been and always will be. But, sometimes when Mary and I are . . . getting it on, my mind wonders. Sometimes it’s Connie Britton I’m thinking about. Sometimes it’s Emilia Clarke.”

“Who the hell is Emilia Clarke?”

“The Mother of Dragons on Game of Thrones.”

“Oh ya. She’s hot.”

“And . . . sometimes I think of Jon Hamm,” I admitted.

“Does Mary know?”

“That I’m pregnant?”

“You’re not pregnant, you idiot. Don’t tell me that you’ve told Mary that you’re pregnant and Jon Hamm is the father.” He spun the pepper shaker in his hand.

I nodded. “And, she took it a lot better than you have. Really, Ed. You could be a bit more supportive.”

He closed his eyes and shook his head. “Why . . . oh why, do you think you’re pregnant?”

“I don’t think,” I answered smugly. “I know. Come around over on this side of the booth and feel my tummy.”

He shook his head.

“Oh come on. Don’t be a stiff.”

“I’m not going to feel your fucking stomach.” His tone left no room for doubt.

“Okay, then you’re just going to have to take my word for it. At first, I thought I maybe overdid the holiday eating. But then Mary said my stomach was starting to look like hers was when she was carrying Oscar. Oscar and the kids were over last night. Those two kids are the light of my life.”

“You’re nuts!”

I pulled up my blouse exposing my rounded belly. “Does that look like I’m nuts?”

His eyes bulged again. “You don’t have any hair on your belly!”

I laughed. “I’ve been shaving my body for years. Mary likes it that way, and so do I.”

His stare hadn’t left my protruding stomach. “You’re probably just having some gas. Have you been eating pizza from that place over on 17th street?”

I shook my head. “It’s not gas. Mary got concerned so I went to the doc and they ran some test and . . . I’m due in June.”

He laughed. “That’s a good one. Pull your shirt down before we get tossed out of here for being . . . you know.”

“What? Gay? Are you worried about people thinking we’re gay? I know for sure that half dozen or so of the guys that come in here with that four o’clock crowd are gay.” I pulled my blouse down and sighed. “It’s going to be a big change for Mary and me. We haven’t had a little one around the house for thirty years.”

He snorted. “I don’t suppose Jon Hamm has offered any support.”

I shook my head. “So far, his agent is denying that he’s the father. I’m not sure they’ve even told Jon. Can you believe that? It’s not like Mary, Connie, or Emelia have sperm and no one else has been in our bed.”

“How do ya figure?” His forehead had broken out in sweat.

“It takes sperm to make a baby. Geez, Ed. Try to keep up. The doc said that the best she can figure, I’ve had a uterus inside me right along. She isn’t sure how, but somehow Jon Hamm’s sperm found a way in -- and there ya go. . .. I got this bun in my oven.”

“She said that,” he asked. “The doc said that you got Jon Hamm’s sperm in you.”

I laughed. “No doctor’s going to say something like that. Come on, Ed. Be real. She said I’m pregnant and somehow the sperm found my uterus. Simple common sense says it’s Jon Hamm’s.”

He put his head in his hands for a bit. “Okay, Jerry. Let’s say you were thinking about Jon Hamm while you were doing the nasty with Mary. And, thanks for putting that image in my mind, by the way.”

I frowned. “What do you mean by that?”

“Jerry, even before you developed that beer belly. . ..”

“It’s not a beer belly. It’s a baby bump,” I stated proudly.

“Okay. Okay. Even before you developed that ‘baby bump” you were grossly overweight and now that I know you shave off all your hair, I can only picture a. . .. It’s not a pretty picture.”

“You’re jealous.”

“What?”

“Sure. That’s it. You’ve pretty much given up on life and are staring a rocking chair in the face. I’m going to have a child to keep me young and vital.”

“I’m not jealous and you’re crazy.”

“Am not. Would you like to see the pictures of my ultrasound?” I took the grey tone picture from my wallet and slid it across the table to him.

“Doesn't prove anything. That could be anyone.”

“So could he.” I pointed to the doorway where Jon Hamm had just walked in carrying a dozen roses and smiling from ear-to-ear.

“Jerry,” Jon shouted. “I couldn’t be happier.”

“Neither could I,” I agreed. “The Vikings are going to Philly.”

The End

Just a short story to express my utter disbelief and overwhelming joy.



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