Barrel of Laughs

Barrel of Laughs

Posted on February 20, 2020 at 9:31 pm by Steve Solex

Cue the music, it’s Stever Time! The music of a 1960’s sitcom plays in the background as a montage of the Solex family is shown. Every few seconds there is a pause in the clip, followed by a gaze into the camera with an open mouthed grin from ear-to-ear. As the music begins to fade, the words “Filmed in front of a live studio audience” are shown the lower third. The words fade, and the scene transitions to playground that you would find in a school yard. Steven Solex is shown, in all of his Dadness, seated on a bench. He’s outfitted in his typical cargo shorts, calf length socks with those Velcro, strappy, sandals that you’d see at your local drug store. His mustache looks glorious…nothing particular here, just wanted to point out the fact that his mustache is fucking magnificent. Solex is leaned back in the bench, his left arm extended out and rested across the seat bench backrest. Steven has the cheesiest of grins on his face, as he watches his son, Jebidiah run up the stairs and slide down the slide. The little shit is on repeat as he hustles up the stairs and down the slide repeatedly, and Steven is loving every minute of it. The look on Steven’s face suddenly turns sour, it seems that he’s caught a scent. The cocked eyebrow and the sideways frown can only mean that the odor of a competing Dad’s Old Spice aftershave has penetrated the protection of his beard and traveled across his sniffer. Steven looks around cautiously, and suddenly his expression changes to surprise.

“John Taffer, you old so and so!” Steven shouts to an approaching Dad, who is most definitely not the John Taffer from Bar Rescue. Steven hops to his feet and the top man share one of those wanna-be tough guy handshakes.

“Steven, how’s it going chief?!” Taffer’s obviously a Dad of magnificent proportion as well. I mean, it’s pretty obvious, he called Steven Chief.

“Sit down, stay a while!” Steven’s cheeriness is off the charts, and the smile behind his mustache is unbelievably large.

Steven reclaims his seat on the end of the bench, and Taffer sits down next to him.

“One of these boys yours?” Taffer asks, pointing a finger toward the playground.

“Yes, sir! That’s my little guy right there,” Steven points to Jebidiah still on the same wash/rinse cycle he was on before.

“He’s just a big ball of energy, ain’t he?” Taffer’s asking the kind of rhetorical shit Dad’s ask. It’s just automatic.

“Yeah, he’s a real pain in the a…” Steven’s tone is low, but suddenly he catches a glimpse of the camera and stares into the lens. “He’s a real ace in the hole!” Steven says, regaining his Dad pitch.

“I’ll bet.” Wait, what the fuck does that mean?

Steven looks over at John with a cross look. Only Steven can talk shit about his kids…every Dad knows that rule.

“Your boy out there?” Steven tries to shift.

“Oh, the little mongrel’s out there somewhere,” Taffer replies, waving a hand in the air.

Just then, Jebidiah darts up to his Dad pointing down at the cooler under the bench.

“Daddy, can I have a juice?” The little shit can barely get the question out he’s breathing so hard.

“I don’t know, son. Can you?” Steven slaps his knee as John slaps him on the shoulder playfully. Steven’s unrealistic, hysterical laughing fit prompts a high five from John as Jebidiah rolls his eyes into the back of his head.

“Please, Dad? I’m thirsty!”


“Hi, thirsty! I’m Dad!” Steven is in next-level hysterics at this point, and Jebidiah is about to lose what cool he has.

“DAD!” The little ingrate shouts disrespectfully at his father, and then suddenly Jebidiah pulls a gun out from behind his back and points it in Steven’s face!

Ok, shit. It’s a water pistol.

“Hey, take it easy,” Steven says with his hands raised slightly in the air.

“Are you going to kill your old man, over some juice?”

Jebidiah shaky index finger moves from the trigger, and the little boy holsters the weapon safely behind his back.

“Let that be a warning to you, Dad!” The petulant little shit isn’t pretending; the anger is real. Steven reaches under the bench and fishes around before pulling out a barrel shaped plastic purple juice. Steven leans forward in the bench and looks into his son’s eyes.

“Look, Jebidiah. I know you’ve been watching a lot wrestling lately. I’ve been trying to clean up the programming that you’ve grown accustomed to, but Brian Hollywood is still glamorizing the lifestyle that he supposedly once led as a killer for hire. But don’t let him fool you, son. He’s just another guy pretending to be something that he’s not, so that he can build his self-confidence to try and trick himself into believing that he can beat up your old man.” Steven places a hand on his son’s shoulder, as the life lesson continues.

“I’ve already beaten him once in the last six months, son. He’s not the kind of guy that works hard enough to beat a hardworking man like me. Heck, he thought that I was some kind of rookie the last time the two of us got into the ring together, and some might think that he took me lightly because of it. But I can tell you right now, that was not the case, and I don’t want you to think that for one single minute. Your Dad is the alpha male in the wrestling ring, and Brian Hollywood is going to find out once again that he just can’t beat me.”

Jebidiah begins reach for the juice, and it’s now become apparent that Steven’s hand on his son’s shoulder was a way of blocking him all along. Steven’s dad game is on lock.

“Brian Hollywood can run around, riding in these fancy all black cars, with all black tinted windows, while wearing his all black sunglasses. But it doesn’t change the fact that he can’t beat me, and it doesn’t rewrite any of the history between us. I’m almost one-hundred percent positive that those cars were rentals anyway. And who wears sunglasses at night?! It reminds me of that song.”

“I wear my sunglasses at night!” Taffer sings, in the worst fucking voice I’ve ever heard in my shitty life.

“That’s the one,” Steven says, snapping his fingers in rhythm.

Steven finally hands the juice over to the eager boy, who immediately tries to run back to the playground. But the well-placed hand the shoulder keeps the struggling boy in place.

“Now, don’t you drink that too fast. Don’t want your tum tum to get the rum rums,” Steven says in the worst imaginable tone as he winks at the boy.

The boy continues to struggle, and Steven finally lets him loose. The kid bolts back up the steps, and like the dumb little shit he is, trips on the first step and drops his juice. The top shoots off and the purple liquid turns to mud as it spills into the sand below the equipment. He lets out a ferocious scream as tear pour down his face.

Steven, like a true Dad pro pulls the cooler from under the chair.

“Time to go!” He shouts as Jebidiah crumbles down the steps in a baby-fit.

“Till next time, Taffer!” Steven says as he reaches over and shakes the not-bar-rescuer’s hand.

“Till next time, Steven.”

Steven starts his march to the car with Jebidiah stomping behind him as the scene fades to black.