5 Times I Heard the Voice of My Long-Lost Father Misquoting Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s On First?” Skit in the Vents of the Burger King on Orrington and Clark
1. The Time It Was Going Pretty Well But He Forgot The Words About Halfway Through
I was finishing my last few slurps of my Coke at Burger King a few weeks ago when I heard a voice in the vents above me. “Dad?” I wondered aloud, which was met by my dad’s voice quoting “Who’s On First” just like he did when I was a child. He relayed it word for word until he started getting Who and Why confused, which completely derails the skit because the humor comes from the fact that it’s ironically confusing but the listener can still follow both Abbott and Costello’s strains of logic. I called out to him but all I heard was silence.
2. The Time It Was Just Barely Too Quiet
It was late, I was weary, and I happened to be walking by Burger King again. My pangs of hunger bid me to enter, and I got a Froot Loops milkshake which was both as awful and wonderful as one would expect. Before I could indulge my nocturnal cravings for simple carbohydrates, I heard the whispers from the vents. “Dad, is that you?” I called, and the whispers grew louder. I pressed my ear next to the wall, straining to hear what clearly had the inflection of someone quoting “Who’s On First”, but I was unable to make out any individual words. “I can’t hear you!” I cried, but the whispers only grew more unintelligible. They soon gradually faded, much like my memories of him have since he left us.
3. The Time It Was A Disaster From the Get-Go
I found myself in the BK again as a post-coital pit stop. My thoroughly exhausted body craved the King’s burgery goo but suddenly I heard my dad again from the vents. “Why did you leave mom and me?” I cried. His response was a flurry of sounds ranging from “Help!” to electric bagpipes being tuned. This version of “Who’s On First?” wasn’t as good as the first time, but I guess it was pretty late so that was fair. He mentioned neither baseball nor any hint regarding his disappearance when I was 5. The cops never found a single lead.
4. The Time I Didn’t Have to Go to Spanish
I was biking back from Beck’s Books when Burger King’s breakfast biscuit basket beckoned me, but the brakes on my black bike broke brusquely back a block, and I broke my arm. As I was slipping into unconsciousness from my low tolerance for pain, I heard a faint, ghostly whisper escape from the doors of the Burger King. Before I could make out what the whisper was trying to say, I succumbed to the darkness. If only my dad had finished teaching me about proper bicycle maintenance before he left to “take care of unfinished business”, but at least I got to get out of Spanish that day!
5. The Time He Made Weird Noises As If A Mouse Was Scurrying in the Pipes Below
Yesterday I wandered in, seduced by its scent of formaldehyde, and decided to treat myself with a Whopper Jr. Upon sitting, I heard my father’s voice waft from the vents into my eardrums. This time was the worst yet. He didn’t even make sounds except it kinda sounded like a mouse scurrying in the pipes below. “Father, please come home, mom cries every day,” but all I heard was a few faint echoes of a squeak and small feet pattering. It definitely wasn’t the best “Who’s On First?” I had heard but hey, not everyone’s dad is perfect.