Dan the Man

October 27, 2010

Big Diesel. Hollywood. Shug Night. These are my father’s aliases. His namesake, Daniel the prophet, only had one — Belteshazzar.

My dad, Dan, is similar to Daniel. He’s loyal, generous and inquisitive. He also makes grandiose statements, loves giving advice and ends up in some interesting situations.

I’m not sure why my brother calls my dad Big Diesel, but the name fits the personality. Why? Well, Big Diesel has his own way of doing things. Rather than messing with his desk chair, Big Diesel keeps it at midget height, his chest level with the keyboard; he turns his laptop sideways to read unusually formatted documents; and carries his reading glasses in a plastic sandwich bag. Big Diesel.

Like Daniel the prophet, who walks in a fire to save his friends, Big Diesel is extremely loyal. Why not long ago he participated in a three-day, 60-mile MS walkathon to support his friends. No one in our family has MS and until moments before the race, Big Diesel wasn’t walking much. When he started training (I’m guessing a week, two weeks before the race), he got a huge blister on his heel. Rather than letting his friends down, he cut a hole in the back of his shoe to accommodate the blister. Big Diesel.

Daniel the prophet prays for his people while wearing sackcloth and sitting in a pile of ashes. I don’t think my dad’s ever done that (it’s possible), but he has his own sense of style, which is why we call him Hollywood. Hollywood is a very good skier, but his skiing attire — black jeans, $2 Ray-Ban knock-offs, flapping jacket — is all 80s and if Hollywood gets a phone call, he will stop mid-turn to answer it. Hollywood loves his flip phone and has special greetings for everyone who calls. They include: “Yo.” “Mr. Brown.” “Hel-lo.” “Hey Ives.” “This is Dan.” His tone varies with each greeting and when he’s done with you he says, “It was good talking to you.” Click. No goodbye. Conversation over.

Inference is a Prophet Daniel and Big Diesel/Hollywood specialty. The prophet interprets dreams, Hollywood interprets people. For a while, Hollywood knew all bad drivers were either “on drugs” or “punks.” “Methheads” got worked in there for a while, but I think that prophecy has dissipated.

Hollywood could be a writer. He loves telling stories and creating conspiracy theories. This is how his final alias, Shug Night, was born.

For some reason Hollywood started a conversation about the Biggie/Tupac beef, of which he knows a lot (he watched a special). It’s impossible to talk about Biggie and Tupac without theorizing Biggie’s death. Shug Night admits producer Suge Knight had a role in the situation.  However, Shug Night’s says gangs are the real reason Biggie got shot. He blames the “Knights and Crips” a rivalry that, to my knowledge, doesn’t exist.

I just got off the phone with Shug Night. I had to verify the spelling of his name. I though it was “Shrug Night” (because he shrugs his shoulders a lot) but it’s Shug. Why Shug and not Suge, like the real Suge Knight?

“I just shortened it up. His name wasn’t cool enough for me.”

I read The Book of Daniel with greater enthusiasm than the other books because it made me think of my father. If churches could relate personalities like Big Diesel, Hollywood and Shug Night to the prophets, I would consider parking my butt in a pew.

Stopping Point: The Book of Hosea

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