I was on the phone with Dad last night when I got a bloody nose. There was no warning. Just a funny taste in the back of my throat. I tilted my head back and told Dad that I'd have to call him back.
Dad didn't understand the urgency of the situation. He thought I had a call on my other line. He is opposed to call waiting. "I'm not going to sit here and wait for you to be finished talking to someone more important than Your Father," he said.
"No, Dad...it's not that. I have a nosebleed."
Most people would get off the phone at that point. Dad decided that it was a perfect time to reflect on the Great Nosebleed of 1987.
I grew up in the Tundra. Lots of snow, lakes, casinos, and the Mall of America. Winters were unusally harsh. The air was dry and my father got regular nosebleeds. One winter day, Dad got a nosebleed in the car. Just like mine, it started with no warning.
Dad uses paper towels instead of tissues due to the size of his nose. I'm not sure why he doesn't apply the same logic for toilet paper. I wish I had thought to ask him.
He groped around the back seat for the roll of paper towels. He checked under his seat. Blood dripped down his chin as he swerved into oncoming traffic while reaching under the passenger seat. My sister, strapped in her car seat squealed in delight and clapped.
There were no paper towels.
In fact, there seemed to be nothing absorbant at all in the car. Not even a discarded newspaper. He fished out an empty styrofoam cup from McDonald's and held it under his chin for a moment. The blood trickled through his beard and down his neck, cleverly avoiding the cup.
He threw the cup in disgust and thrust his hand back under the passenger seat. His finger tips met with a small frozen hand towel. He rejoiced and pressed the frozen absorbant cloth to his face.
Gradually, the bleeding stopped and Dad removed the towel from his face. Holding it up in front of him, he realized that it was not a towel, it was a pair of my sister's frozen training pants. My sister squealed in delight and clapped her hands.
It took him 30 minutes to tell me this story. I am still weak from blood loss. AB+ if anyone would like to make a donation.