Analyzed and Synthesized

by Edallia Monotheer

(hey, we had to get it from somewhere!)


Life with Darth:

An Introspection


The Dark Side of the Force has invaded my life. Really. No, I mean it!

Okay, okay, I’m just feeling sorry for myself, but I’m sure than any warm-blooded teenaged college student would feel the same way if Darth Vader had taken over their Internet connection and their car, and apparently, their father’s basic sense of sanity.

My father has returned from a lengthy business sojourn to London, where he is apparently some sort of major honcho in some sort of software company. I’m not too sure of the details, because every time he tries to explain to me exactly what he does, my nervous twitch starts up and I begin to dart my eyes around, looking for an avenue of escape.

He’s not easy to communicate with. He’s been in the business world too long, and his style of speech falls somewhere between corporate shark and Tony Robbins. He never makes black-and-white statements in his arguments. He always “feels” that something is one way or another. It’s never, “you’re being obtuse!” It’s always, “I feel that you’re being obtuse.” I’m sure he “feels” that my lack of retention is disturbing.

Now, before my father took this job in London and he was actually at home sporadically, the vast majority of my conversations with him revolved around two things: the computer and my car. The computer argument centered on the fact that he felt that I was spending entirely too much time online, and I felt that he was failing to understand the basic impulses of a significant fraction of my generation. The car argument consisted of my catalogue of everything that had broken or exploded during the few days that he had been gone, and his insistence that everything that happened to my car, including basic combustion of gases in the engine chamber, was controlled by me personally, and that anything that went wrong was generally my fault. When he took the job overseas, I knew that I would not be seeing him for weeks at a time, and that even when he was home, he would only be there for a few days. Surely, I thought, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and dear ol’ Dad and I will have so many things to say to each other when he gets home, and we will enjoy hours of insightful conversation. So now my conversations with my father revolve around: the computer, and my car. So much for inter-generational communication.

I do try, however. When Dad staggers in the door, laden with a few weeks’ worth of dirty laundry, I put on a happy face and attempt to think of something meaningful to say. What my brain usually comes up with is something along the lines of, “Hey, Dad, guess what? My car burst into flames in a parking lot today!” (You readers think I’m kidding, don’t you? Ha! I wish!) This is not what a man returning home after weeks in England wants to hear. So I would rate my general prowess with father-daughter relationships as “abysmal.” I don’t feel that I am being too hard on myself.

You will doubtless be amused to hear that Dad has managed to one-up me. Instead of waiting for me to tell him what’s wrong with my car when he gets back to the States, he makes trans-Atlantic phone calls for the express purpose of asking me what’s wrong with my car. “Well, Dad,” I usually say, “so far this week, it has started about 65% of the time. That’s up several points from last week. Also, it’s making a noise reminiscent of a malfunctioning furnace. Or Darth Vader.” I swear that I can hear him rolling his eyes over the phone line.

The car, which is cheerfully named (although not by me) Dixie the Second, Vadered out on me again just this evening. As a result, I spent thirty minutes broken down in the parking lot of an auto repair shop (I kid you not) that was, unfortunately, closed. I popped the hood and left it propped open in a universal sign of helplessness that can be translated as either, “Please come fix my car,” or “Please come steal some parts!” Dixie the Second continued to make a horrible rattling, wheezing noise whenever I attempted to start her, until she finally ceased to make any noise at all. A jumpstart from some nice young men got me on my way again (chivalry is not dead, it’s just very, very ill) and I did make it home. Dixie continued to make sharp wheezing sounds and rattle as though she had a herd of banthas stampeding under the hood.

My point (I feel that I do have one) is this: all of my cars have been of the Dark Side. In addition to Dixie’s tendencies to sound like a guy in a breathing mask, my previous car, Georg, occasionally emitted a burst of hot air from the heat vents that made me want to crawl under the hood and look for James Earl Jones. This disturbs me, because only weeks after Georg turned to the Dark Side, he perished in a mighty ball of flame. So, Dixie, I’m keeping an eye on you! Breakdowns lead to anger on the part of your owner! Anger leads to the vigorous kicking of your rear bumper! Kicking leads to your owner’s realization that she kicks like a girl and the only way to inflict some serious damage on you is with a hatchet! And she does not have a hatchet! Which makes her angry enough to turn to the Dark Side herself! Watch it, you overweight blob of grease. I’m honing my rage and anger.

Oh, and the status of the computer argument? Dad’s no longer allowed to rant and rave about my phone line usage. His butt’s been glued to the computer chair ever since he walked in the door. In fact, whenever I do try to grab a minute to check my fan mail, I get a whiny, “when are you going to be done in there?” from the man himself. “In a minute, dammit! What makes you think you get the computer?” is my usual non-inflammatory reply. This isn’t enough to keep him from pestering me. Yesterday, he apparently decided that the most diplomatic way to compel me to relinquish the ‘Net connection was, eerily enough, to sneak up behind me with a large plastic cup in front of his mouth. I was jolted away from my work when I heard the familiar heavy, wheezing breaths, and heard the reply that sent me scampering away as quickly as I could manage.

“Because…” wheezed the pseudo-Vader, “I am your father!”

I don’t feel that it was a coincidence.

Disclaimer: This has been a public service rant by Edallia Monotheer. Compliments appreciated, flames will be used to hone my rage and anger. If you want to comment about something that I’ve written, please contact me at . Put “Canon” in the subject line. Asyr assumes no responsibility for my writings. Send her all the praise you want, but flame me if flame you must. Please do not reproduce this article, in whole or in part, without my permission. All Star Wars terms and characters are the property of Lucasfilm and various packs of vicious attorneys. I make no profit from my ramblings. Don’t worry, George, I’ll put the toys back in the box when I’m done. G’night, folks, you’ve been a lovely audience. Don’t forget to tip your servers.

Copyright February 2001, Edallia Monotheer.