Growing up military is different from most families. You move around a lot, you change schools, sometimes mid-year; you have to adapt to different learning systems and you have to be able to make friends fast. One embarrassing leftover from moving so many places is that I instantly adapt speech patterns, accents and slang to whomever I'm speaking with, even to this day. If I'm in Chicago, I'm a Northsider. If we're in Asia, I'll start in with pigeonesque English. If I'm in Texas, my vowels are looooooooong and slooooooooooow. It's all about being 8 and surviving in a new situation.
The accent to which I default in times of anger is, God forgive me, Texan.
When I was almost 15, the acre lot next to my parents was still undeveloped. It was sporting tall grasses and weeds by mid summer, and was a source of aggravation for my dad. One late afternoon, we noticed some kids hanging around but thought nothing of it. That is, until smoke and flames started shooting up and the kids beat a hasty retreat. I was sitting on the patio reading when I heard my dad bellowing for help. I jumped up, barefooted and in shorts, and ran out to see what the commotion was about. I saw the flames jumping around in the grass, heading towards our house and seemingly nipping at my father's heels! My dad ran into our yard, grabbed a hose, turned on the water and sprinted towards the fire - only to be jerked nearly off his feet when the hose tangled. Dad yelped "Throw me more hose!" and I did just that - threw the entire tangled mess about 20 feet, turning the water gushing out of the hose to an old man's piddle stream. Daddy snarled, "Get out here and untangle this mess NOW." I whimpered that I was in bare feet, shorts, and - ALLERGIC TO WEEDS. Didn't matter - out I tromped, muttering under my breath and crying. The thistles stabbled me feet and legs, brambles were snarling in my long hair - and the hose was hopelessly twisted.
Daddy took over, and I fled back into the house. I washed off my hands and arms in the kitchen, then realized I needed to shower. I stomped back into the bedroom area, and spied my older sister sitting on her bed watching the entire situation play out from her window. I spat out in my rage-filled Texas Twang: "Who does Daddy think he is, the fucking far (fire) chief?!"
My mom poked her head out from the other bedroom and said "Watch your mouth, Miss..." and then her eyes about bugged out. My sister gasped and I started to turn -- just in time to notice that my father was right on my heels! I screamed and about fainted, and wet my pants right on the spot.
I forget what happened next. But forever after, when my dad would annoy my mother, sister or myself, one of us would mutter "Who does he think he is, the f'ing FAR CHIEF?!" and hilarity would ensue.