Okay, so Dad was studying for the BAR exam. And you know, he’s a, uh, very attentive, very focused studier. He didn’t even listen to music. Or, I don’t think he did.
And, anyway, he was studying at a Dunkin Donuts and the store was robbed at gunpoint while he was there studying. No shots were fired or anything, but there was, uh, yelling and screaming and everything.
So the police arrived. And they, uh, came up to Dad and asked him what he saw, like could he identify the guy, and he hadn’t even noticed the store had been robbed (laughs).
Collector: Do you remember who first told you this story?
I think Mom did.
I don’t know. A long time ago. And she tells it all the time. The first time I was probably less than ten years old.
What context does she tell it in?
I don’t know a humorous one? She tells it to make fun of Dad.
Have you told it to anyone. Like, besides right now?
Yeah.. a few people. Like friends who are possibly going to take the BAR or if people are talking about how they don’t know how people can study in Starbucks I say yeah, I agree, I don’t like studying near noise either, but my dad can study anywhere and then I tell them.
Why do we retell it?
Cuz it’s funny.
Does it change?
Not really. For the most part it stays the same. Dad doesn’t really ever tell it himself, Mom likes to tell it. She likes to point out, you know, his work ethic and also his inattention to some things.
Context of the Performance:
This is a Carballo family classic tale and as the informant mentioned, it has been told dozens of times. The informant told it when I asked him about his favorite family stories that we tell a lot. I was the only one listening when he told it.
Collector’s Thoughts on the Piece:
It is interesting, as the informant points out, how the subject of the tale never tells this story, though he must have told it at least once because the main reteller was not there to witness it. It shows how a particular tale can mean so much to a family and sort of define how they see a certain family member. I have also heard it told in the context of justifying Dad completely tuning out a conversation or neglecting a request, sort of to demonstrate that he actually may not have heard.