My dad is trolling me.

I just came back from visiting my parents over a long weekend and I’m reminded once more why I love my family but choose to live far enough away that visiting involves an airline ticket or hours of driving.

On day 1, my dad asks me if he can borrow my (rental) car to go run an errand. I know he likes trying new cars, so it’s fine with me. He goes to put on his coat while I get the keys. We meet in the entry way where he’s standing ready to leave, wearing a black baseball cap embroidered in gold letters that says, “TRUMP”. He has never supported republican agendas, let alone someone like Trump. But there he is wearing that stupid hat and a shit eating grin. I tell him he’s going to get himself punched in the face if he wears that outside. At the very least the neighbours will stop speaking to him. But he thinks it’s the funniest thing in the world and walks out of the house.

Day 2, we’re all in the car heading out for dinner. We’re making small talk when my dad says, “I was reading that the moon is artificial and hollow inside because it was built by aliens who were spying on earth. NASA has been keeping it a secret since the last Apollo flight that landed on the moon.” I ask him where he “read” this and who wrote it. He says he saw it on YouTube and that I should watch it, “…Because it’s true”. Now, my dad has been an engineer his whole life until he retired. He is the most logical and no nonsense person I’ve ever known. I’ve modeled much of my life on his methodical approach to evaluating problems and finding solutions. So I just about drove into a parked car when he so matter-of-factly dropped that hollow moon theory on me.

I know he’s getting on in years. But I have to believe he’s trolling me. Right?

Perhaps he’s just looking to see your reaction. I used to tell my kids it was a shame that teenagers would come in the middle of the night and steal the cows’ legs so they’d just be lying on the ground when we drove by. It wasn’t until years later that I discovered they believed me and were terrified of driving by fields with cows.

I don’t know you or your dad, but if this happened to me my first thought would be my dad has dementia.

I agree with that; you might want to talk to his primary care physician, and perhaps book an appointment with a neurologist.

Does your father have any history of pranking people?

My father trolls me like that all the time. He knows the hot button issues that will get me riled up, and he will make outrageous contrary statements just to get me to rise to the bait. He’s a really cool guy and enjoys rigorously debating with me, so I take it for what it is and don’t let it bother me.

I agree that if your father has never done this before, it might be worth exploring the possibility of dementia.

Dad’s trolling you. It’s the Nazi’s who have the secret base in the hollow moon.

Sudden assholish behavior can be a sign of dementia or some form of brain cancer/damage. I agree with Dewey above, if there’s no history of pranking people, get him checked out. Does he have a roommate or coffee buddy who might have noticed any recent changes?

Wearing a Trump hat is not “trolling,” “signs of dementia,” or “assholish behavior.”

Get a hold of yourself.

And I’m not a supporter of Trump.

Did you read the whole OP? It’s not just wearing a Trump hat; there’s also the bit about the moon. And the OP describes his/her father as otherwise a rational person.

This aging Trump supporter got punched in the face at a rally yesterday by a teen protester.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TA1S0KQD2W8&index=2&list=PLNxwX7r4A5565JsIVBKZNGX2P6enPkV_t

It doesn’t end well for the protester.

She claims he fondled her breasts. If that’s true, he assaulted her first.

Calvin’s dad (of Calvin and Hobbes fame) was fond of pranking (or trolling, if you prefer) too.

Why old photographs are all black and white

How they know the weight limit on bridges

Per review of other videos, the older man and the young woman were in a heated discussion. He was holding a pamphlet or papers folded lengthwise (4 1/4" x 11") and gesturing with them while he was talking. If anything the papers inadvertently brushed against her jacket. Definitely not worthy of throwing a punch.

So if Calvin were now an adult and his elderly father was spouting weird stuff about the moon being hollow, Calvin might not find it unusual. But that’s apparently not the case here.

Depends. If my father wore a Trump hat, it would have to be one of those things.

OP, what did you say to your dad when he brought up the hollow moon topic? Has he ever done this before? My dad is 76, with a PhD in Math, and a very Liberal bias. If he started this, and seemed to be serious about it, then I would definitely be talking to his doctor. In your father’s case, in character or not?

If you think your dad has dementia you should be sure he is able to still drive a car safely. Has he been asking the same question repeatedly or tell you the same thing repeatedly or has been forgetting where he leave things. My dad was getting memory lost and forever forgetting where he left things .

Just so you know it’s against the rules to alter a quote box…do not do this again.
And if you have any software that does it automatically, you may want to turn it off so that you don’t accidentally break this rule again.

My dad is not a prankster but he does have a very dry sense of humour. He’s also not capable of subtlety. He’s more apt to be tactless and say what comes to his mind when it’s a subject he feels strongly about.

And while he’s in his late 70’s, he’s under regular care of a physician that he’s been with for a number of years and who has been very pro-active with his care (dad’s a diabetic and has hearing loss).

I guess some loss of inhibition and loss of mental acuity is not out of the question at his age. He does not appear to be suffering from obvious signs of memory loss. My mom’s a retired nurse and I believe she’d says something if she noticed red flags. Her reaction to his flights of fancy is just to roll her eyes and busy herself with something in the kitchen.

That said, I’m going to talk to my brother and see if we can get him to see a specialist for an evaluation. Just to be sure.

Have you ever just asked him if he’s serious about the moon thing? Sounds more like he’s just yanking your chain. If he’s serious, yeah, that’s a cause for concern.