Father’s Day is the official Hallmark Card holiday when everyone should honor his or her father. I suppose it’s a good idea to honor your father, but it’s not like it’s carved in stone. What’s that? It is carved in stone? Oh yeah, it’s one of the commandments. Well this is when you thank him for all the times he bailed you out, whether from jail or from financial difficulty. And you should give him credit for all the things he taught you along the way. There were useful things, like the pull-my-finger trick and how to change a flat. Then there were protective things like how to take a catfish off the hook without getting stabbed by one of the barbs, and how you should just do what the cops tell you because you go to jail or worse if you fight them, and they have radios so you can’t run away. All these lessons have paid tremendous dividends for yours truly. Over the years I’ve been able to show a lot of other guys how to change my flats, and have gotten off with pretty much the minimum of community service. Also, go ahead and pull my finger. Just once, you’ll love this.
My dad taught me all these things and many more before he shuffled off this mortal coil, and he seemed to have a pretty good time doing it. As shocking as it may sound, the Idler himself is a father and has enjoyed nearly every moment of it, which got me to thinking. Shouldn’t we be promoting this position? Isn’t being a dad something not to be dreaded but sought after? You young fellows may think that fast cars and loose women are about as good as it gets, but the Idler is here to tell you that fatherhood can be a pretty sweet deal too. Here are some major advantages:
- To your kids, all your jokes will be brand new. Of course, you’re restricted to the clean ones, but the first time a kid hears the talking dog in the bar joke, it’s a total laugh riot. Same deal with the detachable thumb trick not to mention the entire knock-knock oeuvre.
- Kids think it’s cool to bring you stuff. It’s the bottom of the 9th. The Bucs are down a run, 2 on, 2 out, full count and Cutch at bat. You could really use a beverage, but you can’t walk away. Foul ball. What do you do? Just say the magic words, “Who wants to get daddy a beer?” and voila, a grinning 3 year old materializes with a cold one. It’ll probably be a Fanta diet orange, but it’s the thought that counts.
- Your kids will think you’re a great athlete. From the first time you demonstrate a layup, your kids will think you’re LeBron James. Field a slow grounder and you’re Neil Walker. Lift a sack of potatoes and Schwarzenegger is a pansy by comparison.
- Your kids don’t know how bad a dancer you really are. If you start them off with the one where you put buckets on your heads, form a conga line and dance around the yard, you’ll totally be Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly all in one.Later on they’ll beg you not to dance, but that’s when you can repay them for the indignities described below.
Meanwhile, you’re obviously going to need a partner in this enterprise. I’d hazard some advice, but frankly the Idler just got lucky. Look for the patient, long-suffering type. If she’s all that and can also cook, march her down the aisle before she changes her mind.
It’s not all fun and games either. You’ll have to change a lot of diapers, during the course of which the boys will demonstrate a maneuver commonly referred to as “grapefruiting” where they nail you in the eye. The girls will bring tears to your eyes later on but for other reasons. There will come a time when no one laughs at your jokes and no one will bring you a beer because they’ll be off conquering the world. Don’t worry, the “empty nest” has its advantages too. Besides, they’ll be back, and maybe they’ll bring you a beverage and a kid who’s eager to learn the pull-my-finger trick. Happy Fathers’ Day.
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