Thursday, November 24, 2011

#60: Carving the Thanksgiving Turkey

It is finally time for Thanksgiving dinner. It has been a hard day of lying on the couch and watching football and then attempting to play football before someone pulled a hamstring. But none of that matters now. Dad enters into the dining room with the steaming hot bird and sets it down at the table as every one oohs and aahs at the bountiful feast. Dad then commences with one of the most time honored traditions of Dadness: carving the turkey.

Dad may not be a surgeon, but as he slices into the turkey he has the focus and finesse of a doctor performing a heart transplant. He NEVER breaks a sweat; he is a seasoned veteran and will not break under pressure. Sorting the meat into light and dark, legs here, skin there, wishbone perfectly extracted, it is a symphony of movements generations in the making. Every year you ask him how he does it and he instantly goes into his playbook of carving. It is like he is revealing the secret to life and it is told with an extreme amount of detail.

Of course, every Dad has their own process. Some go straight for the legs, some go for the center of the breast, it is a matter of preference. But each Dad fiercely defends their process when it is presented. Debates will occur before the carving, but never during or after. Dad is in the zone and will not listen to criticism but no one can argue with the results.

So enjoy Dads carving prowess, cover everything on your plate in gravy, enjoy both pies because it is Thanksgiving. We are thankful for the Dads in our lives because without them we would have no material to write about. From all two of us here at That’s So Dad we wish you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

#59 Caring About the Lawn

When winter is done giving you the cold shoulder, you have spring to look forward to. That means sunshine, flowers, miniskirts, baseball, and almost summer! To dad, springtime means one thing: freshly cut grass.

The lawn is Dad’s baby. Mom has her gardening and plot of flowers. Dad has the lawn. That isn’t to say he is the sole maintenance guy because your first job on your resume should list lawn expert with all those Saturday mornings you woke up to “DON’T FORGET TO MOW THE LAWN!”

Even though Dad has ordered you to maintain the lawn in order to get your allowance, it isn’t because He is busy. Dad supervises the entire time. While you’re building character, Dad is sipping on beers and checking the blade length as if he were golfing on it later that afternoon. Why can’t Dad just do this himself? “JUST BE THANKFUL I RAKED THE LEAVES FOR YA!” Dad answers as if he knew what you were thinking.

And it’s true. Dad rakes leaves better than anyone else out there. He even let you jump in the piles when you were younger. Raking leaves strains Dad’s back, but he knows you can’t handle the precision and patience needed for it. Thanks Dad, I wish you thought I couldn’t handle the lawn

When you’ve finally done an adequate job, Dad will dismiss you and you can go along with your day. But about an hour later, you’ll see Dad still inspecting and putting the finishing touches on the lawn. This is Dad’s domain. The work is never done…

Thursday, November 10, 2011

#58: Classic Dads Volume #4: Tim “The Toolman” Taylor

In the latest edition of Classic Dads, the editors here at TSD would like to recognize Tim “The Toolman” Taylor for his contribution to Dadness and to general masculinity. Tim is the father figure on the hit television show (and one of the greatest shows ever) Home Improvement. It is a unique setting because Tim is the host of a show within the show, aptly named “Tool Time” where he revels in his manliness and his knowledge of tools. Like any real Dad, he claims to have an in depth knowledge of everything from screwdrivers to serious power tools. However, Tim always gets into sticky situations where his misuse of tools goes wrong, resulting in him getting his hand stuck to a door or blowing up a house. Basically he is like all of our Dads, he thinks he knows what he is doing with tools…but he really doesn’t.

The Toolman is always on a quest to do something faster or stronger. From the time he attached a multiple cylinder engine to a weed whacker, turbocharged his garbage disposal, or dropped a drag racing engine into a lawn mower, Tim Taylor would marvel at his skills while chanting “MORE POWER!!” followed by manly grunts as his children looked at him in awe of his Dadness. Never mind that the weed whacker chopped down a tree, the garbage disposal caught on fire, and the lawn mower wreaked havoc across a youth soccer game, Tim always hoped for the best.

Getting back to his grunts, Tim Taylor had a full chorus of sounds he would use to convey a full range of emotions. Shock, disgust, confusion, defeat, victory, and many other feelings were expressed not through traditional language, but through a Cro-Magnon like cacophony of noises. It became so much of his persona that it rubbed off on the family. It was a truly great Dad moment when the whole family starts grunting after Tim caused a blackout due to his Christmas decorations.

Like all Dads, Tim had his flaws. He never knew how to connect on sensitive issues without the help of Wilson, he would forget the task at hand when he saw a classic car to the chagrin of his wife, and would frequently get in trouble with the law for speeding in whatever monstrosity he decided to drop a NASCAR engine into. But he was the head of a great family unit that thought shouting barks and grunts in celebration was the ideal thing to do. Tim “The Toolman” Taylor is the epitome of a manly Dad.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

#57 Awkward Fitting Hats

Dad's have a unique fashion sense. Rather than lead the pack and discover the new trend, Dads are often 2 years behind and think they are "bringing it back." A Dad's closet is pretty much a Hipster's dream. But the one fashion item that is constant for Dad, aside from his white new balances, is his plethora of hats. And no matter what, that hat does not fit correctly and does not look good.

Dad has all sorts of hats: baseball caps, flat caps, wool hats ("Gotta cover my ears!"), beanies, a beret for some unknown reason, boaters, bowlers, fedoras (from before fedoras were cool again), his beach hat, and many more. But the most Dad hat of all is the bucket hat.

It is said the bucket hat serves a purpose, but to you it seems its purpose is pure embarrassment. There are pictures of you as a toddler in Dad's bucket hat. It's an instant classic as your face is covered and you're marching around in your undies. How funny it was then...

Unfortunately, Dad insists on wearing that same bucket hat to your rainy soccer games, sunny walks through your crush's neighborhood, or when mowing the lawn as the school bus drops you off. Dad rocks the bucket hat with pride as it covers his bald spot, shields his eyes from the sun and makes him look cool. It's Dads way of "keeping it real." "That rapper GG Cool Ray wore em, why can't I?"

You've even tried hat substitutes, but somehow even the other more normal hats look goofy on Dad. Adjustable snapback baseball caps apparently don't have a Dad size on them. Beanies turn into Jewish Kippah's on Dad. And don't even think about tempting Dad to wear his fedora.
The best advice is to let Dad wear his hats as he pleases and cross your fingers that it comes back into fashion as soon as possible.