Thursday, June 28, 2012

#92: Bowling

You’re turning 8 years old. Where else would you want to have your birthday party aside from the local bowling alley? Not only do you get to wear the slick shoes that let you moonwalk like Michael Jackson, but you also get your own bowling pin after devouring cake in the private VIP party room.

“I’m gonna have my next ten birthday parties here so I can have a full set!” You declare after receiving the ceremonial birthday bowling pin. Aside from the fact that it’d be hilarious to see an 18 year old having their birthday at a bowling alley, you soon learn that the birthday party at the bowling alley isn’t about you…it’s about Dad improving his bowling game.

When Dad isn’t spending Wednesday nights at the local middle school for Dads basketball league, he is shining up his personalized bowling ball for Thursday league nights. “I need to get my average score up!” The score of 198 is no good in Dad’s eyes. He needs to break 200 consistently.

Even though Dad puts more spin on a bowling ball than you can generate on the tire swing, Dad is never satisfied. His wrists may cramp and legs get heavy, but it’s all worth it when he gets to hoist that trophy above his bowling shirt. I wonder if Dad’s spin will translate to Wii bowling? Hint: It Does.

Much like playing Golf, Bowling is an escape for Dad. It is competitive but also allows him to drink a few beers. It is a sanctuary for Dads, and gun to head they’ll join a couples league to allow mom to join as well. So while you work on improving your game so you don’t have to use bumpers, Dad is working on how to get that third strike so he can yell “TURKEY!” For you Dad, we will hold our 18th birthday at the bowling alley so you can practice at home while needed. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

#91: The Fanny Pack

Now that summer is in full swing and the kids are out of school, families around the country will be taking trips all over the place. From New York and Chicago to those poor planning parents who thought Disney World in August was a great idea it will be quite a battle. The main concern for any Dad on these trips is that he needs to bring the essentials but also extra materials for Dadness. Extra film, sunscreen, clip on lenses for his glasses, extra thick white socks for his sweaty feet it all needs to go somewhere. The problem is Dad has a limited amount of pockets and a backpack hurts the ole bulging disk from high school football. The solution: FANNY PACK.

Fanny packs are frowned upon by society because they are considered outdated and corny. Dads don’t care because it is functional, easy on the body to carry, and to them it looks just plain cool. His kids of course are embarrassed when Dad wears the fanny pack, but as we all know that is one of Dad’s primary motives in life: embarrassment. 

When Dad digs around in his fanny pack, it is revealed to be an infinitely deep recess of storage much like Hermione Granger’s magical bag from Harry potter. Dad can go elbow deep into the thing and in one swoop pull out the parking stub to the car as well as the half melted Snickers bar he hid from mom because he is “on a diet”. The fanny pack is a magical item in its own right.

So when you see a family that is not from town (believe me they are easy to spot) be sure to look for Dad’s fanny pack. As the strong paternal unit he is often saddled with being the packmule of the trip. Any experienced Dad worth his salt knows that stowage is a premium and the virtues of wearing a fanny pack are as necessary as gravity. Such is the life of a Dad on a family trip.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

#90: Classic Dad: Homer Simpson

In Honor of Father’s Day happening Saturday, we want to wish all the Dad’s out there a Happy Father’s Day. With that said, we thought it was appropriate to honor another Classic Dad that I feel partly raised me: Homer Simpson.

Homer has been fathering Bart, Lisa and Maggie as well as most of America, if not the world, since 1989. He is a Dad in every sense of the word: wears the same clothes, rocks the facial hair that stays even when shaven, and embarrasses his kids at every possible moment—whether intentionally or not.

Homer speaks his mind and even coined the phrase “D’oh.” Most Dads attempt to speak slang while Homer creates it. Definitely a Cool Dad. And with his blue-collar nature of drinking and eating donuts and pork chops, every Dad aspires to be him. Homer is definitely worthy of the Father of the Year award he won in 2008. 

When Homer isn’t scarfing down food or doing the bare minimum at his job, he is offering Dad advice to Bart and Lisa that is wise beyond their years. Some of his gems have included

“Lisa, if you don't like your job you don't strike. You just go in every day and do it really half-assed. That's the American way.”
“Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.”

It is through this wisdom that not only Bart and Lisa learn, but we all learn how to approach things in life.

Lastly, Homer has participated in many rites of passage as a Dad: from doing a recreational softball league (with the likes of Ken Griffey Jr and Jose Canseco), coaching little league, and using power tools to fix things. But the thing we love most about Homer as we love in all our Dads is that they never stop caring and trying to impress us. 

So Happy Father’s Day to Homer and to all the Dads out there. We wish you a Sunday of beers, comfortable walking shoes, and watching the US Open from the couch. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

#89: Taking Pictures

One of Dad’s main responsibilities is to make memories with his children. From baby’s first steps, to little league games, to boy scouts, most Dads are there right alongside their kids. But how does Dad make sure these memories are always remembered? By taking pictures of course…lots of them.

As they age Dad’s hair line recedes, his back hair increases, his belly gets wider, and his memory gets worse. Dad can’t do much about the first three but he can take a ton of pictures to preserve cherished times. But it is not always the big occasions like that touchdown in 4th grade, rather it is things that are sure to embarrass you in the future. Birthday pictures, you crying your eyes out sitting in Santa’s lap, you wearing that ridiculous outfit mom made you wear, and that weird faze in your life where you wanted to be The Terminator and wore a leather jacket and bandana every waking moment. They are all saved by Dad for future laughter.

Of course Dad’s of the past never had those fancy digital cameras which store like a million pictures of you in the bath on a card smaller than grandpa’s hearing aid. Nope, Dad carried film and lots of it. Always telling you to stay still as he reloaded his Kodak and turning the gears while you froze like a statue next to Mickey Mouse. After standing next to Mickey you start hearing him breathing heavily in the Florida heat and smelling the sweat and it gets awkward. Finally Dad is done loading another roll and he snaps some more shots of you clearly uncomfortable next to the Messiah of Disney World (For the record, we here at TSD love Disney World, the Happiest Place on Earth). 

You may hate Dad constantly taking pictures all the time, much like him constantly filming using his massive Shoulder Mounted Video Camera, but it is totally worth it down the road. I have never laughed harder than when we pull out old family pictures and videos and just look at the stuff in the background. It is priceless. Dad knows what he is doing with that camera.