Thursday, September 27, 2012

#105 Classic Dad: Hank Hill

Henry Rutherford "Hank" Hill is about as traditional as a Dad can get. Hailing from Arlen, TX Hank spends his time either at Strickland Propane where he sells propane and propane accessories or drinking Alamo beer with his friends in his driveway. Like any true Texan, his hero and idol is Tom Landry and his favorite musician is Willy Nelson. He seems like any normal, reserved, conservative Dad. And that is what makes him great.

Hank, although often confused by his son Bobby's "odd" interests (baking, cheerleading, theater), often fakes interests to support him. Most of the time he has no idea what is going on with his son, but still supports it. He hates his son's music like any true Dad and believes a well manicured lawn is a measure of one's Manliness. He never lets a mechanic touch his truck, since he thinks he can repair it better (which is usually not true).

I list these things because Hank is not just a Dad, he is THE Dad. Everything he does is Dad to the core. From his naive approach to new fads like skinny jeans and dub step to his deep love for steak to his basic worship of football, everything he does is true Dad. I could tell a funny story about Hank or an insight into his life that molded his personality. But when I thought of Hank Hill for this post I only thought of one thing. How he is the true hardcore Dad. Nothing more, nothing less.

Congratulations Hank on joining the annals of Dad fame.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

#104: Answering Questions with a Question

Dads are all-knowing beings. They can drop knowledge and key facts at random requests. You’re convinced that Dad could dominate Jeopardy. But in true Dad fashion, he doesn’t abuse the knowledge he knows. Rather, Dad is as mysterious in sharing his knowledge as he is to how he attained it.

“Dad, what should I do for this problem?”
“How do YOU think you should do it?”

Dads will answer all questions with a question. Whether Dad is helping you with homework, asking for a full report at dinner, or just sharing some of his Dad-isms, you can guarantee that Dad will be responding with questions. Much like Ron Swanson hates answering questions, Dad will also make you think about what you’re asking rather than give you the answer. “If I just gave you the answer, you’d never learn.” If I hadn’t thought about it already, I wouldn’t be asking you!

Just so you know, this type of Dad questioning answering doesn’t end when you grow up, but rather it intensifies. “Dad, what should I do with my 401K?” “What do you want to do with your 401k?” That’s when you realize Dad was probably awesome when a Queen was drawn during Kings Cup. So best of luck in getting a straight answer from Dad, but somewhere in his rebuttal lies the best advice you've ever gotten.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

#103: Out of Date College Sweatshirts

Fall is just around the corner and that means one thing in this writer's mind. No not apple cider, falling leaves, and the death of every mosquito. I am talking college football, the greatest sport invented by human or alien technology. Most Dads out there went to a school with a decent football team, or at least follow one because their Dad took them to games. Or they just made up a reason to like a school (much like 99.99% of Notre Dame fans). Dad shows his loyalty on gameday by drinking beer, sitting on the couch, and calling the starting quarterback a stud every time he gains a yard. But Dad has to look the part as well and that is by wearing his Out of Date College Sweatshirt.

Much like Sweater Vests and Really Old Sweatpants Dad likes his casual apparel to be comfortable and slightly awkward. The OoDCS covers both attributes perfectly as the sweatshirt is worn in it fits like a glove but so old that it still has the racist mascot on the front (RIP Chief Illiniwek). It is to the point that Dad has to remind people what school he represents because no one recognizes the logo or mascot name. Or because it is covered in so many holes and/or grease from former tailgates it is held together by burger fat and not stitching. That is the mark of a true fan.

So embrace college football season. Go out and enjoy grilling in a parking lot, travel by plane to see a bunch of college kids beat the crap out of each other for your entertainment, pick a fight with a rival fan. But most of all rep your school hard by buying a great sweatshirt. Believe me, it will last you forever. And then you can be that Dad wearing a ratty sweatshirt supporting a school that stopped playing football 25 years ago. But dammit, they were a hell of a team back then.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

#102 Ear Plugs

Dad makes a lot of noise with his yelling, punishments, and loud sneezes. But ironically, Dad actually hates loud noises. Much like moms single handedly drive revenue for airplane neck pillows, Dads carry purchasing power for ear plugs. If there is a concert, festival, block party, or even just a birthday party with little kids, you can count on seeing some bright orange plugs in Dad’s ears.

Most people embrace concerts: the music and bass fills your whole body. You scream for the whole night just to be heard and have a sore throat the next day. That’s what makes it fun, right? Know what is more fun for Dad? Silence. The ear plugs drown out the unnecessary drunk kids screaming along as well as the out of tune speaker system. Instead Dad can hum along to his favorite music without suffering next day consequences of blown ear drums.

Ear plugs come in many forms and colors. Some Dads prefer people to know that their ears are plugged, and they choose bright orange ones that have strings attached. Some Dads prefer the subtle plug so they’ll choose the prelude to hearing aides, the clear ear color matching plugs. Both are effective, but much like Dads style, none look cool.