Thursday, May 30, 2013

#140: Beach Attire

Towels, check. Sunblock, check. Oversized tote bag, check. You are ready for the beach. Dad, on the other hand, has a much bigger checklist for his beach outings.

Sunblock, check. Extra sunblock, check. Bucket Hats, towels, coolers, sunglasses, croakies, windbreaker (wait—what?), first aid kit, lawn chair, and socks with sandals. Dad is now ready to conquer the beach.

For Dads, the beach isn’t just a place to bury your kids and make up false treasure maps that your kids still believe to this day. The beach is a place to embarrass your kids while also teaching them lessons. “Why does Dad have to wear that goofy hat and sunblock on his nose?” “BECAUSE UV RAYS ARE SILENT KILLERS!”

While you enjoy the seashells and building sand castles, Dad will stay back under the umbrella and observe the waves and current tide. Don’t worry though, Dad chose your spot on the sand away from the current’s pull incase you wanted to go into the water. 

And when you’ve exhausted the day by somehow swallowing more salt water and sand than your body weight, you waddle yourself over to the beach showers. Dad, meanwhile, packs things up efficiently, showing no signs of sand or having even been at the beach. “The secret is an extra pair of socks.” And you wonder how Dad got so wise as you fall asleep on the drive home. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

#139: Puttering Around the House

Now that the weather has gotten better and Memorial Day approaches, Summer will very soon be in full swing. That means pick up baseball games, ice cream trucks, playing with the lawn sprinkler, sun burns, and jeans covered in grass stains. For Dad it means it is project time. Time to get around to all those things he couldn't do in the winter. And these aren't huge tasks like building a patio or fixing the house foundation. It is real minor stuff that makes him look busy so mom won't make him go shopping or something. Dad puttering around the house is his way of passing the time until he can fire up the grill or make his tee time.

Dad knows that if he has nothing to fix, mom will make him do boring stuff like go to a flower expo, or go "shopping" where Dad's opinion doesn't matter while stuck in the purgatory that is the Macy's sitting area aka Dad Detention. Therefore he keeps busy with odd jobs that would normally take a minute, but he stretches out into an hour job (or three beers, which ever comes last). Things like fixing the door jam, sweeping the garage, cleaning the grill or his golf clubs, changing lightbulbs, the list goes on and on. In fact it never really ends, Dad just keeps making stuff up until he is risk-free from being forced to go to the farmers market. If he has run out of ideas he will always relegate to watering the lawn. It makes him look busy, but really he just stands there drinking a beer with a hose in his hand. It's not rocket science but he won't tell you that.

So when you get home from the local pool, take a look around the house to see what "improvements" Dad has done in your absence. The fire alarms all have fresh batteries (which were changed last month), the lawn is aerated, the TV cables are all bundled neatly. Sure they may be things that didn't have to happen right now but Dad takes pride in his work. Just don't ask Dad what he did or else you're gonna be stuck in an hour long conversation from the planet Boring.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

#138: To Do/Check Lists

After a long week of work, Dad wants to spend the weekend cracking open beers, relaxing in his chair and watching golf. He deserves it. But that’s when mom hands him the honey-do list.

You may think you’re the only one that has chores. But Dad’s get a list of them. And rightfully so because Dad’s can’t function without To Do and Check lists. While mom’s can multi-tasks (cooking dinner while on the phone with grandma and teaching you algebra all at the same time), Dad needs a break down of tasks that need to be handled one at a time.

While your chores consist of taking out the garbage (And take it all the way to sidewalk? You think I’m a superhero or something?), Dad has to pay credit cards, clean the garage, clean the gutters, pick up dry cleaning, buy gift for the nephew we never see, pick up dinner, build new desk for study, refill ink cartridge, and install router for wireless internet.

The To-Do list immediately goes into Dad’s pocket next to his belt strap phone holder. He will pull it out only to review his progress and also complain to the cashier at the hard-ware store to show “how much the old lady is making me do.”

Don’t worry Dad because as soon as you cross off all the tasks from that To-Do list, there’ll be another one waiting to handle during the week after work. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

#137: Weird Condiments

"I'm hungry, I wanna sandwich." Dad mutters as he gets out of his chair and shuffles to the kitchen. That is the signal to stay OUT of the kitchen because things are about to get weird. Dads run on a balanced and highly calculated diet of coffee, grilled meats, scotch, and smothering food in weird condiments. We have already highlighted Dad's infatuation with the huge sandwich but we have yet to touch on the toppings Dad puts on EVERYTHING. You think you are fancy because you like ketchup and the occasional mustard on your hot dog? You are not even close to Dad level when it comes to condiments.

When Dad orders a hot dog, it is required to have as many toppings as possible. Dad puts the basic Chicago Style Dog (Vienna Beef hot dog, mustard, neon relish, onion, tomato, pickle spear, sport peppers, celery salt on a poppy seed bun for the uninitiated out there) to shame. He starts tame, things like grilled onions and yellow mustard. But before you know it he has sauerkraut, cheese whiz, horseradish, jalapenos, spicy mustard, hot sauce, and several things you didn't even know existed on top of that little tube of meat. For good measure he may even ask for another hot dog on top to round it out. It basically looks like a trash can emptied on top of a bun and smells AWFUL. Dad puts it down in two bites.

Dad of course loves weird condiments because of a few reasons: there are some tastes that only appeal to Dads (kimchi anyone?), and he puts them on his food so no one else will eat it. Also he loves grossing out his kids and embarrassing them when he holds up the sandwich line as they spoon sardines out onto his Reuben. And let's not forget the cheese! Dad doesn't draw the line at Kraft American singles, he goes all in with stinky runny cheeses that smell like a sherpa's foot after climbing Everest. Roquefort, brie, saga, stilton, and limburger are among his favorites.The smell makes even the poor line cook's eyes water, it sparks flashbacks to WWII in the old man sitting at the next table. Dad happily chows down on the partially fermented cheese while the kids look on in disgust. He is as happy as a clam, especially because he knows no one will touch his corned beef sandwich topped with shrimp salad, thousand island, and potato chips.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

#136 Asking Logical Questions about Rap

After Dad has exposed you to the wonders of Jazz for the past hour, he finally gives you control of the car stereo. That is when you take the opportunity to blast some of your rebellious Rap and/or R&B. Dad doesn’t comprehend this bubble gum music. And while you embrace the beats, he is busy trying to understand the lyrics to make sure they aren’t offensive. 

That is when Dad pulls the ultimate Dad move: questions. You’re used to Dad questioning you at the dinner table, but his logical questions about rap songs are the best. Please find some example Dad questions below and see if you can figure out the song he is asking about.

So where did he get his start? And where is he now? (Answer)

Why would they forget about him? (Answer)

Why can't she remember her name? (Answer)

If it wasn’t him, who was it? (Answer)

What do you think Caroline did to him? (Answer)

What’s a boo? (Answer

Don’t bands want her to dance? (Answer)

Do you even know what he’s saying? (Answer: Any Pitbull song)

What are they even saying? (Answer: Any rap song)

Now Dad poses them as rhetorical questions, but expects straight answers. So next time you feel the urge to play your music around Dad, be ready to answer some questions.