My dad has always said that he doesn’t want to be the “Number One Dad.” Too much pressure, he says. But I can honestly report that he is probably the Number Four Dad in the whole world, or maybe even Number Three.
If I had over thirty years’ worth of video footage and the know-how to make GIFs, this post would just be a series of GIFs of my dad dancing. But I don’t and I don’t, and so it’s your loss that you’ll never get to see my pops doing the sprinkler. (That shit used to KILL at the Father-Daughter Dance.)
Instead, here are five quotes from the man who taught me nearly everything I know about being a pretty chill dude. Happy Father’s Day to a totally Top-Five parent!
1) “Look, girls! Your dad used to run over this bridge every day when I was in high school.”
When we were kids, we always took the same route to visit my grandma at my dad’s childhood home. And every. Single. Time, he would call out the bridge that he used to run over as a young cross-country athlete. This quote is now code in my family for, “I ALREADY KNOW THAT, YOU REPETITIVE SON OF A BITCH.”
2) “A savvy fast-food diner always eats his French fries first.”
This hardly needs explanation — it’s just good, solid advice. The deliciousness of your French fries declines exponentially as they cool, while it’s almost guaranteed to be a gentler drop-off for whatever main dish you may have ordered. (Unless you ordered French fries alongside a plate of fried cheese sticks, in which case you are an American hero, and you definitely don’t need my advice about eating junk food.)
3) “It’s, like, dude. I’m 57 years old.”
My dad and I were headed out to see Corpse Bride, back when it was in theaters. As we were leaving the house, my mom reminded him to do something, or asking him to do something… I’m fuzzy on the details. But as we walked out to the car, my dad rolled his eyes about whatever nag he’d just received, and dropped the timeless gem above. Instant classic.
4) “Did I ever tell you about the time I won a loner with a king high?”
If you ever play euchre with my dad, he’ll tell you about the time he went alone — and WON, mind you — on a king high. If you don’t know the game, trust me when I say that’s a pretty impressive accomplishment. One that he will never, ever let you forget.
5) “Joe’s Bar and Grill.”
So, listen. I’m away at college, and I’m elaborately stoned. I call my parents’ house, and the voice on the other end says, very rushed, “Joe’s Bar and Grill.” In a moment of self-doubt and paranoia, I say, “Oh, sorry — I have the wrong number,” and hang up. I try my parents again, and my dad is choking with laughter that he tricked me. Yes, CONGRATULATIONS, you confused your drug-addled daughter. Slow clap, Dad. Slow clap.
(As a shameful postscript, I should mention that I subsequently fell for “Joe’s Bar and Grill” a second time. Maybe a couple of weeks later. Kids, don’t do drugs, OK?)