Tag Archives: fatherhood

The Evolution Of Low Expectations

In 1996, Chris Rock’s Bring The Pain special featured his legendary “Black People vs. Niggas” bit. In it, he says, “A nigga will say some shit like, ‘I take care of my kids!‘ You’re supposed to you dumb motherfucker! What are you talking about? What kind of ignorant shit is that?” As our so-called culture has only devolved since then, let’s examine the white people version of “I take care of my kids!” in the post-To Catch A Predator age:

“I’ve never even touched a kid!”

Fucking… what? Think about that. I’ve heard white men say those exact words through earnest facial expressions. You’ve heard them, too. “Dude I swear I’ve never even thought about touching a kid.” Congratulations on not daydreaming about the only act worse than murder and disc golf. Do you understand how commonplace the act of child molestation has become when the refrain of male decency is “I’ve never even touched a kid”? Such a realization is one of those increasingly common moments when I think to myself, “I don’t want to die today, but I would find it immensely satisfying to know that humanity will be destroyed before sunset.”

I’ve already examined the frustration of living in a land of men that deny the existence of their own testicles. Right along side society’s penile decline, though, child molestation has woven its way so deeply into Americana that these same otherwise deflated men aim their chins upward and proudly proclaim that they have not forcibly inserted their penises into the bodies of human children.

“Listen man, I’m a father, okay? I’m a dad. Three kids. Three of ‘em! Pretty confident they’re all mine, too, even though I’ve only successfully ejaculated into my wife one time. Irregardless, not once have I ever even one-stroked my boy or dropped a single digit on either of my baby girls! How many dads you know can say that shit? Even did some substitute teaching at the elementary school and didn’t fuck – nay – did not even fondle one child. Not-a-one! And trust me, there were some opportunities. Wait. That’s not what I meant…”

One generation ago, average men were hunters and mechanics by hobby. They’d work a full day, hunt, kill, dress, and grill a deer for dinner, then rebuild an Oldsmobile engine for dessert. And they’d shut the fuck up about it because it wasn’t considered exceptional. Sure, their old lady might have caught an occasional right hook, but that was okay, too, as the average female jaw was much sturdier in those days. Now men have their oil changed by women that could out-grapple them, get Applebee’s Carside-to-go delivered through the window of their minivan – fully loaded with the vasectomy package, then wind down the evening by waiting for their wives to log off of Ashley Madison so they can quietly jerk off to cuckold porn before surfing to their preferred news media website to post comments about how proud they are of themselves for not fucking their own kids – who, incidentally, are on the other side of the wall live-streaming their pre-lawful genitals on Chat Roulette.

Eight Slovenian college students are huddled around a laptop 4,500 miles away, studying your 13-year-old daughter’s clitoris right now, but – credit where it’s due – you would not recognize that clitoris since incestuous rape is openly frowned upon in your household. Between not raping her and upgrading her to the unlimited data plan, I don’t know who the fuck else could be in contention with you for Father of the Year.

Dudes that announce they’re not kid-touchers probably fuck up their children’s lives just as badly as dudes that do fuck their kids, because the mind-fuck of enduring a childhood under a parent that feels compelled to deliver such an insane vocalization will leave scars that last just as long as those from anal tearing.


Reason #722 I Don’t Want A Kid

Because he might look like this someday. And if he did, my suicide note would read…

Dear Dylan,

First of all, your bitch mom told them your name was Dylan behind my back, because she knew I was categorically opposed to cursing a human child with the same condemnation of a name as every other future nothing from your generation. I should have walked out on both of you at that moment because, let’s face it; no hope remained once you were given that shit name.

Alas, I stuck around for thirteen years. Just long enough to see you roll up the driveway today looking the way you did. So that there’s no confusion – the skating never bothered me. Sure, when I was a kid, skating was what people that sucked at actual sports did, but I came to terms with its legitimacy and I was happy with the fact that as long as you were skating, at least you weren’t rotting your soul with pornography or disc golf. But I know that kids with skateboards like to imagine that the world has it in for them and their four-wheeled platforms of rolling anarchy, so I don’t want your delusions to cloud the reality of why my brains are splattered across the living room.

When you came to me last week with the Kohl’s circular ad and asked if we could go get the clothes the kid that looks like an underdeveloped lesbian was wearing, I thought it was the funniest bit of sarcasm I’d ever heard, never imagining for a moment that you might be fucking serious. But the tears of laughter streaming down my face turned to those of genuine sorrow when I saw you sulk away in search of sympathy from the woman that named you Dylan. I was sad not because you were sad, but because I realized, in that moment, that I had failed so comprehensively as a father that my own son desired to own maroon skinny jeans.

I always assumed I could raise a boy with enough pride and individuality that he’d never even consider entering his lower extremities into maroon skinny jeans. That, if anything, he’d form a posse of like-minded youth to deliver excruciating wedgies to anyone that sucks at life enough to wear such preposterous trousers. I’d like to blame my failure on anything but myself – your mother… the internet… the Illuminati. But you’re my son, so it all comes back to me. That you even felt comfortable approaching me about the purchase of maroon skinny jeans was almost too much to bear, but I persevered. Then, today happened.

I looked out the window and saw you rolling up the driveway in that assholic outfit from the advertisement. I initially felt there was no recourse but homicide, but fortunately you took so long tonguing the scuffs out of your shoes that my murderous rage subsided by the time you came inside. But, even though I weathered the initial shock without my foot entering the front and exiting the back of your skull, I knew that life could never return to normal having seen my own boy this way. I can never unsee your outfit, son. I would rather have watched you be the centerpiece of a gay Eiffel Tower as long as you put on normal clothes afterwards. So as the moments elapsed after seeing you today, my hatred shifted from you and your asshole-cut jeans to myself and my catastrophic paternal failure.

I’ve seen my worst nightmare and not murdered it. Now what? Kill myself, I guess. I’ve already fucked my kid’s head up to the point that he’s outfitted himself in maroon skinny jeans, a strategically tucked shirt revealing an unwarranted belt, and a winter hat worn not for insulation from frigid air but strictly for ornamentation – not to mention the fact that it’s crocked up to reveal his meticulously disheveled hair. And black socks. What the fuck? Where did you get black socks? You’re thirteen. No thirteen-year-old owns black socks. You mean to tell me you’re detailing your outfits to the point that every exposed inch is color-coordinated? Color-coordinated Christ, my kid’s a fag! I would have been shocked to catch you blowing dudes, but I wouldn’t have called you a fag over it. I’d have just told my buddies, “Yeah, I guess the kid’s gay. I’m gonna buy him a whore or two, see if takes, but life goes on.” But color-coordinated socks? I can’t tell anyone about that. Neither can I carry it on my conscience.

So… suicide it is.

Listen, kid, take this in stride. Don’t piss your panties – which I’m sure are color-coordinated with whatever knickknack is dangling from your pierced asshole. But, you know, look at yourself. I can’t fail you any worse than I already have, so it can’t possibly get worse in my absence. Don’t hate yourself for this. Well, hate yourself – but just enough to get out of that two-legged maroon embarrassment. If you have to hate someone wholeheartedly, though, let it be me. I deserve it. But, having seen you in that getup, I can’t stick around to see what other heartbreaking decisions you make. So before you can tell me that you’ve discovered REM, or that you’re joining the animal rights movement, or that you “really feel judged” by your middle school peers, I’m calling it quits.

A few last things -

> You know where the cleaning supplies are – go get them and take care of the mess I made after you’ve read this.

> Tell your mother that “baby weight” isn’t a valid excuse thirteen years after birthing her only child and that “erectile dysfunction” is a nice way of saying “the sight of your ass is boner death.”

> If anyone’s wondering – my final word was a Ric Flair-style “Wooooo!”

> Log into my Facebook and change my status to “Dead. LOL.” Keep a tally of “Likes” engraved on my headstone.

Finally, my parting advice to you, other than to burn your maroon skinny jeans, is simply to avoid the following at all costs:

  • American education
  • Guidance counselors
  • Doctors you can’t call directly
  • Groups of people holding signs
  • Foods that don’t have parents
  • Vaginas that just don’t feel right (physically or intuitively)
  • 5Ks
  • Anyone that’s never been in a fight
  • Anyone that says “I’m offended” for any reason
  • Anyone that has a boss and likes their job
  • Anyone that thinks “alternative” comedy is a real thing
  • Religions
  • Governments

Love or hate as necessary,

Dad

PS – I wrote a similar note the day you had your ears and anus pierced, which is the third worst thing your mother ever did after naming you Dylan and buying you the clothes that inspired this suicide, but I was sidetracked from that suicide when Gran Torino came on TV. Study that film, son. Right now you’re Thao, but with a wardrobe that makes you even more pathetic. Become Walt Kowalski.

PPS – Add your mom to the list of things to avoid. Dude, she fucking named you Dylan.


Pop

I’ve never written for therapeutic purposes. It’s never occurred to me to do so. I write to entertain myself. Whenever I’ve needed to get something out of my system, it’s been enough to expunge it physically, or by driving at dangerous speeds blasting Robert Tepper with a fixed glare on my face à la Stallone in Rocky IV.

Right now, though, as my father lay dying, language is the only means through which I can express the thanks and love I feel for him, and the frustration in my gut over being unable to express everything I’ll say below directly to him. But first, a brief sketch of who he is.

My father was born in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City, in 1927. He was raised in Irish Catholic superstition by a street cop dad and shanty Irish mom that both dropped out of middle school. He survived an infection during infancy that crippled him for life, grew up through the depression, attended Julliard, became a clinical psychologist, and eventually robbed the cradle and had four kids with his wife from Massachusetts that he declared he’d marry the moment she walked into his hospital room as a nurse. He had his last kid, me, well past the age dude’s should have kids. But I turned up a decade after my siblings, and shortly thereafter, my dad, sick of taxes in New York City, New York State, and New Jersey, moved his family to New Hampshire to get away from the excess of bullshit, and raised my ass.

He was a strict, old school, overwhelming presence, and wasn’t particularly hip to or appreciative of where mainstream culture was at through my formative years, or any years, for that matter. I experienced the typical headbutting and discipline of childhood and adolescence, and had moments where I thought my dad was a repressive dinosaur, but reflecting now on my upbringing, there was never one moment when I felt unloved or insecure.

Was he perfect? Far from it. But, in my estimation, not as far as most. Don’t get me wrong, his iron-fisted Catholicism is responsible for the porn addiction and sexual perversions I suffer from today, and it still pisses me off that he always refused to get toppings on pizza because he loved plain quadruple cheese and would not compromise, but to provide your kid a childhood where he never feels like anything bad could happen, other than choking on all that extra cheese, is amazing. This would be a much sturdier world if every person in it grew up with such stability. Everyone’s a little bit jacked up, one way or another, from his or her childhood, but I have only happy memories of mine. Any silly shit that seemed bad is now funny, and everything else was fun.

There is an endless list of things I thank my dad for. These are a few of them:

• Thank you for having a personality, and not being another boring person that just breeds more boring people.

• Thank you for taking me to see the Yankees in New York and Boston throughout my childhood. You always made sure we got in for batting practice to have me watch my idol, Don Mattingly, hit off of a T, hoping it would rub off on me.

• Thank you for turning me on to Irish rebel music and teaching me how evil British people are.

• Thank you for ordering every WWF pay-per-view they ever had even though you thought it was a bunch of fat slobs sweating and couldn’t imagine why anyone would watch it.

• Thank you for your obsessive dedication to my athletic career beginning at age six, for filming every baseball, football, and basketball game I participated in at every level, and for cutting together highlight films like you were an ESPN archivist.

• Thank you for taking me to Funspot and McDonald’s every Sunday after church when I was a kid. The five billion tickets we won playing skee-ball together got me the entire collection of WWF action figures at the prize counter.

• Thank you for making my older brothers and sister give up the television whenever I wanted to watch Perfect Strangers.

• Thank you for taking me to Vermont every summer as a kid to fire off weaponry that weighed as much as I did.

• Thank you for verbally berating umpires and referees from the stands of sporting events and nearly fighting them after every game. It was mortifying to endure, but I can appreciate now how deeply you had to care for me to be willing to fight a youth sports volunteer for making a questionable call.

• Thank you for being an arrogant, stubborn prick, in the best possible sense, and teaching me not to take shit from people.

• Thank you for spending an obscene amount of money to secretly win the giant stuffed Bart Simpson at an impossible ocean-side arcade game and hiding it under my covers on the last day of vacation after we’d spent a week not winning it. Blew my mind.

• Thank you for telling me, when I started grade school, that if anyone ever tries to hurt me, to beat the shit out of them, and that you’ll never be mad at me unless I start it.

• Thank you for not murdering me when Mrs. Downs called you in for a conference about my behavior at the beginning of 4th grade. It was, up to that point, the scariest moment of my life, and I thought you would end it. When you came out laughing that she was upset that I was acting like I was mentally retarded and getting the other kids to do the same, it was the greatest relief I’ve ever felt.

• Thank you for buying me the jersey of every white guy in the NBA that I asked for while I was in middle school, and taking me to the barbershop to get Chris Mullin flat tops.

• Thank you for forcing me into the 80 mph “No One Under 18 Permitted” batting cage when I was 11 and turning me into a Little League powerhouse. Some of my greatest memories are from Little League with you.

• Thank you for teaching me that no matter where I go or what I do, people in positions above me will usually be alarmingly stupid and inadequate at what they do. You were right.

• Thank you for regularly unhitching your pants in public and adjusting yourself as necessary when you needed to re-tuck your shirt. It was terribly embarrassing for many years, but it ultimately taught me to not give a fuck what other people think. [Hat tip to BBB for continuing this legacy.]

• Thank you for – after earning a doctorate, having a career, and retiring – taking night classes in your 70’s just to help me fix my shitty high school math grades.

• Thank you for an endless supply of racial jokes, particularly Puerto Rican and Polack ones. I’ll make sure the world knows that pickup trucks overflowing with junk are known as “Puerto Rican department stores.”

• Thank you for an endless supply of random one-liners like:

> Asking anyone calling on the phone, “What’s on your mind beside dandruff?”

> Asking stupid people, “Who botched your lobotomy?”

> Asking someone in an awkward stance, “What are you doing, posing for animal crackers?”

> And telling any lone braggart, “You should get a group picture of yourself.”

• Thank you for never updating or discarding your wardrobe after 1970. Yet another thing that caused me much embarrassment through my early years, but once I grew to appreciate it, I had an unbelievable arsenal of threads with which to adorn myself.

• Thank you for entertaining every person that ever called or came to the house looking for me – sometimes to the point that chicks would call knowing I wasn’t home, just so you could give them shit for an hour. I don’t think you realize how much everyone I know loved you.

• Thank you for cooking oversized meals every night of my life, whether I was around or not, because you were hellbent on your kids being well fed – I think because of the whole growing up shanty Irish in New York City during the depression thing.

• Thank you for regularly using the phrase “son-of-a-bitch-bastard.” It still makes me laugh like nothing else, even though you never said it to be funny.

• Thank you for sending me to overpriced quarterback camps every summer to develop my skills and get me recruited.

• Thank you for unintentionally teaching me how to drive with a gangster lean. You drove that way out of necessity because you had a fused hip, but I looked fucking sweet leaned back in the decade-old Buick you bought me my senior year of high school, looking sideways out the rear passenger window, my hand barely reaching the bottom of the steering wheel, unable to see anything in front of me. That was 100% you.

• Thank you for bailing me out of any horseshit predicament I ever got myself into and for always being on my side even when you shouldn’t have been.

• Thank you for being able to answer every question I ever asked you about anything, even if your answers were always skewed in favor of Ireland, whether or not the question had anything to do with Ireland in the first place.

• Thank you for being there when I woke up from my knee surgeries in college even though you could barely walk or stand on your own knees at that point.

• Thank you for teaching me to mock Boston accents by making fun of Mom’s through the years.

• Thank you for decades of home videos featuring you screaming insane things at your children like Frank Costanza on steroids. That’s a highlight film I need to cut together.

• Thank you for showing me that there is no inappropriate time to burp or fart, and that anyone that objects to such public displays of indigestion can go to hell.

• Thank you for teaching me how to say what needs to be said when it needs to be said while letting anyone it displeases know that they can, similarly, go to hell.

• Thank you for telling me you love me before I left from my visit home two Christmases ago. Our family never verbalized many emotions, and I don’t remember the last time we’d said that to each other. But you thought it could be the last time you’d see me, and wanted to tell me. I got so choked up I could barely speak, but I hugged you and told you that I love you, too. I felt like a boy again and I can’t put into words how incredible that was. I’ve never felt anything like it and it was one of the happiest moments of my life. I left, and cried myself halfway down the eastern seaboard.

• Thank you for still making me laugh while you’re on your deathbed, wearing a medical johnny, and asking, “You know what they call this? A Polish tuxedo.”

• Thank you for dedicating more time, resources, and love to me than any human being could ever deserve, and for giving me a childhood, a family, and a father that I love.

I love you.