Hey, everybody, it’s Father’s Day!

I feel I have to remind you, my minimal readership, of this fact. Father’s Day has always been the distant, definitely poorer relative of Mother’s Day. I don’t know who created Father’s Day (the tie makers’ cartel is a good bet), but I’m guessing it came several years after the first Mother’s Day, when someone said: “Hey, this Mother’s Day scam has really caught on. How about one for fathers?”

Anyway, whatever the reason, the day has arrived again, and in honour of fathers everywhere, I’d like to present this tribute to … me.  Yes, me. For I am Father, hear me bore.

I have three sons, all of them legally adults now. (Psychologically or mentally, I’m not so sure.) When they were just little shavers, I was expected to teach them everything they needed to become passable replicas of adult males. I did this primarily by watching old episodes of The Simpsons with them, and explaining jokes they didn’t get. As Bart once said to Homer, “It’s hard not to listen to TV. It’s spent so much more time raising us than you have.”

In between Simpsons episodes, I have managed to teach my three sons a few things about life, and about being A Man. Here is everything I’ve ever taught them.

CARS

Here’s everything I have passed along to my sons about car maintenance, which is one of those things men are supposed to know about.

  1. How to put gas in the car.
  2. How to fill the washer fluid reservoir.
  3. How to check the oil.
  4. How to change the wiper blades.
  5. How to change a tire.
  6. How to buy an Alberta Motor Association membership, which is how I do no. 5.

That’s pretty much it.

VOTING

Always, always vote when you have the chance. Democracy asks so little of you, so when it comes calling, asking for a small favor, do it. If you don’t know who to vote for, just ask me. I have lots of opinions. Even if you vote for a certain loser in Alberta (i.e. non-Conservative) you will feel better for it. Also, never waste your vote on the NDP.

WOMEN

Haven’t a clue.

YOUR MOTHER

You will never — ever — win an argument with your mother. Even if the pope himself (or, better yet, Joel Osteen) called to back you up, you will not win.

BEST BEFORE DATES ON FOOD

A best before date on a food just means that it’s at its best (in flavour and nutrition) by that date; it does NOT mean it instantly becomes inedible. As a general rule, if it still smells OK, and still bears a reasonable resemblance to the picture on the package (eg: strawberry jam that is now green is probably not good to eat), go ahead and enjoy. However, if the best before date is in another year, proceed with caution.

DON’T CALL IT RED LICORICE

There is no such thing as ‘red licorice’. Licorice is made from the root of a licorice plant, and has a very distinctive taste. It is always black. ‘Red licorice’ is just red candy in the shape of licorice candy, such as a Twizzler. Is this important? No. Does it bother me? Yes.

CORRECT YOUR FRIENDS

When your friends use improper English, feel free to correct them. For example, if your friend says, “I feel good today”, be sure to tell them that they “feel well”, not good. They’ll love you for it.

TOOLS

Every man needs a tool kit. Inside that kit, you will need

  1. A hammer
  2. A multi-head screwdriver
  3. Pliers
  4. A wrench
  5. A saw

A power drill is nice, even if you never use it. If your home repair job requires anything other than the five main tools, hire a professional. You will never need a router. I’m not even sure what that is.

ALWAYS READ INSTRUCTIONS

I know this is not manly, but I always read instructions. I even save them. Of all the advice I have given my sons, this is the one they have universally rejected. Kids today, am I right?

FARTING AND BURPING IS FUNNY WHEN YOU DO IT, NOT SO FUNNY WHEN SOMEONE ELSE DOES IT

To be honest, I didn’t have to teach them this.

TREAT EVERYONE KINDNESS, FOR IN THE EYES OF GOD WE ARE ALL EQUALS, AND DESERVING OF RESPECT

Except for idiots.

 

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3 thoughts on “Everything I’ve taught my sons: a Father’s Day tribute to me

  1. Nice piece Maurice…….I remember well sharing a conversation on the finer points of good LICORICE – you were the only one there that enjoyed it as much or more than me – I never did find another source for that amazing package I brought to work that you and I enjoyed – truly the Dom Perignon of licorice…….and I agree – please never call it red licorice!!!

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