Monday, January 30, 2012

How to Secretly Be a Good Dad

Over the weekend I was at a garage sale (don’t judge me) and came across this book: 101 Secrets A Good Dad Knows.

The good folks holding the garage sale gave me the book for free! At first I was suspicious that they were just anxious to get rid of it because it carried with it some ancient Indian curse, originating from millennia ago. But as I walked home flipping through the pages, I realized it was even worse than I thought.

The book was pure rubbish.

And now I was saddled with actually owning this book.

The shame.

The “secrets a good dad knows” were numbered. And the first page I happened to flip to was #23, “How to Pick Up a Cat.” I winced. Then I flipped to #16, and – I’m not making this up –it was  “How to Give a Cat Its Medicine.” Then I made a face like I was inside a Port-a-Potty and just breathed through my nose.

I’m sorry, should this book have been titled “101 Secrets A Good Dad Knows…About Cats”?

Then I flipped to #52, “How to Attract a Deer (So You Can Hide and Watch It).” Translation: NOT so you can shoot it and eat it, you heartless, hateful normal male dad!

I began to wonder if this book was published by PETA. (Which would support my theory that this book does in fact carry a curse with it.) (Bah-dum bum.) (Please don’t send me any hate-mail, PETA.)

After a little more reading, I concluded I wasn’t sure who compiled these 101 secrets.

It didn’t seem to be targeted at what I affectionately refer to as the “Top Gun Crowd.” I didn’t see any secrets about “How to Not Cry When Your Best Friend Dies Flying an F-15,” or “How to Properly Yell ‘Wolverines!’ While Fighting Off Commie Invaders,” or “How to Look Awesome While Skydiving Without a Parachute,” or “How to Live For a Month Off Nothing But Varmint Meat and Tree Sap.”   

But it wasn’t the other extreme either. You know, Patrick Dempsey-type  secrets. “How to Buy a Dozen Roses When Your Lady Friend Is Having a Bad Day.” Or “How to Let a Small Misunderstanding Fester for Too Long Only to Finally Be Resolved with a Public Declaration of Love in a Restaurant or Even Better, on Television.”

Maybe it was too much to hope for, but I was hoping for some secrets I would really like to learn. Like…

How to Make a Meal that Will Impress Anyone
How to Play Three Awesome Songs on the Piano and/or Guitar
How to Pick Out the Best Watermelon
How to Build a Waterslide In Your Backyard
How to Set a Good Example While Not Necessarily Being Good at Everything
And of course, How to Get a Cat Out of a Tree. Oh wait, sorry. That one was already in there, #29.

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