Today is Father’s Day in America. It’s also Sunday and June 10th. Now I just looked at the calendar and realize it’s June 16th. I totally missed that job interview by almost a week. I thought maybe today was a better day than any other than to write about my dad. He reads my blog sometimes and he’s a miserable old coot so maybe this will make him smile, something he says he’s been incapable of ever since I was born. I’m kidding. He says that about my sister’s birth.
What should you know about my dad? For one, his name is Robert. He has the same name as the scientist who invented Boyle’s Law. His middle name is Eugene and I’m pretty sure he was named after Robert E. Lee even though I’m totally making that up. His social security number is 867-53-0900 and his favorite food is whatever he can find at 2 in the morning.
My dad is a strange man and it’s clear when you meet him where I get much of my personality from. People who have known my dad for a while will say things to me like “You are so much like your father” and I die a little on the inside. Nobody wants to be exactly like their father. They want to be better than their father. Freddie Prinze Jr. didn’t shoot himself in the face at 21 for a reason. He wanted to be better than his daddy.
The things my dad love most are his children, his girlfriend, his dog, his strange secret life, having diabetes, going to work, old Jodie Foster movies, and his cigarettes. My dad is a chain smoker who doesn’t have a deep voice. I can’t imagine what he would sound like if he didn’t smoke. It makes me wonder what I sound like. I’ve never smoked a cigarette and I have my dad to thank for this. Whenever a man can turn a sneeze, into a cough, back into a sneeze without taking a breath and then end it by yelling “Oh fuck!” I have to respect it.
The best thing my dad ever said was “I hate my fucking life.” He said it a few times that I was present. The first time he said it was while at a baseball game he dropped a Benny Agbayani baseball card that he was trying to get autographed. The second time he said it was while we were driving to a baseball game and we got lost. He pulled over and screamed “I hate my life. Sometimes I just wish this car would blow up with me inside!” The funniest part, we were still an hour early to the game.
Going to baseball games with my dad was the one thing we did most together. Most of the time we would get cheap tickets, go inside before the game and get autographs, stay inside for an inning and eat, go outside of the stadium for a few innings while he smoked and wait until we caught at least three foul balls hit over the roof, then go back inside to find out who won so we’d know whether the players would be in a good mood or not. So I’m not really sure if we’ve ever actually seen a baseball game together, but we have been there.
One time my dad almost poked Curt Schilling in the eye with a pen. Another time he took a piss next to Phillies announcer Harry Kaalas. We’ve been to stadiums in Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Baltimore, Trenton, Scranton, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and a few other cities together. We’ve been to the baseball Hall of Fame twice and we met Willie Mays together. It cost him $100, but that’s a small price to pay for your son’s love for the week.
There is still a lot I don’t know about my dad. For instance, why does he never get a new haircut? He’s had the same hair forever. I also don’t get why he’ll go to concerts like Dropkick Murphy’s then go see Sara Bareilles. I’m not even quite sure what his job is. From what I’ve gathered, he yells at people all day long and has to “work up the courage to not eat a bullet.” I’m not sure what that means.
My dad is like any other dad so long as the other dad isn’t perfect. My dad poops (I’ve smelt it), curses (I’ve heard it), takes naps at 9 o’clock at night (I’ve seen it), and complains about being in constant pain like all old people seem to do (I’ve heard this one too). He’s cynical, maniacal, economical, comical, satirical, fallible, uncontrollable, sometimes unbearable, always despicable, and mine.
Happy Father’s Day dad. Take a break from being so miserable for a day. I’ve got a whole lifetime ahead of me to do it for you.