Father’s Day is a crock of shit.
Allow me to explain.
There are two types of dads in the world, my dad and my cousin Brian.
See, my dad is great. He made me what I am today. When I was 14 and wanted a pair of Nike Air Force Ones, he did what any good dad would do: he said, “if you want $100 sneakers, goddamnit, you’re buying them yourself.” With this understanding, I did what any normal 14 year old does—I lied about my age and got a job bussing tables at a Japanese steakhouse.
Good fathers are always teaching, always fostering. They take their role as caretaker seriously, using small things like athletic footwear to impart life lessons.
My dad never let me go without, however, on basic life necessities like Rustler jeans, toilet paper and Hot Pockets. He begrudgingly gave me checks for community college tuition, and when I grew into a derelict pizza delivery guy living in a flophouse with a bunch of buddies, he was always there when I inadvertently tangled my beer money with rent money.
For this, I am grateful and forever in his debt.
Then there’s my cousin Brian.
Brian’s first foray into fatherhood was when he impregnated his “alternative school” teacher at the age of 15 (this was AFTER he got kicked out of public school for slicing a kid with a box-cutter). Fearing shame—and possible legal persecution—the teacher fled with the child to Idaho. To my knowledge, Brian has (thankfully) never seen this child.
His next child came shortly thereafter. Though he was never a part of her life (again—thankfully), they share contact on Facebook. It is on this fantastic site of social interaction that she can find pictures of her “dad” wearing Marilyn Manson makeup, and Korn-style braids, a 9mm handgun pressed to his temple while he grins.
She is now 16. He is 31.
Oh, but this wouldn’t be a story, nor would it illustrate the point I’m trying to make if he were done after only two chirruns, now would it?
After having his second child, he took a brief break (incarceration?) before shooting out children faster than a machine gun spraying a porch in South Central Los Angeles.
He had a second, then a third, a fourth and then a fifth. His inseminatory powers were only felled by his stints in jail, for various transgressions, frightfully hillbillian in nature: domestic violence, statutory rape, failure to pay child support (I know, what??!!).
Though records are sketchy—and to be perfectly honest, he may not even know for sure himself—he has something like eight or nine kids by about four different flowerpots. Again, he is THIRTY-ONE YEARS OLD.
(Bonus side note of hilarity that serves to provide a bit more insight into the mind of this amazing human being: his most recent two children—the only two whom, to my knowledge, he has any sort of contact with, are named Damien Morrison [after the spawn of Satan and the Lizard King] and Cobain Lavey [after the late Nirvana front man and the founder of the Church of Satan]. SPLENDID.)
So my point is, not all dads are created equal. Some dads are grey-meat McDonalds hamburger patties and others are filet mignons. And that’s why Father’s Day sucks. It’s a ubiquitous holiday that forces everyone—except orphans—to honor thy father, when in fact, some dads don’t deserve shit.
Furthermore—and quite ironically so—it’s EASY to get Father’s Day gifts for someone like cousin Brian. You can get your shit-dad a carton of Kool cigarettes, a 5th of Hy-Vee brand whiskey or a hoodie emblazoned with the Slipknot logo. If you’re the conscientious sort, you can even spring for a Groupon on a discounted vasectomy!
My dad, however, is another story.
He’s quiet, stoic and lives his life mostly without hobbies. Every couple of years, he decides he likes golf, but by the time you decide to get him something golf-related, he’s no longer playing. He doesn’t build ships in a bottle, feel particularly passionate about any singular sports team or really like giraffes or cigars.
He is the single hardest person in the world to shop for.
So, while we ply our fathers with ties that will never be worn, grill attachments that won’t be used and gift certificates to have golf clubs recalibrated, let’s stop and think: Is any of this really necessary? Don’t we all love our dads enough already? Is it fair that dirt-bag Brian gets the same day that YOUR dad does?
That’s why I say, fuck Father’s Day. I don’t need a card to prove how much my dad means to me.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to buy some felt-covered executive desk doo-dad for my dad’s non-existent work-desk.