LEAVE NO MAN BEHIND

LEAVE NO MAN BEHIND

Hello and welcome to a strange new world. You have traveled far through the desert, only to be met time and again by one empty oasis after another. You are lost and alone, wandering, wondering if someone, anyone, knows how you feel. And just when you think you can't go on, and no one could possibly understand your struggle, a hand reaches out to you, lifts you to your feet, and carries you to the promised land. He feeds you knowledge, shelters you from the self-righteous (and the ridiculous), and provides you with the tools you need to survive in this brave new world. You are a stranger in a strange land, but you are not alone. Let him be your guide. Follow closely as you travel together on this adventure of a lifetime. For now, you are a foreigner to "Fatherhood" but soon YOU will be the master of this realm.

"No Man is Expendable!"

This is Fodder 4 Fathers...

DADDY AND DYLAN GO TO THE ZOO: ONE MAN'S DECISION TO SPEND HIS BIRTHDAY INTRODUCING HIS DAUGHTER TO ALL OF GOD'S CREATURES... BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY THE STUPID FACES HUMANS MAKE IN THE PRESENCE OF ANIMALS... AND BABIES


Okay, it's my birthday today... 37, if I remember correctly (but, let's be honest, I'm more likely trying to forget it). And, in my opinion, birthdays past the age of 35, other than ones that fall on the tens (40, 50, 60, 70, 80...) aren't all that important. It's only a birthday. It's just another day- an increasing integer in an insipidly innocuous illusion formed in the imagination of one man (well, me). Having referred to my 35th birthday as my "half-life birthday" (much to my 70-year-old-stepfather's chagrin), you can imagine that I'm not really keen on counting down to the inevitable end- but that doesn't mean I won't milk it for an ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins or some presents from family and friends. I am equal opportunity that way. There's nothing like presents and a plate of melted Rocky Road to remind you that you're expiring at a rate equal to that of a Twinkie and your best before date is rapidly approaching. But, that's why we have kids...

This year, when my wife asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday, I could have said "all day sleep-in," what I really wanted, but instead I suggested we go to The Zoo. Why the Zoo? Well, there are many reasons for this: One, my 14-month-old daugther has never been to the zoo before and watching her reactions to all the colorful animals locked up in their enclosures, unable to do what nature intended (i.e. rounding up the stupid humans and picking them off like antelope) will do my heart good and make me feel like a carefree, uncaring kid again. Two, it will be nice to witness other animals, especially those with much shorter life expectancies than my own, struggling to come to terms with their existence, as I ignore the fact that I am a member of the only species on the planet that can actually do this. And three, I like the smell of manure in the morning. It reminds me of nature, and the earth, and being under the earth, and the possibility that if someone waited long enough I would be able to power the (jet propelled) engines of 1,000,002, 992 A.D, like the dinosaurs have so kindly done for my generation. It just sounded like an all around good idea.

So, with my the wise words of my eldest brother still floating in my head ("After the age of 35 the only people that care about your birthday are your wife and kids, and that's the way it should be") I am going to spend my birthday, my 37th, with the two girls in the world I love most (my wife and daughter), my favorite primate (pronounced Or-ang-U-tan; no "G" at the end), a Happy Meal, and a camel-toed dromedary that would probably pay as much to get me off of it as I paid to get on it (no, not a prostitute with a humpback... unless they have those at the zoo, and my wife has money left over to spend on my birthday). And that's just fine by me. I'll most likely fall asleep on the mono-rail between the Arachnid and America's pavilions anyway... But I can't think of a better way to spend my birthday -  me and "the kid" looking down on all of god's other creatures while my wife gets it all on film for posterity's sake. Jim Fowler and Marlin Perkins would be so proud...

This will be our theme song for the day...



...once it's in your head, you'll be screwed like me. And, if that doesn't prove I'm old, nothing else will... except maybe this...


Yes Dylan. There were cartoons in Daddy's day too... they  just had actual stories and didn't try to brainwash you into buying toys.... Wait a minute? Why was Papa Smurf drinking that can of Coke while chewing a whole pack of Hubba Bubba? I feel so used...

Note: We never actually made it to the zoo. We were rained out. There's always next year.

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