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...


"Wait? He said WHAT to his teacher???"

I guess you could call me an expert on dads? Yes, in my day, I've known my fair share of father types- from my own dad, to my two step fathers, to all my adoptive dads (friend's fathers that fed me breakfast and gave me advice more times than I can recall), the hockey dads that tied my skates and did up my goalie pads for me (my mom didn’t have a clue), My Two Dads (a bad TV show in the eighties), and the list goes on.

I know dads! I’ve known good ones and bad ones, and scary ones and stoic ones- hell I’ve even known a few deadbeat ones- and if you ask me, it’s not easy being a father. But some guys just have it; whatever it is, they got it. And if you could bottle it, I’d buy it… but not from these five guys.

Here are the top five father types you wouldn’t want to f@#% with. They’re old school, but as they say, “you can’t know your future unless you know your past.” Consider this a history lesson in fathers gone by, and try to forgive them- they didn’t know any better.


Dirty Harry Callahan, Sudden Impact
This is the dad who, both good and bad, followed through on his promises. If he said you’d “have no dinner, and like it,” you could pretty much take that to the bank. He didn’t stand for insubordination.  If he said ‘if you don’t stop acting up, you’ll be walking home,” you’d be walking that last three miles with your little brother discussing what an a-hole he was for leaving you outside in the worst blizzard in thirty years. He took no prisoners, and made no apologies for his parenting style. He was the boss, and you didn’t question his authority. If you did, he’d have your ass in military school the next morning. This is the dad that made you want to move out the second your turned 18, and he obliged you by having your bags packed and ready by the door the second your blew out the candles. But, hey, he did help you build that Volcano for your grade 8 science fair- even if he only took over because he thought you were too much of a dipshit to pull it off yourself.


Scene From "Back to School."

Here's a dad that seems to be calm, until you say something that sets him off, like questioning whether or not he should ask for directions to Disneyland. He's easily frustrated, and always in some kind of anger management program. He just cannot take having anything he does questioned by his wife or his children.

"Um, dad? You ask sheepishly. "I was wondering if it would be okay to go to Timmy's for dinner?"

"Sorry..." he asks, "could you say that a little louder. I've been cooking over a hot microwave and I've got your hungry man dinner cooling off... did you say you wanted to go to "Timmy's" for dinner?"

"Yeah, Dad..." you say, "I know you went to all this trouble, but...."

"But what?" He asks, "Would it be okay for you to go to Timmy's? Would it be okay for you to leave because your Mom left ME in charge of dinner? Well? Say it! (Screaming) Sayyyyy it...!!!!!"

"Well, would it be okay?" You ask.

"NO!" He says. "Sit your ass down, and get ready to watch Wheel of Fortune with me. We're going to have some quality time."


 Scene From "Kindergarten Cop"

Even Ferris Bueller himself wouldn't be able to pull one over on this dad. He wouldn't care if you were running a fever of 105; if you were conscious, he'd be sending your ass to school. Faking sick would be futile, as the real thing would require you to be coughing up blood, pissing razor blades and developing a goiter the size of a watermelon off the side of your neck for him to even consider letting your stay home from school. Even a call from the school nurse wouldn't get you anywhere as he'd just tell her to send your ass back to class. If he doesn't have time to get sick, neither do you. He's old school, old country and on to your shenanigans. If you want a day off, or if you're trying to cut class you'd better be close to death, otherwise you'd just better resolve yourself to the fact that your dad doesn't believe in illness, and whatever doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.


Marlon Brando in "The Godfather.
Think you're going to pull one over on this dad? Guess again. This is the dad you don't negotiate with- what he says goes; no ifs, ands, or buts. Oh, he'll spell out your options for you, but you're not going to like them. It's either clean up your room, now, or find your entire bedroom out on the front lawn. It's either clean out your fish tank, today, or find you fine finned friends waiting for you in between your pillows when you go to bed. Don't want to put away your own dishes? That's okay, they'll be weighing down your school bag come the morning. He's not one to be defied, and if you think you'll get something by him, you're just kidding yourself- he's got eyes and ears everywhere. On the flip side, he'll be more than happy to talk to your teacher about changing that B+ to an A, so when you do finally get out of the house, you'll be going to the Ivy Leagues.


Scene From "Taxi Driver"

If you think this last dad is paranoid, you're right. He's always expecting you to question his authority, and because of that, it won't be worth it when you do. This is the dad that likes to count to three a lot, but rarely follows through on his threats. What he does have in his arsenal is an annoying way of making you repeat yourself so he can understand just what exactly you are trying to say, although he never really listens...

"Um, dad... you just drove by my school."
"No, I didn't."
"Yeah, Dad...You did."
"Son, I'm going to count to three, and ask you to rephrase that in a different tone..."
"But, dad...?"
"Are you talking to me?"
"Are you talking to me? I hope you're not talking to me, because I don't put up with any of that back talk. Do you want me to let you out of the car RIGHT HERE?!?"
"Okay... I'll just walk the two blocks."
"Shut up, son!"
"Okay then...."

And there you have it, 5 dads who just never really got with the times. True, you wouldn't want to mess with any of them, but you wouldn't want to sit down and have a meaningful conversation with them either. The lesson to be learned: you don't have to be like them to be respected (or disrespected as the as may be).

New dads can be cool and in control at the same time, so find a style that works for you, and don't get stuck in the stone ages. Kids need role models for dads... not steam rollers. 
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