Australia celebrated father’s day yesterday and in typical Australian fashion it was a beautiful, warm, sunny day; perfect for picnics and family barbeques. (The sort of thing Dads love to do) Unfortunately I could not be with my Dad and I’m very jealous of those who were with their fathers as its a VERY important day – the one day per year that isnt about women – its about our Dads.
My Dad is an angry man – so angry, rigid and strict that he has been christened as ‘Dadolf’ amongst my siblings and our close friends who know him only too well – but I love him, he’s my dad.
Growing up there were certain rules; rules which if weren’t abided by had drastic consequences – the majority of his rules related to boys, places where boys may be and talking to boys in general.
He adhered to his below rules (in regards to my boyfriends) with a commitment usually reserved for sergeants protecting their country;
Rule One: If you pull into my driveway and honk you’d better be delivering a package, because you’re sure as hell not picking anything up.
Rule Two: You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck. If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter’s body, I will remove them from your body.
Rule Three: I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys of your age to wear their trousers so loosely that they appear to be falling off their hips. Please don’t take this as an insult, but you and all of your friends are complete idiots. Still, I want to be fair and open minded about this issue, so I propose this compromise: You may come to the door with your underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, and I will not object. However, in order to assure that your clothes do not, in fact, come off during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my electric staple gun and fasten your trousers securely in place around your waist.
Rule Four: I’m sure you’ve been told that in today’s world, sex without utilizing a “barrier method” of some kind can kill you. Let me elaborate: when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I will kill you.
Rule Five: In order for us to get to know each other, I am told, we should talk about sports, politics, and other issues of the day. Please do not do this. The only information I require from you is an indication of when you expect to have my daughter safely back at my house, and the only word I need from you on this subject is “early.”
Rule Six: I have no doubt you are a popular fellow, with many opportunities to date other girls. This is fine with me as long as it is okay with my daughter. Otherwise, once you have gone out with my little girl, you will continue to date no one but her until she is finished with you. If you make her cry, I will make you cry.
Rule Seven: As you stand in my front hallway, waiting for my daughter to appear, and more than an hour goes by, do not sigh and fidget. If you want to be on time for a movie, you should not be dating. My daughter is putting on her makeup, a process which can take longer than painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead of just standing there, why don’t you do something useful… like changing the oil in my car?
Rule Eight: The following places are not appropriate for a date with my daughter:
• Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool.
• Places where there are no parents, policemen, or nuns within eyesight.
• Places where there is darkness.
• Places where there is dancing, holding hands, or happiness of any kind.
• Places where the ambient temperature is warm enough to induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff T-shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose down parka zipped up to her Adam’s Apple.
• Movies with a strong romantic or sexual theme are to be avoided; movies which feature chainsaws are okay. Hockey games are okay, too.
Rule Nine: Do not lie to me. I may appear to be a potbellied, balding, middle-aged, dimwitted has-been. But on issues relating to my daughter, I am the all-knowing, merciless god of your universe. If I ask you where you are going and with whom, you have one chance to tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I have a shotgun, a shovel, and five acres behind the house. Do not trifle with me.
Rule Ten: Be afraid. Be very afraid. It takes very little for me to mistake the sound of your car in the driveway for a chopper coming in over a rice paddy near Hanoi. When my Agent Orange starts acting up, the voices in my head frequently tell me to clean the guns as I wait for you to bring my daughter home. As soon as you pull into the driveway you should exit your car with both hands in plain sight, speak the perimeter password, announce in a clear voice that you have brought my daughter home safely and early, then return to your car – there is no need for you to come inside. The camouflaged face at the window is mine.
But when it was finally time to meet THE boy my father not only behaved but accepted him into out family readily and unfortunatly now likes my boyfriend more than he like me …..but thats another story!
Thanks for being such a great Dad Phillip McCarren! Without you I would never have been told to ‘stop winging’ at my first period, taught how to drive, assisted in numerous car accidents, learnt to hate fish after a mutitufde of salmon toasties after bush walks when I was 4 and most importantly I wouldn’t be me!
I hope that you and all the other (good) fathers in Australia had a fantastic father’s day.