Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Especially to my own father, Cliff, who is both my hero and role model.

Note to those wives and kids planning to celebrate: no brunches. That’s Mother’s Day stuff. Let the old man sit in front of the TV and watch the World Cup or Arena football amateur draft in peace.

And now, as a public service, here are some movies NOT to watch on Father’s Day:


Some TV shows and telefilms NOT to watch:

Any CBS family comedy

Some unfriendly father plays:

DEATH OF A SALESMAN (any Arthur Miller, actually)

Some books to avoid:

Any Bing Crosby biography
Any Frank Sinatra biography
LOVE STORY (for so many reasons)

Records to skip:

PAPA WAS A ROLLING STONE by the Temptations
BOY NAMED SUE by Johnny Cash
MY DAD by Paul Peterson

Any other suggestions are welcome.

Again, happy Father’s Day – the most sacred of the bullshit Hallmark holidays.


Anonymous said...

Song: I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

By now dear old dad is likely suicidal or happier than a pig in shit. Either way, there's no real reason to remind dad what a cheating whore mom is...

Oh, and a coup[le of other movies to avoid:

She's the One (at the dad finds out that wife is cheating on him with the local hardware store owner)

The Brothers McMillan (cheating husband--no point giving dad any ideas)

Hell, just avoid all of Ed Burns movies.

Anonymous said...

"I never saw you as a man. I saw you as my father."

When I first worked on that play (I've done two different productions of it.), that line rang home to me so hard. (I was 14.) It was the first time the notion of my father not as "Dad," but just as a guy trying to get through Life like anyone else ever occurred to me.

But I shortly got adept, like all teenagers, at discovering Dad's human flaws, and being unable to forgive him for not being perfect, like poor old Chris Keller in ALL MY SONS.

But then, my dad didn't sell faulty parts to the military and kill a bunch of our boys. ("Keller" = "Killer" Even at 14, I thought that was a little heavy-handed for Arthur Miller.) He was in the army during WWII, in chemical weapons development (Dad was a chemist.), helping invent napalm. Oops, there's another filial guilt bag o'worms.

This is my 18th Fatherless Day. Once Dad goes, it becomes a rueful day.

Happy Father's Day Dad, wherever you aren't.

Lex the mom said...

My kid's dad will be spending the day watching any MLB game that has any of his fantasy players in it. No kid interuptions, no wife interuptions (unless I am summoned to do something). A special day indeed! Oh, wait - he does this EVERY Sunday. heh, heh, heh.

My dad(s)? Well, whichever one chooses to listen, Happy Father's Day.

Anonymous said...

Everyone on Lost has daddy issues, so you may want to shy away form that too.

Ray Randolph said...

Song: Cat's In The Cradle

Well, he came home from college just the other day
So much like a man I just had to say
"Son, I'm proud of you, can you sit for a while?"
He shook his head and he said with a smile
"What I'd really like, Dad, is to borrow the car keys
See you later, can I have them please?"

Anonymous said...

I've never known my father.

Anonymous said...

He left for another ready-made family when I was 13, leaving my mother to raise 6 kids on her own. I saw him twice between the time he left and the time he died (5 years ago). During the divorce, he tried to get my mom to agree to sell the house and split the proceeds. He also periodically tried to claim us kids on his taxes, though his child support consisted of only $88 per child.

I didn't attend his funeral, though some of my siblings did. They told me that his stepchildren were astounded that all of his kids wouldn't want to honor him.

Father's Day lost its meaning a long time ago.


Anonymous said...

By what perverse sense of Guantanamatic cruelty did ABC decide to air "The Notebook" last night? And, in a way I guess it was as much a Dad's story -- sort of in semi-drag. (What's the guy's version of a chickflick, and does it start with D?)

It's around weekends like this that I realize even with the greater number of THINGS we've been able to give our kids, I will never have given them as good a life growing up as I retrospectively realize my parents had given me -- with nothing. Thread on.

Bitter Animator said...

All I want for Father's Day is a television and the time to watch it. And no tantrums.

I will not get these things.

Actually, when I think about it, what I really want for Father's Day is a break from being a father. That probably means I don't deserve anything...

ajm said...

Another movie to avoid:


Mary Stella said...

Movie to avoid: Affliction

Song to avoid: The Greatest Man I Never Knew by Reba McIntyre

rob! said...

also avoid:

This Boy's Life

The Stepfather, The Stepfather II, and for all i know The Stepfather III

The Empire Strikes Back

Anonymous said...

Also not the best day for "At Close Range."

Anonymous said...

YOu forgot Cat's in the Cradle. The ultimate bad dad song!!!

Anonymous said...


When I was producing for Dick Whittington back in 1974, we had Harry Chapin on the show one morning. During the interview he said he'd finished a new song he was about to record. His touring had been responsible for his missing his son's birth, and it had inspired this new song. Did we want to hear it? We did.

He pulled out an acoustic guitar, and sang CAT'S IN THE CRADLE for us, just the three of us in the room (and the listeners at home.) I thought it was a lovely, touching song.

Ten minutes after we finished taping the interview, I found Chapin in the lobby, hitting on the receptionist. (Who was a very attarctive young woman.)

So much for the rueful-but-devoted family man. The song omits mention of the moments in his son's life he missed while hitting on any random pretty girl that crossed his path. The song has rung hollow to me ever since.

My dad showed up for all my moments, although I gave him hell when he came to see me starring in the high school play, and I saw from the stage the earpiece in his ear, and the cord snaking from it down to the rectangular bulge in his breast pocket, where lurked the transistor radio on hwich he was listening to a Dodger's game while he ptretended to be watching me in the play.

Is it any wonder I dislike baseball? I had to compete with it for my Dad's attention my whole life, always coming in second to Vin Scully.

But he was faithful to my mother.

Anonymous said...

Top movie not to see on father's day:

Father's Day

Should also be avoided on Mother's Day, International Talk Like a Pirate Day, weekdays and the first 51 weekends of every year.

Stella Louise said...

Given your topic, thought this post on another blog (not mine!) might tickle your funnybone:

Anonymous said...

what's the guy's version of a chickflick,

Um.... Field of Dreams?

Anonymous said...

Um, have you been watching the weather in Iowa? It's the porno version, Field of Wet Dreams.

Sam Kim said...

Re "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus", I interpreted it to mean that the dad was dressed up as Santa Claus.

Tallulah Morehead said...

Naw; that jolly old elf was gettin' himself his Christmas present. Why do you think he calls for a "Ho! Ho! Ho!"?

Dad was in the garage, assembling that damn bicycle.

After Santa comes down my chimney, the mess is incredible, not to mention all the reindeer poop on the shingles.

Alto2 said...

Hey, Ken, no tributes for Tim Russert? He was a huge sports fan. :-(

Anonymous said...

I spend the day with the FIL sitting on the couch with the rest of the boys watching FOD for the first time ever while the women sat at the dining room yakking.


Cap'n Bob said...

It may be sappy, but I like "My Dad" by Paul Peterson. It's a tribute song, too.

Anonymous said...

Nikki, my own father died not two weeks before I was born. His brain bled out while my mother watched on helplessly at his hospital bedside. She was left to raise six plus one all by herself.

I honestly don't know what's more painful to endure: coming so close and knowing he never set eyes upon me let alone got to hold me and kiss my forhead, or knowing he was out there but didn't want to be a part of our lives while choosing other people to love and live with.

My heart goes out to you.