Thursday, June 07, 2007

Fatherly Wisdom

This is not about to turn into a blog about our newly arrived daughter- as exciting as that is for my wife and me I can't think of anything more boring for the rest of you (and besides, she has her own place over here). That said, fatherhood does focus the mind somewhat and in these first few days I have begun to compile a list of advice for said kid. I'm going to share it with you as I feel the concepts are universal, not just for folks with no control over their bowel movements.

1. Learn how to throw the knuckleball in baseball and the leg spinner in cricket. Guile eventually beats speed every time.

2. If you are to do one mean thing "just because", never yield to people trying to merge into traffic from a MacDonalds. Let them stew in their own greasy juices a little.

3. And speaking of driving, remember that the rules of the road still apply in parking lots. By the time you can drive, you might be the only person left who still knows this.

4. Juggling, mime, and unicycling- while hard to properly master and impressive because of that- are the sole preserve of French Canadians and should never be attempted. I don't care how rich the Crique de Soleil guys are; you must maintain your standards.

5. Make friends with at least one commercial fisherman. That's how you get the good stuff.

6. When in America, by all means let people know you are 1/2 English. When in Britain however, claim to be 1/2 Canadian. The British are a grumpy and generalizing people who will blame you personally for whatever has pissed them off about the President, some religious nut, fat people, padding on football players, and/or the way the American dialect has evolved seperately from Estuary English over the past 300 or so years.

7. Never say something about someone in private you cannot later vigorously and convincingly deny in public.

8. If you ever visit the western United States, you'll want to buy a genuine cowboy hat. Don't.

9. Always save used stamps. I have found that a random assortment of 75 stamps will sell on Ebay, starting at .99 but occasionally reaching $5.00. You can get 1.99 for the shipping, too. One or two packets every couple of months will pay for your Maine fishing license and your dump sticker.

10. Other than All the President's Men, never buy a Bob Woodward book- get them out of the library. You'll only read them once and then nobody will want to buy them from you on Ebay or Amazon.


msdee said...

Great pearls of wisdom #2 is my favorite. with advice like this your child will have more than proper guidance.

Jim Degerstrom said...

I thoroughly enjoyed your tips, and especially the shirt. The only thing more precious is your newborn daughter. Congrats!

le_poulet_noir said...

You're not wrong about Bob Woodward. My goodness, he's dull. It's amazing to think that the co-author of the world's most influential story (or series of stories) is incapable of being entertaining. And have you noticed how much stuff he attributes to unnamed sources? Just because he had a really good one once doesn't mean we're interested in their interminable speculation.

Rikki said...

That's a fine list. I have nothing personally-generated to add, but I'd like to cross reference the wisdom of the basketball coach in Teen Wolf:

"There are three rules that I live by: never get less than twelve hours sleep; never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city; and never get involved with a woman with a tattoo of a dagger on her body. Now you stick to that, and everything else is cream cheese."

And, as applicable, the wisdom of Mike Damone from Fast Times:

1. Never let on how much you like a girl (or, in the interest of reciprocity and other intangibles, a boy)
2. You always call the shots
3. Act like, wherever you are, that's the place to be
4. When ordering food, find out what she wants and then order for the both of you (it's a classy move).
5. When it comes down to making out, whenever possible, put on side one of Led Zeppelin Four.

weasel said...

Speaking of lists, I have already started a "Can Take My Daughter to the Prom/Can't Take my Daughter to the Prom" columnular record. Rikki, your son is on the "can" side of the ledger- he seems a most responsible toddler.

Rikki said...

Good lord, what kind of world will our < 6 month old female children face when prom-time comes?

I'm willing to jump onto your bandwagon if you come up with a strong idea for bringing Victorian values back into our social fabric ... at least, for the years when Charlotte and Scout are aged 11-19. Thereafter, I'd be ok with another return to permissive post-60s socio-sexual mores. Eight years. That's all I ask. You have all my faith.

Is it weird irony that my "word verification" code features the letter combination "GBH"? God, is that you? It's me, Margaret ...

Jason said...

Wow. They're all good, but #10 is my favorite.