Almost every day, as I plod through a world dominated by Murphy’s Law, I am haunted by one of my late father’s favorite observations:
“There’s no such thing as a simple job.”
For instance, I assumed it would be child’s play to Google “Father’s Day,” sift through current events and get a great springboard for a column; but I kept being assailed by dry historical tidbits, banal parade schedules or Chamber of Commerce-approved “Top 10 Gifts For Dad” puff pieces.
If only I could find some juicier headlines! Need some hypothetical examples? Allow me to elucidate (another of my father’s favorite terms):
1. International Brotherhood of Fathers Union Sues Sen. John McCain For Trademark Infringement Over his “Don’t Make Me Come Back There!” Foreign Policy.
2. Hasbro Creates Buzz at Annual Toy Fair by Discontinuing Don’t Wake Daddy Game and Replacing it with Living-Will Edition: Don’t Resuscitate Daddy.
3. Comics Historian Reveals that Superman’s Father, Jor-El, Only Accidentally Rocketed him to Earth. (“Those 2 a.m. feedings were always like kryptonite to me,” bleary-eyed scientist chuckled, right before whole dang planet exploded.)
4. Federal Government Now Considers Verifiable Accusations of “My Dad Can Whip Your Dad” as Criterion for Disability Payments.
5. Archives Reveal George Washington was not Really the Father of our Country, but the Father of Department of Motor Vehicles. (“I cannot tell a lie: all your photos will look like you have wooden teeth,” Mount Vernon resident reportedly snickered.)
6. Survey Says 23 Percent of Fathers Think the Message From Harry Chapin’s Touching 1974 Folk Song “Cat’s in the Cradle” is “Get a Ferret Instead of a Cat.” (“Yeah, I’ll have to tell my son, What’s-his-name, the next time I see him,” promised one proud papa as he grabbed his briefcase.)
7. Billboard Magazine Announces Willie Nelson to Release Sequel: “Daddies, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Narcotics Agents — Please.”
8. Archaeological Epiphany: Researchers Decide Strange Indentations on First Stone Wheel Were From Fingertips of Nervous Dad Giving Driving Lessons.
9. Insensitive Father Tells 5-Year-Old, “Maybe Enough Beers Will Make this Ugly Necktie Look Passable; it Sure Helped With Your Mother” and the sequel, Heartwarming Video of 5-Year-Old Acting As Honorary Pallbearer Goes Viral.
10. Inventor of Horsey-Back Ride Inducted into Chiropractic Hall of Fame.
Yes, those are the sort of headlines I craved as inspiration. And, yes, I guess I’ve been perusing the satirical website the Onion a little too much.
Speaking of onions (and childhood obesity), psyche yourself up for Father’s Day with this parting headline: “America’s Got Talent” Results Show to Feature Debut of Updated Song, “Daddy Don’t You Walk so Fast — You’re Making me Drop my Triple Cheeseburger and Funeral Fries Down my Elastic Waistband. More Than Usual.”
Danny Tyree is a syndicated weekly columnist. He welcomes reader email at firstname.lastname@example.org.