Tuesday, June 11, 2002

For All the Dads

EVERY YEAR, WHEN FATHER'S DAY ROLLS AROUND, I'm reminded of that classic anti-drug commercial from the late '80s or early '90s. You remember the one: Where the dad confronts the son about the stash of pot he found. (In a cigar box, as I recall. How obvious! No wonder he got busted!) And the dad says, "Where did you learn how to do this?" And the kid breaks and says, angrily, "I learned it from YOU, Dad! I learned it from you!"

Oh, the hilarity!

Anyway, instead of spending my time figuring out what to get my dad (a mind-bending process I must go through twice in two months, since his birthday is at the beginning of August), I've cobbled together this roundup of ideas for celebrating Father's Day, this Sunday (June 16). Be warned, however, that while these suggestions may not pack the poignant punch of the climactic scene of Field of Dreams, where Kevin Costner finally gets in a game of catch with dear old Dad, they're at least as warm and cuddly as the better moments Harrison Ford and Sean Connery spend together in Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade.

If you can't be with your dad, make sure to celebrate him (or any dad, really) in some way this weekend. Put on the tuneful stylings of Gay Dad (doubly perfect as June is also Gay Pride Month), the harder edge of Papa Roach or the folky fiddlin' of Papa John Creach.

If you're not all that fond of your Dad, you might take a moment to learn about the Haitian despot "Papa" Doc Duvalier. Compare. Contrast. Discuss.

If foreign policy isn't your bag, you could get all misty-eyed remembering the drag-racing career of Big Daddy Don Garlits (and visit his website while you're at it) or get teary-eyed at the droll Catholic comedy of Father Guido Sarducci. If you're feelin' all literary 'n shit, pick up a copy of Arthur Kopit's play Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feeling so Sad, or anything by Ernest Hemingway.

Even though you can no longer enjoy the sitcoms Make Room for Daddy, Father Knows Best or even Daddio, don't forget there are plenty of patriarchally themed flicks to rent, from Adam Sandler's Big Daddy to Bill Cosby's Ghost Dad. There are also good films, such as the classic Cary Grant-Leslie Caron comedy Father Goose or Father of the Bride (either the Spencer Tracy version or the Steve Martin update).

Whatever you do, give a shoutout to Pops. He deserves it at least once a year.

And never let him forget where you learned it.

Monday, June 10, 2002

Another Flight to Jersey

SO, I'M BACK FROM JOYZEE, and I must admit that, once again, a good time was had by all. I'm preparing a full report on the my corporate video adventure for a later posting.

In its place, I'll offer this story of racial profiling.

I'm not a big fan of flying. Most who know me know this. But I was doing pretty well on three of the four flights I had to take: from L.A. to Phoenix, Phoenix to Philly, then back again. However, on the final leg of my journey, during the boarding process, I looked up just in time to see a Mohammed Atta-lookin' fella walking back to his seat on the plane.

I chided myself silently for having such a knee-jerk reaction, especially one I've made fun of on this page. [See the February 4 entry.] So, I brushed it off and went back to reading William Least Heat Moon's River-Horse. Until I noticed the Atta-like feller sitting directly behind me -- in the exit row.

Because I am blessed (cursed?) with an active imagination, I immediately imagined a simple terrorist plan: opening the exit door while in mid-flight. Now, I am sure that someone more knowledgeable than me would be able to tell me that such a ploy wouldn't necessarily work. And I kept telling myself I was being ridiculous, but that didn't keep me from imagining it transpiring at least a half-dozen times.

Thus is my particular illness, you see.

Of course, he was not a terrorist -- at least not on THIS flight. Otherwise I wouldn't be here to pass on the story, right?

Unless this isn't really me typing right now. Perhaps the terrorists have won and they've taken over my website?

Makes ya wonder, don't it?