By Rick Kaempfer
I get a fair amount of e-mails from readers, but I usually answer them one-on-one. The following e-mail, however, had to be shared in a public forum. My sons insisted.
Your Suburban Man column about taking the boys to the city was precious. I hope they appreciate what a fun dad they have.
I printed out the e-mail and showed it to Tommy, and he couldn't believe it. He said: "Didn't she read my guest blog from last Father's Day?"
I'm guessing she didn't. He has graciously allowed me to reprint a portion of it here.
I’m going to give you my top five most annoying things about Dad.
5. Dad does this ‘short-term memory’ thing that drives me crazy. Once he thought I was my brother, Johnny. “Well, hello, Johnny.”
“Johnny, cut it out.”
“Daaaaaaaaad, I’m TOMMY.”
“Don’t be silly.” I ran off to Johnny to show him.
“This is Johnny.”
“You’re getting weird, Johnny. That’s Tommy.”
I don’t EVER want that to happen again.
4. Og. I just can’t take this anymore. Once I told Dad that his jokes were twice as old as him. He took that as a challenge. The very next day, he gave me a smelly joke about Calvin Coolidge. “I guess Mr. Coolidge was a pretty calm guy,” I remarked after the joke. “That’s the point of the joke,” he replied. I heard quite a few VERY weird jokes that day. I haven’t really heard much of his ‘new material’ again.
3. This thing Dad has done for the last 10 (that’s how old I am, for your information) years has annoyed me for life. He says the lyrics of songs that I think s t i n k.
2. This is pretty much the same as 3, but he SINGS the songs instead.
1 (Tie). This has tortured me for a lifetime. First of all, when I don’t want to get up in the morning, he threatens to use the “Pinching Machine” or to tickle. The Pinching Machine is his own hands, of course. The Pinching Machine always will get me out of bed.
1 (Tie). Dad’s voices. The worst is his voice of Grover. We used to have a punishment system when he would hear me talking with Johnny at night. First warning, he would take away our teddy bears. A second time, there would be no Nintendo DS. Third, someone would go upstairs in Mom’s and his room. Fourth, (although impossible), Dad would sing all the songs on his iPod as Grover. I’ve hated the Grover (and technically, Yoda) voice since I was 4 or 5.
So now you know what makes me say “daaaaaaaaaad”. Here he comes right now. He says he ate my Nintendo for lunch. DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD!
Then I showed Mary's e-mail to Johnny and Sean.
"Don't you think Mary is right?" I asked.
"Daaad," Johnny said. "You're annoying."
"Annoying how?" I asked. Johnny and Sean answered in rapid fire fashion, almost without breathing to pause.
"When you pitch, you throw it at my head."
"Stoink is not a word, Dad, and it's not my name."
"I hate your Goofy voice."
"You tackle and tickle and pinch"
"Your 'forever hugs' are annoying, when you say that you'll hug me so long that I'll have to bring you with me to school, and we'll still be hugging when I get married unless I say the passwords."
"And you change the passwords. That's no fair."
"Whoa," I said. "Hold it right there. That's totally unfair. There are only two passwords, and you know both of them."
Johnny said one of them: "Go Cubs."
And Sean rolled his eyes as he said the other one: "Dad looks so young."
Does that answer your question, Mary? Let's just say that "Fun" and "Dad" are never uttered in the same sentence in my house.
Although...that could be the new password.