- Ward
Cleaver's Prozac Fever

our day in dadsville

So somebody comes up to me and sez,

"...hey, ain't you that dads-dot-com guy?

So whaddaya want fer Father's Day??"

What do I want for Father's Day?

I wanna be freakin' DEAD, that's what I want.

What I will get in lieu of my

earthly demise, however, will be

far, far worse than the big "D" ---

what I will get, and I suspect you will

too, will be some deep-discounted

commodity greeting card

("social expression product," these days),

that's got a mallard decoy on it,

or some pipe-huffin' Church of the SubGenius

golf dude, or a sepia-colored

workbench with tools that are

sparkly clean and organized and (gasp) blood-free.

Now you've gone and done it.

You've made me all goofus and

rhapsodical waxing poetic about

Our Day in Dadsville.

Strangely, this mostly secret

meeting place for we angst-up boomers

gets visited with the

same frequency if the piece walks the

line separating smarm from schmaltz,

(a line, dear reader, which I

sincerely hope I cross only as a

literary device enabling the evocation

of cheap emotion),

or if it plunges headfirst into a

delicious abyss of venom and bad taste.

Gosh, we sure have shared a whole heck-of-a-lot

o' quality time together, haven't we?

I mean really.

Father's Day is a perfect time, and surely,

this is the perfect (cyber) place to pause

and reflect on the very fiber of our dadly-hood.

It's the stuff of dads that relentlessly steamrolls

over us every stinkin' day.

It's the stuff that earns us that ducky card.

It's the stuff that boosts my overall hit count

so maybe I can take this god-forsaken cyber-curse

I have heaped upon myself to advertisers

and make enough money to pay for my car's

latest (extortion) brake job.

I have TOLD you why the automobile is

an invention only of the purest evil,

though that is certainly nothing new

to any of you who have taken the

name of the Lord and a Big Three Automaker

in vain together in the same breath.

You've received valuable grooming tips,

useful if, like me,

the ravages of time are polishing your dadly pate.

We decorated together with our family pet

for the holidays in a heartwarming,

albeit somewhat squishy and odoriferous installment.

Zoltar, the Knower of All Things,

has given you an astonishingly accurate

glimpse beyond the veil into the

very mists of your own future.

We have proved beyond a reasonable doubt

that the insidious invention of bumper-bowling

began the demise of civilization,

and ultimately, will decimate mankind itself.

You've even gotten a first-hand

urologic debriefing as you

population-conscious dads entrust the

bifurcation for your vas deferens

to a scrotum-slashing stranger.

And they say there's nothing

value-added about the Web.

Ha! I say.

What about that terrifying weekend

Cub Scout trip to a dilapidated

WWII battleship with all the pizza,

lead chips and salmonella chicken

you care to eat for just one Ulysses G.??

Or the Walton-sort of remembrance in

which my sib and I are unwittingly

shanghied into assisting an

undertaker load our expired matriarch

into a Ziploc (blue and yellow make green)

to quick-make-room in the turnover-conscious ICU?

We've cut down the suburban infidels

from the very rooftops armed with

nothing more than supersoakers;

flown the heavens clad only in underwear;

put out a "hit" on a hapless dogwood for Arbor Day;

glued human hair to our torsos for extra credit;

brought granny BACK from the dead for Valentine's Day;

and single-handedly wiped out

the entire insect population of the Earth.

Go on and take the jumps down


Humor your old dad.

So what if it's cheap interactivity

and I'm working my way through the

first serious block I've had in

one-hundred-and-thirty-nine years

(a block I had futilely hoped,

dear dads,

was the aneurysm I've repeatedly

asked Santa to bring, lo, these many decades).

So what?

It's MY day.

And you're supposed to shut up

and let me sleep in today

so I can have one more dream in

which I again, barely, breathlessly escape

that faceless and darkly-cloaked doom vibe

that chases and haunts the endless dadly night.

The merciless One who gives us

no respite or rest ---

the One waiting to claim us

the second we break stride and fall.

And when I awaken with the usual

screaming start and I am breathless

with the welcome of abated terror

and safe in my bed, an ocean of sweat

soaking through the one threadbare pair

of pajamas our pathetic budget will allow,

bring your old dad a piece of burnt toast

heaped with homemade raspberry jam on the

cheesy (but perhaps eventually collectable)

Fergie and Andy fold-up TV tray;

and bring me a cup of caustic coffee

boiled until every sip rattles

every neuron and jangles every dadly dendrite.

Then bring me your art ---

your construction paper Picassos ---

the mutant ceramic ashtrays for the

tasty ciggies I can no longer smoke.

Bring all of this to me on my day of days,

and unable to keep from smiling any longer,

I shall ignore my lower back's ardent pleas

and lift you into the skies; way, way up ---

perhaps for the last time as you

seem to refuse to stop growing out of childhood ---

and I will coo and gush over your gifts,

and though the words never quite come out

the Ward Cleaver way that they should,

from my heart of hearts,

I will pledge you my endless love on this,

and every day.

And I will gather you up into my arms

and hold you close,

your coffee burning an acid hole

in my jelly belly,

and I will kiss you

and thank you

and tickle you

and you will say,

"...let's do this forever, daddy ---

let's stay this way forever!"

And with the silent blessing of my eternal soul,

I will say yes,

I promise that we will.

Yes, I swear it.


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2003 Arhythmiacs

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