hassled by the cops for taking too many photographs of freight trains
October 23, 2014 7:05 AM   Subscribe

"Dad, can you make me a sandwich?"
"Poof, you're a sandwich!"
posted by muddgirl at 7:13 AM on October 23, 2014 [55 favorites]

posted by muddgirl at 7:14 AM on October 23, 2014 [36 favorites]

This one is awesome:
also, whenever we drive past a Mennonite church, he jokes "What do they call lady Mennonites? WOMANITES!"
All my life I was waiting to become a Dad so I could have an excuse for lines like this.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:15 AM on October 23, 2014 [18 favorites]

Watching this blossom on Twitter had me laughing so hard I was in tears.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 7:15 AM on October 23, 2014 [5 favorites]

My kids have already commented on Dad Things that I do. First among them is that, when we're at a restaurant, if one of them says, "I'm hungry," my instinctive response is, "Well it's a good thing we're at a restaurant then."

posted by Ben Trismegistus at 7:16 AM on October 23, 2014 [52 favorites]

There's also a long thread on the Toast - The Ur-Dad Story - with pages of comments of dad stories. Mine is as follows:
My parents have had a mouse problem recently (despite their four cats and one dog - clearly, these are unintelligent mice). My dad put a have-a-heart trap out for the most recent mouse, baited with a peanut butter covered ritz cracker. When he caught the mouse, he took it out to the woodpile in the backyard and left it there, with the original bait peanut butter cracker AND, because he felt bad for taking it out of its nice, comfortable, warm spot under the oven, gave it a few more crackers for good measure.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:17 AM on October 23, 2014 [20 favorites]

When talking to a stranger about birds, my dad once called his binoculars his "spyglass."

come on, dad.
posted by entropone at 7:17 AM on October 23, 2014 [4 favorites]

It took awhile to convince my parents to let me get my ears pierced (I think they finally gave in when I was 10). Every time I'd bring it up at the dinner table, Dad would pick up his fork and say, sure, lean down.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:19 AM on October 23, 2014 [13 favorites]

Last week, while I was visiting my folks, just as I was about to hop back in the car to drive home, my dad gave me all of his socks. Literally, he handed me a bag that contained the entire contents of his sock drawer, plus about a dozen pairs that had never been opened.

I still haven't gotten an explanation for this that makes sense, but it apparently arose from some comment my mom made about him buying expensive socks that were too tight. Or something. I have a weird family.

They're brightly colored, made of wool, and very comfortable.

Also, reading this thread is making me tear up a bit, especially after just having read the old dog thread. I have a great dad, which is a luxury that neither of my parents had, so I'd like to imagine that he tried extra hard. I think it paid off. I should call him tonight...
posted by schmod at 7:20 AM on October 23, 2014 [22 favorites]

Also reminiscent of my real dad: Dad Suggests Arriving At Airport 14 Hours Early
posted by schmod at 7:21 AM on October 23, 2014 [24 favorites]

My dad would stand on the closed lid of the toilet and declare he was "high on pot."

He still does this. He'll be 71 in January.
posted by sephira at 7:21 AM on October 23, 2014 [76 favorites]

Also, any time someone fumbles an object or does something boneheaded, he will say, "Smooth move, Ex-lax," but my mom thought that was too profane to use around children, so he tried to switch to "Smooth move, surf wax." But we all know what he means.
posted by muddgirl at 7:22 AM on October 23, 2014 [10 favorites]

he didn't realize i was behind him while he was sipping coffee, watching the sunset. "what a country," he said to himself.

This is the dad-hood to which I aspire. That and this guy.
posted by Cash4Lead at 7:22 AM on October 23, 2014 [9 favorites]

My dad refers to every land mammal as a deer. If a squirrel runs across the road, he calls out "Did you see that deer?" or my cousin in the backyard, Shhhh, we don't want to scare away the deer over by the woodpile." Actual deer are, of course, large worms.
posted by troika at 7:23 AM on October 23, 2014 [54 favorites]

I get teased for calling the evening meal "supper".
posted by dr_dank at 7:23 AM on October 23, 2014

Well this is definitely the thread I'll be checking all day at work.

Now back to doing Halloween Mad-libs with the kids over breakfast...
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:23 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

"Dad, can you make me a sandwich?"
"Poof, you're a sandwich!"

The world got a bit darker the day my son went from "Dad! You can't turn me into a sandwich!" to " Goddamn it Pa, do you ever get tired of that stupid joke?!?!"

Fucking teenagers, man. Is there anything they can't make more entertaining ?
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:25 AM on October 23, 2014 [28 favorites]

I gather it can be hilarious to watch their reactions to dad pants.
posted by JHarris at 7:30 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

My father and I have the exact same sense of humor - stupid puns, just-so stories (ok, usually baldfaced lies) told to my nieces, other dumb wordplay. My mother hates it when we're having dinner together and we just play off each other for hours.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:30 AM on October 23, 2014 [4 favorites]

Fell asleep in the car on the way home from college. Woke up in Gettysburg National Military Park. "Funny, this doesn't look like I-95..." Dad loves him some civil war history.
posted by Wretch729 at 7:31 AM on October 23, 2014 [6 favorites]

"@mallelis Administered a 'Dad Tax' on french fries."

Careful, young vampire queens are known to get worked up over things like that.
posted by JHarris at 7:31 AM on October 23, 2014 [16 favorites]

posted by JanetLand at 7:32 AM on October 23, 2014 [8 favorites]

When I ask my dad directions, he gives me at least three ways to get from point A to point B. He then has to give me the details of all three sets of directions so that I can choose, but he suggests his favorite based on its proximity to his favorite car wash in case I want to wash my car ("It helps the car to run better").

All routes from point A to point B take "oh, about 20 minutes" in my dad's mind. In reality that can mean anywhere from 5 minutes to two hours. When I come back and tell him "Dad, that was NOT 20 minutes!" he will say that I drive too fast/slow and that I should have taken one of his other options. Preferably the one by the car wash, did I notice that my car was dirty and could use a wash? It helps the car to run better.

I would stop asking him directions and just use my phone, but I think it gives him great pride to know at least three ways how to get "to anywhere, from anywhere" in 20 minutes.
posted by Elly Vortex at 7:33 AM on October 23, 2014 [38 favorites]

Oooh, the poison-tester dad routine: "I have to have a bite of your ice cream to make sure it isn't poisoned."
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:34 AM on October 23, 2014 [10 favorites]

Oh, but the one Dad thing that my father does is the Slideshow. Now that everything's digital, he puts it up on the TV in the living room any time they have guests over. Sometimes when it's just me visiting! He's been spending his free time collecting old negatives and slides from relatives and digitizing everything, so the slideshows are whatever batch he just finished recently - often dozens of blurry photos of barely recognizable people.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:34 AM on October 23, 2014 [6 favorites]

Mallory's tweets about her own dad (Pastor John Ortberg) are amazing:

every night my dad is in bed before 10 and wakes up between 5 and 5:30 he calls this The System and insists it is the cure for everything

he also mocks my throwing technique even though he never once attempted to teach me to throw properly

he is the greatest Dad in the world and he will never experience sickness or death

also (due to my parents' inability to understand THE GROUP TEXT) I learned that my dad calls my mom SMOOCHIE in private


he was on [Jeopardy] in the early 80s and the Final Jeopardy category was Mixed Drinks (Dad is a Baptist minister)

"Well, Alex," Dad cracked, "I'm a Baptist preacher, so I'm damned if I get this right OR wrong." dad was pretty proud of that one

Someone has got to dig up video of that episode.
posted by Cash4Lead at 7:35 AM on October 23, 2014 [16 favorites]

Jesus Christ dad, I've checked my fucking oil!
posted by Sophie1 at 7:35 AM on October 23, 2014 [7 favorites]

When we were studying the California missions in 4th grade and I was picked to be a Spanish soldier, my dad made me a wrought-iron sword. That sucker was heavy and dangerous, with a wooden dowel for a hilt and a wrought-iron hilt guard. It would have gotten a kid suspended if he'd brought it to school any time in the last 20 years.
posted by ogooglebar at 7:38 AM on October 23, 2014 [6 favorites]

Mine said, "Mostly, what I do for fun is write in newspaper comment sections and try to piss people off. I used to try to reason with people, but I eventually realised that a lot of the people writing there are probably paid Tory shills anyway."
posted by frimble at 7:39 AM on October 23, 2014 [16 favorites]

"Barking spiders" is still the best possible euphemism for farting. Thanks dad.
posted by like_a_friend at 7:40 AM on October 23, 2014 [10 favorites]

A couple weeks ago my dad asked me, "You don't ever post anything bad on social media, do you?"

I did not explain to him that on the Internet I'm a Brooklyn Dodger so it doesn't matter
posted by Snarl Furillo at 7:41 AM on October 23, 2014 [4 favorites]

Once caught me 'stealing' a biscuit, yelled "J'ACCUSE" and staged a trial, in which he was witness, jury and judge

Ok, I'm stealing that one next time I see my cousins.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:41 AM on October 23, 2014 [11 favorites]

I love this explanation of the dad joke genre. "As a dad you want your kids to be surrounded with the warm, happy, innocuous kind of stuff. When it comes to humor, you end up with lame dad jokes."
posted by Nelson at 7:42 AM on October 23, 2014 [9 favorites]

I half-seriously believe that Helen Reddy is kept alive (after the manner that mortal fame is supposed to sustain the spirits of dead heroes in Greek mythology) by my Dad's habit of asking "Is Helen Reddy?" before Every. Single. Fucking. Car trip...since 1986. My nephews probably think she's his imaginary friend.
posted by Captain l'escalier at 7:42 AM on October 23, 2014 [4 favorites]

At an Italian restaurant in Nashville: "I'll have the eSPAGETTI ala CAR-bo-NAH-ra!"
At a Chinese restaurant in Queens: "I'll have the ma-PO to-FU!"
At home: "Go to the fridge and get me some CEE-lan-TRO!"
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:42 AM on October 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

My kids' favorite: Anytime I have to go to the bathroom, I loudly announce "I'm going to the bathroom - can I get you guys anything?"
posted by jbickers at 7:45 AM on October 23, 2014 [30 favorites]

Many of the idiosyncratic things my dad does aren't cutely archetypal and are kind of crappy. I mean, sending me and my wife headshots of himself in the mail with no note is pretty fun. Just not really a dad thing. My dad is more of a John Irving character I think.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:45 AM on October 23, 2014 [10 favorites]

My dad called all my teacher "Miss Honey" (ala Richard Scary) through college.

I lost my dad several years ago and read these as they were coming out a few weeks ago. That night I dreamed my dad called and I was so happy.
posted by shothotbot at 7:46 AM on October 23, 2014 [33 favorites]

When the squirrels kept defeating the latest "squirrel-proof" bird feeder my dad bought, he wired it up so that with the mere pull of a switch in the kitchen, you could shock a thieving squirrel and send it 10 feet into the air.

Eventually, the squirrels caught on and stopped coming to the feeder. "I'm a victim of my own genius," my dad sighed as he stared out the kitchen window, fingers resting expectantly on the switch. He watched the birds eat for another hour before the Orioles game came on.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:49 AM on October 23, 2014 [120 favorites]

My dad is constantly insisting that we have always liked/disliked a certain food that we've always disliked/liked, or that we've seen a show/movie that we've never seen. We refer to this as my dad's "alternate reality."
posted by MsVader at 7:50 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh my gosh, as a young dad these are like someone dropped a bag of dollar bills on a windy day and I'm running around scooping up as many as I can.
posted by resurrexit at 7:51 AM on October 23, 2014 [117 favorites]

"Dad, I'm hungry."

"Hi, hungry, nice to meet you."
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 7:53 AM on October 23, 2014 [11 favorites]

My dad too is this dad.

Every time I leave home after visiting, he also gives me a hug and tells me, tears in his eyes, "I pray for you, you know?" THERE IS NO RESPONSE TO THAT.
posted by maryr at 7:54 AM on October 23, 2014 [13 favorites]

I think I've told this one, but: Stand in the front yard and yell at cars driving too fast, "SLOW DOWN, DUMMY!" So embarrassing.
posted by emjaybee at 7:55 AM on October 23, 2014 [3 favorites]

Nice one Dad.
posted by Happy Dave at 7:57 AM on October 23, 2014 [10 favorites]

I found myself spouting my own well-remembered dadisms recently when stomping around the office turning off all the lights in unoccupied offices. Why ARE all these lights on? Why is the a/c blasting but all the windows are open? Do you think we're made of money? Who keeps buying this inexpensive toilet paper? We had better toilet paper than this during the war!

Despite the fact that he is, in fact, literally made of money, my boss (who is the same age my dad would be now) finds these things utterly hilarious.
posted by poffin boffin at 7:57 AM on October 23, 2014 [15 favorites]

he wired it up so that with the mere pull of a switch in the kitchen, you could shock a thieving squirrel

When I was young, we had an aluminum Christmas tree. One year, to keep our cats from playing with (and possibly breaking) the ornaments on the lower branches, my dad put aluminum foil on the floor around the tree, with one terminal of a 12-volt battery wired to the sheets and the other wired to the tree. When a cat stood on the foil and touched the tree, it completed the circuit and the cat got a shock. He only had to do it one year. The cats remembered forever.
posted by ogooglebar at 7:57 AM on October 23, 2014 [20 favorites]

Also the one about the dad who sends their kid a current daily photo of the family pet every day was the most delightful.

everyone who has a pet and does not send me frequent photos of them is on The List
posted by poffin boffin at 8:01 AM on October 23, 2014 [3 favorites]

Every time there was a strong wind, my dad would ask me to come outside to help him throw a rope over the house.
posted by pipeski at 8:01 AM on October 23, 2014 [13 favorites]

His non-curse words were "Fiddlesticks!", "Walla Walla, Washington!", and, my personal all time favorite, just for the visual, "Basket of blood!"
posted by maryr at 8:01 AM on October 23, 2014 [9 favorites]

When I was in high school, my dad wired my car brakes to the horn so that when I pressed the brakes, the horn would go off....and keep honking until I let up. Stopped at a stop sign? hooooooooooooooooooooonk Slowing down for turning into the driveway? honk.... honnk... hoooonk PARKING IN THE SCHOOL PARKING LOT: hoooooooooo *jeers and pointing * oooooooooooooooooooonk

He said it made him happy that he could be in bed at night and hear me coming home from miles away.
posted by barchan at 8:01 AM on October 23, 2014 [77 favorites]

I flew out to see the 'rents about the time that story broke about the poor woman who was attacked by someone's pet chimp. The very first thing he said to me when I got off the plane: "Kid, you gotta watch out for those chimpanzees. They will eat your fucking face off."

It was the same visit he made a Spanish tortilla and used a ruler to measure the potato slices because they had to be exactly 1/8 inch thick.

I don't know anyone who enjoys life more than that crazy old coot does.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 8:05 AM on October 23, 2014 [7 favorites]

When my mom, my sister, and I were in Poland for the summer, my dad took our cats to his apartment and kept a journal as if it was written by them, with entries like "Licked the Bald One's head in the middle of the night again. He appreciates it, I am certain." and "I have ascended Fridge Mountain and there is no way to get down again, so I will scream here forever."
posted by troika at 8:06 AM on October 23, 2014 [159 favorites]

"Dad I'm thirsty!"
"Hi Thursday, I'm Friday. Let's have a sundae on Monday!"
posted by ODiV at 8:12 AM on October 23, 2014 [20 favorites]

I'm a dad.

The kids are grown now, but I spent many years doing all kinds of dad things that caused the kids endless exasperation.

I will preface my story by mentioning that I'm mostly unaware of pop culture. I don't watch much tv or see many movies. All kinds of things are going on out there, and I am blissfully unaware!

One morning my wife was driving the kids to school and me to the commuter train. The kids were in the back seat going on and on about something one of their friends (or as I usually reffered to them, "Your idiot teenage friends") said or did.

I had met most of their friends as far as I knew, so I was wondering who they were talking about. It was all "Ed did this" and "Ed said that", and "Ed blah blah blah..." This went on for a while and I was curious as to who this Ed kid was. No doubt he was yet another teenage moron.

I turned around to them and asked, "Who is this Ed Hardy guy?" to howls of laughter and disbelief.

I'm not even sure the kids remember that one, but it was pretty funny.
posted by freakazoid at 8:15 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Gonna use EVERY SINGLE ONE of these. Thank god for copy-and-paste, because I could never write all these down fast enough. (Dad of a 13-year-old daughter)
posted by briank at 8:16 AM on October 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

-When I was four or five and I asked why I was older than my little sister when she was born in March and I was born in May, he sat down on the floor with me with three long strips of printer paper folded accordion-style to explain how years worked. (This might be more of an Engineer Thing.)

-Referred to my 7th grade science teacher The Pirate because Mr. D had a small silver hoop on one ear.

-Still calls one friend the girl-who-threw-her-cell-phone-in-the-pool even though this happened fifteen years ago and she has gone on to do more significant things like be my roommate for two years.
posted by book 'em dano at 8:17 AM on October 23, 2014 [6 favorites]

I had met most of their friends as far as I knew, so I was wondering who they were talking about. It was all "Ed did this" and "Ed said that", and "Ed blah blah blah..." This went on for a while and I was curious as to who this Ed kid was. No doubt he was yet another teenage moron.

I turned around to them and asked, "Who is this Ed Hardy guy?" to howls of laughter and disbelief.

I don't get this story at all. Clearly I'm a dad and I didn't even know it!!
posted by JanetLand at 8:19 AM on October 23, 2014 [3 favorites]

I think my younger self would have read these and laughed uncontrollably and to some extent derisively. But I gotta say -- I've been a dad for nine years now, and I read these and say to myself, "Hey, lotta good material here, file these away for future use."
posted by escabeche at 8:20 AM on October 23, 2014 [3 favorites]

We had our first child in March, and I've really been stepping up my dad joke game since then. Thankfully, mrs ozzy is still laughing, which I suppose is good news. She'll be thrilled, I'm sure, that I've got an infusion of new material.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:22 AM on October 23, 2014

As for my own dad: standing on a chair / bench / table in a fancy restaurant so he can get exactly the angle he wants for the family picture is the signature move. A classic.
posted by escabeche at 8:22 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Whenever my dad does anything "wrong" like transpose the knife, spoon, and fork while setting the table, he claims that his (Wrong) way is just how the do it in the "old country". He means Canada.
posted by atomicstone at 8:24 AM on October 23, 2014 [32 favorites]

As for my own dad: standing on a chair / bench / table in a fancy restaurant so he can get exactly the angle he wants for the family picture is the signature move. A classic.

We were on vacation somewhere and my dad wanted a family photo. He jogged up to this short stone wall next to the sidewalk, did this very graceful hop to jump on top of it... and caught his foot on the edge, tumbled over it and down a small hill. He was fine, and I wonder if he remembers that at all.
posted by backseatpilot at 8:25 AM on October 23, 2014 [4 favorites]

I will preface my story by mentioning that I'm mostly unaware of pop culture. I don't watch much tv or see many movies. All kinds of things are going on out there, and I am blissfully unaware!

Oh, man, this just reminded me of a favorite.

So, the local Top 40 station had a thing where if you called in and knew the top 5 songs (which they had just played), you'd win a CD or something. My brother always wanted to do this, but you had to be 18, so he'd write the songs down get my dad to call in for him.

One time, my dad got through on the phone. When asked what the number 3 song that week was, my dad, in his best phone voice, which is very crisp and professional, enunciated "Getting Jiggy With It". Not "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It". There was no rush. He wanted to communicate clearly for his dear son.

"What was that?" asked the highly amused DJ.

"Get-ING. Jig-gy. WiTH. It."

Yeah. They played that on the radio. Hope my brother liked his CD, because he was pretty mortified.
posted by maryr at 8:26 AM on October 23, 2014 [37 favorites]

Nana na na nana na. Nana na na nana. Getting jiggy with it.
posted by maryr at 8:28 AM on October 23, 2014 [11 favorites]

Oooh, the poison-tester dad routine: "I have to have a bite of your ice cream to make sure it isn't poisoned."

I thought I invented that. Seriously. My kid's five, and she's already sick of it.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:29 AM on October 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

My dad thinks jello is the only panacea when sick. Maaaaaybe cinnamon toast. I once came downstairs on a sick day and found an entire gallon of fizzy jello (made with seltzer!) with a helpful note. I still miss magically appearing jello as a grown up.

Additional fun can be had as a Dad if you give something the STAMP of approval (stamp in an exaggerated manner, as if there were a rodent of unusual size beneath you,) the ROUND of applause (clap in a giant circle in front of you while grinning maniacally) and the SEAL of approval (act like a seal).

Every bar joke I wrote in this thread should be co-credited to Dad! It's like an heirloom, our bar joke collection. The crown jewel of the family.

Brb hastily emailing my dad to tell him I love him
posted by jetlagaddict at 8:30 AM on October 23, 2014 [12 favorites]

My dad is kind of a raging dickhole (and the alcoholism doesn't do much to endear him, though I try to separate the two) and I'm at least semi-estranged from him at this point but damn if I couldn't read Dad Stuff all day and love every second of it. I'm not even sure if I want children, but any future spouse will have to be capable of doing Dad Stuff.
posted by kalimac at 8:31 AM on October 23, 2014 [9 favorites]

Getting so competitive in the friendly neighbourhood pickup football game he accidently hacked down one of the (very young) neighbour kids when trying to win the ball...

Consistently being late for dinner because he keeps running into people he knows biking back home from work.
posted by MartinWisse at 8:32 AM on October 23, 2014

And I forgot to share my own most-Dad story.

My dad decided to take me fishing once, so he bought a boat.

And I don't mean like a little rowboat or something, I mean an honest-to-god bass boat with all the trimmings (do boats have trimmings? whatever). And then we went and bought really high-end fishing poles and stuff like carbon fiber rods and professional grade reels and those fancy artificial baits and lures and so forth.

This took about 2 weeks of planning and going to look at boats and going to weird fishing shops down by the gulf run by salty and odd men because he was from the "If we're gonna DO IT we're gonna do it RIGHT GODDAMMIT!" school of Dad.

So we finally got our bass boat and our high-end fishing rods and we had to get up before dawn because you can only fish when it's still dark out or at Oh God Thirty and we went out with thousands of dollars worth of equipment and didn't catch a damn thing.

And that was the only time we went fishing because "I'LL BE DAMNED IF I GET UP AT 3AM AND NOT CATCH ANYTHING."

(As an amusing footnote, my mom would periodically take the kids fishing with Wal-Mart poles and whatever the weird dude at the bait shop said was good and we'd ALWAYS catch something)
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 8:33 AM on October 23, 2014 [6 favorites]

We, dads, are performing a public service every time we use the same joke. You think we don't have lots of new jokes? Among ourselves we are comedic geniuses, with cutting edge, gritty shtick that would kill. Dad jokes are more like relics. We offer you lovingly preserved, old-world craftsmanship, painstakingly curated jokes so you can find order in a chaotic universe. Without dad jokes it would all fall apart.
posted by shothotbot at 8:34 AM on October 23, 2014 [29 favorites]

My dad taught me the mystical incantation, "Owaaa. Tagoo. Siam."
posted by Daily Alice at 8:34 AM on October 23, 2014 [10 favorites]

My dad is a great cook, but he will insist that he learned everything he knows from his ethnicity-of-the-food-he-made mama or grandmother. Excellent tacos? His Mexican mama taught him how to make them. Great homemade pasta? All due to his Italian grandmother. Never gets old, apparently.

(There is also an excellent chance he's reading this thread and taking notes. Hi, dad!)
posted by skycrashesdown at 8:35 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Dining out with my father is probably him at his dadliest. Everything is too expensive,* he's concerned that something somewhere will have one of the million things he won't eat in,** if he doesn't know what something is he asks "what is NAME" in a loud and confused voice, he pronounces all foreign words as if they were English and somehow his Southern drawl gets more pronounced.

My dad taught math for years, and his student's also got a fair bit of dad stuff from him. The similar triangles labeled RUN and DMC despite my father having only the vaguest idea who Run DMC are? Loads of fun for 12 year olds in 2008, I'm sure. The overly long joke explanation of the Cartesian plane which involved a woman made only of legs and which I've mercifully forgotten? Oh boy.

*Assumed price of a meal for four: $20
**Parmesan cheese is the biggest fear. He asks waiters at Indian restaurants about it, no matter how much I try to explain.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:36 AM on October 23, 2014

My dad decided to take me fishing once. . .

When I was 11 or 12 my dad asked if I wanted to go on a fishing trip to a place ~200 miles away, "just the two of us, fishing the whole day. Won't that be great? We'll bring sandwiches for lunch! Don't forget your hat."

We went to a rock quarry. For fossil fish.

He made someone take a picture of us holding our fossil fish like real fish and put it in a personalized frame that he got at a sporting goods store with SURNAME FISHING TRIP 1990 on it and hung it over the mantle. When I was older with boyfriends he would show them the picture and brag about how he had taught me to fish. For 20 to 30 minutes.
posted by barchan at 8:36 AM on October 23, 2014 [78 favorites]

At seafood restaurants, my dad would always do what he called his "crab claw routine" in which he found myriad uses for crab claws including answering the crab claw phone and festooning himself with crab claw earrings and nose rings.

When we go frog-gigging, any time there's a frog that's out of reach of the gig, he talks about the memoir he's going to write called A Frog Too Far.

My dad is a country doctor, and whatever physical ailment I might have is called the crud. If it's mental, it's a funk. In both cases he always says, "we'll cure ya." The cure is invariably a steroid shot.
posted by thingamarob at 8:40 AM on October 23, 2014 [11 favorites]

I use a lot of this stuff every day. Got it from my own father. Like purposely mispronouncing all of the kids pop-culture stuff. Every. Single. Damn. Time. Poke MAN. Lego NinGEYgo. etc.

I insist that children love to eat turnips. Everyone knows this.

The answer to almost any question is "turtles."

From my father I have learned that it is also important to cultivate an appreciation for dad-foods, like Limburger and onion sandwiches, stewed chicken hearts, BBQ pig tails, octopus salad, etc. The weirder the better.

I love being a dad.
posted by fimbulvetr at 8:41 AM on October 23, 2014 [12 favorites]

Omg barchan somewhere my dad is feeling a disturbance in the force at missing out on that opportunity, that is AMAZING

(and honestly better than real fishing, I might be a secret Dad??)
posted by jetlagaddict at 8:42 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm young for senior year but its time to learn how to drive a car.

First lesson: We both go lie down UNDER the car and do the whole "the axle connects to the camshaft" shtick and the carbeurater and the sparkplug are this thing and that thing rigmarole.

Then when he finally let me bring his new car with power steering (it was new back then, I'm old) into the garage from the beginning of the driveway, all he said was "I see you left a few millimeters between your door and the wall".

He's an uber geek, and is 76 this year, currently trying to convince me to switch to an Android smartphone like he's done.

Its Diwali tonight and this is the perfect thread to make me very very homesick right now for Papa.
posted by infini at 8:44 AM on October 23, 2014 [14 favorites]

He also uses "the" in front our names when referring to one of us. He knows its bad grammar and we've yelled at him all through school but he'll grin and do it anyway.

"So, has The Susan come home yet" or "Are we going The Mary's place?"
posted by infini at 8:45 AM on October 23, 2014 [15 favorites]

My uncle (who is a dad) gave me his hand-drawn map showing how to get to his house from the interstate. On this map, every single Stewart's (upstate NY gas station/convenience store) is marked. I think there are nine of them within 15 miles.

To be fair, Stewart's generally has clean restrooms, and my uncle drinks about 400 cups of coffee per day.
posted by shiny blue object at 8:46 AM on October 23, 2014 [5 favorites]

I'm reading through https://storify.com/Shaun_T_K/dads and just realized that I'm mentally treating it like a kind of checklist. And that I've already checked some of these off.
posted by scrump at 8:48 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

When he wanted us to go away he'd fold his belt over and yank both ends to make it pop real loud, and threaten to beat my sister and me on the count of three. (He never got past two, though; usual result was us a giggling running around, touching a toe back inside the room, increasing the count on our own. "Two and a half!! [run run scream run] Two and three quarters!!! [run run laugh]".)

Dad sayings, compliments, life advice:
"Pull back a bloody stump." As in, "Reach for my camera again and you pull back a bloody stump."
"It's colder than a witch's tit." Brass bra optional.
"He's a far--I say, a smart feller."
"You're a good kid, no matter what they all say."
"Drown your sorrows in ice cream."

He had some routine, I'm not sure where he got it, that was all spelled out with letters, and he'd reference it when anything linguistically similar showed up.
("Ay! See 'em snakes?" "'Ell, 'em ain't no snakes." "Oh yes they are! See 'em beady eyes?")

"What do they call lady Mennonites? WOMANITES!"

A friend's dad used doggers—manners for dogs—as if it was a real word.
posted by fleacircus at 8:48 AM on October 23, 2014 [8 favorites]

Peas are "bullets," eggs are "henfruit" or "cackleberries," knife is pronounced "cuh-nife," and many more. When I asked him why he said those things, he said "Because my dad did." "Well, why did he say them?" "Because his dad did, and his dad did, and his dad did."
posted by Liesl at 8:49 AM on October 23, 2014 [3 favorites]

We're getting married this weekend, and I'm fairly certain two things will happen:

-My father will have composed and printed a photo book spanning our entire relationship so far, along with photos of our childhoods. Somehow he will have acquired photos of my girlfriend's childhood.

-He will hector her parents for all of their photos so he can digitize them. By Thanksgiving, they will have sent him boxes of negatives, genealogical data, and other family keepsakes and by next Thanksgiving there will be another photo book detailing her family's history five generations back.
posted by backseatpilot at 8:50 AM on October 23, 2014 [4 favorites]

My mother is 5'10" and almost all legs. My father is 5'8" and long-torsoed. Despite this, he somehow walks twice as fast as my mother and has a great habit of leaving her (and usually me, if I happen to be with them) far behind at any place that involves a lot of walking. (At some point he took up photography and it all evened out because he'd have to spend five minutes setting up a photograph and by the time he got done, my mother and her leisurely amble could catch up.)

He's a good photographer and a good gardener but it's all practical and no conceptual. I think one of our records for the most-Dad he's ever been was set when he was muttering about how nice the blue and red "pansies, I guess you'd call them" outside the restaurant were. Took my mother and I a few minutes to equate said blue and red pansies with the pink and purple petunias in the outdoor planters.

Also, he is selectively deaf except for any matters that involve his mother. I remember as a child asking my mother what my grandma's middle name was. She wasn't sure. My father, from two rooms away, shouted "Veronica Clementine!" I guarantee if we'd asked him a different question while standing right next to him, he wouldn't have heard it.
posted by dlugoczaj at 8:51 AM on October 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

My dad's buddy's name is Eddie O'Reilly. He is one of maybe four people my dad hangs out with on any kind of regular basis. While my Dad loves Eddie for himself, I believe it's also the name that helps.

Dad: "I went out with one of the guys last night..."
Me: "Oh, really?"
Dad: "No, O'Reilly"

He's been doing this all my life. Every damn time. And I always fall for it.

Later on, I'll explain how he and O'Reilly went fishing in Missouri and sank the car. That's not a typo. They sank the _car_.
posted by aureliobuendia at 8:51 AM on October 23, 2014 [15 favorites]

I have just this minute realized that my mother is actually a dad. Complete with horrible puns, mysteriously referring to umbrellas as "humble-ellas," and pronouncing "police" as "PO-lice" on the grounds that "that's how the cool kids said it when I was growing up in the City." (The City she means is Detroit. My mother grew up in Ann Arbor.)
posted by KathrynT at 8:55 AM on October 23, 2014 [6 favorites]

Also, this kind of thing is reflexive once you become a father. My kids already recognize it, because every time Mrs. Scrump says "Oh, God", I say "Yes?" AND I CANNOT STOP DOING IT. It is completely involuntary.
posted by scrump at 8:55 AM on October 23, 2014 [16 favorites]

it's really funny because I've just realized that the angrycat boyfriend, who is a dad, will pull out the dad humor on me. I wonder what will happen when he realizes that both his girlfriend and his teenage son have the same eye-rolling cringe when it comes to the puns, oh the puns.
posted by angrycat at 8:56 AM on October 23, 2014

This one from a friend's father. The five of us would be hanging around at his house. He'd get home from work, "Hey, Mr C!" "Evening sir!" from all of us. Looking at his son and my other friends: "Gentlemen". Pointedly looking at me: "Aurelio".

(To be fair, it was equal opportunity, rotated on a fairly distributed basis, though never to his son.)
posted by aureliobuendia at 8:57 AM on October 23, 2014 [8 favorites]

I have just this minute realized that my mother is actually a dad.

Oh, my mom had her share of dad-isms, too. We used to live sort of near a big army vehicle depot. Driving by one day my brother said, "Tanks, Mama!" "You're welcome!"
posted by muddgirl at 9:00 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

My dad is hard of hearing and his top priority in a restaurant or a car is that they not be "too loud." He blames this on The Who at Woodstock.
posted by chaiminda at 9:02 AM on October 23, 2014 [3 favorites]

If I haven't shaved in a day or two, without fail he will loudly ask if my razor is broken.

My wife is half Persian. After 26 years he still refers to her "Arab" background.

Since the early '80's, if there is "modern" music playing that he isn't enjoying or a haircut that he thinks is stupid, he will refer to it as "Flock of Hemorrhoids." He thinks this is hilarious.

Once when I was around 10 he didn't know I was sitting closeby and he accidently smashed a bunch of glass stuff in his super-70's style bar and he kind of whisper-yelled "FUCKING BASTARD" which was simultaneously hilarious and terrifying for me.
posted by chococat at 9:04 AM on October 23, 2014

Saying he was going to "watch golf" when we all knew it meant "nap on the couch".

I guess I was a dad long before I became a mom. Golf in HD is seriously THE BEST to take naps to on the couch. It has to be HD, though...
posted by jillithd at 9:05 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

If one of us kids was blocking the tv screen, Dad would say, "You've been drinkin' muddy water."
posted by JanetLand at 9:05 AM on October 23, 2014 [4 favorites]

Oh! The TV! If one of us was blocking the TV, he would say "You're not a window, but you sure are a pane!"
posted by Liesl at 9:07 AM on October 23, 2014 [7 favorites]

"You make a better door then a window!"
posted by muddgirl at 9:11 AM on October 23, 2014 [15 favorites]

Also I cannot eat granola without thinking of it as "grain-ola." EVERY time.
posted by dlugoczaj at 9:13 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

My dad writes all of his emails in the subject line and leaves the actual content field blank.
posted by saturday_morning at 9:13 AM on October 23, 2014 [29 favorites]

My husband was already doing dad jokes before our son was born. I envy the childhood the kid is going to have.

Every time we hear a foghorn, train whistle, or firecracker he'll say "Excuse me!"

Farts are blamed on Barking Tree Spiders, if not on the dog, the cat, the rabbit, or another family member. (The kid has known how to blame farts on others since he was 2.)

You'd better have your seatbelts on at all times, because you never know when he'll say "Don't make me turn this car around!" and suddenly bang a U-turn.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:15 AM on October 23, 2014 [6 favorites]

My dad is old-school taciturn, and he demonstrates his love through acts of service. He's also an engineer, to the core. He also was born into a Depression-surviving Dutch-American family, so he never spends a dime on repairs that he doesn't have to. He can fix anything, but "fixing" means "rigging," as often as not.

When I was a kid, every room in the house had a ceiling fan, and the ceiling fans occasionally came unbalanced to the point of wobbling wildly as they ran. Dad's method of balancing the ceiling fans was to tape stacks of pennies onto the tops of the blades, until the right number of pennies was on each blade and the fan was balanced again.

I was, like, 8 or 9 at the time, and every night as I fell asleep I wondered to myself if THIS would be the night that the tape came loose and I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of pennies being shot from the ceiling fan at high velocity, sounding someone was strafing my walls with a machine gun.

He meant well, but ceiling fan season made me really anxious.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:18 AM on October 23, 2014 [50 favorites]

Oh, my all time favorite dad joke that I still laugh at years later would be one time when he farted and ran from the room yelling "JET-PROPELLED!"
posted by skycrashesdown at 9:27 AM on October 23, 2014 [30 favorites]

The first time I can remember feeling shame was watching my father ask a waitress if he could get a Henway.
posted by komara at 9:27 AM on October 23, 2014 [7 favorites]

In about twelve years, my daughter is going to be SO MAD that this thread exists.
posted by Mayor West at 9:30 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Need proper musical accompaniment for reading this thread?

My dad is so cool,
he is the coolest dad in dad school.
He does not break any dad rules.
He would pick you up if I asked him to.

(Skip to 2:23 for the good stuff)
posted by wyndham at 9:33 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Bulgaroktonos : The overly long joke explanation of the Cartesian plane which involved a woman made only of legs and which I've mercifully forgotten? Oh boy.

Whoa, whoa, WHOA. I have got to hear this one!
posted by wenestvedt at 9:34 AM on October 23, 2014

When my dad was weak from chemo, he didn't get a cane. He fashioned himself a staff out of thick bamboo and glued a big amethyst from his mineral collection to the top of it. He walked around everywhere with this 5-foot wizard stick, and would hold it straight out horizontally in from of him when he wanted cross the road, a Moses in a fur hat parting the Red Sea of traffic.

He beat that cancer too. Beat it with a bamboo amethyst staff and the power of Dad-ness.
posted by Kabanos at 9:35 AM on October 23, 2014 [142 favorites]

The overly long joke explanation of the Cartesian plane which involved a woman made only of legs and which I've mercifully forgotten? Oh boy.

The punchline for my dad's favorite math joke is "The sons of the squaw on the hippopotamus are equal to the sons of the squaws on the other two hides."

Just thought I'd throw that out there for you.
posted by maryr at 9:39 AM on October 23, 2014 [9 favorites]

Not funny, but to me this is actully the most Dad thing:
Hector stretched his hands out for his son,
But the boy shrank back and clung to the breast
Of his richly-girdled nurse, crying out.
He was terrified at the sight of his own father,
terrified of the bronze helm with the fearful horse-hair plume.
Hector laughed, Andromache too.
And glorious Hector pulled his glittering helmet off
He set it on the ground. He kissed his dear son,
Holding him in his arms. Then he prayed.
This was his prayer to Zeus and the immortals:
"Zeus and all you other gods grant this my prayer.
Grant that my son, may grow up to be, like me
First among the Trojans, as strong and brave as me.
Grant that he may rule Troy with strength.
And grant that men shall say of him,
'He is a far better man than his father."
Iliad Book VI
posted by shothotbot at 9:40 AM on October 23, 2014 [33 favorites]

Oh, man, this brings up a vague memory of a folk singer -- I must have this recording SOMEWHERE -- who (this was at the height of mall culture) would threaten his daughter that if she didn't do X or Y, he would get a job... singing folk songs... AT THE MALL.

And then he would launch into various snippets of songs that would basically mortify any teenage girl in front of her friends. It was hilarious. I gotta find this again.
posted by tzikeh at 9:49 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

The first time I can remember feeling shame was watching my father ask a waitress if he could get a Henway.

OMG of pained recognition. OK, komara, what's a Henway?
posted by MonkeyToes at 9:50 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

I don't know if this is a Dad Story or just a My Dad Story, but it's the one I tell whenever I want to quickly sum up my dad's personality. He was an engineer at Marin General Hospital in the mid-90s, blue-collar, the guy who makes sure the air conditioning and the boilers and everything are in working order. So one day they were filming one of the opening scenes of the movie Jack (with Robin Williams) there, and they needed someone from the hospital to be there to make sure the lights were working and stuff, but generally just to stand there and wait around and make sure nothing went wrong. Somehow my dad was chosen for this, and so he stands there for a while watching the crews setting up and people running around, and all the ego and inefficiency and whatnot that's generally on display at a film shoot, and getting crankier and crankier as the hours drag on, and finally he goes up to some other guy who's standing around by himself and says "Geez, this film stuff is all a bunch of bullshit, huh?" thinking he'll be sympathetic. Instead the guy got really offended and walked off.

Yeah, it was the director. And I just looked up that movie, curious for the first time since I've been re-telling that story who the director actually was, and it was Francis Ford Coppola. Oops.
posted by sunset in snow country at 9:53 AM on October 23, 2014 [35 favorites]

The first time I can remember feeling shame was watching my father ask a waitress if he could get a Henway.

Hold all my calls, I have to go find my dad and deploy updog on him.
posted by clavicle at 9:54 AM on October 23, 2014 [10 favorites]

what's a Henway?

about 4 to 6 lbs
posted by fimbulvetr at 9:55 AM on October 23, 2014 [12 favorites]

This thread is like a reverse basilisk where if you read it you will one day torture a super-intelligent offspring with it.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:57 AM on October 23, 2014 [8 favorites]

I grew up in a broken home and have a somewhat pained relationship with my own parents, but it seems to be a universal Law of Nature that You Shall Not Escape The Dad-ness... because I married a man 11 years my junior and we have no kids but OH MY GOD THE DAD JOKES from the mister, they never end. His favorite by far is "you make a better door than a window", and "you called?" anytime I say something like "oh Jesus Christ", etc...

theory: every individual is allocated a sum total of Dad-ness in their life span and my husband is merely making up for lost time on my account.

posted by lonefrontranger at 9:59 AM on October 23, 2014 [4 favorites]

O haha I forgot my dad loved to pull into cul-de-sacs and drive around 5 or 6 times to make us dizzy, laughing hysterically.

When he wanted to say "Big deal" he would hold his hands out from each other ("big") and then mime dealing cards.

He also whistled along to the radio. THROUGH HIS DENTURES. That is a sound you will not forget. I'm pretty sure it made dogs howl two counties over.
posted by emjaybee at 10:00 AM on October 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

First joke I recall my dad telling me:

Q: What goes up white and comes down yellow?
A: An egg....*dad makes motion of throwing egg up against ceiling* and "Splat!" sound*

I hate this joke but I also love it and always share it with people when we talk about any Dad-things.
posted by Fizz at 10:01 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Other, slightly less epic Dad things my dad did: answer "Lou's Liver Palace" whenever we asked where we were having dinner (we were invariably on the way to either Round Table Pizza or Sizzler, and I think I was 10 before I realized Lou's Liver Palace wasn't a real restaurant), blaming farts on spiders (I CAN'T BELIEVE OTHER DADS DO THIS! IT'S SO WEIRD!), coming into whatever room my friends and I were hanging out in and treating us to his banjo rendition of "She'll Be Coming Round The Mountain" (only in the last few years have I come to appreciate this one).
posted by sunset in snow country at 10:04 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

This thread is gonna be my surrogate father from now on.
posted by forgetful snow at 10:07 AM on October 23, 2014 [16 favorites]

The punchline for my dad's favorite math joke is "The sons of the squaw on the hippopotamus are equal to the sons of the squaws on the other two hides."

Man, my dad loved that along with ones ending "People who live in grass houses shouldn't stow thrones" and "the koala tea at Mercy is never strained".

Mr. Coffeespoons favorite is Kid: "when are we getting to xxx place?" Dad: "We're there. Get out." as we whiz along the interstate.
posted by Measured Out my Life in Coffeespoons at 10:08 AM on October 23, 2014 [9 favorites]

Aw geez, I actually think this is my dad's biggest dad thing: My dad has these things with birthday cards. On his kids' birthdays, he expects a "thank you" card. If you forget, he'll call and ask why he didn't get one. Also, my mom will call to ask what I want for my birthday, and then my dad will take the phone to tell me what he wants for his "thank-you present."

And sometimes instead of birthday cards, he'll send us "Congratulations!" cards, and inside will be a congratulations message on being born with a father like him.

For everyone in his life, my dad takes birthday and holiday cards that people sent to him, crosses out and replaces the relevant information, crosses out just the names in the message, and and then sends them back on your birthday.

So everybody gets cards like this:
Front: Happy Father's Day birthday, Dad Daughter
Inside written message: Hey Dad barchan, Have a great father's day, we can't wait to see you next week! We hope you like your new ax. Tell Mom to give you a hug from us. We love you, [barchan spouse] & barchan Daddy

If you write something like, "so lucky to have a dad like you," he'll also write "damn straight" or "don't you forget it" in the margin.
posted by barchan at 10:13 AM on October 23, 2014 [25 favorites]

I grew up in New Orleans. One year some friends from out of state came to visit us for Mardi Gras. My dad convinced their 4-year-old daughter that he had personally arranged all the parades specifically for her. "Is there going to be a parade today?" she'd ask him in the morning. "I'll see what I can do."

He once carved a face in a radish and called it a jack-o-radish.

When he started a garden in the back yard he called it "The North-West 4-thousandth" (as in, .004 of an acre).

Referred to crossword puzzles as "crossperd wuzzles".

Watching Alien with my parents:
Mom: who is that?
Dad: Ripley, believe it or not

When I was a kid I saw this thing on HBO about Nostradamus that scared the bejeezus out of me. I made my dad stay in my room until I fell asleep that night and he told me I was too big to be scared like that. Years later he tells me that special came on again an he watched it and he owed me an apology because it was scary as hell.

My dad passed away in 2011 and our relationship was complicated, but I definitely remember some dad things about him.
posted by Legomancer at 10:14 AM on October 23, 2014 [14 favorites]

"the koala tea at Mercy is never strained".

Oh no...

"Now has the vintner of our discotheque made Gloria's summer by this ton of pork."

Anyone remember the (extremely long and involved) set-up?
posted by tzikeh at 10:15 AM on October 23, 2014 [5 favorites]

Says "okey-dokey, back to Skokie" almost every time we get in the car (he is from Skokie, IL). Relatedly, taught us all the Chicago Bears fight song as small children.

Forwards me via email almost anything he can think of that is relevant to things I might have said I liked once, including a list from Yelp of "3 Restaurants in DC that Serve Poutine"

Claims to be 35 on every birthday.

Deliberately refers to birds as "boids" occasionally.

I wrote a poem about the 3rd of July when I was 8 or 9 years old, and every July 3 he calls me up to recite it.
posted by capricorn at 10:17 AM on October 23, 2014 [20 favorites]

Oh no, I have another one. My best friend recently graduated from her nutrition program in Kansas, and her parents and I flew out from California to celebrate. Her dad (who is Brazilian, with a very thick accent) loves to chat with waitresses and tell them dad jokes and sample new beers, so when we went to an Irish pub with an extensive beer list, he squinted over it for a few moments and asked if he could please try a sample of the Keystone Light. The waitress was like "Uhhhh... the Keystone Light, sir?" clearly not sure if he was messing with her or not. My friend goes "DAD, you're such an idiot, that's a crappy cheap beer for college kids!" He'd just chosen the cheapest one on the list, which he had never heard of. We cracked up over that one for quite a while.

The very next evening, at a Texas Roadhouse: "Excuse me, could I please try a sample of this... err... PBR?"
posted by sunset in snow country at 10:17 AM on October 23, 2014 [6 favorites]

Oh yes, his response to "I'm hungry" is always "hi hungry, I'm David" as well.
posted by capricorn at 10:18 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]



I think his most Dad thing is that he gives the worst presents in the world (a lot of As Seen on TV! stuff, a sweatshirt with a decal of kittens in a basket when I was 14, etc).

he is the greatest Dad in the world and he will never experience sickness or death

Yes (even though right now my dad is having back surgery, so this thread is making me a little sniffly).
posted by amarynth at 10:20 AM on October 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

I just realized I have two of these already which my kids are too young to appreciate (and which my wife hates):

1. At a restaurant, never order by the short title (especially if it's something stupid like 'Rooty Tooty Fresh n' Frooty' or 'Grandpa's Favorite'), but always say 'Oh, I think I'll have the [long description of meal contents].'

2. Picking up fast food, when they recite your order back to you before handing you your food, say, 'Ooh, that sounds delicious, I'll have that!'
posted by resurrexit at 10:21 AM on October 23, 2014 [5 favorites]

Dad songs! Dad songs are the best:
They asked me how I knew raccoon shit is bluuuuuuuue
Horseshit, I reply
Bullshit you've been fed
Raccoon shit is red

posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 10:26 AM on October 23, 2014

"Now has the vintner of our discotheque made Gloria's summer by this ton of pork."

Opporknockity tunes but once!
posted by KathrynT at 10:30 AM on October 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

Opporknockity tunes but once!

Hugh, and only Hugh, can prevent florist friars.
posted by ogooglebar at 10:32 AM on October 23, 2014 [5 favorites]

My dad would always suggest that instead of vacuuming we should just lay down newspaper everywhere, then for cleaning we would just peel it up and put down a new layer. My mom always vetoed that idea.
posted by ckape at 10:35 AM on October 23, 2014 [8 favorites]

Magical Mystery Tours - on family trips my dad would almost never take the straight route anywhere, he preferred to take the "scenic" route, by which he meant whatever wasn't the freeway and may take us some place interesting. It is a family tradition that I have inherited and use with my family now too.
posted by Vindaloo at 10:36 AM on October 23, 2014 [6 favorites]

he preferred to take the "scenic" route, by which he meant whatever wasn't the freeway and may take us some place interesting.

It's an "adventure."

Getting lost is always an adventure.
posted by dlugoczaj at 10:43 AM on October 23, 2014 [5 favorites]

Any middle-aged white man I happen to see in the 5'4"-5'10" range wearing a polo shirt tucked into khaki shorts with a belt will instantly make me think "oh hey it's my dad"
posted by agress at 10:44 AM on October 23, 2014

Oh yes, Dad songs. Ahem.

Rudolf the red-eared reindeer
Had a very shiny ear
And if you ever saw it
You would say that it's quite clear

Rudolf the reindeer couldn't hear
Because he had a light bulb in his ear
The light was red and now he's dead
And that's the end of my sto-ry!

posted by Legomancer at 10:46 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Judging by the puns upstream, the Platonic ideal of a Dad joke must be Asimov's The Death Of A Foy.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:47 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

"Hugh, and only Hugh, can prevent florist friars."

This discussion has brought up the painful memory about the Chinese rare wood importer who is having a problem with a burglar who leaves tiny footprints. One night he turns on the lights to see a gigantic bear walking through his warehouse with a slab of wood under its arm - except it has odd little human feet. So he shouts, "Stop! Stop, you boy-foot bear with teak of Chan!"

I'm 95% positive my dad told me that one, and I re-told some version of it faithfully for years without ever knowing the reference.
posted by komara at 10:52 AM on October 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

Where I come from, they're not barking spiders, they're Texas Crickets.
posted by blnkfrnk at 10:52 AM on October 23, 2014

"Now has the vintner of our discotheque made Gloria's summer by this ton of pork."

This reminded me of the finale of My Word!, which my dad would listen to on our NPR station every Sunday afternoon (these would have been reruns from the 60s and 70s played in the 80s and 90s), and from that Wikipedia page I learned that this sort of thing is called a feghoot, so that's my day made.
posted by clavicle at 10:52 AM on October 23, 2014 [9 favorites]

My dad started a database (don't forget he used Multimate till Windows 95 put a stop to it) on nuclear family - 1, extended family - 2, friends -3, acquaintances/business/connections - 4 with all their information back in the middle of the 1980s, around the time he registered a business called NMP Tech (No More Paper Tech).

The result:

1. Everyone gets a birthday greeting and thinks he's the greatest when actually its his calender system and sometimes even he doesn't know anymore who is who (he's the eldest of 9 siblings and great granduncle many times over). Ditto with wedding anniversaries, festivals and New Years. Until this century, we'd have a houseful of New Year cards from Japan, Germany, California or The Philippines etc.

2. "The Printout" - there's a printout of all phone numbers, by name and code, in its own binder next to every phone in the house. Yes, his house has its own internal PABX system for internal calls and no its not that big.

The downside?

Receiving Happy Anniversary emails for a couple of years after my separation and divorce till I deleted that damn entry in dBase IV
posted by infini at 10:53 AM on October 23, 2014 [15 favorites]

Some dad incidents:

  • When I was very young, I had a condition involving my sternocleidomastoid muscle that could be corrected (after a surgery) by me sleeping on one side of my face instead of the other. I'd always fall asleep and then move into the wrong position. So, he took a small plastic pipe and screwed my hair into it on the side of my head that I shouldn't be sleeping. I didn't sleep on it because it's uncomfortable to sleep on a tiny plastic pipe. Later on, he substituted Lego bricks.

  • While fairly progressive for a Korean man of his age, he never learned to cook and still believes it's not worth learning to cook. The only thing he ever voluntarily cooked was a weird fried cheese thing that smelled so bad it would literally drive me out of the house. Literally, he'd butter up a pan, then fry American cheese in it until it was hard-ish discs. He and my sister loved it. He also had trouble making us Spaghetti-Os. When my mom went on a trip, he had to call her up to ask for guidance because he had added tons of water for some reason, and the pot boiled over. Recently, when my mom went overseas to help my sister with a new baby, my mom left him with pre-made rice that he could just scoop microwave. He was so bizarrely intimidated by even that level of cooking that he instead went to the grocery store to buy sushi. He is both cheap and hates sashimi. He just did it so he could eat the rice.

  • In high school, I started playing guitar. I spent a lot of time struggling to play thrash metal. If you've heard this stuff, it's intricate in some particular ways, but tends to lean heavily on the palm-muted low E. He didn't really get metal, and so took a shrugging sort of attitude toward it. Sometimes, he'd walk in and do an impression of me that was literally just "DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING". Which, you know, was fairly accurate in a sense. Or he'd say, "Why not play some other notes?"
posted by ignignokt at 10:56 AM on October 23, 2014 [5 favorites]

Trying to get a refund for the kids at the store (this one's defective!), or asking how much for the cute little girl found in aisle 3 (point to daughter).
posted by Vindaloo at 11:04 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

For years my dad pranked my sister and I every year by calling us up in December and pretending that something horrible had happened, only to reveal that he was once again unfairly passed over for Time's Person of the Year. For a few years now I've gotten the jump on him, and there is nothing more satisfying than dad-joking your own dad.
posted by troika at 11:06 AM on October 23, 2014 [8 favorites]

My dad used to regularly tell me that I "could be replaced by a button." He would never explain what he meant. He just used it as this catchall looming threat: be a good son, or I will have you replaced by automation. At least I think it was that kind of button, he never would say.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:06 AM on October 23, 2014 [6 favorites]

Back when answering machines were still a thing, my dad and I (who share the same sense of humor) used to delight in creating the goofiest outgoing answering machine messages we could. (My dad even got a book of ideas at one point.) Things like "The Trismegistus family is all tied up at the moment. Please call 911 and ask them to send the police over right away" etc.

Our crowning achievement came in late 80s or early 90s, when we pieced together an electronic message from sound files downloaded from BBSes, which said, in the authentic telephone-lady voice: "The number you have dialed, [my phone number], has been changed. The new number is [Tarzan's yell]. Please make a note of it. BEEP."

We had to change it within a week because we didn't get any answering machine messages, but when we were home, we got a ton of calls saying "I think something is wrong with your phone..."
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 11:07 AM on October 23, 2014 [12 favorites]

When my dad burps, he says, "BURRRRRRRP" with the burp. Every time. (Naturally, my siblings and I all announce, "FARRRRRRRT")

Once he got in a battle of wits with a raccoon over our family trash cans that eventually ended in him pitching tennis balls (he has a wicked fastball) at the raccoon, missing, and knocking over the trash cans himself with the balls. We bought him a ping pong ball gun.

Also he likes to hustle people at ping pong.

And whenever there's cantaloupe at dinner: Why did the melon get married? Because he CAN'T ELOPE.

He refused to play "cat-and-mouse" with us as kids, insisting the game was "snake and mongoose."

Obviously I afflict my children similarly, especially the mongoose part.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:07 AM on October 23, 2014 [4 favorites]

Magical Mystery Tours - on family trips my dad would almost never take the straight route anywhere, he preferred to take the "scenic" route, by which he meant whatever wasn't the freeway and may take us some place interesting.

omg is this another Dad Thing? because my husband does that, too. here I thought it was just so he could get mostly-pretend-lost so we could kvetch back and forth whilst driving in circles about how lousy mobile service is in rural Colorado.
posted by lonefrontranger at 11:08 AM on October 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

Once he got in a battle of wits with a raccoon over our family trash cans that eventually ended in him pitching tennis balls (he has a wicked fastball) at the raccoon, missing, and knocking over the trash cans himself with the balls.

My dad's battle with the racoons ended when he bungee corded cinder blocks to the top of the trash cans, only to discover that the racoons had dragged the cans into the woods, ripped out the sides, and eaten the garbage inside.

Thinking about it, a lot of my stories about my dad involve bungee cords.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:10 AM on October 23, 2014 [7 favorites]

We bought him a ping pong ball gun.

A what-a-what? How much are these things and where can I find one? and is it too late to add one to the wedding registry
posted by backseatpilot at 11:10 AM on October 23, 2014 [4 favorites]

What is it with dads and bungee cords? They're like dad mana potions or something.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 11:13 AM on October 23, 2014 [11 favorites]

I assume it is a replacement for baling wire. My dad would make big talk of the trinity of duct tape, baling wire, and wd-40, but I never knew him to actually use baling wire.
posted by ckape at 11:17 AM on October 23, 2014

Omg yes, the bungee cords! And zip ties!

As well as many of the fine specimens of dad jokes described above, my dad is known for:

1) Shooting squirrels with super soakers (as well as the evil neighbourhood cat)
2) Using the verb "fondle" as a general synonym for touch. As in, "Don't fondle all the apples, just pick one!" I think my mom got him to stop when my sister and I started doing it too.

I have awesome parents. I aspire to be just like them.
posted by quaking fajita at 11:19 AM on October 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

This reminds me that I can't wait to embarrass my daughter with this one.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:22 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Every Sunday, until we hit our teens and we yelled stop, he'd try and take us to the zoo or the museum if there weren't already plans with other families.

It wasn't till my thirties that I realized how very lucky I was to have a father who'd be home by 5.30pm if he wasn't traveling, called home everyday if he was, *wanted* to take us to zoos and museums and malls even if he preferred to sit in a shady spot and eat ice cream and wait. So what if he wasn't as articulate or demonstrative as TV dads seemed to be. He never drank alone and I've never heard him swear, except once, when he said bloody out loud.

[insert inarticulate strangled silence of realization of a lifetime, distance and time zones and encroaching age here]
posted by infini at 11:23 AM on October 23, 2014 [16 favorites]

"Relatedly, taught us all the Chicago Bears fight song as small children."

Ha! My childhood lullaby from my dad was the Notre Dame Fight Song. (My mom would sing us a song about a bar fight, that HER dad used to sing HER.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:27 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

(When he was only mildly irritated by us kids):

"Sprechen si Deutsch? Shutten zi up!"

A million times:
Dad: You've got skookin on your chin.
Victim: What's skookin?
Dad: Not much. What's cooking with you?
posted by young_simba at 11:33 AM on October 23, 2014 [3 favorites]

Dad mild surprise: "You're kidding!"
Dad moderate surprise: "I don't believe it!"
Dad mind-blowing amazement: "Manischewitz!"
posted by crepesofwrath at 11:35 AM on October 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

Once we were on a car trip, and after everybody had been silent a while due to boredom, my dad asked, "How about some music?" Sure, we said, and he immediately started singing some obnoxious thing in the loudest possible voice.
posted by jinjo at 11:37 AM on October 23, 2014 [9 favorites]

omg is this another Dad Thing? because my husband does that, too. here I thought it was just so he could get mostly-pretend-lost so we could kvetch back and forth whilst driving in circles about how lousy mobile service is in rural Colorado.

Honey ? I didn't know you got a Mefi account....
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:42 AM on October 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

Oh, how could I forget the (all too often) occurrence of my father trying to perk up the family after a long day by doing jumping jacks? Just, anywhere, like the lobby of a restaurant? Or waiting in line for a ride at Disney World? "Some exercise will help with that tiredness!" He'd tell us, and immediately start jumping jacks. "Come on, come on!" He'd encourage us.
posted by backseatpilot at 11:43 AM on October 23, 2014 [6 favorites]

"Barking spiders" is still the best possible euphemism for farting. Thanks dad.

Once I got old enough to go caving with him, my dad started blaming farts on cave crickets.

His favorite phrase (apart from, "Oh, for crying out loud!") is "Your legs aren't painted on!"

Made up this song, to the tune of "A Ram Sam Sam":

I've got a hand, I've got a hand,
It's very much larger than my other hand!
I've got a hand, I've got a hand,
It's very much larger than my other hand!
It's very much larger than my other hand!
It's very much larger than my other hand!
posted by chainsofreedom at 11:43 AM on October 23, 2014 [3 favorites]

he immediately started singing some obnoxious thing in the loudest possible voice
I so do that every time my kids ask for music in the car.
posted by fimbulvetr at 11:44 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

My dad passed away when I was a toddler. I barely remember him, although I have heard a story about him convincing my older sister that a photograph of a gorilla was, in fact, him as a young man.

This is a great thread. I hope, someday, when I have children and they are grown enough to appreciate such things, that my kids say stuff like this about me. I'm getting some ideas, here.
posted by breakin' the law at 11:53 AM on October 23, 2014 [3 favorites]

Dad songs! Dad songs are the best:

Don't spit on the floor:
Use the cuspidor,
That's what it's for!
posted by Daily Alice at 11:58 AM on October 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

To encourage the usage of utensils at the dinner table: "Humans are tool users!"
posted by quaking fajita at 11:59 AM on October 23, 2014 [10 favorites]

Was my dad the only one who did "pull my finger" when he was about to fart?
posted by Cocodrillo at 12:11 PM on October 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

"Pardon me, Roy, is that the cat who ate your new shoes?"
posted by newper at 12:13 PM on October 23, 2014 [7 favorites]

I love this thread! Some of these are definitely things my dad (or friends' dads) would do. Other are things I do to my daughter (or will the next chance I get).

Among other idiosyncrasies my dad had very definite ideas about appropriate use of the phone. For example, you never answered the phone while eating dinner. "If it's important they'll call back" (this was the pre-answering machine era). He also really disliked leaving messages on answering machines for some reason. Not to long after I got my first answering machine I missed a call because I was busy washing my hands or something. Whoever it was didn't leave a message so I went on about my business. About an hour later I got another call. It was dad, saying his car had a dead battery at K-mart (his favorite store) and could I come give him a jump start. "Sure, I'll be there in a few minutes." "Can you stop by the house and get me on the way?" "What are you doing there?" "I called earlier but no one answered so I walked home." So my father had walked home two miles in the rain rather than leave a message on my answering machine.
posted by TedW at 12:20 PM on October 23, 2014 [13 favorites]


Let me give you a lecture on punctuality, young lady, and respecting somebody's precious time.
posted by infini at 12:24 PM on October 23, 2014

Rudolf the Red knows rain, dear.
A bowling Stone lathers no boss.
I don't know his name but his face rings a bell./He's a dead ringer for his brother.
posted by carmicha at 12:33 PM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

"I have to tease you! Or you won't grow bigger!"
posted by Omnomnom at 12:35 PM on October 23, 2014 [3 favorites]

My lullaby for all four kids was "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."

Whenever I call my brother John at work, when he answers I say "I'd like to order a pizza." Since he, too, is a Dad, and son of our father, he often replies in character.

When my kids won't do what I ask, I often start singing an endless song about the situation. I have discovered that I can produce more verses of this than they can withstand, despite few other real creative impulses. (Like, "This is the song/That never ends./ I'll sing it untiiiiiil/Your behavior mends./ And you come innnnn/ To brush your teeeeeeth/ because cavitieeeeees/ Make the dentist weep.") The other day one of the kids saw a younger one being intransigent, and himself started singing, "This is the soooong that never ennnnnnnnds." But I made him stop because it was making his little sister mad and also, you don't steal another guy's routine.

I have about one million of these, and they bring light to my life.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:40 PM on October 23, 2014 [21 favorites]

When I asked my dad where he met my mother he told me he found her behind a tree. They met in northern Minnesota, so I thought this was probable. I did not figure out it was a joke until I was in my 20s.
posted by Kimberly at 12:46 PM on October 23, 2014 [17 favorites]

My dad loves ice cream, and hasn't got the patience to wait until it has softened a bit after taking it out of the freezer. He'll always attack it with a spoon, claiming to be careful. Every single spoon in the house is slightly bent.
posted by Harald74 at 1:24 PM on October 23, 2014 [7 favorites]

TedW: "Among other idiosyncrasies my dad had very definite ideas about appropriate use of the phone. "

As long as we're drifting into paternal strictness about manners ... my parents would not allow me to go out to a car that honked. This was pre-cell-phones. My friends were expected to pull up, stop the car, get out, and come knock on the door. If they honked in the driveway I was not allowed to leave the house until they came to the door. My good friends knew this but casual friends tended to forget, leading to an escalating situation where they honk LOUUUUUDER and LOOOOONGER to try to get me to come out of the house and I cringe faaaaaarther and faaaaaaarther back into my own spine with embarrasment and anger and frustration with my inability to send psychic messages to them to stop honking while my parents frowns grew deeper and more scowl-like as the honking increased.

My parents did very little during my teen years that was cringeworthy, and my house was a preferred hang-out spot because my parents were so nice (not "cool" parents but friendly to my friends, reliable providers of snacks and pizzas, tolerant of hijinks, and strict about anything straying beyond hijinks), but OH THE HORN RULE. I wanted the floor to swallow me, every time.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:29 PM on October 23, 2014 [6 favorites]

My dad named all his fingers after spiders for my brother's and my amusement, all with Russian names. (Natasha, Igor, Ivan, etc.). He'd go in to tickle my brother and I saying things like "Natasha's coming to get you, look out there's Misha!" We even had a little chart with the names marked on each finger. The spider game was serious business.

My mom unearthed the chart recently, and I asked her why the Russian names.

"Well, it started because of 'Boris the Spider' and he just decided to go with it from there."

Mind. Blown.
posted by ActionPopulated at 1:34 PM on October 23, 2014 [5 favorites]

He writes his initials on everything!
CDs, DVDs, even cribbage boards from the dollar store!

So if anyone finds an item with the letters "CJW" in sharpie and no other identifying info, please let me know.
posted by wats at 1:35 PM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

I wanted the floor to swallow me, every time.

Why didn't you just WAIT OUTSIDE.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:44 PM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

"Now has the vintner of our discotheque made Gloria's summer by this ton of pork."

For those seeking an archive of dad humor...I suggest you devote a few hours to Tarzan's Tripes Forever, and Other Feghoots. No, don't thank me. Just go forth, every father's pun, and spread the good word.

Henway. Heh.
posted by MonkeyToes at 1:44 PM on October 23, 2014 [7 favorites]

I live a couple of continents away from my family. When I nearly set fire to the house by igniting olive oil in a pot, I knew enough to save the pot, covered with its thick layer of oily soot, until my parents came to visit 6 months later. Yep, my dad set to it right away with soap and scrubbers and steel wool and sandpaper and so on and so forth... That was his perfect project.

> Henway. Heh.

(Oh, and do you have a dorfor?)
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:07 PM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

> Henway. Heh.

One day in Study Hall :

me : (whispering) Hey, Alice, you have a dickfor on your forhead.
Alice: What ?
Me : right here, on your forehead. It's a dickfor.
Alice. What ? Where ? What are you talking about ?
Me : You have a dickfor. On your forehead.
Alice : (shouting) What the hell is a dickfor ???
Teacher : Alice! we won't discuss those things here!
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 2:14 PM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Whenever he goes to kiss his sweetie, my dad says "Look! An eagle!" and points off in the distance to distract onlookers.

When I was a small child, my dad drove a beat-up old truck with no radio. We would sing (loudly and off-key) the themes to old cartoons for music. Whenever we sang the theme to "Underdog", he would punch the roof of the cab for percussion.

My dad had a website about his van in 1997.
posted by yomimono at 2:28 PM on October 23, 2014 [8 favorites]

She's asking for Moms now.
posted by maryr at 2:44 PM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

My dad's favorite weather joke:

Caesar stood before the crowd, held up his hands for silence, and said, "I have reigned over you for ten years, and it's no joke."

And the crowd replied, "Hail, Caesar!"
posted by current resident at 2:53 PM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

My father is 5'8" and long-torsoed.

AKA "suffers from Duck's Disease" (short legs relative to torso).
posted by russm at 3:08 PM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

One year we got a lot of snow and my dad and I (mostly my dad) built a snow fort by stuffing 5 gallon buckets with snow and using them like bricks. It was igloo-shaped and then one end looked funny so he added a snout, ears and icicle fangs and thus it became the Pigloo. I don't know why the pig had fangs.

We also have a picture of me as a toddler in a snowsuit stuffed armpit-deep in a snowbank. By my dad.

He has lots of his own vocabulary, like many dads I gather. "Are you gonna look that up on the 'puter?" "Gonna pour some 'crete tomorrow, hope it sets good." Anyone who ticks him off is a "honyocker." I had to look that last one up. It's some old slang for a failed farmer/homesteader. Every now and then I'll find myself exclaiming "That honyocker!" and no one has any idea what I'm talking about.

His feet get cold easily and he has a physical job standing on concrete floors. He has a whole system of socks and shoes that he rotates through during the day, warming the pairs he's not wearing by hanging them off sticks strapped to his wood stove.

He never goes back to the doctor to have his stitches removed. His idea of a relaxing weekend is chopping wood or moving rocks. The last time he chopped up some green wood he told me he weighed a few representative logs and that he calculated he'd moved 2,000 pounds of wood in three days, something crazy like that.
posted by purple_bird at 3:09 PM on October 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

Dad would make a random compliment about someone's shirt, then rub the fabric with his fingers. "What is this, felt? Well, it is now!"

Our old Dodge station wagon had a warning light if a door opened while the engine was running. It said "DOOR IS AJAR." Dad: "The door is a jar? I thought it was a door."

Me: "I'm hungry."
Dad: "Nice to meet you, Hungry. I'm Daddy."

That's just off the top of my head.
posted by zardoz at 3:12 PM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

he preferred to take the "scenic" route,

It's an "adventure."

With my dad it was always "the secret way."
posted by jaruwaan at 3:22 PM on October 23, 2014 [7 favorites]

Also I described a potential travel route today as "interesting," meaning both "there may be more to see than there would be on the interstate" and "We'll be going through the backcountry so we may get murdered by yokels."

I also wear sandals and oversized fishing shirts...

oh my god

I'm the dad.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 3:25 PM on October 23, 2014 [10 favorites]

For a while, I somehow ended up being the praise group leader* at the Methodist church I attended. Now my dad was raised Southern Baptist and grew up knowing a lot of hymns. And parody versions of hymns, that he proceeded to teach to his daughters (along with all the words to the Georgia Tech fight song). Many of these, I learned the parody version without ever actually learning the proper song. For example:

At the bar, at the bar, where I smoked my first cigar
And the money in my pockets rolled away.
It was there by chance that I tore my Sunday pants
And now I have to wear them every day.

I was unaware that this was based on a hymn until our pastor chose At the Cross as one of the songs to be sung one Sunday. I had to struggle the whole time not to sing the words I'd originally learned, while my dad sat in the congregation, grinning and clearly mouthing the parody version.

He also used to pretend that he was a pizza parlor when I'd call to get a ride after play practice at high school and his favorite joke is: "What's brown and sounds like a bell? Dunnnnnnggg!"

*I am a pagan but I was attending church with my parents as a group activity and I like to sing hymns. The previous praise group leader had left due to Church Drama (involving the rummage sale, a lay leader sermon that didn't go over well with Certain Members of the congregation, and a series of anonymous letters presumably from those Certain Members) and I was the only one left who could read music. I quit a few years later after an extremely stressful Christmas pageant directed by a woman with no musical knowledge who thought I could teach 6 songs with 3-part harmony in two rehearsals. It was a whole big weird thing.
posted by darchildre at 3:33 PM on October 23, 2014 [5 favorites]

My Dad could never remember what grade I was in while at school or what my major in Engineering was and would always ask me if I had good grades no matter what time of the year it was. This being India, when my mother found I had a girl friend (in college no less) and told on me, his stern ultimatum - your grades better not fall down or there is no girl friend business in this house.

Would always bring water from rivers of the cities or villages he visited. "you city folk do not know what good water tastes like"

Would get in to the bedroom and sing very loudly in the morning to wake us up because sleeping in late even on a weekend was a sign of some huge character deficiency and any complaints were met with "trust me you will thank me later."
posted by viramamunivar at 3:42 PM on October 23, 2014 [10 favorites]

it was very much like Calvin's dad saying everything builds "character".

Shout out for Calvin's dad. He got a pretty good zinger in every once in while.
posted by ovvl at 3:44 PM on October 23, 2014 [4 favorites]

You guys, my dad is out of surgery and awake and everything went well! So he will never experience sickness or death starting riiiight... NOW!
posted by amarynth at 4:07 PM on October 23, 2014 [20 favorites]

purple_bird, I think your dad might be Ron Swanson, have you ever had 52 pounds of bacon mysteriously go missing...?
posted by jetlagaddict at 4:13 PM on October 23, 2014

At some point in his life, my dad decided that what the world needs more of is crafts made of popsicle sticks and wine corks. As a result of this decision, the homes of my parents, siblings, and extended relatives are strewn with assorted tchotchkes: Christmas wreaths made out of corks, bowls, boxes, hot plates, you name it.

The best part? He doesn't go out and buy the popsicle sticks and corks from a craft store. No, he eats lots of popsicles and drinks lots of wine ("it's for my hot plate, you know") and then painstakingly cleans and saves the sticky, sometimes broken, items that result.

So I have a hot plate sitting on my kitchen table right now. My dad shipped it all the way to Australia from the US. It is slightly falling apart (from the shipping) and some of the corks are discoloured or slightly misshapen (from, you know, having been on wine bottles). And we don't even use hot plates, so it's just taking up space. My partner thinks I'm a little crazy for keeping it there.

But man, I love that thing. I miss my dad.
posted by forza at 4:21 PM on October 23, 2014 [8 favorites]

My dad has always driven a Dodge minivan. Even when he has a company truck, his minivan is his favorite means of conveyance. Modern minivans have a hundred nooks and cubbies, and there will be a pocket knife in every one of them. We joke that he’ll get into an accident and die – Cause of death? Forty-five stab wounds.

My dad calls me on the phone, tells me what he wants, and asks me to buy it for him on Amazon. Then he mails me a check. Feels so wrong.

My dad has cycled through several “words of wisdom” phrases he uses any time one of us kids is leaving: “Be smart” became “Be Smart. Be Good.”

My dad once called his cell phone carrier to complain about free 411 going away. When the customer service rep answered the phone, my dad started in with “Well god damn it…” before the poor CSR could even say “Hello.”

My dad calls my younger brother when he and my mom can’t figure out the TV. It’s usually just on the wrong input, or the cable box is off, but before my brother can instruct my dad on what buttons to pushed, dad has already mashed every button on the remote and switched the language to Chinese or something. This is all my brother’s fault.

During this same “want to watch TV but can’t figure it out” episode, got furious when those of us listening in the background shouted to suggest he try reading a book instead.

My dad would encourage us to run down the hall after a pre-bedtime bath yelling “SPEEEEEEEED!!!!!! SHAMMY!!!!!!!!!”

My dad is looking forward being old and being admitted to the hospital. He will request that he be served rainbow sherbet on pear halves every hour on the hour or he will not pay anything for his hospital stay. He has told many people this.

My dad was born in 1958. He’s used computers for longer than I’ve been alive, and he’s a quick study for so many other things – why has he gotten so cantankerous already?
posted by Coffeemate at 4:28 PM on October 23, 2014 [5 favorites]

"Dad, I'm hungry."

"Hi, hungry, nice to meet you."

Dad died when I was eight, so I don't have too many dad stories, but this is the thing I remember best. <3
posted by epersonae at 4:45 PM on October 23, 2014 [5 favorites]

Another Dad song! This one is kinda sweet though . . .

My dad used to call me Sarah Sponda (after the song), because when I was an infant, he used to sing it to me while he bathed me. Except he would sing:

Sarah Sponda
Sarah Sponda
Sarah Sponda's wet wet wet!
posted by chainsofreedom at 5:07 PM on October 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

Whenever my father-in-law left an answering machine message (and later, voice mail) he would always state the time he called and then translate it to our local time, which usually took longer than the actual message.

"Hi, it's Daddy. It's four o'clock here, so that makes it, um, what, six o'clock there. Wait, it's Daylight Savings Time, so it's--no, wait, Arizona doesn't change, so it's seven o'clock there. Yeah, seven o'clock. Nothing special, just wanted to say 'Hi.' Love you."

Every time we told him that the machine timestamps messages, he would chuckle and promptly forget it.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:50 PM on October 23, 2014 [6 favorites]

Oh! My dad leaves the most terrifying voicemails. I'm already mildly irritates that someone left me voicemail. Then he says, "Atomicstone, it's your father. Please call me back" in this weird stern voice. I figure I owe him money (but from when?) or someone is dead. I am not returning THAT call. When we finally connect it ends up that he just wanted to say hi and chat. WTF, Dad?
posted by atomicstone at 5:55 PM on October 23, 2014 [7 favorites]

Transporting a coil over dead lions for immoral porpoises.
posted by Sebmojo at 5:57 PM on October 23, 2014

my dad's -isms:

- whenever I would ask him what something we owned cost to obtain, he'd say "A dollar three eighty!"; the illogic of which drove me completely bananas as a young kid

- whenever I questioned WHY a certain parental decision had been made (bedtime, tv choices, whatever) he'd say "there's no reason for it; it's just our policy"

- on the interstate in michigan, I think around lansing, southbound, there's a giant tire on the side of the road advertising uniroyal or bridgestone or whatever. He had me convinced for years that it had fallen off an airplane and landed there

- he used to tap me in the arse with his foot if I was at a urinal and scream "DON'T PEE ON YOUR HANDS"

- I am, in my 40s, still good friends with a few guys I knew in gradeschool and jr high, who all know a move called "Hearthpig's dad swimming at the beach": wade in to just below the knees, hands on hips, belly waaay out, and exhale hoooo through clenched teeth with puffed out cheeks. Still gets busted out every time we go camping.

Dad died in 2010. He'd like this thread a lot.
posted by hearthpig at 5:57 PM on October 23, 2014 [13 favorites]

When my sister and I were kids, we built a snowman, but someone stole it. My dad then helped us build the hugest snowman ever, that would be impossible to move.

He also put a "If you don't like forestry, try using plastic bags as toilet paper" bumper sticker on his Prius.
posted by shortyJBot at 6:14 PM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

My dad likes to add my friends on Facebook.
posted by insufficient data at 6:22 PM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Meeting my first serious boyfriend:

Dad: Are you a cat person or a dog person?
BF: A dog person.
Dad: That's unfortunate.

He also blames farts (which he calls fluffs) on barking spiders. I thought he was the only person to do that!
posted by apricot at 6:48 PM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh, my dad. So Many Stories. But perhaps the best one was when he, my mother and I went camping. During the night, a raccoon got into our food and ate ONE of our three Hershey bars. Of course, my father sadly told 4 year-old me that the bad raccoon chose MY Hershey bar to steal.

My mother and father both gave me half of their candy, so I came out to the good, but man was I upset that the raccoon could be so mean to me.
posted by thebrokedown at 7:18 PM on October 23, 2014 [5 favorites]

I look very much like my father. When I was 16 I announced my intentions to one day get a nose job. Dad said What's wrong with my nose?
posted by space_cookie at 7:41 PM on October 23, 2014 [4 favorites]

When 17 I saved enough money to fly to Dallas for a comic convention. On landing back in Albuquerque, I was greeted by a large contingent of families all waiting to reunite with loved ones, my family waiting to greet me, and waaaaaaaaaay in the back, my father wearing a foam Stetson 3 feet tall, holding a bunch of balloons that had "Happy Birthday Endotoxin!" emblazoned on them, and shouting my full birth name out at the top of his lungs that he was, in fact, "BACK HEEEEEERE!"
posted by endotoxin at 7:43 PM on October 23, 2014 [6 favorites]

My dad likes to add my friends on Facebook.

I work in a fairly close-knit industry so it's not at all uncommon for you to just add people because fuck it, maybe it's a friend of a friend or a useful contact. My friend's dad added me and my friend on Facebook and suddenly started showing up in People You May Know so it was a hoot to see like, the CEO of a major company is also friends with Joe's Dad or Joe's Dad popping up on industry discussion threads to chime in.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 7:44 PM on October 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

Now that I know my dad is reading this thread - hi Dad! - a high-water mark of dadness was when he was carrying me on his shoulders in the winter, and he stuck his COLD HANDS in the ankles of my snowsuit to warm them up.

There was also the time the face of his watch got foggy, so he put it in the oven to dry it out.
posted by zeptoweasel at 8:38 PM on October 23, 2014

Whenever we were at the store he would find a bottle of the cleaning spray called Glass Plus, cover the Gl with his finger and then stand there waggling his bushy eyebrows and going "Huh? Huh?"

When he taught me how to shoot a gun, after he felt confident that I understood all the safety issues, he gave me a pack of firecrackers (fairly rural part of Long Island) and said "If the cops come, throw the gun in the bushes and just apologize for setting off firecrackers."

His favorite store was a dollar store called Cheap John's, his name was John, he would bellow "Honey, I'm home!" whenever we went in.

His go to cautionary warning was "Don't force it!", it was not always clear what "it" was or in what way it could be "forced".

God I miss him.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:01 PM on October 23, 2014 [6 favorites]

I could tell dad stories for days, my dad is like, a Grandmaster of Dad-ness. He is an actor, and embraced the role of The Dad with gusto and is only half-joking when he tells people the best thing about having kids is it means you've got a captive audience. But for now I'll stick to just the tale of The Dad and The Smartass Teenage Son, as perhaps a cautionary tale to the folks planning to make use of this thread on their own kids:

The scene: The dining room table, moments after a big holiday meal. Everyone in the family has just eaten so much they are completely stuffed and barely able to move.

My Dad (super-cheerfully): "Okay! Everyone out on the lawn for calisthenics!"

[Everyone groans, makes lame excuses, he a makes big show of sighing and shaking his head at us all for our lazy, slothful ways.]

Every time, for years. Years and years. Until eventually I got old enough to be a teenager who could eat basically infinite amounts of food and not be too full, and was also a giant smartass, so I decided to call his bluff. He did the usual, "Everyone out on the lawn for calisthenics!" and I hopped up from the table and said, "Okay! Let's go!" with my biggest, smuggest, I-gotcha-now grin. My dad, of course, took this in stride immediately, grinned back just as hard and stood up and said, "Great! Let's go!" and we went back and forth this way - "After you!" "No, no, after you!" all the way from the dining room to the back door, one step at a time, neither one of us backing down at all.

So we get to the door. It was Thanksgiving, late November, and not just cold outside, but cold, grey, and windy. On top of that, it had been steadily, relentlessly drizzling all day, with no sign of stopping. But I wasn't going to back down first, and he wasn't going to admit his perennial joke was a bluff, so much to the incredulity of everyone else in our entire extended family (all of whom gathered to peer out the kitchen windows and gawk at our incredible stupidity), there we found ourselves, out in the freezing rain on the muddy lawn doing jumping jacks until we were both wheezing, totally out of breath and soaked from head-to-toe by the rain, at which point both of us pretty much simultaneously agreed that was probably good enough and we both went back inside and (without either of us having dropped the act for even one second that this was all an eminently sensible, wise, and health-conscious idea) we made a big show out of sighing and shaking our heads at everyone else for their lazy, slothful ways.

We had a couple repeat performances while I was in high school, though never on a day when the weather was quite as awful as that first time. One time we somehow even got my younger brother to join in. Then when I went off to college my parents moved to a house with a gravel patio in the back and nothing but woods in the front, so for all the many years since they moved, my dad has changed up the routine to instead go, "Okay, everybody out on the lawn for calisthenics.....aww shucks [snaps fingers], we don't have a lawn. Next time!"
posted by mstokes650 at 9:03 PM on October 23, 2014 [17 favorites]

(Seriously, barking spiders....where the hell did that come from? I thought my dad made it up! Amazing.)

My dad shot himself in the foot with the BB gun he was using trying to keep the chipmunks off the porch at our cottage in Maine.

Sang "Once in Love with Amy" to me constantly when I was little (it was the 70s).

Wears suspenders with shorts.

"Love ya gutz" is a common endearment.

God I love my dad.
posted by tristeza at 10:01 PM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

milk = "moo juice" or "essence of cow nectar"

"You stop right now, or I'll beat you with your sister!"

various mispronunciations, like "la-ZAG-nee"

responses to inconsequential upset or distress:
"Into every life a little rain must fall."
"As they say in Mexico, 'el tougho shitto'."
"As they say in Moscow, 'toughski shitski'."

When it was time to leave, "Let's boogie" (with either dancing or finger-in-nose gesture. Usually not both).
Or "Let's went." (I use that one myself)

One winter, when I was maybe eleven or twelve, there was a horrible windstorm, and the roof had come loose at one corner in a previous storm (the house was old). Without time or money to put a new roof on the house, Dad had to improvise some way to keep the storm from tearing a chunk of roof off the house. So he drove nails into the beams of the roof, and into the uprights where the wall met the roof, in maybe two or three places, and wrapped coat hanger wire between the nails. He had called me up to the attic to help, which mostly meant to watch, as far as I could tell. I don't remember actually doing anything to help him; maybe I just held a loop of wire in place so it wouldn't pop off while he was getting it started. I do remember snow blowing in through the gap when the wind gusted, though. The noise of the wind and the urgency (and strangeness) of the situation made the whole thing feel like some kind of high-stakes adventure movie for what was probably only five minutes, but felt like much longer.

Another winter, snow had piled up on the porch roof, and to keep it from collapsing, he climbed out my bedroom window with a shovel. I still have a picture somewhere of Dad in his winter gear, standing in my window, shoveling out a place for himself to stand, bits of snow on my floor around his feet. There are other shots from outside, of him standing on the porch roof with a shovel, and snow up past his knees.

I've mentioned the Led Zeppelin thing before. Maybe not the "most Dad thing ever", but more of a true picture of the man, vs. a performance for entertainment's sake.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 10:11 PM on October 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

My dad is a corporate lawyer, nearly 70 years old. Recently, he and my mom moved for the first time in 40 years, into a new house they built on old family property. In the process of this project he:

-went by the site EVERY NIGHT to clean up bits of copper wire, nails and other odds and ends that would otherwise have been swept up and tossed. He then checked a suitcase of these effects on an airplane and hand-carried them to my brother in a state literally thousands of miles away.

-dug, by hand, the Taj Mahal of dank crawl spaces in the new house he paid other people (with big machines!) to build. It is a masterpiece and is the grand finale of every tour of the place he gives to visitors.

Also, he sends me Mother's Day flowers every year from my cats.
posted by charmedimsure at 11:49 PM on October 23, 2014 [14 favorites]

Most recent most dad thing my dad has ever done:

Recently I checked in on Facebook at Krispy Kreme with the status of "The hot light is on." My dad proceeded to frantically call and text me about how to fix my overheating car.
posted by amapolaroja at 11:49 PM on October 23, 2014 [10 favorites]

My dad and I have the same sense of humor, a fact which took me years to accept and even more years to appreciate. My best friend sat between us at Christmas one year and complained of hearing the bad jokes in friggin stereo.

He's an engineer/perfectionist and loves to fix things/can't stand for things to be not right. In our last apartment, the handle for the bathroom faucet came off sometimes. I figured that out right away, but my partner didn't notice for a few months (never pulled the handle in the exact right way, I guess). He walked out in the living room with the handle in his had and was like, should we get this fixed? No, I said. My dad is coming next weekend. He will not only find all the things wrong with our apartment, he will fix all the things we have the tools to fix. Dad's first trip to the bathroom: he walks out and says, "got a wrench?"

A couple of things that drove me nuts, though:

My dad used to wake us up on school holidays and then say, "Good news! You get to go back to bed!"

He also says, "Let a smile be your umbrella on a rainy, rainy day," in a weird sonorous/vibrato-y voice. He only says it every time you express annoyance at something or scowl (so there were a few years when I heard that a lot. I actually got a little annoyed just typing this one, I hated it so much. First of all, a smile would be a much worse umbrella than a frown, let's be real. I have angrily explained this to my father dozens of times.
posted by MsDaniB at 12:22 AM on October 24, 2014 [4 favorites]

He walked out in the living room with the handle in his had and was like, should we get this fixed? No, I said. My dad is coming next weekend.

I do this with car stuff, sitting on weird noises then making my dad listen to them. I also use him (and his lives-in-the-country truck having skills) to help me move stuff/take stuff to the dump. The only downside to that is that he insists on going through our stuff because he hates to throw stuff away, which is how he wound up the owner of a decade old iPod with a copy of "Still Fly" by Big Tymers on it.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:46 AM on October 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

On weekends, my Dad would get up early, leaving my Mom to sleep in. He'd whip up a few eggs, chopped onions, and some of the leftovers (usually potatoes and vegetables) from our previous night's dinner, then make little paddies which he would cook up in a cast iron frying pan. We three kids would excitedly dance around the kitchen waiting for him to serve up UFOs - what he referred to as his Unidentified Frying Objects. I'm sure that many foods that seemed unpalatable at dinner, were made desirable by their inclusion in a UFO paddy.
posted by bythebrook at 7:04 AM on October 24, 2014 [8 favorites]

A frequent refrain from my mother was "Jesus Jim! What are you telling this child?"

My mother has this very specific intonation of "Oh, Bill" whenever my father does something specifically dad-like. (My first memory of this--which is one of my first memories, period--was dressing up as a little Indian for Halloween (in the 70s days of political incorrectness) and having my mother ask what my Indian name was. I didn't know, so she suggested several cutesy names like Little Raindrop or Little Flower. My father said, "How about Little Dog Poopie?" "Oh, Bill.")

There is no one in my immediate household actually named Bill, but "Oh, Bill" still has its place, and we know exactly what it means.
posted by dlugoczaj at 7:27 AM on October 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

capricorn: Claims to be 35 on every birthday.

That's my mother-in-law, but she was stuck at 29. Every year, we celebrate (the anniversary of) her 29th birthday. She tried being 41 once, but it was too old.

My father-in-law is of the gruff sort, and his four daughters (and his wife) like parroting his tough love quotes. When someone's hurt, the response is either "show me the blood," or "it's a long way from your heart." But he's also light-hearted - when he wanted my son to go the opposite direction, he said "turn around," so my son turned in a complete circle. We all laughed, because my father-in-law is also has that literal sort of humor, so his grandson just played a joke on him.

For whatever reason, I can't think of too many dadisms from my own father. He isn't too much of a punster, but he does make light of a lot of situations, which are harder to re-tell if I forget the original context, as I have now.

When we were kids, there was one weird little divided road segment that was maybe 20-30 feet long on our way to and from our grandparents house. Just for thrills, he'd drive on the wrong side every so often. And when we were little, there was a particular road that elicited the same song fragment every time: "he's a two bump baby, bump, bump, he has two bumps on his head," with the "bump, bump" to the bumps in the road. Now, in the age of grandson photos on Facebook, every so often he'll post my name as a comment on my Facebook wall, which I think comes about because he's looking for my profile to find photos of my son, which makes me happy in a funny little way.

I'm reveling in being a dad, and I've made my wife cringe at some of my puns, and even laugh at a few of them.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:44 AM on October 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

One of the first times I took "T", my now-husband, up to our cabin while my parents and brother were there, there was somehow a leak in the boat. It wouldn't leak while running the boat, but if it sat overnight, it was much deeper in the water the next morning.

We needed to figure out where that leak was, but how to do that when the boat is in the lake and the trailer and truck are 40 minutes away?

Dad's idea was to somehow get our boat on top of the dock down by the beach. This involved ropes and chains and pulleys and things tied to trees and at one point, my dad told T to stand behind/under the back of the boat (a 16 foot aluminum-hulled fishing boat) to "catch" it (?!?) if it slipped. T, having not been raised in my family, was smart enough to immediately say "Oh hell no!"

I think it was finally gotten on the dock by using a pulley system of a rope/chain deal wrapped around the big jack pine (and maybe a big rock, too) with the other end of the rope being pulled by my dad's bigger boat.

Strangely, I don't remember where my mom was at the time. Hiding in the kitchen with the first aid kit at the ready, maybe? Having been married to him for that long, I can understand how hiding in the kitchen would be much easier than actually WATCHING the whole thing play out.

Unbelievably, there were little to no injuries (at least none memorable now) from the incident and the leak in the boat was found (a big gouge in the aluminum hull that we got soldered up later).

My dad is awesome in the sense that he'll always try to fix something at least once. He's an engineer and many things have been broken along the way, but he loves to figure things out. I definitely think I've inherited that from him. :)
posted by jillithd at 7:49 AM on October 24, 2014

My dad did the "pull my finger" when he was going to fart. We started to refuse to pull it because his farts were HORRIBLE but he'd just say "It's coming whether you pull it or not!"

His dadisms were more topical (and inappropriate) in nature and definitely of the "too soon" variety. Like when I was going out with friends a few days after 9/11 and he said "Try not to get hit by any planes!"

He also is the kind of person that will go unwhere that is unlocked. Not peoples homes and stuff but if we are at a museum, monument, stadium, etc. he will try every door. If someone asks what he's doing there he just acts like he's a dumb lost tourist and they point him in the right direction. We've seen alot of cool stuff (like rotundas in the capital building!) that we wouldn't otherwise.
posted by LizBoBiz at 7:56 AM on October 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

In my late teens and early 20s (in the mid-1990s) my Dad owned a 1971 Corvette Stingray. It was a beautiful car that we worked on together to restore (where my job was to hand him various tools and his job was to be repeatedly shocked that I didn't know the real names of the various tools). He would let me drive it from time to time and it was seriously awesome.

On one occasion, 19 year old me drove it to the gas station to fill the tank. The guy working there made a bunch of snide comments about how it was too much car "for a woman to drive" and how "women can't drive stick".

When I got home, I told this story to my Dad and step-mother. My Dad silently got up, walked out of the house, and drove away. Literally without a single word. About 20 minutes later, the phone rang and a shaky voice said, "Umm.. is this VioletU?" I confirmed that it was, in fact me, and the voice said, "So, I, uh, just really wanted to apologize for the comments I made earlier when you were getting gas." I was a bit stunned but accepted the apology.

20 minutes later, my Dad returned home, and claimed to have no idea what that was all about.
posted by VioletU at 8:09 AM on October 24, 2014 [63 favorites]

The most Mom thing ever done
posted by The Whelk at 8:21 AM on October 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


ahem, sorry.

I'm in one of these Storify thingies, but not with either of the stories that I particularly associate with my dad.

BTW, reading this thread makes me miss my dad. Badly.
posted by pxe2000 at 9:27 AM on October 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

The most Mom thing ever done

If we're telling mom stories, my friend once got ink on his favorite shirt. His mom told him to mail it home and she'd see if she could get it out. She only managed to get it most of the way out, so she dyed the rest of the shirt to match!
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 11:28 AM on October 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

I find it kind of sweet that the Mom stories pale in comparison to the Dad stories. Moms get all the credit. It's nice that the Dads have an advantage in something.
posted by maryr at 12:07 PM on October 24, 2014

Dad's idea was to somehow get our boat on top of the dock down by the beach.

Oh man.

So it's Christmas and I'm at my parents' place for the week with my girlfriend (now wife). My father asks for my help to to get the new barbeque onto the back deck. The thing is pretty big and heavy. It's so big in fact that we need to take the trim off the front door to fit it inside. Once we get it inside we realize we don't know how big the door to the deck is. Turns out the barbeque is about half a foot too big to get through that door. After some thought my dad decides we'll lean a ladder from the ground onto the deck which is a storey up, and then using a rope we'll drag the barbeque up the ladder. While we're working out the logistics like whether one of us should be under the barbeque or whether we should both be pulling on the rope my girlfriend is looking for the first aid kit and the numbers to nearby emergency services. We lift the barbeque to carry it back outside and bring it around to the deck, but as we lift it something shifts and the part I'm carrying slides into the part my dad is carrying, making it easily compact enough to fit through the deck door.
posted by ODiV at 12:30 PM on October 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

He taught me negative numbers and algebra.

He moved mountains to get me into Engineering college even after the whole family told him he was wasting time and money because I was just a girl who'd only get married and have babies anyway.

When I got shortlisted for an extremely prestigious and competitive graduate program and was invited for further testing and interviews, we couldn't get tickets on the trains nor was there a flight available. Late in the evening, after the Indian Airlines office turned us away, we were standing outside and he turned to me asked me if I was serious about this path of study and was I sure I didn't want to get married instead. And if I was sure I wanted to study further, then he'd make things happen to get me on a flight. I was 23. It was the right time for him to be looking for boys for me. But I didn't want to get married, I was sure I wanted to go try my luck at BIGNAME program. He ran around late that night calling people who knew people and got me on a plane in time for the second round of entrance examinations *and* arranged for me to be picked up at the airport by a buddy's son who also put me up in his bachelor pad with all the courtesy of a honoured guest.

I was the only woman and one of the 10 people out of the thousands who had applied to be offered a fully funded spot that year to that program. 9 months later when I dropped out, he didn't say a word when I packed up and came home. I eventually got another degree and dropped out of yet another similar program but I'm still in that industry

This thread made me realise that dad things aren't just puns and jokes and stuff. Its also doing the dad things that act as training wheels on your bicycle of life.
posted by infini at 12:31 PM on October 24, 2014 [44 favorites]

I like to send my dad pictures from the passenger seat of the car when my husband and I are going somewhere. Each and every time, he immediately calls (long distance, from Mexico) to sternly lecture me on the dangers of taking pictures while driving. Even though I've told him every time that it's my husband who is driving (nevermind him frowning on talking on the phone while driving as well).

He's threatened to make tacos out of every single pet I've owned since I was 5 (be it dog, hamster or guinea pig).

He is a mechanic who is fond of wrecking yards. When it's rainy, he brings a ginormous beach umbrella with him much to the merriment of the wrecking yard employees.

He used to bring a 5 year old me to his camping trips with his bachelor friends to relatively remote areas despite my mother's vigorous protesting.

Despite having being reared to be the most macho of all men, he still proudly calls when he figures out how to make some simple meal like rice or chilaquiles.
posted by cobain_angel at 12:45 PM on October 24, 2014 [6 favorites]

Another good Dad story.. My Dad decided to go on a cross-Canada drive (in the aforementioned Corvette, with the aforementioned step-mother) and asked if I would be willing to stay in his house for a couple of weeks while he was gone. I complained - his house was in the middle of the countryside and I was living in Toronto for the first time. He said he'd pay for my food/groceries, leave me the keys to his non-fancy car, AND pay for gas so I could drive around and do whatever it was that I wanted to do. That seemed like a sweet deal for a 19 year old who was broke and had no car.

A friend drove me home and I arrived after he had already left for his trip. On the table was a note with some of the usual information about what plants needed watering and the like. Next to that was an enormous stack of "Pioneer Bonus Bucks" - a form of currency invented by the gas station. On filling up your tank, you were given various denominations of "bucks" in proportion to a percentage of your purchase. In other words, he had left me gas money in the form of hundreds of little coupons, each worth ridiculous amounts like $0.05 and $0.50. To accumulate this value of "bucks" he had to have been saving them for years. YEARS!

Next to the 'gas money' was a large coffee can. I opened the lid to find it filled with loonies - the $1 Canadian coin. Hundreds of dollars in.. loonies. My grocery money was hundreds of shiny golden coins. It looked like pirate treasure.

It goes without saying, I suspect, that I was totally mortified to have to pay for my gas and groceries this way. The expression on the guy at the gas station when I whipped out that 2" stack of 'bucks' was classic.

It also goes without saying that my Dad probably laughed the entire way across Canada.

Man, I miss him.
posted by VioletU at 12:53 PM on October 24, 2014 [21 favorites]

Oh man, infini, that's the first time I've actually teared up in this thread.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 1:29 PM on October 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

-Apropos of nothing, holds a glass of apple juice to the light and swirls. In an exaggerated drawl says, "I'm sorry ma'am, but I'm afraid your horse has diabeetus."

-Spent half an hour throwing firecrackers at a raccoon who wouldn't get off the roof. Stopped when he got a worried call from our neighbor.

-Has a wrist rocket and an old Band-Aid tin full of BBs that he used to shoot at stray dogs in our yard (we lived in the country, so it wasn't like he was taking potshots at shih tzus). When the farms were replaced by houses, he would talk idly about shooting at workmen or kids who wandered through the woods in back. I never saw him refill the tin.

-"Time for dinner!"
"I'm coming!"
"So's Christmas." Every damn time.

-I think the happiest I've seen him is when he wrestled me down and convinced Bailey, our one year-old black labrador puppy, to bite my butt.

Now that my younger sister attends college at my alma mater, I've been sending her increasingly complex urban legends about the school that I invent for my own amusement. Which reminds me I have to tell her about the time an engineering student in the 50s hoisted a scale model of the moon into the sky over campus, causing the Red Cedar River to change course and wash him away. It's dad practice, as inspired by (or stolen from) Italo Calvino.
posted by Turkey Glue at 8:05 PM on October 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

Did you ever take piano lessons? Everybody learns to play 'Long, Long Ago' which begins Long, long ago and far, far away... My sister played the piano, and every night after dinner, Every Night, he'd say to her, Why don't you play Far, Far Away? and not one of his 6 kids got it until we were grown, and he was dead.
posted by theora55 at 12:47 AM on October 25, 2014 [8 favorites]

Why don't you play Far, Far Away?

My grandfather used ask us to "play Long Ago and Far Away and act it out."
posted by bradf at 7:55 AM on October 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

When I became a teenager, my father upped his game. I had the misfortune of living in the same neighborhood as many of my classmates, a plurality of which were female.

So my Dad started mowing the lawn wearing a white t-shirt, Bermuda shorts, black socks pulled up to his knees, and loafers.

He did this the summer between 8th and 9th grade. He never mowed the lawn again, because I took it over with what can only be called zealotry. I would mow the lawn early to prevent him from having any reason whatsoever to do it.

My parents still marvel at the state of our house's lawn during my high school years. They said it was like living on a golf course.
posted by scrump at 10:30 AM on October 25, 2014 [15 favorites]

He took me to the library and then out for a milkshake and a burger every Sunday from the time I was 3 till I was in high school. Every time, he would tell me about how the literary value of my reading material had declined since I stopped letting him pick out my books, which occurred when I was 3.5.

The other day I got back from my weekly library-and-milkshake trip with my almost-4-year-old and wrote Dad an email in which I mentioned that my son had picked out a Pokemon manga and a graphic novel about the Eastern Front in WWII and did not seem interested in the book about Apollo 11 I had chosen. The dadification process is well under way.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 8:44 PM on October 25, 2014 [12 favorites]

Every time he drew a bath for us when we were young:

"Is the water wet enough for you?"
posted by heatherann at 9:17 AM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

My dad believed (probably still does) that sleeping in is a sign of weak moral fiber and used to come into my room early on weekend mornings and sing "Good morning to you! Good morning to you! We're all in our places with bright shiny faces! Oh, this is the way to start a new day!" I haaaaaaaated it.

Grandpa was more of a source of dadisms than Dad, actually. I used one of his during lunch yesterday: gesture at something behind the other person with one hand while saying "there's something over your shoulder" and stealing something off their plate.
posted by Lexica at 10:03 AM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

When dad was dying of Parkinson's in a hospital bed he had a matronly Scottish nurse with a thick accent. One night she was fussing with his pillows and idly asked him "How's your bed?" but the accent made it came out "beard". Dad rubbed his face and said "I could probably use a shave."

When we went out to Chinese restaurants he would bundle up the napkins and give them little tails like mice and perch them in the heel of his hand with their heads resting on the tips of his slightly-bent fingers. He would encourage you to pat the mouse, and when you tried he would make it jump away. He did this literally every single time we went out for dinner, for as long as I can remember.

At those same dinners he would also always ask, when the first course arrived, "Why did the spring roll?" I think there was a correct answer but I don't recall what it was.

He also used to sometimes tip some of his beer into my lemonade. I hated it.
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:16 PM on October 26, 2014 [4 favorites]

I doubt there's still anyone religiously watching this thread, but...

There is a cure for dadisms (or at least a cure for dadisms from a particular father), and it is staring.

The method is surprisingly simple. When a dad springs one of their usual gags, don't protest indignantly. Barely react, in fact. Just stare at them with an utterly empty expression. Emptiness is key, here. Something like disgust or mournfulness will only give them what they want. You want to look like at some point in the past all joy was squeezed out of you like juice from an orange. Like inertia is the only reason you do not spontaneously disintegrate into your component atoms. Peer at your dad with your head subtly tilted and your eyes half-shut by their own weight.

Say nothing. Stare. Wait. Then return to whatever it is you were doing before you were diverted, ignoring the interruption. As if it never happened.

The dadisms will not stop immediately, of course, but you will be able to measure your progress via your father's reaction. At first, he will cheerfully bear your unwillingness to play along. Soon, however, your lack of reaction will begin to rankle. When you stare, he will become annoyed, or even angry. He may even snap at you to "smile" or "lighten up", as if the entire situation is somehow your fault.

Eventually, the dadisms stop, or at least are redirected toward someone else.

I've been much happier, since I discovered this cure.
posted by KChasm at 5:14 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

KChasm, that technique actually kinda works with my coworker, who has a lot of dad jokes for a young single guy. :)

The emptiness in the stare is key.
posted by epersonae at 5:19 PM on October 28, 2014

So, the solution to dadisms is to kill any trace of joy within your being, or at least in regards to your interaction with Dad?

This just makes me love dadisms more.
posted by maryr at 1:02 PM on October 30, 2014 [9 favorites]

At those same dinners he would also always ask, when the first course arrived, "Why did the spring roll?" I think there was a correct answer but I don't recall what it was.

Because it couldn't summer sault!
posted by KathrynT at 1:50 PM on October 30, 2014 [5 favorites]

maryr, you only need to maintain that level of non-reaction when a dadism is forced upon you, not always when interacting with your father full stop.

Or are you suggesting there's someone out there whose interactions with their father come solely in the form of dadisms? Because that would be sort of messed up on its own.
posted by KChasm at 3:36 PM on October 30, 2014

When my parents bought me a used 1984 Toyota Tercel as a gift when I graduated from college in 1990, my dad installed a CB radio in it so I could call for help if I got stranded running up and down the highway.

He installed the antenna right in the center of the roof. It made my car look like some sort of discount UFO.

But I'll tell ya--in the pre-cell-phone age that CB radio was the handiest thing ever. I did use it to call for help (not for myself, but for others), and if there was a wreck on the highway I could listen to the truckers discuss out alternate routes to avoid the traffic jam.
posted by magstheaxe at 8:44 AM on October 31, 2014 [3 favorites]

Right - I've talked before about PaterCallipygos' awesomeness. And I am definitely my father's daughter in terms of temperment - we just sort of really grok each other. And yet, even he fell prey to a couple moments of Dad-ness; but one is actually kind of awesome.

* First, I also posted a story about how Dad isn't just a Luddite - he managed to combine his computer ambivilence with Cold-War level paranoia.

* Second: Okay, my parents' names actually are, in all seriousness, "Dick" and "Jane". And they think that that's cute as hell. And periodically, we all find ourselves at some kind of social function where people are just meeting us all - and "Dick and Jane" is always how Dad introduces himself and Mom. But - if i'm standing nearby, that becomes "We're Dick and Jane .... and oh, this is our daughter Spot."

* Third: this is also possibly one of my favorite Dad stories. I've mentioned that Dad likes picking intellectual debates with people for fun. It's almost an instinct. So - one Thanksgiving, we're all kicking back after dinner, and the talk turns to cranberries (my family is a supplier for Ocean Spray). And for whatever year, that year the berries were just a bit more prone to spoiling faster than usual. My grandmother was tut-tutting that, saying that she didn't understand why Ocean Spray didn't just turn everything into cranberry sauce or juice before it went bad - they should have had more corporate pride or something.

"Now, wait, though," Dad suddenly said. "If the government says you're allowed to have 1% bug parts in your food, why should they make any extra effort?"

And grandma was shocked. "But....they should have pride in their product!"

"No, think about it," Dad said. "if it costs more money to make everything totally perfect, and Uncle Sam says you can get away with only 99% perfect, then who cares?"

And suddenly one of my uncles was saying "that's a good point," and one of my aunts was siding with Grandma, and then more and more people were chiming in and suddenly all 20 members of my extended family were having a lively, talking-over-each-other, gesturing-wildly debate about government food purity standards.

I just sat and watched them all a moment in amazement, and then looked over at Dad - and saw him sitting there, also watching everyone, with an enormous shit-eating "Heh, look what I did!" grin.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:18 PM on November 4, 2014 [9 favorites]

EC, when I started reading this thread, it was your dad and Sam Yakaboochie that immediately came to mind.

As for my own Dad, he always made sure to tell me and my sister which of his dad jokes were ones he'd learned from his dad. Since both my dad's parents had died in a car wreck before we were born, that gave us some small connection to them.

One of my favorite dadisms happens when I'm on the phone with my mom, and she uses an approximate value for something. It doesn't matter what it is, and usually the exact value isn't necessary for the conversation, but just after she has said, "Oh, there were about thirty people there," or similar, I'll hear my dad yell from some other room in the house, "There were 32!" He's a stickler for precision, and the phone routine is a hoot.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:44 PM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]

when I started reading this thread, it was your dad and Sam Yakaboochie that immediately came to mind.

Oh, that's actually a good story about how I got HIM good. :-)

First, here's who Sam Yakaboochie is. That name's kind of been a family touchstone for several years now; last year Dad turned 70, but I was too broke for a big splashy gift. So I enlisted some friends and volunteers to all send my father birthday cards, saying something to the effect that "I'm friends with Sam Yakaboochie too, and he told me it was your birthday!" One of the people sending a card even spun an elaborate story about the two of them having worked a trapeze act in France or something.

He was delighted, if a bit overwhelmed (at about noon on his birthday, he tracked me down where I was working and called me, pleading "CALL OFF THE DOGS!")
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:43 PM on November 5, 2014 [5 favorites]

Late to the party.

I have a theory about dad-isms. When your kids are growing up, there are developmental windows when the stupidest jokes are the most hilarious thing to your kids. It's a great button to push and it's fun for everyone, but the kids outgrow the jokes way too fast, but you remember the joy you got the first time you told your kid that s/he had snew on her/his face ("nothing much, what's snew with you?"). Sometimes the button is pushed because the joke is just totally over your kid's head.

My dad had other ways of handling things. My brother, who ended up being a concert quality pianist, was playing Liszt in high school. IIRC, my mom was able to get 1 and only one ticket to see Vladimir Horowitz at Carnegie Hall (which is another story in and of itself). My dad took him to the concert and wandered around where he could go until the show was over. During his wandering, he found where the green room was and after the show he got my brother and said, "would you like to meet Vladimir Horowitz? He's an old friend of mine." My brother smelled bullshit in my dad's tone and followed him...to the green room to meet him.

Several years later, I was a fairly solid trumpet player and there was a concert at Carnegie hall performed by Maurice André, a virtuoso if there ever was one. We watched the concert in awe and my dad pulled the same shit on me too. And when I saw Maurice André I gaped in awe. Dad noted during the concert that he had a translator working for him and put a hand on my shoulder and said "étudiant" in a truly horrible French accent and shoved me forward.

I pull the dad jokes on my kids all the time. In fact, today I picked up the kids at school and I remarked on the rain saying, "Alice - it's raining cats and dogs out there. You know how I know? Stuart stepped in a poodle." Once again, my feedback mechanism works - both kids called me "Daaaaaad" with at least 2 extra syllables. Score. Alice said, "no dad, is not a poodle, it's a PUDDLE." My son said, "dad, you know that raining cats and dogs is just a metaphor, right?"

Yes, Stuart, I did know that and I'm amazed that you could articulate that at age 7.

Yes, when they burp I say, "Must be a barge coming through."

Yes, I call them noodles and nuggets and ask them to "butter up, buckle cup" when getting in the car.

Last April fool's day, I convinced my son that his middle name is actually 'Danger'. I made up a story about them making a mistake in the hospital and I made a near perfect copy of his actual birth certificate (you know, if the town hall uses Courier and Courier Bold for the text and a relatively common heavyweight cream for the paper, it's just so easy - I didn't bother with the seal - that would be forgery) which is waiting in the fire safe for the day he calls me on it.

And then some day in a few years we'll watch Austin Powers (or some other context that has it) and then the Long Troll will be complete.

I love you Stuart. Don't forget that.
posted by plinth at 1:55 PM on November 6, 2014 [24 favorites]

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