Some dads rule.
January 23, 2009 10:53 AM   Subscribe

This dad draws cool pictures on his kids' brown paper lunch bags. Every day.

A new bag each day for my kids. I'm the dad. I make these during my lunch break. His kids, Dylan and Dana are getting not only kickass sacks for their lunches, but also an awesome education in pop culture. Highlights include: Mugato, Toad from Super Mario Bros. video games, Red Ryder, characters from MTV's "Daria", and more vintage-y type stuff, such as V.I.N.Cent.
posted by Rudy Gerner (67 comments total) 65 users marked this as a favorite
I like this!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:59 AM on January 23, 2009

I remember hearing about this before because one of the kids teachers didn't like this one.
posted by Sailormom at 10:59 AM on January 23, 2009

Wow, that is awesome.
posted by arcticwoman at 10:59 AM on January 23, 2009


Mugato looks like Will Ferrell
posted by geekyguy at 11:02 AM on January 23, 2009

Holy crap - his art is awesome but VINcent totally takes me back! I gotta go rent the Black Hole this weekend! It was sooo scary!
posted by GuyZero at 11:02 AM on January 23, 2009

What a cool Dad.

Growing up I had a friend whose father was a cartoonist. Every morning he'd come to school with a different personalized cartoon which his Dad would leave on the breakfast table for him.
posted by ericb at 11:02 AM on January 23, 2009

Mugato looks like Will Ferrell

Umm. Yep.
posted by kingbenny at 11:03 AM on January 23, 2009

Mugato looks like Will Ferrell

Um, it's Will Ferrell.
posted by ericb at 11:04 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

BTW -- it's actually Mugatu.
posted by ericb at 11:04 AM on January 23, 2009

Dude can motherfucking draw.
posted by signal at 11:05 AM on January 23, 2009 [4 favorites]

Makes the "You're a very special boy" notes my mom used to put in with my PB&J sandwich and Doritos look like so much used toilet paper.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:06 AM on January 23, 2009 [3 favorites]

Holy crap. Not what I was expecting. Wow.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:06 AM on January 23, 2009

My dad did the same thing except instead of drawings they were rorschach blots and instead of lunchbags it was a dirty undershirt splattered with his own vomit.

Creative dads are great!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:06 AM on January 23, 2009 [11 favorites]

Because I wasn't already feeling a little inferior for just throwing some hummus and carrots into the bento box and calling it a day instead of creating stuff like this.
posted by padraigin at 11:07 AM on January 23, 2009 [3 favorites]

Note to self: develop previously non-existent artistic talent to compete with awesome dads on the internet.
posted by ZakDaddy at 11:07 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

Good stuff. I was particularly pleased to see kirby get some love.

I was also comforted to know he does them during his lunch break and not some other time... At first I was like... hmmm... this seem to be too good for... you know... just drawing a picture on your kids lunch bag.

But doesn't he know there are better things to do on your lunch break? Like Blogging! Looking at kitten pictures! Editing Brokencyde videos!... Or make snarky comments on metafilter!
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 11:08 AM on January 23, 2009

Dream got noticed, huzzah!

I wanna know - what does the dad do for work? How old are the kids? And what happens to the bags after lunch is done? (Also: what do his kids think?) I'd be collecting every one and saving it, possibly making them into a book (either self-bound or published). They're too fantastic to toss out.

I like to imagine there's an unloved 3rd child, who only gets lunch in plastic bags. It's because I like to wish suffering on imaginary children.

Similar: 1,000 postcards - bus driving dad sends a postcard each day to his daughter who is away at college, and another story I heard on NPR about this older man who writes a daily note of love to his wife of very many years.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:08 AM on January 23, 2009 [6 favorites]

I... I email The GF a lolcat every day.

OK, I got nothing here, really.

Stupid Internets!
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:13 AM on January 23, 2009

I have been doing my kid's names "graffiti" style for months now on their lunch bags. I thought that was kind of cool. Now I am truly humbled.

Also, would somebody get this guy a free trial of World of Warcraft? He needs to be doing his daily quests before getting the kids out of the rest of us :P
posted by Xoebe at 11:13 AM on January 23, 2009

filthy light thief: In my imagination the third child doesn't have a "d" name and is forced to buy the school's hot lunch. Actually, I take it back. A dad this rad is not likely to pull a stunt like that...
posted by Rudy Gerner at 11:15 AM on January 23, 2009

This shit is awesome.
posted by Damn That Television at 11:18 AM on January 23, 2009

This is making those notes with little sketches my mom would stick in my lunch look like crap. Can't decide if I should send this link to her, or if it would just result in multiple "I'm sorry I failed you artistically as a mother!" emails and phone calls.
posted by piratebowling at 11:19 AM on January 23, 2009

Can't I just use a plastic bag, and draw a polyethylene molecule with a Sharpie?
posted by Tube at 11:21 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

I like to think of The Black Hole as Altered States with training wheels.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:22 AM on January 23, 2009 [2 favorites]

I wonder if the other kids give them shit about that, or if they think it's cool? I hope they'd like it, but kids can be such assholes.
posted by Malor at 11:34 AM on January 23, 2009

I am SO going to do this for my kids.


Y'know... when I have kids.
posted by Fleebnork at 11:34 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

Okay, this kind of tickles me because my Dad did something a little similar for my little brother -- my brother was diagnosed with amblyopia when he was about five, and had to wear a stick-on eyepatch for a couple years. Early on in these proceedings, Dad was getting out one of the eyepatches to put on him, and something made Dad grab a pen first and draw a quick picture on it -- something he copied out of the funny pages. My brother got a kick out of it, so he did it again the next day. And the next. And the next.

Even though sometimes me or my mother took a turn, drawing cartoons on my brother's eyepatch became largely Dad's thing. It was almost a ritual that while he was having his coffee and reading the paper while we were getting ready for school, that my father would at some point snort, flip to the funny pages, grab an eyepatch and a pen and mumble, "Alright, let's see..." and do a quick copy of Beetle Bailey or Snoopy or something. One of my parents' favorite school photos of my brother is one taken one year when he had an eyepatch, and my father had sent him to school with his eyepatch decorated with the yellow smiley-face.

My brother saved a lot of these in a scrapbook, including the one my father did the morning after the doctor's appointment when the doctor said "you know, this is working really well, so finish up this box and then you can just call it quits with the eyepatch" -- the next morning, my father didn't draw a picture on my brother's patch -- he wrote, "Good news! My dad only has to do 25 more of these!"

My brother's eyes are 20-20 now, and I think we still have the scrapbook somewhere.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:39 AM on January 23, 2009 [102 favorites]

Would it be bad if I set up scenarios where my kids break their limbs, just so I can use their casts as surfaces for art?
posted by filthy light thief at 11:44 AM on January 23, 2009 [4 favorites]

I do this for my daughter as well, except I do it on a small piece of paper and put it in her lunch box. Oh and also, I can't draw like that. They are really more like quick doodles of random things - animals, characters, trees, whatever. But the kid loves them. So if you have a kid go ahead and start doing this even if you think you're not so artistic. You won't get accolades from the Internet at large but you won't really care.

Here is someone else doing the same thing
some time ago.
posted by mikepop at 11:44 AM on January 23, 2009

On non-preview,

I wonder if the other kids give them shit about that, or if they think it's cool? I hope they'd like it, but kids can be such assholes.

In my case my daughter's friends can't wait to see my significantly less-detailed drawings, and my daughter has even given a few away on request.
posted by mikepop at 11:47 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

Imagine if he were a tattoo artist.
posted by owtytrof at 11:51 AM on January 23, 2009

Would it be bad if I set up scenarios where my kids break their limbs, just so I can use their casts as surfaces for art?

Yes. People are really judgemental and you get scowled at a lot.

Aack! Said too much!
posted by From Bklyn at 11:51 AM on January 23, 2009 [2 favorites]

The awesomeness of this leaves me… errr… awestruck.
posted by lordrunningclam at 11:52 AM on January 23, 2009

Some dads rule.

And some dads can't draw, and therefore suck.
posted by rusty at 12:02 PM on January 23, 2009 [3 favorites]

This is horrible.

How can the rest of us compete? I can't possibly come up with a new philosophy argument for my kids lunches every single day! (Listen, I'm lucky if I come up with something good once a year.)

He's a bastard. (His kids are super lucky.)
posted by oddman at 12:06 PM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

Daria is so good for the esteem.
posted by buzzman at 12:09 PM on January 23, 2009

There needs to be an Instructible or somesuch about printing out and folding a paper bag. Then we can all just use our mad internet skillz to Make(tm) supercool lunch bags (I'm thinking lolcats and failblog pics, with the seams held by duct tape.)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:14 PM on January 23, 2009

Wow. Trying to figure out what I can do once I have kids. Can't draw, at least not like that. I'm absolutely nowhere on the whole creative-bento-box thing. And I'm pretty sure even the most patient kids would find it a little embarrassing if I followed them around during lunch playing guitar or something.

Hmmm. Maybe I'll just give them money or something. Kids like money, right?
posted by Navelgazer at 12:18 PM on January 23, 2009

I Heart Repression Bear ("This one didn't make it to school.")
posted by greekphilosophy at 12:36 PM on January 23, 2009

Hi. Two months later. I'm the dad who did the lunch bag thing. After the intellectual property lawyers confiscated Dylan and Dana's bags, and took Dylan and Dana as evidence...
posted by terranova at 1:02 PM on January 23, 2009

Answering my own intrigue: one kid is eleven, and the girl-child knows some weird stuff (Skrull Queen Veranke is a Marvel character).

And my previous comment was in no way a suggesting that such actions were undertaken by this dad (and it seems his son is younger than 11).

Repression bear, linked for those who didn't make it back far enough.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:10 PM on January 23, 2009

The note on the one that sailormom linked is delightfully ironic...I would hate to go to school too, if my teacher couldn't spell "drawings"!
posted by Pomo at 1:16 PM on January 23, 2009

[this is good]
posted by sciurus at 1:27 PM on January 23, 2009

Follow the Minoton link. I saw that film in the theaters...and never again. Wow...

I think I know about 90% of the referenced characters. Some brain cells were firing that hadn't been accessed in ages.
posted by Chuffy at 1:50 PM on January 23, 2009

I swear this was posted here previously. This went around like August 2008.
posted by cashman at 1:56 PM on January 23, 2009

ericb: "Mugato looks like Will Ferrell

Um, it's Will Ferrell.


/adds Zoolander to his Netflix queue. despite having just watched waht may very well have been a *spoiler*
posted by geekyguy at 2:02 PM on January 23, 2009

I remember hearing about this before because one of the kids teachers didn't like this one.

That the teacher's got handwriting like an 8-year-old disturbs me more.
posted by at 2:15 PM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

My dad used to leave little geography quizzes for me and my brother to do before he would go to work during the summer. All of the questions could be answered using our giant National Geographic atlas; it was about as tall as either of us at the time. Most kids would treat it like a chore, but I loved them.

He was an airline baggage handler at the time, and he usually left for work before dawn. He probably scribbled down the four or five questions for each of us (my brother and I had different difficulty levels) while eating breakfast alone. It was so nice that he wanted us to have an out-of-school education.

*sniff* I need to call my dad.
posted by Alison at 2:46 PM on January 23, 2009 [3 favorites]

I suck as a dad... crap
posted by Mojojojo at 3:32 PM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

I may not be able to draw on lunchbags but I let my kids use my level 70 Empoleon sometimes. From each according to his abilities, etc.
posted by GuyZero at 3:45 PM on January 23, 2009

The drawings are awesome, damn it.

He set a high bar for dads. I dislike this for my future.
posted by countzen at 3:56 PM on January 23, 2009

I'm kind of glad my dad was too busy with his real job to spend a lot of time doodling on my lunch bag.
posted by jayder at 4:14 PM on January 23, 2009

jayder, does your father not eat? He made these on his lunch break, not as an alternative to getting that report done on time (or so he claims).
posted by filthy light thief at 4:59 PM on January 23, 2009

Ooh, very cool (and talented) Dad.

My father doesn't have similar artistic talents, but when he was studying Egyptian hieroglyphics, my sister and I had hieroglyphics on our lunch bags every day.
posted by thomas j wise at 5:49 PM on January 23, 2009

My mom (an artist) did the same thing when I was a kid!
posted by OverlappingElvis at 5:50 PM on January 23, 2009

I like this so much I wish I had other, better parents when I was growing up. Not that lunch bags are common in Norway, but still. I envy.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 7:45 PM on January 23, 2009

My mom, uh, made me lunch. And put it in a bag. Which was pink and reusable, though not because she was hip and green, but because she was cheapfrugal. She did not draw on the bag. She probably would have been fairly cranky if I had done so.

On the other hand, she didn't make my brother's lunch at all, after he whined one too many times about what was in his lunch without offering constructive suggestions for improvement. So I figure just getting my lunch in a bag was good. No complaints here. No ma'am. None.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:15 PM on January 23, 2009 [2 favorites]

-Hey Dad? Dad? Can you help me with this--
-Shh! Geez, can't you see I'm trying to draw these awesome lunchbags so I can take pictures of them for my blog that shows what an awesome dad I am? Fuck!
posted by chococat at 11:07 PM on January 23, 2009 [3 favorites]

Ohmigawd, Bubo from Clash of the Titans?!?!
I don't care if he is blogging them, he still rules.
posted by squasha at 12:15 AM on January 24, 2009

My breakfast ritual is brewing the tea, and then my dad tells me in the car that it tastes like shit. Not quite as heartwarming, but I think it's nice because he still lets me make it and drinks it anyway.
posted by mmmleaf at 2:34 AM on January 25, 2009

It looks like the dad has an airbrushing tool, so maybe he's an artist or illustrator. Awesome work, I bet those kids love it.
posted by theora55 at 5:43 AM on January 25, 2009

He must draw fairly quickly to do it every day. I'd like to see him make a Youtube vid of himself drawing one of these bags. Heck, I'd even commission him for a bag with some cakesters, an apple, and a PB&J inside.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:43 AM on January 25, 2009

I write a quote on my kid's lunch bags each day. Mostly from John Wooden. I learned it from Bill Walton who as a Deadhead and basketball player was my hero. My real hero is John Wooden. Tomorrow the lunch bag will say, "Be quick, but don't hurry." Sometimes I just write something that they probably find embarrassing such as, "This is my 142nd PB&J this year." Sometimes I just write, "I love you" not sure if that is embarrassing, but I write it anyway.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:28 PM on January 25, 2009

Well, I never got lunch bags, but if I did I'd want them to look like that. That's some amazing handiwork. Then again, my dad got me all into computers and the geekiness that comes with them, so I guess I can't complain. My mom also made a specific lullaby for me. I still remember the melody to it too.

Yay for awesome parents.
posted by lizarrd at 4:00 AM on January 26, 2009

There needs to be an Instructible or somesuch about printing out and folding a paper bag.

The following looks really big and scary, but it's not. It's just verbose so it can be clear without images in-thread. I wish I could demonstrate the technique in person as my roommate Josh once did for me, but ... better than nothing, eh?
  1. Take a rectangular sheet of any stiffish paper. Office paper is a fine weight, but a bit small for putting a lunch in. Fold the paper lengthwise into the most accurate thirds you can manage. What works best for me is to form it into a tube and then flatten—same technique as for folding a letter into a business size envelope, but rotated ninety degrees. That is, when it's folded, you have a rectangle whose length is the length of the paper and whose width is one-third that of the paper. Open it out again, so the center rectangle sits flat on the table and the two sides can be lifted towards you (valley folds). (Eventually these folds are going to run up the corners of the bag.)
  2. Make a guideline and some convenience creases, thus: Fold in one of those lengthwise creases, then temporarily turn the paper upside down so you can match it to the other one and crease a centerline between them (as a mountain fold to their valleys). If your folding in thirds was accurate, this is also the centerline of the page. Make similar folds on the side rectangles, but only crease them an inch or two from each end. (To help you visualize: If you creased them all the way, the entire paper would be fanfolded into six really long, skinny sections.) The little end-creases will help your folding later on; the centerline you will use right away. Unfold all and get the paper right-side-up again.
  3. Mark off the square base of the bag, centered on the paper. First re-fold the two side rectangles over the center one as in step one. Bring the narrow ends of this rectangle together, i.e., fold it across its length and crease. If the two narrow ends are the same width, major congratulations on your folding-in-thirds skillz. If they're a little off, match up the ends of the centerline and forget about it. If you unfolded the paper at this point, the new crease would be the crosswise centerline of the paper, more or less. But leaving it folded, it's the short edge of a rectangle. Grab the corners nearest to it and fold them to the lengthwise centerline, as though you were making a paper airplane. Crease and unfold those. Turn the piece over, and crease them the other direction. Unfold everything as it was after the previous steps. Now you've got the lengthwise centerline, the crosswise centerline, and those newest creases, all coming out from the center at intervals of 45°. Follow the new creases out to where they intersect the lengthwise valley folds from step one. Those intersections are the four corners of a square, which will be the base of the bag. Use them as a guide to fold the paper crosswise (valley fold again) so the square has a crease on each of its edges. Crease all the way across the width of the paper.
  4. You're really virtually done. Stay with me. Let's just re-orient ourselves here: There are two lengthwise valley folds dividing the paper in thirds. There are two crosswise valley folds forming a band of three squares right across the center of the paper. There are four little mountain folds near the corners of the paper, creased just an inch or so down its length (convenience creases). And there's a bunch of other leftover creasing that you can largely ignore from here on. The middle square is destined to become the base of the bag. Its neighbors are two squares that are destined to fold up and keep out of the way, and two rectangles that will become the front and back of the bag. Their neighbors are four more rectangles that will overlap in pairs to form the sides of the bag.
  5. Let's prepare the side squares for their unobtrusive fate. Mountain-fold a diagonal right across one (assisted (a) by the alignment of the paper's edge to the crosswise valley fold, and (b) by the ghosts of the diagonal creases that you made while setting up the center square). Before unfolding, mountain-fold its other diagonal (by bringing the corner at paper's edge over to its opposite number in the interior). When you unfold both diagonals, the first diagonal will be a mountain fold all the way across, dividing the square into two big triangles. The second diagonal will divide each of these into two smaller triangles, either with a mountain fold (on the half nearer the center of the paper) or a valley (on the half nearer the edge). Now fold the other side square in the same way, making its first diagonal parallel to the first diagonal on the side square you just folded. (It's possible to fold the bag even if the first diagonals are perpendicular, but it's less symmetrical. Do it my way for now.)
  6. Erect the bag walls, part one. You're going to need to reverse a crease temporarily here, and it'll be a bit tricky, but have no fear, it clears right up. Remember that each side square has two big triangles, separated by its first diagonal mountain fold. One of them is bordered only by valley folds (the inner big triangle), and the other by a valley fold and an edge (the outer big triangle). Locate the inner big triangle of each side square. One of its valley folds is the border to the center square. Leave that one alone. The other valley fold is the border to a bag-side rectangle, and you need to reverse it to a mountain fold for a minute. Having done that, find the one remaining valley fold of each inner big triangle, and fold them both in so that the inner big triangles lie flat on the center square and entirely cover it. The folds you just reversed will lie along the other edges of the center square. The first diagonal mountain folds will bring the outer big triangles to lie atop their inner big triangles, and the walls of the bag will stand up. Only problem is, the walls will be in two pieces (each comprising a single side wall and a double-thick front or back wall), and there will be two big open seams between the pieces.
  7. Erect the walls, part two. Now you're going to reach down into the bag. Take the inner thickness of each double-thick front/back wall and unfold it so it swings over against a side wall. You're de-reversing the fold that you reversed in the last step, and you're re-folding the second diagonal of the side square. That makes the side walls double thickness and closes the seams. All four small triangles of the side square are now stacked up and lying flat on the center square
  8. Remember those little inch-and-a-half convenience creases you made in step two? They should be nesting inside each other now to form a pleat in the side walls, just like the pleat in a manufactured lunch bag. Fill the bag, then fold the pleats closed as you bring the front and back walls together and roll the top.
There's an optional cute top-closure fold that I'm told they use in Japan, but it is way past my bedtime and I hope you'll forgive me for not writing it up in detail. Short summary: fold the front and back each down towards its own side, together with most of the side wall nearest, so that the very inside of the pleat is pulled into a triangle, forming half a "bow tie" flat atop the bag. Play around, you'll get it.

If you're fastidious, you can fold the bags in office or construction paper and crease them well, then unfold them and glue waxed paper over the inside of each (glue stick works great). Trim it to size, refold the bag, and voila, it's lined and can contain food without further wrapping. Cute way to package small tasty gifts like fudge.

posted by eritain at 1:28 AM on January 27, 2009 [7 favorites]

I was waiting for the Metro today and a man walked by me and stopped to wait. All of the sudden I started thinking about MeFi and I couldn't figure out why. Turns out the gentleman had an eye patch on under his reading glasses (he appeared to be reading a report of some kind). My subconscious was beating around the bush, and it took a second for me to make the connection. Anyway, I believe I was fixated on this man's eye patch, wondering if anyone else saw it who read this MeFi post. Late to the game (again) my subconscious tells me that people are staring at me. I snap out of my eyepatch stare to see about 8 people looking at me. My ignorance got the best of me for a moment and the I realized I was in mid bite of a bagel, and it is not only illegal to eat within the confines of the Metro station, its so a social no no (but did they read the m
Article!?). I burst out laughing and quickly walked to the other end of thw platform to excuse myself from the situation I had created and find a trash can (where dod they put all of the trash cans?).

Was anyone there when a crazy person started laughing hysterically? If so it was a pleasure to indirectly make your acquaintance.
posted by thankyoumuchly at 8:30 PM on February 10, 2009

Seems the guy just lost his job?
posted by joelf at 3:22 PM on February 19, 2009

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