arteejee

A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Dad’s Advice



The annual tribute to those who indirectly give us life has come and, as I am writing this, nearly gone. I don’t want to denigrate any observances.  Lord knows, men in western culture work very hard day in and day out for years all the while teaching their children the value of a strong work ethic. 

And how do those children repay his efforts?  Well, for a few years he most likely receives cardboard ties that the tykes made for an art project at the insistence of their school teachers.  Of course, kiddies, this was years before the Internet and Amazon.com were invented.  Why get elbow deep in an arts and crafts project when you can right click a website gift card?

Again I say I am not trying to take the wind out of this annual tribute to Dad.  It is just that, for me, the holiday is bittersweet since my father is no longer a phone call away. I can only celebrate Father’s Day with memories now.  One of those memories is Dad instilling in me the thought that, “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”  Most times I succeed, but many times it can be a challenge.

Obviously an endorsement of this philosophy precludes me from pursuing a career in politics, at least for this year.  Can anybody on the campaign trail say anything nice about anything or anyone?  That does not seem to be possible among any of the candidates this year.

Speaking of politics, let me throw in my two cents.  Some months ago, there was a tendency among some liberals to compare Donald Trump to Hitler.  I never thought much of this idea even as I consider myself to be a just slightly left of center liberal.   For one thing, the comparison would only embolden the neo-Nazis lurking among us in this country.  For another, any comparison of Hitler to the presumptive Republican nominee for President would not be fair to Hitler.  And seriously, who wants to be fair to Hitler?

Well, so much for not saying anything at all. Sorry, dad, but I tried! Sometimes being polite and satirical writing just don’t mix.

Then there was the bit of fatherly advice which I believe was passed down from his father, “Don’t date a girl from your hometown.”  This is one bit of advice which I had no problem following.  It’s not that I could not find any desirable date in my own town, but rather (I suspected) some sort of mass conspiracy on the part of the opposite sex.  For all I know every father on the east coast advised their daughters never date anyone named Todd.

Fortunately, Warrior Queen never got that memo or (if she did) she chose to ignore it.

So I have remembered my father today, and in fact I still think about him every day.  A Libra like me, he never gave himself enough credit for what he did accomplish in life.   He was very sensitive about not completing high school, dropping out to find work when his father had to retire due to an on-the-job injury. He would get a high school equivalent diploma years later, but I got the feeling that he still felt inferior to his peers. 
Yet he did do well, I think.  He taught a good set of values to my brother and I, worked hard all his life, and, oh yes, occasionally give us some good advice.

Thanks, Dad!

(Thank you for reading. Here’s hoping all fathers had a great Father’s Day this year!)

2 Comments:

Blogger Bob Slatten said...

Hitler's probably burning in Hell right now and thinking, "Trump? How dare you! I'm nothing like him!"

Best advice my Dad ever gave me:
"Be happy."

June 20, 2016 at 8:09 AM  
Blogger todd gunther said...

Thank you, Bob, and I believe you might be right about Hitler. My German ancestry (yes, I'm stereo-typing here)precluded my father from giving us any advice involving happiness.

June 26, 2016 at 8:42 AM  

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