In which I address the United Nations General Assembly on the subject of fatherhood

Mr. Secretary-General, Mrs. Secretary-General, all the little Secretary-Generals: good morning.

I stand before you today, resplendent in gabardine, wearing this pith helmet at a jaunty angle just so, in order to speak for the fathers of the world, a position I find myself privileged to be in due to my first-hand knowledge of the subject and having craftily snuck past security, which is surprisingly lax given the venue.

Factual re-enactment AKA "Someone needs an expounding!"

Factual re-enactment AKA “Someone needs an expounding!”

Fatherhood in 2013, I regret to say, is in a plate of mayonnaise. Sorry, that can’t be right… can’t read my own writing… oh, here we go: Fatherhood in 2013 is in a state of malaise. “Is fatherhood still relevant?” they ask. “Do we need fathers at all?” they postulate. “Have you fixed that windowsill yet?” they badger. Much in the way that I am viciously slapping around this goggle-eyed sock puppet on my left hand, contemporary fatherhood is under attack. But like this sock puppet, fatherhood is resilient and professionally trained to take the occasional punch to the head.

[Sound of applause]

But why is fatherhood under attack? And would anyone like to claim the sock, which I snagged from the UN lost-and-found? Anybody? No? Then returning to the first question, fatherhood has become hobbled because it no longer brings anything unique to the table. For a while there, fatherhood was bringing tasty Southeast Asian take-out to the table but those days are long gone. (The name of that take-out joint, by the way, was “State of Malaysia.” Funny coincidence…)

For millennia, fathers fulfilled their role by drawing upon brute strength in order to protect their children, give them the occasional whuppin’ or, if the mood was right, juggle them high in the air like kittens. But in today’s enlightened, over-nurturing, sock-coddling world, the role of father as strongman and discipliner is seen as archaic and barbaric. In many ways, fathers have become mothers, except not quite as good at it and with different shaving techniques.

So other than strength and an ability to reach high shelves, what else have fathers traditionally had going for them?

Wisdom. For generations, fathers offered practical wisdom on the nuts and bolts of life, everything from identifying animals (“See them cows over there…?”) to home repair (“This is a butter knife; it has a hundred household uses…”) to sex (“See them cows over there…?”). This is what fathers could offer their children.

This, but in a thong... (www.un.org)

This, but in a thong…
(www.un.org)

Sadly, like this 1995 Boutros Boutros-Ghali swimsuit calendar that I picked up at the UN gift shop, paternal wisdom has become obsolete. Today, all know-how can be acquired via the Internet.

Curse you, Google!

[Sound of booing, texting]

But I say to you, my fellow fathers, we do have something to offer, something mothers, the Internet and modern education cannot provide. While practical wisdom may no longer be our exclusive domain, we are veritable fonts, a teeming sock drawer, I say, of impractical wisdom!

Does the Internet instruct our children on how the laugh track in Hanna-Barbera cartoons further detracts from an already intrinsically sub-par product? No, it Scooby-Don’t!

Is it only a father who can adequately demonstrate to his children (with appropriate audio extracts) that there may someday be another Aretha Franklin but that there will never be another Chrissie Hynde and that there will always be too many Ke$ha’s? Ye$!

Can also be used for puppeteering.

Can also be used for puppeteering.

Will the Internet casually point out that a pork tenderloin resembles an extraterrestrial embryo smuggled out of Area 51? An alien concept!

Will the Internet teach our children how to skip stones on a lake or turn a blade of grass into a reed whistle? Possibly, but would they even consider acquiring that knowledge if we hadn’t brought it up while walking down a dusty road, hand-in-hand, some quiet Sunday afternoon? No! Only a father would think to make a child’s world that much more wonderful in such a deeply meaningless way.

[Cries of “Hear! Hear!” and “Pull my finger!”]

We are teachers of the trivial, masters of the minor, keepers of knowledge that no problem is too big or overwhelming to ignore. We rejoice in the joyously inconsequential. This, like the stereo hutch that wobbles because we failed to properly read the instructions, is our legacy!

And so, as I can see you are only half listening as you check the sports scores on your smartphones, I shall use my pith helmet to shield myself from the security guards bearing down on me and say to you: “It takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a dad to dazzle them with details.”

Sock out!

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About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
This entry was posted in Holidays, Never Happened and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to In which I address the United Nations General Assembly on the subject of fatherhood

  1. El Guapo says:

    Happy Fathers Day!
    (Ditch the sock. No one knows where Ban Ki’s foot has been.)

  2. byebyebeer says:

    Aw, you dads are important! Never would have come up with the alien pork tenderloin embryo thing (but it’s so true!)

    This post also made me think of the Ali G interview with Boutros Boutros-Gali where he called him Boutros Boutros Boutros Boutros-Ghali. Good times.

  3. rossmurray1 says:

    Reblogged this on Drinking Tips for Teens and commented:

    WordPress was being naughty this morning. Is it prejudiced against Canadians? Well, it should be. Anyway, I’m reposting it because that’s just the way I am.

  4. javaj240 says:

    Clever and funny, as always. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but, then again, I have a soft spot for anyone who can work both a sock puppet and Boutros Boutros-Ghali into one piece of writing. Nice! Oh, and Happy Father’s Day! — perhaps it’ll be the day that you finally get crack-a-lackin’ on that windowsill.

  5. The internet truly has ruined a lot of the joy of fathering. Well, some of that comes with age I guess. I miss being able to make up any stupid answer for my daughter’s question and she’d think I was the bee’s knees I was so smart. Now she knows I’m full of crap, but when she’s not sure, she Googles it. Boo!

  6. Katie says:

    Well, I didn’t grow up with a dad, except for Google, but some of my friend’s dads are pretty awesome. Dads rule.

  7. breezyk says:

    Happy father’s day Ross! Enjoy an extra plate of mayonnaise on Sunday 🙂

  8. Mooselicker says:

    Being a father sounds fun. You make me want to poke holes in all my condoms. That remembers me, I should probably start working on getting a good woman in my life.

  9. that’s just brilliant, I love it! Specially the bit about modern fathers being like mums but with different shaving strategies. Anyway, fathers are fun, mothers are boring but useful – that’s my observation, as a mum.

  10. Haha I love this! Happy Fathers’ Day!

  11. Dear Mr. Rosemary,
    I had to avert my eyes from those dreaded sock eyes – which I could not fail to notice (nor gag) were made with buttons….HOW COULD YOU??? YOU KNEW I WOULD READ THIS! BURNED MY EYES IT DID!

  12. Nice photoshopped sock puppet. 😉 And the Internet doesn’t offer such gems of wisdom such as “Weird things happen all the time; they should be expected and not used as explanations for the existence of aliens, supernatural activity, etc.” The Internet offers such as conspiracy theories and proof of the existence of aliens. The Internet is a breeding ground for belief in ghosts. The Internet can not propagate healthy skepticism. Dads do that! X-D

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