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Inspirational Reads

Clearly, I Am 'Father of the Year' Material

October 14, 2009

Did you know kids are impressionable? It's true. Like, if you tell them something, no matter how outrageous it sounds originally, they'll believe you? And someone thought it'd be a good idea to let me raise not one but TWO of them? (Three, if my aim was off the other night...)

The other night, I was out in the yard with the kids. Now, my yard consists mostly of a hill in the front and a floodplain in the back. It's the kind of thing that would make my cities in Civ III rich, but for me, it's a pain in the ass to mow. That's not the point; I just felt like bitching.

There's a stream at the back of my property and woods all around, which means my back yard is cool, sometimes damp, and shaded. This is a perfect mushroom/toadstool growing environment, apparently. To that end, my son, Tank, had discovered a couple of toadstools in one section of the yard, and so he and I went looking for more. We found quite a few in a variety of colors--browns, whites, oranges--but since I'm not a mycologist, I can't really identify any of them. Plus, thanks to Tori Amos, I think mushrooms look like peezers, so I'm not really inclined to study them intensely.

So, there Tank and I am, wandering around the yard, searching for mushrooms, when I'm struck by a bit of inspiration to joke and kid. What can I say? I'm a fun guy! *rimshot*


While I wore a younger man's clothes, I spent, maybe a few hundred hours playing Super Mario Brothers on the original Nintendo system. This, of course, clouded my mind while we were searching for mushrooms and toadstools, and so I turned to Tank and said:

"You know, you really gotta watch out for those mushroom people. If you're not careful, they'll get you."

To this, he responded, wide eyed, with a gasp. "Really, daddy?" he asked.

Because I'm not above lying to a child to amuse myself, I responded with, "Oh yeah, and if they get you, it's all over. They're poisonous, so when the first one hits you, you'll shrink. If the second one gets you, it's game over."

Another gasp. Had I ended it there, things might have been alright.

"Normally, they travel in groups of two or three, so you've always got to watch out." Now he's getting a little frantic, so I figure it's time to tell him how to defend himself. "However, if you just jump on their heads, you'll be fine. They squish down and don't bother you anymore. If there's too many of them, just find some Italian guy to do the job for you. Ask for Mario."

All of this latter bit of advice went sailing over his head. All he took from the lesson was "Mushroom people...attack...poisonous...all over..."

Fast forward a couple of days. My wife is in the backyard with us. Tank finds some mushrooms and is terrified. He climbs into my wife's lap, frantic, telling of how the mushroom people will get him. She looks at me, unadulterated fury seething in her gaze.

"This is your fault, isn't it?" she asked.

Feigning innocence, I splay my fingers across my chest and with an angellically pure voice, I ask "Oh, why would you ever assume that?" A second later, I espy two more mushrooms growing up next to one of his toys.

"Oh no, Tank," I say aloud, "looks like they're going to get your banana car. Look there's two of them there." This sends him in to an apoplectic frenzy of fear. He tries to climb higher on my wife's lap, apparently satisfied to throw her to the ravages of the evil mushroom people in order to save himself (I've taught him well). The mushrooms, as they are wont to do, simply stand there, digesting the organic material at the base of their stems...menacingly!!!

My wife then tries to calm Tank, explaining that I'm being an asshole a jerk. I feel at this point that I should try to rectify the situation, so I walk over to a pair of mushrooms. They continue to do nothing.

"See, Tank, there's nothing wrong here. They're not attacking me. Come on over. You'll be fine." After several minutes of coaxing, he finally climbs down off my wife's lap and timidly crosses the grass, but won't get any closer than two feet away. "No, see, they're fine. They're not moving. They're just sitting here. You'll be okay."

He takes a step toward the mushrooms...and that's when I scream "OH MY GOD, TANK, HERE THEY COME!!!" and I kick the mushrooms at him. Screaming and crying, he dives back onto my wife's lap, climbs up her body, and sits on her head. I am, of course, hysterical with laughter, partly because of his reaction, but mostly because of my wife's reaction to the scene.

Finally, I talk him down and I find another pair of mushrooms, which I stomp. "See, that's how easy it is to take care of these things!" We spent another ten minutes stomping everything even remotely fungal.

After having rid the yard of those dastardly mushrooms, I sat back down, Tank on my lap now, my wife in the chair beside me. "See Tank," she says, "you don't need to be afraid of the mushrooms. They can't move."

"Yeah," I agreed, "you shouldn't be afraid of the mushrooms. However, you've really got to watch out for slime molds."

Does anyone know if the health care reform covers therapy for traumatic childhood experiences?


otherworldlyone said...


I've got my kid convinced that if she touches anything in my room an alarm will sounds and ninjas will come put her in jail...where there are no snack packs and potato chips.

Those car alarm buttons are the most marvelous inventions.

Chelle said...

My kids argue with people that there are only 6 days in the week.

Also that a fairy will eventually bring them treats one glorious day if they keep their rooms clean.

Also that I know how to drive a zamboni.

Eric said...

Fun-guy, lol.
I think there was an Italian Mario on the train yesterday from what I overheard of the loud college students that sat behind me. He wasn't dressed in the traditional overalls and cap with an 'M' on it though.

Jidai said...

Your sir are a beacon of hope for new father's like me. I salute you good sir.

Nej said...

I absolutely love it! I'm dying of laughter here.

Does that make me a bad person??


The Peach Tart said...

I think they are going to grow into kids with a wicked sense of humor and will play mean pranks on you.

Samsmama said...

That is absolutely terrible, and completely hilarious all at the same time! Fun-guy...HA!

Sassy Britches said...

Holy smokes, I certainly hope so! Poor little guy's gonna need a buttload!

Soda and Candy said...


You are a terrible person, but hilarious.

Now you just have to tell him that if he doesn't keep his room tidy, the slime mold will grow.

: )

Chemgeek said...

Wait until your in the old folks home and Tank tells you, "Dad, you're costing us a lot of money. We're just going to pull the plug.....Nah, I'm just kidding.... or maybe I'm not....sleep well. See you next month...maybe."

mo.stoneskin said...

It wouldn't surprise me if Tank and/or your wife plan revenge. If I was them I'd put some squishy mushrooms in your shoe, or better still, in your coat pocket. Just imagine the moment when you slip your hand in your pocket and it finds a squishy, soggy mushroom.

JenJen said...

You are bad. Very Bad.
Tsk Tsk.

Pfangirl said...

It's a parent's prerogative to mess with their kids!

I remember being vaguely paranoid for years, thanks to my parents, that there was a shark in the deep end of our swimming pool.

carissajaded said...

Hahaha that was an amazing story. Just please don't convince Tank that he can break bricks with his head or turn invincible.

Wonderful said...

Haha, sometimes it's just too hard to resist teasing kids because they are so gullible.

Travis said...

I am totally filing this away for use when I have a children or two. It's quite possible that in this blog you've stolen my heart.

I want it back.

It's a lame one, really. I'm fat, so it's overworked.

I said, give it back!

Cool as Folk said...

If this doesn't win you the Father of the Year award, I will lose my faith in humanity.

corticoWhat said...

As my kids got older (and wiser) they began to impress upon me that THEY were going to be the ones to select my extended care facility. They have a point.

Raine said...

hahaha thats wicked funny!

of course if it were my kid I wouldnt :D

words...words...words... said...

I think you should have as many kids as will fit in your house. Awesome.

Tennyson ee Hemingway said...

Man, I can't wait to be a father. You are my new guru.

Cora said...

Never let him watch The Smurfs. Just sayin....

Anonymous said...

Way to go, d-bag. Not only did you teach your kid a crappy lesson about destroying nature, I am sure the damage you are doing to his psyche will be something he can try to work out later with a professional therapist. Hope he can afford a good one...

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Awww...aren't you so cute, commenting days after I wrote the post and hiding behind the "Anonymous" name.

Whazza matter? Daddy not hug you enough as a kid? Or do you just really have a tiny dick?

Take heart, Anonymous. Next week, the boy and I are headed up to Canada. We're going to go on a good father-and-son trip where we club some baby seals in the head. Don't worry, I'll post pictures in all their awesome goriness.

Anonymous said...

Funny, your wife has never complained about the size of my dick.

You must be in the US...gotta love America, populated with douchebags and assholes, and you just proved that both can be used to describe you.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

It's so cute how you're still hiding behind the Anonymous tag. You're just the most precious little thing, aren't you?

And, wow, you sure burned me with that comeback about banging my wife! That's so...fifth grade of you. You're a clever one, aren't you? Wish I had a way to come back from THAT one! But, I sure can't. You're the king of internet insults, Anonymous. Bragging about the size of your dick while you're "banging my wife" and unable to read the location on my sidebar telling you that I am, in fact, in America, tells me you're not only quite the ladies man whose comfortable with himself, but also completely wise to world and literate. Thumbs up, buddy!

Seal meat?