Stuff my Dad can’t say…

Parents do funny things. We all know this. We do. It’s just a fact of life.

Parents do funny things, because they’re – well, our parents.

Yes, they come from some past generation, and the generational divide serves as a major source of comedy. And yes, parents generally become irrational beings when thinking about their own children. And yes, children find unfounded ways to become embarrassed by their parents. These three things are all true.

But there has to be something more, right?

Think about the fact that Homer Simpson is the most popular television character of all-time. Think about Peter Griffin. Think about Chevy Chase in the Vacation movies. Think about Eugene Levy in American Pie.

And think about this: On twitter, @shitmydadsays has 1,099,818 followers.

Is it really because that guy’s dad says so many funny things?

Maybe, in part. But maybe it has more to do with the fact that everyone’s dad says crazy things. Everyone’s dad has funny quirks*. Everyone’s dad is goofy and awkward — and yet, still loveable.

*I once had a friend whose dad wore FUBU shoes. Seriously, FUBU shoes. They really do exist.

My father is my hero. He is one of my best friends. Imagine every good trait a father should have. My father has them all.

That said, it is simply mind-blowing how bad my father is with names. Seriously. It is utterly baffling. He is the Michael Phelps of botching names. I can’t emphasize this enough. It’s really quite amazing.

He terrible at remembering them. He terrible at pronouncing them. Just imagine a person who is laughably inept at doing both of these things. Remembering and pronouncing. And really, what else is there?

Sometimes he’ll mispronounce a person’s name. Sometimes he’ll forget a person’s name. Occassionally — and it doesn’t get any better than this — he’ll forget a person’s name, then at the last moment it’ll pop into his head, only for him to mispronounce it.

He’ll see the last name “Jones” and he’ll say “Johns.” He’ll see the last name McCullough, and he’ll say “McCullick”. He’ll know somebody with the last name “Smith” and say “Smythe.” He’ll meet somebody with the last name “Smythe” and pronounce it “Smith.” He just can’t win.

On Monday morning, he called me to tell a story about a friend with the last name “Pheiffer.” He started the story by saying, “You know my friend, Mike Peiffer?

Uh, Dad. Isn’t his last name Pheiffer?

Yea, yea. That’s it.

In my dad’s world. Mike Brady plays quarterback for the New England Patriots. Lin Kiffin just became the head coach at USC. Paul Gasol plays center for the Lakers. And Dave Duncan plays center for the Spurs.

Yea Rus, remember when Tim Robinson was playing alongside Dave Duncan. How did anybody stop them?.

It’s probably good my father didn’t become a sports broadcaster. I’m pretty sure some crazy fan would’ve tried to take a swing at him.

Restaurants can be a problem, too.

Last year, my family had dinner at “McCormicks and Smith’s”. On the way, he asked my brother, my sisters and I if we’d been to the “Grand Saloon” lately*.

*Nah, we said. We’ve been hanging out at “Ron Fooleries.”

Of course, watching sports together can be difficult. And when there’s a break in the action, that means there are a few minutes to tell a story*.

Dad: Hey Rus, did I tell you I saw… um, well, … I was out buying groceries at… well, you know the place down the street. And I saw, you know, he used to go to school with you?
Me: …
Dad: You know who I’m talking about?
Me: Uhh, maybe?
Dad: Well, anyway. KU looks good. The Morrie twins are playing well.

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