Fathers Day Hotline 2020

Good morning and welcome to the First Ever Fathers Day Hotline.

Please listen carefully as we have never tried this before.

If you never listen, please press buttons at random.

We understand. Drive this like a remote control race car down the Santa Monica freeway. Your Fathers Day, your rules.

If you need a pat on the back, please press one.

If you’re not sure how to explain your Dad job, please press two.

For a better understanding of this delicate interplay of fatherhood, please press three.

If you need a reminder that this dad gig is for life, please press four.

For a quick supply of Dad Jokes, please press five.

If you’re wondering whether or not to get a “Dad Bod”, please press six.

For a list of things Dads should never say, please press seven. (For things husbands should never say, press seven and a half. You’re welcome.)

If you’re raising daughters, please press eight.

If you’re raising sons, please press nine.

Thank you for calling the Fathers Day Hotline. Enjoy your family. You are their Hero.

The Forgetful Files Hotline

Hello and thank you for calling the Forgetful Files Hotline.

Your call is important to us.

Please choose from one of the following options, as our menu has recently changed.

To connect with the winning entry for our Father’s Day Writing Contest for Fame and Glory, please press ONE.

To hear the chirping crickets that came with that contest, because apparently Jolie has zero friends or perhaps all of her readers don’t actually have father-figures in their lives or maybe they don’t know how to type or probably they only kept the memories of when their dad caught them sneaking in after curfew and they just don’t think that’s funny, please press TWO.

To join Jolie in her Pity Party, please pour a cup of tea and press THREE.

For an explanation of why a fake entry wasn’t used to pretend there were at least two hundred entries submitted, even though Jolie can speak fluent “imaginary friend with a funny father story”, please press FOUR.

If you know your party’s extension and want to bring delicious flavor to it, please press FIVE.

To find out where Jolie and her dad spent Father’s Day, and to make sense of our recent Instagram photo, please press SIX.

If you would like some elevator music while you wait to be connected, please press SEVEN.

For a sneak preview of an upcoming blog subject, please press EIGHT.

If all you really wanted was five minutes out with the girls, because, seriously, if you had an extra ten minutes it wouldn’t be writing stories for a contest, please pour some pinot grigio, hide in the closet, and press NINE.

If you feel you have reached this number by mistake, please press TEN for verification.

Thank you for calling the Forgetful Files Hotline, and have a nice day.


Father’s Day Writing Contest for Fame and Glory

Let’s get this party started!

I’m hosting a writing contest for the next ten days, and the winner will have his or her story posted right here on Tuesday, June 21st, 2016. Get the rules below.

I’m extending it to actual Father’s Day, in case something happens on the 19th at the last minute and you just have to spill.

And also, so that the winning story will make you feel slightly better about your own Old Man.

I mean, if you knew that one of the family games in my youngest years involved stand-up improv in the living room, which involved my parents asking each child to act out a random word, and it always began with emotions (“Okay, now I want you to pretend you just got your very own puppy.”) and ended with awkward (“Right. So this time you have to be an appliance. You choose and we’ll try to guess what you are.”) then you wouldn’t roll your eyes so hard over the ways your own dad embarrassed you.

Riddle me this: have you ever pretended to be a blender, and did it so well that you brought down the house and ended up labeled for life?

I’m so thankful that television has evolved since then, and now you can watch other people do the blender on America’s Got Talent from the safe anonymity of your darkened couch.

So let’s have a laugh, or at least a groan. It’s short, have fun, play with it.

Rules to Win:

  1. Short and Includes a Dad: It must be 500 words or less and include something funny about or involving or somehow incriminating mentioning your dad. Moms, if you want to tell a “dad story” on your Hubby, that works. If you’re the dad in question and you pranked your kids, fine.
  2. Clean and Fun: Remember, not only is this a Rated G family blog but we want to laugh. As Dave Barry always said, “You can’t make this stuff up.”
  3. Full Disclosure: The dad in question must know what you’re submitting. Make sure you won’t be written out of his will if you tell the whole world-wide web about the time he pretended to be Santa, got stuck in the chimney, and the police had to pull him out. Make sure your marriage will remain intact. Trust me on this one.
  4. Fame and Glory: Oh, yes. Names are up to you. I recommend sticking to my method of never naming names, but I am happy to give your name full credit for the submission or keep you anonymous. Up to you. Let me know.
  5. Deets: Submit your entries starting now. Contest closes at midnight, San Diego time, on Sunday, June 19th, 2016. Judging will occur on Monday, June 20th. All entrants give me, the blogger, sole discretionary use of all submitted materials. Runners-up may be referred to in the June 21st blog and/or posted at a later time.
  6. How To: Click on my “Contact Me” page (above menu) and send in your entry. It’s easier to type up your story in any word document format, then copy/paste it into the comment box there. Leave your name and email so I can contact you back if you win. You can leave the “website” box empty.

When it’s in there, click “submit” and the whole thing will land in my laptop for judging.

I was sitting around in a group of friends one day, and my blog came up.

“Do you find,” asked one guy, “that people tend to behave themselves more than usual around you, now that you write? In case they end up in one of your stories?”

“Actually,” I replied, knowing exactly to whom I was speaking, “I find that they act up more than usual, in the hopes of making it into one of my posts.”

I let this sink in for a moment.

Then I said, “You know, the fame just calls to them.”

I continued, “Everyone wants to be noticed, but I’m pretty sure most are rather particular about what they’d like to be noticed for.”

One gentleman spoke up, “I really enjoy your stories.”

“Really?” I asked, “you read them all?”

“Well,” he replied, “I hear them all, which is a different thing. My wife sits across the table and makes me listen as she reads them.”


“But,” he said in her defense, “I would just sit there and ask her what she’s reading and why she’s giggling and generally annoy her to bits otherwise, and apparently that’s not her version of a good time, so this is a fairly decent compromise.”


“Tell your wife that if there’s something on her mind that she needs you to hear, just let me know. I take requests.”


Fathers Day Give-Away

And here you thought I didn’t do holidays!

You’re right.

But this isn’t a holiday.

It’s an excuse to take my dad out to breakfast and eat french toast with wild abandon.

The man had three daughters in a row, all of whom were supposed to be sons, so I buy him some french toast, too, coffee on the side.

My mom continues to live a life of deep gratitude for us girls, and my dad had to be content with a lifetime of Father’s Days expecting the same three gifts: soap-on-a-rope, cheap cologne, and socks.

It never occurred to us to buy him manly things.

A chainsaw. A new TV tray. Conway Twitty records.

The 70s were full of exciting options, but we were completely distracted by Barbies and bicycles.

If you grew up sporting twin hair braids, embroidered peasant blouses, corduroy bell bottoms, and pleather jackets, you rocked the 70s.

If you ever hung beads or curtains instead of doors in your doorways, you rocked the 70s.

If your dad ever had a full afro on his head with a matching mustache…and he’s not a black man…you may have grown up in the 70s.

If your dad finally took out the afro but kept the ‘stache because he “closely resembles Tom Selleck”, well, you had one studly dad, I guess.

The scents of my childhood include English Leather, Old Spice, Noxema Face Cream, and Irish Spring bar soap. The Avon Lady would come around every month or so and leave us lipstick samples and perfumes like ‘Sweet Honesty’ and ‘Hawaiian White Ginger’.

Soap-On-A-Rope came in several options, very attractive in the glossy brochure.

Our job was to clean the guy up apparently, and I think it’s time to honor that tradition today.

If you would like to join us in this forty-something year running tradition, please do me a favor and sign up as a Subscriber (in the little box on this page, above on the right).

My blog will send you an email to confirm that your link is correct, and then each of my stories will come right to your inbox as I publish them.

(You can read them or delete them…I will never know!)

Subscribers are the backbone of blogs. The number of Subscribers is what shows the blog’s growth, reading this on Facebook doesn’t count.

Show your support and your name will be entered into the drawing for a lovely scented Soap-on-a-Rope, delivered to your door with my compliments.

Dad is happy to let someone else…anyone else, really…have the manly soap hang in a shower far, far away.

If you are already a Subscriber (you’re awesome!) you can leave me a comment about the 70s (in this comment area below) to enter the drawing. Write in the box, then click on “Post Comment”.

You don’t have to put your real name when you leave a comment.

You don’t have to admit you were raised in the 70s by Tom Selleck.

But you do have to admit to showering once in a while.

"I am your father!"

“I am your father!”