Wacky Dads by Phil Callaway

Each Father’s Day, my kids like to bring up interesting things I’ve done. Like the time I soaked their toothbrushes overnight in pickle juice. I’m not alone. Here are kids squealing on their dads:


“When we were growing up, my dad said the ice cream truck played music when it had run out of ice cream.” Liar. Here’s another. “My dad asked for a selfie stick for Christmas. Every time he saw someone taking a selfie he wanted a stick to hit them with.” I made a selfie stick out of a stalk of rhubarb. I called it my selfie stalk. My kids were mildly amused. “Airport security asked my dad if he had a bomb. He goes, ‘Like I’d tell you if I had a bomb.’ They detained him for four hours.” Dads, airports are the one place I try desperately not to use humour or irony. “My dad’s a horrible speller. One Christmas, my sister got a present from Satan.” I think he meant Santa. “I once walked into the kitchen to find my dad singing “Let’s Stay Together” to a bag of potato chips.” I prefer to sing to a tub of ice cream, but each to their own.


We dads might be missing a few marbles, but it’s not surprising. Being a dad drains brain cells from your head. As a young father, I was overworked and exhausted. I hardly had the energy to kiss an owie better. To complicate things, dads live in a culture where we’re underappreciated, and over-mocked. Most sitcom dads are selfish, irresponsible and incompetent.


I wish we’d shine the spotlights on dads like the one in China who carries his disabled son 18 miles to school each day. Or the single dad who didn’t know how to do his daughter’s hair, so he took a class to learn how. Or the papa who pushes his wheelchair-bound son in all sorts of events, including marathons. Let’s celebrate my neighbour Steve who refuses to let a congenital heart defect stop him from playing with his kids in front of their house in his motorized wheelchair. I also think of my own father. Overworked and underpaid, he decided it wasn’t about the cash, it was about the kids. So he found time for me and displayed the love of my heavenly Father. Not a day goes by when I don’t miss him.


Dads have an awesome privilege and an amazing promise from Proverbs 20:7: “The righteous who walks in his integrity— blessed are his children after him!” Each of us can walk with integrity today. I’d love to hear how you’re leaving a godly legacy. Let’s make sure our kids think we’re just a little bit loopy. One girl wrote about her dad: “Whenever dad ate corn on the cob, he’d act like a typewriter and go ‘ding’ at the end of each row.”

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Phil Callaway

Phil Callaway, the host of Laugh Again, is an award-winning author and speaker, known worldwide for his humorous yet perceptive look at life.

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