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The Encyclopedia Entry for the Midwestern Dad

Scientific Name: Patria Adultus Middle Americanus Common Names: Dad, Pop, Old Man Native to: North Central United States, with heavy concentrations found in garages, basements, and the lumber sections of Menards. Subspecies identifiers: Proudly flaunts the markings of his favorite sports teams to indicate his birth region, broader pack loyalties, and...

Happy Father’s Day: Pearls of Wisdom from My Gay Dads

On getting bullied when I was five: “We do not fight with our hands; we fight with our words. Let me help you brainstorm. What does your bully hate about herself?” On wanting a Tweety Bird shirt when I was ten: “Oh, sweetheart. Yellow is not your color.” On buying Dr. Martens in high school: “I thought you had a boyfriend?” On my prom date: “If that...

Short Conversations With Poets: Forrest Gander

One of the things most alive in contemporary poetry is a sense that even as the ecological ship goes down, we might record the catastrophe, might leave a record of it, and of our witnessing ourselves witnessing what we’ve done to ourselves. We may be a species, the poet suggests — and though he’s speaking in the first person the voice could be any of...

Cordelia from King Lear’s Father’s Day Twitter Thread

(1/23) Cordelia here, honest, loyal daughter, or so they say. Father’s Day is tough for me. Why? READ BELOW TILL THE END. #FathersDay (2/23) So, my father is retiring as king, which is weird, because king is like pope or gameshow host — you don’t step down. But whatever, he wants to shake all cares and business from his age and unburden’d crawl toward...

What Your Favorite ’90s Rock Band Says About the Type of Bored Suburban Dad You Are Today

Barenaked Ladies: You like craft beer. Sleater-Kinney: You like craft beer and claim you were into it “before it became such a thing.” Soundgarden: You wear an apron that says SUN’S OUT, BUNS OUT when you barbecue. Red Hot Chili Peppers: You pretend your spouse picked out the “Live, Laugh, Love” decor in your living room. Dave Matthews Band: After three...

Son, I Just Called to Tell You How Much I Love Field of Dreams

Hi, son. Yeah, I know it’s late. What time is it there? No, everything is okay. Nothing’s wrong. Your mom went to bed a while ago, and I just wanted you to know how much I love Field of Dreams. Did I wake you? Sorry, son. I know we don’t talk that often these days. You seem really busy and sometimes it feels like we haven’t really talked much at all...

Why I’m Selling My Catalog of Dad Jokes

I still remember the first time I told my then six-year-old son Lev that a clam makes calls with its “shell phone.” The laugh of recognition when he first got the joke was a moment I won’t ever forget. When I told it a second time in front of his friends Henry and Amir, I could see how proud he was that I had made his friends laugh. Excuse the bragging,...

How I Saved Enough to Buy a House With My Parents’ Money

A lot of people have been asking me how I put away enough money to buy a house. Well, it’s pretty simple: I saved up for a while, and when that wasn’t nearly enough, I paid for the house with my parents’ money. But simple doesn’t mean easy! I had to make some tough lifestyle changes. For instance, I stopped buying coffee every day and started making...

Six Weeks Is Enough Time for a Woman to Realize She’s Pregnant Because That’s How Long It Takes Jesus to Send Doves to Sing “Life is a Highway” Into Her Ear

I may not be a woman, but I am a Texas legislator, and therefore I am an expert on how women’s bodies work, especially in matters of pregnancy. So let me assure you, if a woman’s natural intuition doesn’t tell her the moment she has conceived a child, then the doves sent down by Jesus to sing the 1992 hit song “Life is a Highway” in her ear definitely...

Short Conversations With Poets: Katie Peterson

Katie Peterson has written several searing books of lyric poems. She writes lucid lines, lines that pierce with their apparent simplicity. Her last book, A Piece of Good News, ended with this one: “In times like these, no one asks for sugar.” “I wanted to let go of sugar and eat everything else,” she writes in her latest, Life in a Field, winner of...

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