It's that time of the year again, one that brings a joyous celebration of love, gifts and togetherness, that special day that people circle on their brand-new kitty cat calendar as soon as they get it. Preparations for this occasion have been known to start months before the date. J.C. Penney's even got a catalog devoted to it. ...
Hold on! Wait a second! We're talking about Father's Day, ain't we? So throw all what I just said right out the screen door and I'll give yinz a real look at Father's Day and the dads we're celebrating.
Some of yinz out there might be asking yourself, "Who the heck is this guy and why does he think he can talk about Father's Day?" Well, let me give you a short resume. I have been in the "Dad business" for years. I've got a 15-year-old daughter, an 11-year-old daughter, an 8-year-old son and hundreds of gray hairs. When it comes to my kids, I have done and seen it all!
Anyone ever have to search for their middle child's stuffed bunny over at Walmart at 2 a.m. 'cause they left it in there and wouldn't stop crying till you found it? Who out there has watched their son and his goofball best friend see who could eat the most maraschino cherries? (As you can probably guess, I was the only loser in that contest.)
First, I gotta say one of my complaints about Father's Day is that I feel it ain't as much a big deal as Mother's Day. That ain't nice. OK, just so's I don't get any of them cussed-out emails, I have to say that I do care about mums and Mother's Day. My wife, Deb, is one of the best mums around -- works hard, runs the sweeper and makes some of the best city chicken you ever ate. This past Mother's Day, I showed her how much I care by taking her out to a nice dinner down at Hoss's. But if we just take a closer look at the dads that we are honoring on this day, I think yinz all might just boost your perspective of this third Sunday every June.
I ain't an expert on all the dads of the world, but I do know that most of the dads right here in Pittsburgh, including yours truly, work hard all year taking care of our families and homes. Starting right at the beginning of the year when this region will dump 2 feet of snow on ya in one night. (By the way, that's right after the weather guy specifically calls for only "light flurries.") Pittsburgh dads will stay up all night shoveling just so the wife can get the car out of the driveway and the kids don't slip down the steps in the morning. We don't even bother asking yinz to help anymore, 'cause we know you won't give up any of YOUR sleep ... geez Louise!
Then in the spring when the snow starts to melt and the grass starts to grow, we wouldn't dare ask yinz to give up one of your "precious" Saturday mornings to help us in the yard. You must just think the "yard fairy" takes care of that great-looking lawn. We put a lot of hard work into our lawns so stop wondering why we don't want you kids cutting through it or why we scream at the "cute" groundhogs that love to dig it all up.
And let's talk about all them times you make us flip away from a Steelers, Pens or Buccos game 'cause you want to watch them "American Idols," "Dancing With the Stars," or whatever goofy show yinz are into that week. That's just fine. We don't mind goingn to the cellar and watching the game on the little TV.
How's 'bout the fundraiser you get involved with over at school in which you gotta sell candy. You end up going around the neighborhood to sell it one time and old Dad is left to get rid of the other 900 candy bars. We don't like them schools trying to make you kids into salesmen. Next time they want you to hawk their junk food, you just say, "No!" You're at school to learn.
But look at me here, I'm starting to sound like a real whiner and not the good kind of wine like that Chillable Red. Pittsburgh dads ain't known as whiners and I'd hate to have my own dad read this and think of me as just some big complainer. He brought me up better than that. He taught me everything I know and made me the man I am today. Yinz should see his lawn! It looks better than the old Westinghouse building's grass off the Parkway. Only thing he ever wants on Father's Day is a nice big bag of pistachios and to be left the hell alone. What a great guy!
I think I made my point about dads and hopefully now yinz will be real good to yours this Father's Day. If your dad wants to take a nap, then go ahead and let him nap. If he doesn't want you messin' up the Sunday paper, then just don't touch the damn thing for crying out loud! If he wants hamburgers on the grill then cook him some. Wait, you know what? Don't touch the grill. Yinz will mess it all up! We'll handle it.
"Pittsburgh Dad" was created by actor Curt Wootton and director Chris Preksta in 2011 and has evolved into a YouTube sensation (youtube.com/user/pittsburghdad) with 1-minute sitcoms, DVD and local personal appearances. Mr. Wootton, 34, a Greensburg native now living in White Oak, wrote this for the Post-Gazette.