Existing between the Known and Unknown is a world only a select few of us have ever experienced. It is a lawless realm where order and logic hold no sway. It’s inhabitants are legendary for making poor choices – which they quickly disavow.
This is the Dadlands. Marvel at its majesty.
As I slowly – and with a style that is making my high school instructor spin in the premature grave I drove her to – type type these words, March Break is just ending. Without question, this has been the most turbulent MB in my eighteen years in the hospitality trenches, and a large portion of the blame for that falls on the hunched shoulders of my male parent brethren.
To be fair, most dads are hard-working, decent souls who genuinely love and are devoted to their progeny.
But over the course of this March Break, I’ve met more than one dad who needs to be taken behind the wood shed and beaten with a stack of Dr. Spock parenting manuals.
Here now, for your entertainment, amusement and enlightenment are a few stats on the inhabitants of the Dadlands that I’ve compiled from this year’s most recent holiday. I refuse to acknowledge “International Beat A Nerd Day”, naturally…
The average Dad will say, “I’m sorry, dear… it’ll never happen again, I swear!” at least five times a day.
The average Dad will say, “I’m sorry, dear… it’ll never happen again, I swear!” at least one thousand times a day while traveling.
Every Hockey Dad I’ve encountered this week will never, ever say, “I’m sorry, dear… it’ll never happen again, I swear!”… because that implies remorse. And a soul.
Dads would rather eat glass while having a rectal exam by Wolverine than ask for directions. Granted, this has nothing to do with March Break, but it simply bears mentioning.
Ask one hundred Dads if they’re pleased their mother-in-law accompanied them to Niagara Falls and you’ll get lied to one hundred times. Trust me, I’ve done the math on this one.
When questioned at check-out about the in-room adult film they ordered while the family was out 99% of Dads will experience the following physical reaction:
- A bead of intense sweat on the forehead.
- Ridiculously-sweaty palms.
- Uncontrollable memory lapses.
- An inability to speak.
- Sever eye twitching while attempting to formulate an exit strategy.
By the way, the 1% of Dads that escape this reaction by telling the truth will eventually suffer physical and mental pain on a far more intense level once their wives get them alone. Incidentally, the Dad in question was caught with his hands in the cookie jar (shall we say?) when it was discovered he had rented Just For Gags (“Vixens get gagged and love it!”).
In this Dad’s defense… actually, screw that, even I know better than to defend this clueless bastard.
Precisely 2% of male parents will be rendered completely catatonic when they first pop the trunk/back door of their vehicle and see the packing disaster that awaits them. They literally stand still and in some extreme cases, will even begin to sob. (Seriously.) It often falls to the bellman to begin sorting through the travel carnage until the female spouse or daughters arrive to make sense of the senseless.
I hate Dads who freeze up. To be clear, I’ve done it before myself (every parent has) but I try to restrict my breakdowns for something worthwhile.
Like when one of my television shows is preempted or when New Comic Book Day is interrupted.
By the way, if that number seems low to you, just wait…
The other 98% of Dads will avoid the back door (of their vehicle) all-together and just let their spouse take the unpacking fall. And yes, 100% of those men will pay a high price for this transgression – one way or another.
Speaking of paying a price…
When it comes to enlisting the services of a bellman during a holiday like March Break, when prices spike exponentially, 45% of fathers will do whatever it takes to avoid shelling out more cash, including:
- Using wheelchairs, strollers, desk chairs, walkers, and even actual little red wagons to transport luggage.
- Strapping enough baggage to little Timmy’s back to reduce him to a junior Quasimodo.
- Faking a hearing impairment when asked, “Do you need a bellman, sir?”
- Enlisting strangers to carry bags to the elevator.
- Sending the family off to see the Falls and then asking (technically, paying) a hooker to help carry luggage to the room.
Yes, that last point actually happened. The girl looked pissed but as I noted to my colleagues while observing the whole sorted literal affair:
“That’s probably the least shameful act he’ll ask her to do for the money.”
And our final fact…
In spite of their outward demeanor and actions… 100% of Dads mean well.
It’s just too bad more of them don’t show it.
See you in the lobby, kids…