Sunday, June 21, 2009

The big piece of chicken

In my search this morning for some songs to honor all the fathers out there on Father's Day, particularly mine, I quickly came to realize the offerings were very limited. One online list of father-centered songs turned up Will Smith's remake of "Just the Two of Us."

I mean, really?

It reminded me of Chris Rock's classic riff during his "Bigger & Blacker" comedy set in 1999 about the diminshed importance - relative to mothers, of course - of the traditional father.

[The real daddies] Make your world a better, safer place, and what does daddy get? The big piece of chicken. That's all daddy gets is the big piece of chicken.
From my perspective, it's hard to argue with him.

Even though plenty of fathers - like my own - worked hard to provide for their families, they're often ignored and taken for granted because outward displays of appreciation and affection are supposedly unimportant to dads. Real men don't need praise; they need quiet time in front of the TV with a beer and the sports section of the Sunday newspaper ... right?

Or not.

In my case, I could not possibly come up with enough ways to express gratitude for my father. I mean, where would I start?

Thanks for spending all those nights teaching me arithmetic on flash cards; thanks for teaching me how to execute a proper layup; thanks for motivating me for little-league football by promising a video game for each touchdown; thanks for boosting my confidence enough so that I summoned enough college to ask out a girl for the first time in my life; thanks for understanding when I bawled like a baby on the drive to college; thanks for encouraging me to keep running up The Hill even when my lungs were burning and my legs were wobbling; thanks for keeping all of my college newspaper stories in a clipbook; thanks for convincing me that Oklahoma City wouldn't be such a bad place to live after all; thanks for hugging me so tight when I found out I lost my job; thanks for being the first to suggest that I ask the First Lady to come join me in Tampa; thanks for being there everday, even when I was less than appreciative. Like, maybe, Tuesday or something.

A big piece of chicken isn't nearly enough. And neither is a song.


KST said...

Ok. You just made me cry. Sounds like we both have (had) wonderful fathers! I love reading stories like this.

Jack T. said...

Cosign. I won't even try to improve on it.

I will say that they should move Father's Day to the fall, so the holiday can be celebrated as it should: in front of the game with a beer.

blackink said...

@KST: Indeed. If we didn't talk about them, it's possible that some people wouldn't even know that they existed.

@Jack: That would be a great move, unless you have a pops who loves baseball or golf. Which, of course, isn't true for my father. There's only football season, and the time when it's not football season in the Ink household.