Bill Bryson is my favorite author, and puts my writing skills to shame. His humorous travel writing (e.g., In a Sunburned Country, A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson’s African Diary, Neither Here Nor There), memoirs (e.g., The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, I’m a Stranger Here Myself), and science/history books (A Short History of Nearly Everything, At Home) are all fantastic. He may have written the best passage about Fathers, Work and Family that I have ever read. The following is excerpted from “On Losing a Son (to College)” from Bill Bryson’s book I’m a Stranger Here Myself, 1999:
So much for “love sweet love”
“Dad as doofus” humor is the backbone of many TV sitcoms, as has been since the very beginning. Unfortunately, the “batting average” for this easy type of humor is not very high. There are a few home runs (Homer Simpson or Michael Bluth), some clean singles (Ray Romano, Bill Cosby, Tim Allen, et al), and lots of strikeouts (George Lopez or anyone on “Yes Dear”). And I am not the first to speak out against the lazy TV stereotype of the clueless dad.Very few shows have taken a nuanced look into modern fatherhood and the work and fatherhood conundrum most of us face- “Up all Night” and “Parenthood” are two current shows that do this (I’m sure there are more, but, who has time for lots of TV?). Considering all we committed, working dads are dealing with, the time seems right for a smart, incisive comedy commenting on our issues.
“Guys with Kids” is not that show.
(photo from Kalexanderson’s incredible set of Stormtrooper Father and Son photos, used in accordance with user agreement)
What’s a stormtrooper and father to do? It must be very hard to balance work and family when working in the Death Star. In response to this, Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader have, according to The Onion (the greatest humor and satire site in the internet), opened on-site day care.
Read all about it here:
From the incredibly funny book, Darth Vader and Son by Jeffrey Brown, that my Star Wars-obsessed son bought me for Father’s Day. Some hazards of taking your son to work with you (especially if you work for the Dark Side)… May the force be with all of you this weekend. Thank you for your … Read more