A termite walks into a bar
Rogers Rosalie's Rabbits
For Father's Day this week we have decided to give Brian Rogers the day off. He's a dad and he deserves it. We don't know why he specifically deserves it, but there's probably a few good reasons. He's no doubt told some lame dad jokes in his time, so that's a start. At least I thought that was a good enough reason after he walked past my desk in the newsroom one afternoon asking what the latest news was.
I replied "Well, did you hear I was nearly tripping over seals on the beach today? That's news right there."
He replied with "That's not news unless the seal was on the road. Was it on the road?"
“Umm, nope. Why?” I asked.
“Because then it would be tar seal.”
It took a moment for the ole brain cells to click. Clearly we need more coffee in the newsroom.
Secretly though I thought this was a rather brilliant reference to last week's Roger Rabbits column where he was ‘rabbiting' on about roading, rail, and money, ending with ‘Show us the tarseal!' But we don't want to give the boss too much adulation. It might go to his head and then where would we be?
The next day I did come across a seal lying on the road in Pilot Bay. Aha! A tar seal!
So Wogers Wabbits is having a wee west. It's Rosie Rabbits at the helm of our Father's Day column. If I muck it up, Brian tells me the local monastery is hiring a new music director. Anyone can apply if they get the chants.
Some Father's Day questions:
Where did Father's Day come from? Why do we have it?
I discovered Father's Day is unlike other days brought to us by consumerism, such as Boss' Day, Administrative Professional's Day and National Mustard Day. Although I wish we did have National Mustard Day as it could be a catch-all (or ketchup) for all the other holidays that are too much about money and consumption. Would Earth Day be on this list? Has it become too corporate and capitalising? Maybe. Valentine's Day? For singles like me it's like getting a Warrant of Fitness reminder in the mail. You sigh and realise another year has flown by. But Father's Day shines out as an opportunity to buy a card and dote on the person who we look to as our Dad while he laxes out and soaks it all up. But then there's the next dilemma. What to buy?
Love and appreciation
What's important with Father's Day is expressing our love and appreciation for the fathers in our lives. Adopted fathers, mentors, uncles, male friends who are towers of strength.
That's probably what I miss most about my own Dad – his ability to impart inner strength and resilience. And his fun and laughter. He was great at the Dad jokes too.
When we drove past a cemetery, he'd say ‘Did you know that is the dead centre of town?'
He sent my sister off one April Fools' Day to the local hardware shop to buy a sky hook, a left-handed hammer and glass nails. He also loved a good punning opportunity with family meals often peppered by conversations spinning around word themes like “That's tree-mendous! We should leaf them alone because they're branching out and barking up the wrong tree…”
Sadly, he died at age 58 from a brain tumour, and Father's Day became a day of remembering past moments with him. Like when I was 11, and learning to sail. 'Stumpy' was our P-class yacht we'd take out from Kulim Park. I'd capsize in the stiff wind and clamber on to the side trying to hold on. My father on shore seemed to sense when I was about to give up and abandon boat and his voice would ring out over the water "Stick with Stumpy!"
A test of mettle
That phrase became a lifelong motto – don't give up, hang in there, you can do it. I thought about that again this week when Peter Burling came to town with the Auld Mug. Another man made of mettle. The courage to carry on.
New Zealand is getting its mettle tested right now. NZ First asks 'Had enough?' Winston's surely had enough, in fact he had to pay some back.
Labour was advocating a fresh approach and now they're ringing out ‘Let's do this'. I'm not sure what 'this' is exactly. Does that matter? Right now what matters is Father's Day. We're not allowed to ask some MPs about their baby-on-board plans but Tauranga MP Simon Bridges isn't bothered about talking about baby number three on the way. As a father though he's lagging behind PM Bill English who is father to six. Is that even legal in this country? No wonder we need a strong economy. Stephen Joyce would probably say fatherhood is pretty legal.
Another random fact about Father's Day is that it didn't become an official holiday until nearly 60 years after Mother's Day. That makes sense. Women were busy getting themselves the vote, men can take care of themselves.
* A termite walks into a bar and asks, "Is the bar tender here?"