The first two weeks of a child’s life are the worst. Oh sure, they’re cute and sweet but really they are just ticking time bombs of potential death. Every sneeze, every cough and every choking noise stops your heart. I hear Parker sniff and I am pretty sure that he is sniffing his final sniff. But once you start getting past the first few weeks, your nerves begin to relax. You begin to realize that you may have done it. This child may live to see you die instead.
And then a whole new set of worries takes over.
Your own mortality suddenly moves to the forefront of your thoughts. Suddenly you’re feeling your knees pop. You can hear this old man grunt when you get out of bed only to realize that you’re the grunter. You don’t know what Snapchat is. Yes, babies aren’t good for much except pooping, sleeping and reminding you of your impending death.
It’s on this note that I have decided to write fatherly advice to my boys. At this point the amount of weird, unidentifiable noises my body is making mean my untimely death must be right around the corner, so I better get some manly advice out now. I’ve decided to focus on the three things most important to a young man and probably the things I know the most about: Sports, Cars and Sex.
Boys, when it comes to picking a bracket for March Madness, it’s not important to know anything about basketball. What is important is choosing winning teams based off bands, comics and movies. For example Xavier might be a 12 seed but you should still take them into the top four because of the X-Men. This is a proven system. I have won several brackets using this system. How did I know Manhattan was going to upset that first round? I didn’t but I knew that I enjoyed the movie, Muppets Take Manhattan and that was good enough.
It can also be applied to choosing any professional team to like. When I was a young buck my step-dad Kerry asked me to choose a football team so that him and my mom could buy me themed presents for Christmas. I told him a good theme is Batman but he just laughed and placed a poster with all the teams’ helmets on it for me to choose. After several minutes of careful thought and prayer I concluded that I would choose the Philadelphia Eagles. Why? Because of sports stats? Don’t make me laugh. It was because I was in an Eagles the band phase of life. I still can’t watch an Eagles game without humming the tune to Hotel California. But let’s not kid ourselves; I have never watched an Eagles game.
When it comes to playing sports your best offense is just hiding in the back, whether that’s the back of the field, the court or the foosball table. Just keep out of sight and eventually everyone forgets you’re playing. I found this approach quite successful in basketball. During my average basketball season, I would only handle the ball 3 times throughout the entire season. That’s a .02 per game average. That’s pretty impressive. It’s almost like I wasn’t even there.
Finally, when it comes to playing Baseball, my best advice is just get hit by the ball. Do whatever you can to get pelted because that it how you get on base. Otherwise you play an entire season swinging and missing like a chump until your parents decide that you need glasses. So you get glasses and sure enough you keep swinging and missing like a chump. Turns out you just suck. But do you know who doesn’t suck? Guys who get on base because they got pelted by a ball. It’ll hurt for a second but the pain is easily washed away by the feeling of victory you have limping to first base while crying. Yay sports!
Boys, nothing is more manly or attractive to a woman than you’re ability to fix (or appear to be fixing) an automobile. The best way to handle this is to learn lots of car phrases like “Manifold” or “Alignment” and put them into one sentence that sounds authoritative. Let’s walk through a typical conversation you might have on a date when your car breaks down. I’ll use myself as the boy and Katniss from Hunger Games as the girl.
KATNISS: Oh no! I smell smoke. I am scared! Hold me, Travis.
TRAVIS: Don’t worry, babe, it’s probably just the manifold not folding accurately.
KATNISS: That sounds about right. I won’t question that at all. Because of your muscles. But what can we do?
TRAVIS: Simple. We just need to origami the manifold and get our alignment all straightened out. That will bring the carbon omissions down which should allow us to up the antifreeze and with a little twist of the socket wrench we’ll be on our way in no time.
KATNISS: That sounds great. I wish you were with me in the games.
TRAVIS: I was… in your heart baby.
At this point I go to my trunk, open it, close it and tell her I don’t have the tools. Then I say something smooth like:
TRAVIS: They must be back at my garage.
And she swoons a little bit and says:
KATNISS: You have your own garage. Wow, so manly.
And then we make out for a bit.
Anyway, boys, you can see that just knowing a few handy phrases is more than enough to impress anyone. I’ve even gone so far as to sneak into some mechanics garage at night and handle his tools so that I can get a bit of that “greasy fingers look” that the ladies love so much.
Look this isn’t an easy conversation to have at any age but if I die unexpectedly in a roller coaster malfunction I want to be able to pass on the amazing tidbits I have learned to you guys. Now there will come a time when your mind will turn to whims of fancy and you’ll find yourself experiencing changes to your body. As you grow from a boy to a young man, you’ll find that your body will change with you. What I am talking about here is that you are a Meidell, which means you will have hair grow everywhere on your body. I am not talking just about just the pits boys. I am talking about the chest, the back, the butt and yes even down there… on your feet. You’ll look like a hobbit and a baboon had a baby. It will be terrible.
There’s no easy way to put this but you will be ugly from the age of twelve until about the age of twenty. That’s why your best chance at being able to get girls interested in you is your sense of humor. Sure you’ll never get a girl to commit to a long-term relationship but every girl is wiling to go out for an evening of laughs with an ugly guy. Don’t believe me? Enjoy a brief slideshow of my life.
Finally, as you move into that time when you’re ready to choose a life long spouse, the best rule I can give you is to pick your woman of choice based off your meat preference. That sounds sexist and… well maybe it is but hear me out. I am not just talking about light and dark meat here. I am talking about Fried, Grilled, Turkey, McDonald’s McRib, etc. Your love of meat (a very manly thing in and of itself) can help you choose the type of girl that best suits you. You like KFC? Hmm well it sounds to me like you might like a girl who enjoys sunbathing like a Kardashian.
Do you like the Cold Cut Trio from Subway where they merge several different kinds of meats together? Well you sound like a prime candidate for a girl with lots of plastic surgery. Maybe you just like a Turkey sandwich with a bit of mayo, that’s a sweet girl from a small town. Now personally, I enjoy Panda Express’s Orange Chicken, which is why I married your mother. It’s got a little bit of spicy but it’s mostly a sweet taste you keep coming back for.
Everyone can be compared to food. It’s the secret to life. Men can be compared to chocolate for women but I am not going to go into that scale here suffice it to say that I am Nestlé Quik. I am quite tasty but ultimately will leave you wishing you had real chocolate milk.
Boys, assuming that gypsy’s prophecy comes true and I die in a freak accident where a piano falls out of the sky, I want you to be able to survive on your own. I hope these carefully thought out pieces of advice will guide you in your life.