For My Hero, Happy Father’s Day

The following is taken from the speech I gave at my Father’s retirement party. Because I wrote it to be read aloud, I broke some rules of grammar and wrote it in all-caps, please excuse those little annoyances. Happy Father’s Day to my hero. This one is dedicated to Dad.

THINGS MY FATHER TAUGHT ME

 

  • JUST ABOUT EVERYONE ON THE TEN O’CLOCK NEWS IS EITHER A CHOOCH OR A STROKE.
  • LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER.
  • DON’T BELIEVE ANYTHING YOU SEE ON T.V.
  • THERE’S A RIGHT WAY AND A WRONG WAY TO GO ABOUT DOING THINGS, AND THAT ASSHOLE DID IT THE WRONG WAY.
  • BE YOURSELF AND IF PEOPLE DON’T LIKE THAT, YOU DON’T NEED THEM.
  • THERE ARE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD WHO CAN’T FIND THEIR ASS WITH BOTH HANDS.
  • DO YOUR BEST, THAT’S ALL ANYONE CAN ASK OF YOU AND IF YOU CAN HONESTLY SAY TO YOURSELF, ‘I DID THE BEST I COULD’ THEN WIN OR LOSE, YOU HAVE NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF.
  • THERE ARE AT LEAST TEN POSSIBLE WAYS OF GETTING SOMEWHERE AND IF YOU’RE GOING TO ASK HIM FOR DIRECTIONS, HE’S GOING TO TELL YOU ALL TEN OF THEM.
  • FAMILY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THE WORLD. LOVE THEM, TREAT THEM WELL, AND LIVE FOR THEM.
  • FRIENDSHIP IS NOTHING TO TAKE LIGHTLY, IT IS A RESPONSIBILITY AND IF YOU ARE A GOOD FRIEND, YOU WILL HAVE GOOD FRIENDS.
  • CHOOSE YOUR FRIENDS WISELY.
  • ‘D’ IS NOT A PASSING GRADE.
  • PROPER PLANNING PREVENTS PISS-POOR PERFORMANCE.
  • THE BEST TIME TO FINISH A HOUSEHOLD PROJECT YOU’VE BEEN PUTTING OFF FOR MONTHS IS THE NIGHT BEFORE YOU HOST A BIG PARTY!
  • TEENAGERS WHO THINK IT’S FUN TO GET DRUNK WILL LEARN HOW FUN IT IS TO DO YARDWORK ALL DAY IN 90 DEGREE WEATHER WITH A HANGOVER.
  • SWEARING IS A SIGN OF INGNORANCE.
  • THERE IS ONE PERSON IN THIS WORLD YOU CAN CALL MOTHER, SO YOU DON’T CALL YOUR MOTHER ‘SHE’ OR ‘HER’. IT’S MOM, OR MOMMY, OR MOTHER. ANYTHING ELSE AND YOU ARE WRONG.
  • DOING THINGS, SEEING THINGS, EXPERIENCING THINGS, AND LEARNING THINGS IS MUCH MORE VALUABLE THAN BUYING THINGS AND HAVING THINGS.
  • DON’T BE A LIAR OR A SNEAK.
  • SOME PEOPLE DON’T KNOW THEIR ASS FROM A HOLE IN THE GROUND.
  • LEAVE YOUR SISTER ALONE.
  • BE A GOOD EXAMPLE TO YOUR LITTLE BROTHER, ‘CAUSE HE’S WATCHING YOU.
  • DON’T SHAKE HANDS LIKE A LIMP FISH. LOOK THE PERSON IN THE EYE AND GIVE HIM A FIRM HANDSHAKE.
  • TIME TRAVEL IS POSSIBLE, BECAUSE IF I DON’T STRAIGHTEN UP AND FLY RIGHT, HE’LL KNOCK ME INTO NEXT WEEK.
  • TRADITION MEANS SOMETHING.
  • NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU HATE YOUR JOB, IT BEATS DIGGIN’ DITCHES.
  • NEVER GIVE UP.
  • THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS IN LIFE THAT ARE BETTER THAN A SHARP STICK IN THE EYE.
  • EVERY MORNING WHEN YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE YOU SHOULD HAVE TWO GOALS IN MIND… TO HAVE FUN, AND TO LEARN SOMETHING.

I HAVE MY OWN FAMILY NOW, AND I’VE FINALLY LEARNED WHAT IT MEANS TO REALLY DO MY BEST, NOT JUST SAY IT. AND AS I RAISE MY OWN CHILDREN, I DO IT THE BEST I CAN, AND ALWAYS WITH ONE THOUGHT IN THE BACK OF MY MIND, WOULD MY DAD BE PROUD OF THE JOB I’M DOING RIGHT NOW?

FOR ALL THE EXTRA HOURS YOU PUT IN AT WORK SO THAT WE COULD HAVE AND DO AND SEE AND EXPERIENCE, THANK YOU. FOR ALL THE MIDNIGHT SHIFTS YOU HAD TO WORK AND ALL THE DAYS YOU TRIED TO SLEEP WHILE WE PLAYED AND MADE A RACKET DOWNSTAIRS, THANK YOU. FOR TAKING A SCARED, UNCOORDINATED, SKINNY, FOUR-EYED KID AND TEACHING HIM HOW TO THROW A BASEBALL AND HOW TO CATCH A FOOTBALL AND FOR TEACHING HIM HOW TO LOOK SOMEONE IN THE EYE AND GIVE HIM A FIRM HANDSHAKE, THANK YOU. FOR PUSHING ME TO DO RATHER THAN WASTE MY LIFE IN FRONT OF THE IDIOT BOX WATCHING OTHER PEOPLE DO, THANK YOU. FOR TEACHING ME RIGHT FROM WRONG, AND SETTING THE EXAMPLE OF HOW TO BE A STAND-UP GUY, A GOOD SON, A GOOD HUSBAND, A GOOD FRIEND, A GOOD BROTHER, AND A GOOD FATHER, THANK YOU.

AND FOR AS GOOD A DAD AS HE IS, HE’D HAVE BEEN LOST WITHOUT MY MA AND IT’D BE WRONG FOR ME TO NOT INCLUDE HER IN THIS LONG LIST OF THANK YOUS. AND SO FOR YOU BOTH, THANK YOU FOR BEING THE PARENTS THAT YOU WERE AND ARE, FOR BEING THE GRANDPARENTS THAT YOU ARE, FOR LOVING US, AND TEACHING US, AND SUPPORTING US. FOR SLEEPLESS NIGHTS, AND LONG TIRING DAYS. FOR TEACHING US TO APPRECIATE WHAT WE WERE FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO HAVE, AND FOR TEACHING US TO APPRECIATE EACH OTHER, AND FOR GOING WITHOUT SO THAT WE COULD HAVE – THANK YOU.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

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