When one begins a relationship with someone, and that certain someone comes equipped with a child or five, how do you introduce that child? My relationship is common law, so I say step daughter outlaw (as opposed to in-law.) I introduced her to one of my classes this way. She interrupted the sit-up portion. She wanted me to carry all her stuff home while she went to someone’s house to study (party.)

“Why didn’t you stop her?” her mother (my sweetie) asked. I told her I couldn’t stop my class to wrestle her to the floor and hog tie her in the back seat of my car then come back and finish the class. There would be too many witnesses. She’d have in jail for illegal confinement or sexual harassment. “Besides.” I said. “She’s stronger than me.”

“What kind of father are you?” she asked as the daughter in question came through the front door. Behind her flew a flurry of notes on meiosis and mitosis she needed to study for her Grade 11 biology final.

“Apparently a good one,” I said. I recalled when I once worked as a social worker, teenagers suffering the turmoil of final exams might run off for weeks. This one finished her carousing and came home within two hours of our last encounter.

I don’t mean to sound smug, but I think I’m getting this fatherhood stuff down pat. Sure, I didn’t have to go through that LaMans stuff, and I wouldn’t know where the velcro strips go on the diapers (and at age 22, 19, 16, and 12, I suspect I won’t have to learn.) This year, I’m going to celebrate father’s day with all the other dads out there.

I’m going to start by reminiscing about all the things my old man to make me such a good father. My father was a mariner. He used to captain tug boats from Vancouver to Tokyo to Anchorage and back. He was gone for six months of the year, but when he was home, and assuming his role as 24 hour dad, he made his presence known. Here is a list of the most important things he taught me.

1.) Knots

As a mariner, he had an extensive knowledge of knots for every occasion. Somehow they all suspiciously resembled a granny knot. “There’s nothing wrong with a granny knot, you little know-it-all,” he said once while hurling my scout book against the wall. One thing about being the captain is that nobody questions your use of knots.

2.) How to pull a loop of rope through your neck without having your head drop into your lap.

This is a good one to try at parties. Stick your thumbs through the loop, and pull. Grimace a little for show. Reach over to the right hand with your left road rage finger, and hook it into the loop. Release your left thumb. If you snap the whole business loudly enough, you’ll create the illusion that it’s going right through your neck.

3.) How to use the 4-way stop procedure.

“We’re coming up to a 4-way stop. You have to stop, then go. If you don’t go, you’ll bugger the whole thing up. Now. Stop. Go. Go now. Aaah. You buggered the whole thing up.”

4.) How to cook.

“If it’s brown, it’s cooked. If it’s black, it’s buggered.

5.) Shaving.

A few well-placed wads of toilet paper should stop the bleeding in a few minutes.

Mike Broderick is an Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he finds employment for people with physical disabilities. Part of this work means affiliation with the Vancouver Board of Trade where he is a member of the Ambassador Club, the Burnaby Board of Trade where he is a member of the Labour Task Force, the Tri Cities Chamber of Commerce where he is an active member of the 10X10 initiative, and the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce. He also does some work as a field Archaeologist. He is also a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to alive magazine, and the proprietor of The Résumé Doctor in Port Coquitlam. You can reach him at home at or at When he is not doing all this he lives in Port Coquitlam with his partner Cecelia


2 Responses to “DAD’S DAY”

  1. Marti Says:

    I like your dad’s advice! Great piece, Mike! Happy Father’s Day to you!

  2. Sharon Says:

    Funny, Mike! You are always a hoot.

    Welcome to parenthood. Mom’s get the same treatment.

    I’ll bet your dad was hard to live with but a great source of stories/advice now.

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