Mark Chalifoux

Mark Chalifoux

Mark Chalifoux is a stand-up comedian who has been featured on Fox and IFC and has made national radio appearances on The Bob and Tom Show, SiriusXM and BBC Radio. As a writer, Mark has contributed to ESPN.com, CBS Digital, The Baltimore Sun, The Cincinnati Enquirer and The Chalifoux Family Christmas Newsletter. Mark is the father to a beautiful and amazing daughter and her sister.

Put a Dive Bar in Your Backyard Courtesy of Miller High Life

Backyard Bar
(Miller High Life)

Thanks to the most annoying coronavirus of the century, bars in much of the country still remain closed or restricted in time/capacity. We’ve had to change the way we booze, and many of us have had to change the where. Miller High Life recognizes our current hellscape, which is why they are going to put a brand new dive bar right in one man’s (maybe you?) backyard.

Happy hour at your local pub isn’t what it was even a year ago, and we’ve had to change the way we enjoy a cold one. When most of the country started throwing ‘em back at home more, it even caused an aluminum can shortage (sorry, Dr. Pepper fans). Some even enlisted dogs as their new drinking buddies.

Miller High Life wants to change the game for your socially distant boozing, by putting a dive bar right in your backyard. No more worrying about where to go, or how to get home. Instead, they will plunk a free dive bar (valued at $10,000) and outfit the drinking space with bar stools, a popcorn machine, classic wood paneling and questionable art, and dim lighting. They’ll also hook you up with a bunch of free beer.

The champagne of beers gets it, drinking at home doesn’t have to be a bummer (anyone with a basement bar knows this already). You can sign up by texting “DIVEBAR” to 90464, according to the Beer Co, to sign up for the giveaway (or by going to HighLifeDiveBar.com).

The only catch is, if you win, you have to let us come over as much as we want.

MLB Star Flies Home for Two Hours To See Son’s First Tee-Ball Practice

MLB tee ball Freddie Freeman
(Twitter/Chelseafree5)

Traveling for work can be a bummer for dads. You do what you gotta do, but no amount of money lessens the sting of missing important milestones your kids reach while you’re out of town. Whether it’s the first word, first step, a birthday, or some other important moment, you want to be there for as much as you can. That’s why one MLB star flew home in the middle of a road trip, for two hours, just so he could watch his son’s first tee-ball practice in person.

Few things bring dads and sons together like sports. We’ve seen baseball dad surprise his son with a new bat, and then catch a home run his son hit with said bat. Even in the pros, dads never lose that feeling of joy when their kid does something big.

So Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman did everything he could to be at his son’s first tee-ball practice. Freeman flew home in the middle of an 11-day road trip, so he could squeeze in two hours at home. Then he flew straight to Washington for a game that night.

A ton of travel, just for two hours at home, and I’m sure it was worth every bit of hassle to Freeman, as he got to surprise his son and watch his first practice. It was also Freeman’s birthday, but I’m sure that felt like a distant second to getting to spend that moment with his son. Freeman’s wife Chelsea posted about the surprise on social media,

Atlanta won the game against Washington that night, no word about how good Charlie’s tee-ball team was, but I’m going to bet it’s pretty good with the son of a major leaguer on the squad.

Teacher Creates a Community Library in Her Garage Amid COVID

teacher creates garage library
(Facebook/MissMartin's Neighborhood Library)

An elementary school teacher in Texas had basically accumulated a personal library for her classroom over the years. Then earlier this year COVID-19 caused her school to move to remote learning. With the closest public library inaccessible for most of the community, she wanted to help fill that void and keep kids interested in reading. And that’s why she started a community library, with more than 2,000 books, in her own garage.

Teachers are amazing people. We see reminders of this constantly, as they go above and beyond for their kids. We see it in the teacher that carried a student confined to a wheelchair on a field trip. We saw it when teachers all over the state of Alabama donated sick days to a colleague caring for his infant with cancer. And we see it in the everyday actions teachers take to help kids learn.

In this case, Jennifer Martin had witnessed reluctant and nonreaders blossom into avid readers after having a positive experience with books, so that’s why she got to work on her garage library. A friend built the shelves and Martin moved in her massive collection of books for kids of all ages.

Since opening the library, they have had more than 60 kids check out books (they can get two at a time, on the honor system). More importantly, it’s a chance for her to connect with her students, and for kids to connect with each other (with masks and social distancing rules in place).

“During this challenging time, it’s even more important to provide opportunities for connection,” she told The Dad. “And there’s really nothing like seeing a student’s excitement about getting a new book!”

Martin has run into some hurdles, such as figuring out the best way to sort the books, but she has been blown away by the support from friends, colleagues, parents, and community members. She said she’s had students she taught 10 or 20 years ago who have been donating books through Amazon or even visited the library to make a donation. Some have even come back to help volunteer at the library.

The library continues to add new titles to the mix, including more Spanish books and continues to thrive. 2020 has brought unique challenges, but it’s also seen more than a few people rise to meet the challenge and help other people.

“Reading provides an adventure for the reader, and now, more than ever, we need adventures,” Martin said.

This Condo’s For You, Listing Showcases Florida Home Covered in Bud Beer Cans

Beer House For Sale
(Facebook/KearneyAndAssociatesFlorida)

Say what you will about 2020 but it’s provided us with some pretty unique real estate opportunities – like a beautiful home that has a complete jail in it. Now a condo for sale in Florida (of course) has come on the market that is completely covered in beer cans. Not, like, post bender empties that haven’t been cleaned out, but more like a meticulous crafting project that included a copious amount of beer drinking (the best kind of crafting!).

We can all agree Dads love beer, whether it’s drinking with your dog, or even enjoying your last beer with your kids. Dads happily embrace the dad bod that comes with a beer hobby, some dads even drink a Dad bod beer.

The listing agent thought the seller had found a unique wallpapering, without realizing it was more like a unique lifelong obsession. The original tenant, who has passed away, was a huge fan of Budweiser and spent years working to cover every single wall and ceiling (except for the bathroom) with beer cans.

Budweiser shared the images of the condo on it’s Facebook page, saying “The perfect house doesn’t exi—”

The home was owned by a Navy Vet, who spent 16 years consuming enough product for the job. The 2-bedroom condo in South Florida is for sale for $100,000, although to sweeten the deal, Budweiser is offering free beer to whoever buys it (as long as they don’t renovate).

Healthcare Worker and NFL Mom Gets Honored on Madden Cover

Miles Boykin Mom on Madden
(Twitter/MBoykin814)

Over the summer, Baltimore Ravens receiver Miles Boykin tweeted that his mom finally discovered he had used her credit card to pay for his Xbox live membership and that she had been paying it for the NFL player since he was in SIXTH GRADE! But, with some help from Xbox and EA Sports, he made up for it by helping his mom, a healthcare hero, become the first female to grace the cover of Madden.

Madden reigns supreme when it comes to sports video gaming (personally, I’m an NBA 2k and FIFA guy, but you can’t deny the Madden popularity over the years), even if the fabled Madden curse has become but a footnote in history thanks to Patrick Mahomes. And NFL players today, like Boykin, grew up playing Madden.

Still, it’s always funny when a professional athlete with a multi-million dollar contract has his mom paying for his Xbox live membership. He tried to intervene and take over the payments, but she said she might as well just keep picking up the tab.

Boykin appealed to Xbox for help. And they came through, in a big way.

Boykin’s mom, Felicia, is a healthcare worker, so Xbox and EA decided to help Miles show his appreciation for her. She not only received an Xbox Game Pass (so she’ll finally stop getting charged for Miles’ subscription), she also got a copy of Madden with herself on the cover, which will also go to some of her healthcare hero colleagues (along with new Xbox consoles).

Miles also takes the chance to tell his mom how much she’s meant to him and his development.

“You’ve always been there. You helped me become the man I am today and I will forever be grateful to you. I would give you the world if I could and you would still deserve better,” he said. “You not only supported my passion for football but also my second love of gaming.”

She also received a custom Xbox One controller, a pair of new Nike Air Zoom Pulses, and a pair of custom cleats for Miles to wear with her image painted on them.

It’s a great way for Miles to repay a parent, and I will now consider this the threshold for all kids going forward when it comes to recurring subscription fees.

Relationship Argument Leads Couple to $177K Lotto Win

Argument leads to lottery win
(Courtesy Virginia Lottery)

Relationships aren’t easy. There’s always going to be disagreements, arguments, and fights about those arguments. That’s a healthy part of the relationship (assuming those fights aren’t WWE-style), as ignoring problems can just make them worse. For one Virginia woman, having an argument with her boyfriend paid off with a lottery win and hopefully, they don’t argue about splitting it. because the payout was substantially more than the $1 jackpot we previously reported on.

Like, literally, in real money, not in relationship building or coming to a better understanding of each other. Chyanne Creel got into an argument with her boyfriend and they decided to go for a drive to cool off.

When they stopped for gas, she sent her boyfriend inside to buy some snacks (essential) and some lottery tickets (why not?). One of the scratch-off tickets hit the grand prize of $177,777. She won almost $200K because of this fight.

There are some important lessons we can all take away from this. She didn’t elaborate on what the fight was about. Was it about improperly loading the dishwasher? A disagreement about the distribution of household chores? Could they not come to an agreement about what to watch on Netflix?? Who knows what the magical elixir was here? So, the take away is to ignore what popular literature would tell you about not sweating “the small stuff.”

Instead, sweat it, sweat it all. Never miss a chance to argue or fight, and make sure to chase every single argument with a lottery ticket. This is a proven path to success both financially and in a relationship. Is she grinding your gears because she’s hogging the remote? Don’t hold back, because that could be what brings a massive influx of cash into your lives.

I mean, sure, she hit the big prize on odds that were greater than one in a million. So yeah, it may take some time for this path to bear fruit. But even if you don’t deliberately go searching for an argument, at least you know in the back of your head, should you find yourself in a fight, there is more than one way to make-up and get lucky.

Daughter Saves Dad’s Taco Truck With a Tweet

Twitter Taco Plea Saves Dad's Business
(Instagram/taqueriaeltoritoofficial)

The global pandemic has crushed huge swaths of the economy, decimating entire industries. Few have been hit as hard as restaurants, travel, and entertainment. We’ve lost thousands of great, independent restaurants and dive bars, the places that give communities character (along with great meals and memories). And some shops have needed some extra help to stay open in these brutal times.

One of these was a taco truck in Texas. A young woman in Texas had been checking in regularly with her dad, as his taco truck business began to slow to a crawl. One day, after hearing he had only made $6 during a 12-hour shift, she decided to try and help the best way a young person can: by posting about it on social media.

His daughter Giselle posted: “Hey Twitter!! I wouldn’t normally do this, but my dad’s taco truck business is struggling, he only sold $6 today. If you could retweet, I would appreciate you so much!!”

And retweet they did, as it quickly went viral, getting more than 10,000 RTs. And it worked, as he has had more business than he can handle.

His daughter tearfully posted a thank you after customers came in waves until he was sold out. He’s been working ferociously since, as his daughter’s plea to give her dad’s cooking a chance has been heard far and wide.

She said her dad doesn’t understand social media, but “is so grateful for everyone who is spreading the word.”

“COVID has been a nightmare for small businesses, thank you for putting a smile on his face,” she added.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Tortas Cubanas made FRESH to order 💕

A post shared by @ taqueriaeltoritoofficial on

It’s a sweet story of a daughter’s love for her dad helping save his business, but the broader takeaway is just how hard this time is on a lot of people, and the only path forward is for communities to come together to help those who need it most in any way they can.

Cowboy-Hat-Wearin’ 94-Yr-Old Great Grandfather Conquers Water Slide

Great Grandfather Conquers Water Slide
(Facebook/michaelandmichelle.graham)

Sometimes in life, you just gotta go down a cool water slide into a pool. And if you do it when you’re in your 90s, the levels of badassery are compounded. It was a 94-year-old great-grandfather in Oklahoma who did just that, in a video that has since gone viral and, as the kids would say, “won the internet.”

It’s a cute video, as the family helps up him the ladder and cheer him on the entire way. One of the family members shared the video and said “When your 94-year-old Papa says I’m going down the water slide that means he’s going down the water slide! I love him so much and hope to be half the man he has been through his life.”

He later told the Today Show that he had some trouble explaining to his grandfather why so many people watched the video.

“I said two things that I see. One is people were really excited to see someone of your age still active and doing things. Then the other is there’s been lots of comments, how much people can see the love in the family. And that’s always been a big part of our life. He is the patriarch of the family and everybody gets together and has each other’s back.”

And you know what, he’s pretty much nailed it. It’s not the type of video that’s going to start a conversation or change the way things are done. It’s not going to cancel a celebrity or force a brand to make some serious commercial. It’s just a fun moment, captured by a family and shared with the world, to give you a smile as you scroll through your phone, working your way through another day.

The world doesn’t have enough of those short, joyous moments, so sharing them wide and far is important.

I guess if you wanted to extrapolate some sort of inherent life lesson or assigned meaning to it, you could say, when life presents you with a water slide into a pool, just enjoy the damn slide.

NFL Team Fills Stadium With Cutouts of Young Fan Who Lost Battle With Cancer

Ravens Superfan Mo Gets Cutouts
(Instagram/Ravens)

Professional sports teams have been letting fans purchase cardboard cutouts to fill stadiums. Strangely, seeing cardboard fans in seats has helped make broadcasts a little less weird.

The Baltimore Ravens took this idea and ran with it. They filled their stadium with hundreds of cardboard cutouts of one teenage superfan who recently lost his battle with cancer.

While some NFL stadiums are allowing small amounts of fans in-person, and some broadcasts are using virtual fans. Others are following the lead of Major League Baseball and filling their empty stadiums with cardboard cutouts. For the Ravens season-opener against Cleveland (total domination by Lamar Jackson and Co., as they routed the hapless Browns), they wanted to do something special.

So, they filled a section with 575 cutouts of Mo Gaba, a superfan who lost his battle with cancer over the summer. They also included one cutout of his mom, who helped him during his fight.

“It’s just hard to believe that my son left behind a legacy and just him being himself,” his mom said in tribute video the Ravens produced. “He did nothing out of the ordinary and what he did in 14 years of his life, I can’t help but be proud of him.”

Mo was more than a regular superfan, the team also rewarded the youngster for his dedication when they had him announce a draft pick in the 2019 NFL draft for the Ravens. Mo, who was born blind, made NFL history by being the first person to read an NFL draft pick written in braille.

Warning, this tribute video from the team will make you cry.

In a statement, the Ravens said the section is dubbed “Mo’s Rows” and will stay in place until fans are allowed back at games. Once they return, the team will find another way to represent the young fan.

Mo’s Rows “serves as a tribute to the young fan who, with his positive outlook and zest for life, captured the hearts of countless Baltimoreans,” the team said in a statement.

The team also honored him with a special “Mo” in one endzone.

South Park Is Tackling COVID in New Hourlong Special Episode

South Park Special COVID-19
(Comedy Central)

After 23-years, South Park has finally found a topic worthy of if its first hour-long episode: COVID-19. The iconic Comedy Central show is airing an hour-long pandemic special on September 30th and the coronavirus and life in 2020 will be skewered in a way only Trey Parker and Matt Stone can.

South Park has ably tackled apocalyptic and depressing stories before, injecting them with a cathartic amount of laughter. Their brand isn’t for everyone, and some people seem utterly intent on never laughing again, but for adults who like jokes, this is going to be a very funny special. We’ve seen COVID humor in 30 Rock and Parks and Rec pandemic specials, but those were limited by the format. This…will be something much greater.

Here’s the full episode description: “Randy comes to terms with his role in the COVID-19 outbreak as the on-going pandemic presents continued challenges to the citizens of South Park. The kids happily head back to school but nothing resembles the normal that they once knew; not their teachers, not their homeroom, not even Eric Cartman.”

The preview shows Randy trying to take advantage of the pandemic, Cartman afraid he might be forced back to school, and Kyle doing his best to practice social distancing. It also shows a classroom with masked kids in plexiglass dividers with a detective as their new teacher.

There’s no official word on the premiere for the show’s 24th season, but the pandemic special promises to be one for the pantheon. The “Pandemic Special” airs September 30th at 8:00 p.m. on Comedy Central and will be available to HBO Max viewers the next day.

High School Football Team Clears Yard for Paralyzed Man After Derecho

Team Clears Man's Yard
(YouTube/KCCI)

A derecho tore through the Midwest in August, causing especially extensive damage in Iowa. Not living in a plains state, I didn’t even know what a derecho was before last month, so of course, 2020 would bring us one of the most devastating on record. The sustained straight-line wind storm accompanied by fast-moving severe storms (thanks Wikipedia) brought winds in excess of 100 mph and destroyed everything in its path.

One paralyzed man in Iowa was surveying his yard after the storm subsided and saw it had felled four giant trees and smashed his fence. Unsure of where to start, his sister and primary caretaker called around looking for a chainsaw. What she got instead was 30 football players (and coaches) from a local high school football team, armed with chainsaws and ready to help.

We’ve seen the power of high school football teams doing good work before. There was the high school football team that carried a wheelchair-bound man to the top of a mountain. Or the team that went above and beyond to honor their number one fan. This time, it was a group of players trying to help someone when they needed it most.

It took them only two hours to turn the yard from a giant problem into a clean-up yard with a repaired fence. One of the seniors told a local news station they were glad to help.

“That’s just really what people in Iowa do, we help each other out,” he said.

The man thanked the kids profusely through tears, and his sister was also grateful, saying she didn’t know what they were going to do.

103-Yr-Old Sets World Record With Skydive for Grandsons’ Graduation

103-Yr-Old Granddad Skydives
(YouTube/ABC News/Skydive Spaceland San Marcos)

Living a life that spans the Spanish Flu, a Great Depression, two World Wars, a Cold War, and now COVID-19, there’s probably little else that could scare you. At least, that’s the case for 103-year-old Al Blaschke. He decided to spend the Independence Day holiday by JUMPING OUT OF AN AIRPLANE.

You would imagine you’ve had enough thrills for several lifetimes at that age. You might think “ahh yes, a well-deserved retirement and rest now,” and spend the rest of your days watching soap operas and baseball and birds. Al set a WORLD RECORD for being the oldest person ever to attempt (and successfully complete, I imagine) a tandem skydive.


And it’s not like he’s just an aged X-Games athlete who has spent his life chasing thrills every waking minute. Blaschke had never jumped out of a plane before (v. relatable honestly) until he was celebrating his 100th birthday. That time, he said everything went too fast.

This time around, the Guinness Book of World Records wasn’t his intended goal. It was just to celebrate his grandsons’ college graduations. And his grandsons made the leap with him.

Honestly, how cool is that? To jump out of a freaking plane with your grandpa, who is setting a WORLD RECORD, to celebrate your college graduation. His grandson told ABC it was just great to jump with his grandpa.

“The world record was just icing on the cake,” he said.

Al took the record, amazingly, by only days. The previous record-holder was also 103. There must be something about that age that really makes you want to jump out of planes.

But it’s also pretty inspiring to see something taking everything they can from life at that age. Not inspiring enough to actually make me want to jump out of a plane, but inspiring enough to raise one in Al’s honor, for kicking life’s ass even at 103.

Dave Grohl Escalates Drum Battle With 10-Year-Old by Writing Her a Theme Song

grohl nandi drum battle theme song
(Twitter/Nandi_bushell)

Foo Fighters’ frontman and iconic dad rocker Dave Grohl is at it again. A few weeks ago, he had a 10-year-old wunderkind throw down the gauntlet for a (virtual) drum battle. And because he is a great dude, he accepted the challenge.

And you know what? 10-year-old music prodigy Nandi Bushell held her own. She’s a legit badass on the drums (and other instruments, if you check out her IG) and held up her end of the drum battle.

So much, in fact, that Grohl decided she was the winner of round 1. And he hinted there would be second round.

And Monday, we got round 2. Grohl took the drum battle to the next level, by challenging her to play a new song he wrote, just about her. It quickly garnered more than 1 million views. He wrote on Twitter:

“….Round 2! Every superhero needs a theme song. Here’s one for you! Mad props to The Grohlettes for the background vocals.”

His theme song, which he said he made up off the top of his head, included lines like

“Number one supergirl/ Best drummer in the world/ Always right on time/ Hero wunderkind/ She got the power/ She got the sound/ Nandi on the drums make the world go round” and “She’s got the power/she got the soul/gonna save the world with her rock & roll!”

His daughters helped with the background vocals. Nandi was thrilled at the latest turn in their drum battle, and took to twitter:

“I can’t believe Mr. Grohl wrote a song about me!?! This is so so EPIC. I think it’s the best song EVER, in the WORLD, EVER!!! Thank you so much Dave. You have raised the stakes to all instruments! I accept your next challenge! Thank you to the whole Grohl family!”

And she posted an adorable reaction video.

In a year where every new development and trending topic is met with dread and trepidation, it’s refreshing to have something cool ongoing and to enjoy awesome people doing awesome things.