Autism can make things very difficult for those on the spectrum, as well as their family and friends. Public events and activities can present unique challenges that often require unique solutions. Thankfully, there are good people all around us who go the extra mile to ensure all people have the opportunity to enjoy life to their fullest.
So when 18-year-old Ty Swartout was recently unable to attend a special event, staffers and volunteers came together in an incredible way to make his dream become a reality.
A huge fan of “The Polar Express”, Ty makes a point to watch the movie monthly and has read the book literally hundreds of times over. So when Ty’s grandparents found out that the Polar Express rolls down the tracks just four hours away from his home, the couple planned a visit for the family.
While the trip to get to The Grand Canyon Hotel’s Polar Express went as planned, upon arrival, Ty was simply too overwhelmed to actually board the infamous train he has loved for so many years. After overcoming two prior meltdowns, Ty and his family were unable to enjoy the ride. But that didn’t stop the train staff from refusing to leave without him. After his parents insisted they continue on, the train departed. “The staff of the Grand Canyon Railway tried so hard to help,” Ty’s mother Angie wrote in a Facebook post.
“They even held the train. Finally, I had to say let’s go back to the room. Angie admitting the initial disappointment was devastating. “I cried all the way back. My heart was shattered,” she says. “I wanted this so badly for my son.”
However, upon arriving back at the hotel, the family had a knock on their door. It was a hotel staffer popping by to check in on Ty. The hotel assisted the family in rebooking their visit with free special needs accommodations. But that was only the beginning, as moments later, another visitor came knocking. While angie and Ty were curled up reading the book, the real-life conductor from the train entered in full attire. “He sat next to Ty’s bed and chatted with him. Ty was star struck. He was so excited and happy. Then the conductor gave Ty his pocket watch! They said that they wanted everyone to experience something special and magical.”
“They succeeded,” she continued. “We may not have gotten to ride a train but we got something even more magical… We got the gift of human kindness!”
With the holidays just around the corner, this serves as a simple reminder of how a small gesture can truly have a massive impact on not only those involved directly but to anyone who encounters the act as well.
It probably isn’t going to surprise you, but remember that Joker movie that came out like two weeks ago and broke all sorts of box office records, toppling the two Deadpool movies to become the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time?
Well, guess what? It’s probably getting a sequel.
Shocking, I know. Usually, when something makes money, Hollywood gives it a round of applause and goes back to the drawing board to create original content, right? I kid, I kid. Everyone knew as soon as Joker made a mint on opening weekend that Hollywood was not only going to be making 50 different, increasingly bad versions of it over the next 5 years but that despite the director’s initial hesitations, there would be a sequel.
I’m not casting aspersions here. I enjoyed Joker just fine – though there’s absolutely zero chance we’d be having this discussion if it were a movie called “Arthur Fleck” or “Taxi Driver, Only Not” and had nothing to do with Batman. Besides if someone wanted to pay me millions of dollars to write a sequel to one of my The Dad articles, I’d sell out in about 3 seconds, especially if it was this one (DM me!).
Anyway, according to the Hollywood Reporter, director Todd Phillips (Hangover 3) and writer Scott Silver are in talks to bring the further adventures of Arthur Fleck to the big screen, though Deadline refutes it:
At this point there are no deals for a sequel, nor even any negotiations with director Todd Phillips or his co-writer Scott Silver to craft one.
Everyone knows this is going to happen, but what will it look like? Will Batman show up? Will it somehow tie into Matt Reeves’ The Batman? Who knows? But after a collection of hits and misses (mostly misses) with their DC comics characters, Warner Bros. has to at least be thinking about tying Fleck into the larger DCEU, right?
I personally prefer the idea of different directors taking one-off shots at various characters from the stable, without being beholden to continuity or uniting via one singular tone. You can’t out-Marvel Marvel! I say stick with the weird non-comic book movie comic book movie thing Phillips did with Joker. The Hollywood Reporter article even said that Phillips inititally pitched a series of origin stories for DC characters, but that has also been refuted. I say forget origin stories, just do standalone stories!
Can David Fincher direct a Zodiac-type movie in which Clark Kent investigates Lex Luthor’s ties to the corrupt government? Maybe Adrian Lyne can do something with Wonder Woman’s love life or Cronenberg can do a body-horror thing with Hawkman?
I’m just spit-balling here.
Most of the time, when we worry about television being a bad influence, it’s about our kids repeating swear words, or taking up smoking. Adults should be old enough and mature enough to know the difference between fact and fiction, and to avoid emulating some of the behavior they see on TV.
Emphasis on “should be,” because there are a couple of guys in Arkansas who definitely didn’t get the memo. At least they have good taste?
Two college chemistry professors were busted by cops for following in the footsteps of one Walter White, the chemistry teacher turned meth kingpin in Breaking Bad. Bradley Allen Rowland, 40, and Terry Bateman, 45, both associate professors of chemistry at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, were arrested last week for manufacturing methamphetamine. One of them even was even known as “Henderson’s Heisenberg,” thanks to a mention in the college paper, in which he said he appreciated Breaking Bad for helping kids get interested in chemistry.
Not everything is the same, though. For one, they’re college professors, not high school. For another, they didn’t cook in an RV. No, these geniuses used a science lab AT THE COLLEGE WHERE THEY WORK.
That’s how they got caught, obviously. Someone reported an overwhelming odor emanating from the science lab on October 9th, when it was supposed to be closed. An environmental services company were the ones who knocked, presumably, when they came to campus to ventilate and clean the lab, shutting it down for nearly a month. Tests came back that the odor was caused by Benzyl chloride, which is one of the ingredients in meth.
Apparently it didn’t take the school long to figure it out as the two men were put on administrative leave on the 11th and are now awaiting their court appearances.
These guys may have taken inspiration from the show, but they clearly aren’t as smart as Bryan Cranston’s evil mastermind. I mean, they cooked where they worked. They might not even be as smart as Jesse!
Sometimes, you learn something that, at first, seems shocking and bizarre, but then you take a step back and realize that it actually makes perfect sense and you were crazy for not realizing it earlier.
This is one of those things.
If you don’t know, national treasure and America’s Dad Tom Hanks is starring in a new movie about national treasure and America’s Dad Mister Rogers. The movie, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, is about a reporter who is assigned to do a story on Fred Rogers, the children’s TV show host.
It’s based on the real-life experiences of writer Tom Junod, who was writing the story for Esquire magazine. He went into the project cynically and came away convinced, as anyone who grew up watching Mister Rogers already is, that the minister turned television star is the real deal.
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If you go back far enough, we’re all related. But that doesn’t make this news any less exciting.
Tom Hanks isn’t actually Mr. Rogers, but he might as well be. He looks like him in the movie, and he seems to act like him in real life, evincing the same kindness to seemingly everyone he meets (check the social media receipts) that the cardigan-wearing host is famous for. Now, after a surprising revelation, we have an actual genetic reason why!
It turns out Hanks and Rogers are actually related! The entertainment show ACCESS confronted the movie star, along with wife Rita Wilson, at the premiere of the film, with the incredible news. The reporter hands the couple a document from Ancestry.com that shows that the two men are 6th cousins, much to Wilson’s astonishment.
The ever-humble Hanks takes it all in stride, saying “It all just comes together.”
The universe works in mysterious, and actually quite logical, ways!
“I’m the single father of two handsome boys and a beautiful girl, the boys with one mom and the girl with another.
We’re apart most of the time so we have to find ways to keep in contact. They say video games are bad for kids and that they need to get outside more but I think we keep missing all the good that they bring.
Me and my kiddos play video games together often – both when they’re with me and when they’re away. All 3 kids are growing up to be very intelligent, they make good decisions, and they are well behaved. Yes, they play video games often, they hop on their phones and they are well connected with all their gadgets… but so am I.
And we share our passions so that they’re not just my kids, but they are my favorite people to be around.
They get along well, they play online together, and when good grades come in, I don’t hesitate to take them to go get that new game.”
– Benjamin Salcedo
Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]
Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.
Parents are embarrassing. It’s a fact of nature.
As you get older, you become more and more secure in who you are and simply stop worrying about some of those silly social norms that used to mean so much. And yes, sometimes this results in the absolute mortification of one’s kids.
Many will even remember these moments for the rest of their lives, which is exactly what Nick Harvey hoped when he posed the question, “What is the most embarrassing thing your parents have ever done in front of you?”
He shared his own to get the conversation rolling:
What is the most embarrassing thing your parents have ever done in front of you?
Mine is probably when, half way through a punk gig, my mum, having heard that I was there, turned up at the rough local pub and dragged me home.
I was sixteen.
I was also the band’s lead singer.
— Nick Harvey (@mrnickharvey) November 8, 2019
Nick’s mom strolled down to a bar and dragged him and his hardcore, punk rock persona right out of there in the middle of a show.
While definitely humiliating, others had stories that were even worse, or at least, equally bad. Admittedly, most of them involve fathers.
A cycling holiday with my parents in the 80s, my dad wearing a pair of far too short shorts and when getting off his bike flashed his testicles at the entire cafe. Remember my mum shouting ‘Peter! Your balls!’
— Happy Project Ldn (@HappyProjectLDN) November 10, 2019
We had to be interviewed by the scary headmistress of my school before I could be accepted as a pupil. Dad had a bad back & mum had just had a minor operation. So he spent the interview lying on the office floor while my mum could only stand up. Weirdest 45 minutes of my life
— Boo (@BermondseyBoo) November 9, 2019
It was the 70s and my dad (working class lad made good) rocked up at at a very posh restaurant. Was told jeans weren’t allowed so he took them off. There. In front of the maitre d’ & guests 😵
— Ｓｕｅ Ｖｅｎｅｅｒ🕸 (@sueveneer) November 10, 2019
My dad came to collect me from a nightclub. I went outside to meet him and he was checking people’s ID’s! As a burley, bald ex rugby player dressed in a black leather jacket everyone coming in assumed he was in charge. The night club bouncers thought it was hilarious. I died.
— Jessica Sparkes (@JessicaRS) November 10, 2019
Grandparent story…hope it’s allowed. My grandad loudly farted on every single step in a department store. When he got to the bottom, he looked at the horrified shoppers and reassured them that there was no structural damage.
— Nic ⚫️ (@TheNoisyTable) November 8, 2019
Similar to your story except I was 15 and in a club. My grandad decided to come and get me😫. Even worse, he got the DJ to call out my name and say ‘your grandads here to pick you up’.
— Dollyday (@welovepampering) November 8, 2019
I once told Mother that my friends and I would keep our money in our teenage girly bras so we didn’t need a handbag. She said she couldn’t do that as she didn’t wear one – and proved it by lifting her top up in the high street and singing “WOOOO” loudly.
— Mitten d’Amour (@MittenDAmour) November 8, 2019
We had to go to a pre-viewing of my 10 year old sister’s sex education class so all the parents could approve it. We were a bit late and he burst in declaring to the room “sorry, typical bloke, missed the foreplay”
— Sam Whyte (@SamWhyte) November 9, 2019
My Mum turned up drunk at my 18th birthday in a club and punched my boyfriend in the face for talking to another girl. The girl was his cousin. I was almost dumped on my 18th birthday.
— Life Didn’t Begin At 40 (@did_40) November 8, 2019
When we were teenagers with mates over later at night, dad was famous for storming downstairs in the nude, shouting at everyone “DON’T YOU THINK IT’S TIME YOU WENT HOME”, realising he was naked, styling it out, slamming the door and stomping back upstairs. Happened more than once
— Legs (@L3GSV) November 8, 2019
When I was 11 I left the house and made it to the school bus without my coat, despite it being below freezing, once the bus was moving I claimed victory, until my father overtook us, did a handbrake turn in the road to make it stop then boarded the bus to hand me my coat.
— Marcus Mitchell 🎸 (@MarcusjMitchell) November 9, 2019
Some stories initially framed themselves as being embarrassing, but actually turned out to be remarkably sweet.
..from the toilets I heard a huge roar as he started playing Beatles songs brilliantly. The whole pub was swaying and singing as my old man blew the roof off. It was the most embarrassing moment followed quickly by my proudest. You were the best Dad, I miss you 🙌
— Chris Jennings (@chrisfishdish) November 9, 2019
That’s rough. At 16 my brother was lead guitarist in a punk band. I once saw my mum, a classically-trained musician, standing at the back of one of his gigs in her smartest clothes, quietly beaming with pride. Love my mum.
— Jason Davies (@JasonPtrDavies) November 8, 2019
Do you have a particularly humiliating story from your childhood involving your parents? Have you already gifted your own kids with one?
Like a modern-day Robin Hood, an ex McDonald’s employee revealed he put an extra chicken nugget in boxes during his entire tenure at the fast-food chain.
Cody Bondarchuk of Alberta, Canada worked under the golden arches for two-and-a-half years. While not necessarily a noteworthy time, he admitted to willingly breaking company policy for the customers’ benefit, à la chicken nuggz.
I worked at McDonald’s for two and a half years and I put 11 nuggets in almost every 10-piece I made
— Cody Bondarchuk (@codybondarchuk) November 16, 2019
Whether they assumed it was a simple mistake or a rebellious act of deep-fried generosity, the sight of an 11th warm, crispy nugget in that 10-piece would surely be enough to brighten anyone’s day.
The fast-food confession is on the verge of passing 80,000 retweets on Twitter and an astounding 900,000 likes, with countless people responding with various forms of praise and hero-worship.
You sir are a true angel 😿😫 pic.twitter.com/GjmTrnuL2T
— Kim 🥒 (@KeepinUpWithKim) November 16, 2019
When asked if he had ever received recognition for his acts while at the store, he responded, “The location was mostly drive-thru so not that I can remember, but I’d like to imagine they went home, saw the extra nug, and smiled a little.”
Other folks even chimed in to share their own generous acts of insubordination as employees in the food industry.
In my 3 years working at a theme park, I gave people towers of soft serve on their cones, overstuffed the pulled pork sandwiches, and fit as many chips as I could into each nacho boat. Give your food service workers some appreciation, because we love you, you filthy animals.
— Roughhouse Camel (@MikeKnudsen3) November 16, 2019
When I worked at Arby’s I used to give extra mozzarella sticks because if rather do that than throw them out. I also got in trouble for giving people water in the large cups when they asked for water bc we were supposed to charge 50¢ for large water which is bs.
— gry toyt (@im_dead666) November 17, 2019
when I scooped Ice cream at Baskin Robbins I always went 3 ounces on the scoops instead of the regulation 2.5 ounces. I like to think there’s a little bit of hero in all of us
— Dr Maurice Zaius (@Dr_MauriceZaius) November 16, 2019
One person asked if there is a statute of limitations on ‘grand-theft-nuggets,’ to which Cody expertly responded, “I hope so because I calculated it and I would owe Ronald about $1,600.”
Well, here’s hoping the mighty clown never comes to collect. Cody, our professional nugg-napper, is truly an American, err… Canadian hero.
Few things are as irresistible as puppies and dad bods, so it makes sense that there’s a calendar dedicated to the appreciation of both.
Lucky Bulldogs Rescue is a non-profit based in Council Bluffs, Iowa specifically focused on rescuing brachycephalic (short snout) dogs from the commercial breeding system, rehabilitating them, and then finding them forever homes.
This year, considering how crucial funding is to keep their mission going, they’ve decided to sell a sultry 12-month calendar featuring professional photos of French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, and Pugs along with volunteer models showing off their best dad bods.
Lyndsey Wright, co-founder of Lucky Bulldogs Rescue and photographer responsible for the adorable shots in the calendar, told Scary Mommy that the ‘Dad Bods & Rescue Dogs 2020’ calendar was a collaborative effort only made possible thanks to co-founding board member Stacy Perkins and a handful of hunky, shapely dudes.
“We just launched it last week in hopes of raising funds to get our rescue going full speed ahead,” she said. “We already have a handful of foster dogs and the more funds we raise, the more dogs we can save.”
“We focus on English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Pugs, Boston Terriers, and other short-nosed breeds we like to call the smushie faces,” Wright continued.
“All our dogs are fostered in the homes of volunteers who work hard to gain the dogs’ trust and teach them that positive human interaction is possible while also maintaining medical care and sometimes dealing with dogs with special needs.”
According to Blue Cross, short-snouted pups like bulldogs and pugs are susceptible to a variety of health issues, including respiratory, tooth, heart, and neurological problems, many of which are due to over-breeding.
Wright specified that Lucky Bulldogs Rescue is always aimed at finding these dogs a loving, permanent family where they “can experience the spoiled pet life after spending their first years being bred.”
One hundred percent of calendar sales go to the non-profit.
So, if you’re interested in helping these wrinkly-faced pups find forever homes, you can pick up the dog-filled calendar for yourself on here for only $20 – the dad bods are just an extra Christmas treat.