What exactly do you get a mob boss for Father’s Day?
Just two dads getting ready for a doctor to look at our junk.
Parents who pick their nose…
My dad can find Waldo better than your dad.
This would be like if Muhammad Ali never punched anyone in the face.
We asked dad’s to write letters to their kid’s future selves. They might have gotten stuck in the present.
Sometimes you just gotta let it go.
I usually can’t stand other dads, but sometimes you find one you’ll go see Frozen on Broadway with.
A dad’s worst nightmare: your kid thinks your favorite pro wrestler is totally lame.
Stage 1: Nostalgia
Your kid points up at the screen “Watch Wiggles?” she asks. “Why not?” you think, smiling to yourself. You were perhaps a little old for them when the Wiggles first appeared on TV screens, but you remember them nevertheless. The smiling faces, the brightly coloured outfits, the fun yet educational songs. What could be more wholesome?
You throw on the show. It’s just as you remember it. The faces may have changed, but the smiles haven’t. Here they all are – Red, Yellow, Blue, Purple, singing the perfect blend of the classics: “Hot Potato,” “Fruit Salad,” “Apples & Bananas,” with some new stuff thrown in. It’s like seeing your favorite band do the perfect reunion tour.
Stage 2: Confusion
Around episode 2 or 3, you start to notice something. This isn’t right. It can’t be. It’s just the same 8 or 10 song segments over and over again in different orders with short, dumb skits about the Blue Wiggle speaking in slow motion or some garbage. And there’s 52 episodes of this unwatchable hell. There’s no way it was like this when you were a kid.
Then maybe you do a little research and see that every Wiggle TV series ever, spanning over 20 years and 7 different titles, has been identical. It’s been this bad forever. This is when you start drinking.
Stage 3: Anger
By now you’re probably on episode 8 or 9. You’ve seen the same lip-synched video for ‘Toot Toot, Chugga Chugga, Big Red Car’ a minimum of 5 times. The hooky melody combines with your whisky-haze in a way that feels like seasickness. You’re starting to lose it.
This isn’t a TV show. You can’t just record an hours worth of footage, then keep re-ordering it to generate “new” “episodes.” If Game of Thrones only shot one battle per season and then just reused the footage every episode, people would riot!
The Wiggles isn’t a TV show. It’s a fucking fast food chain. Just churning out something that looks and tastes enough like the real thing. Dead-eyed employees shovelling reheated slop into a bag. They don’t care what’s in it, so long as overheads are low and you keep coming back. It’s disgusting.
Stage 4: Fear
You’re 20 episodes deep now, and something permeates the dark fog of booze. It’s Captain Feathersword, that irredemable bastard. He speaks to you. “Let’s Go To The Wiggle Show,” he cackles grotesquely. “Yes,” you find yourself thinking. “That sounds great.”
Suddenly you are whisked to a familiar, comfortable location. Footage from the live Wiggles show. The one bright spot in a sea of repetitious mediocrity. Sure, it’s the same old songs and all the footage in the season is from a single concert. Sure, it’s the same people doing the same dances. But suddenly, they’ve come to life. This is where the Wiggles thrive, surrounded by their fans–their devoted followers.
Then you see him, in the center of it all. The Blue Wiggle. There’s a glint in his eye. He knows something you don’t.
And you realize.
This isn’t a band, a TV show, or a fast food chain.
It’s a cult.
Anthony Field, the Blue Wiggle, created The Wiggles. All of this was his idea. He has been the driving force behind them for 27 years.
You pull out your phone, one eye on Anthony grinning at you from the TV, and google this demon. You begin to learn the Blue Wiggle’s dark secrets. The complete re-recording of albums to erase the existence of former bandmates. The Firing Of Moran. The punishing touring schedule. The fitness competitions. It’s all there.
The Blue Wiggle crafts everything to his whim, manufacturing an image, a brand, a message, all designed to cast a thrall over young minds. You see them all out there; the followers, dressed in the robes of their order, singing the sacred hymns along with their chosen leader.
Stage 5: Acceptance
But they aren’t dressed as Anthony. Even in your rye-soaked pallor you can see that the dominant color out there in the frenzied mob isn’t blue. It’s yellow. They’re not here for Him. They’re here for Her.
Emma Watkins, the Yellow Wiggle, dancing accross the stage, bow in her hair, genuine glee on her face. Everything is going to be okay.
You now know of Anthony’s machinations, and strongly suspect Lachy’s behind-the-scenes scheming and Simon’s blind obedience, but none of these things matter. Only the Yellow Wiggle matters. The whole sad affair is worth it for the genuine excitement and admiration on those kids’ faces. They love Emma. They love The Wiggles. And now, so do you.
Stage 6: Hands In The Air
Everybody clap *clap* *clap *clap*
Everybody sing, la, la, la, la, la
Bow to your partner, then you turn around, (yippie!)
Hands in the air, rock-a-bye your bear
Bear’s now asleep, sh, sh, sh
Bear’s now asleep, sh, sh, sh
Been meaning to make this since 2010, but…
When I was but a wee boy, clueless to the ways of the world, I used to think my dad was the world’s greatest inventor. He was the one who mastered technology, who coined phrases, who tirelessly created new ways to be lazy. Yes, Dad was responsible for everything.
Now that I’m grown, I can admit that I was wrong. Way wrong. Hoo boy, was I wrong. But I love my dad, anyway, despite it all.
Here are some things I used to give the old man credit for, before I knew better.
1 Smacking your lips and saying “ahh” after a sip of soda
In the “wisdom” of my thirties, I understand that this is a trope developed by the sodapop industry to make their customers believe that carbonated corn syrup is somehow refreshing. But a quarter of a century ago, I thought it was the funniest thing Dad ever did. Haha! What a sound! There wasn’t any explanation needed. It simply guaranteed a giggle-fit from me.
Compound this with the fact that Dad was strong enough to pop open the tab on my can of Sprite, and you can see why he’s my hero.
2 Petting the cat with your foot so you don’t have to reach
Dad has never been one to extend effort where effort is not absolutely necessary. Our cat, Señor Fuzz, was well aware of this trait–honestly, I think he even admired it. When Dad would recline in his La-Z-Boy, Señor Fuzz liked to nuzzle his cheek right up against the bottom of Dad’s foot. Dad would, in turn, use his surprisingly nimble toes to scratch the cat’s chin.
When I was a boy, watching in awe as my father used his sweaty, stinky feet to bring bliss to the cat, it didn’t register to me as laziness. I saw it as the ingenuity of a true genius.
3 Calling Wednesday “Hump Day”
What did it mean? Where did it come from? As a boy, I couldn’t fathom the answer to these questions. As an adult, though–well, I still can’t. Dad somehow came up with a way to make Wednesdays funny. From that day on, all Wednesdays were camels. Haha! Camels with humps.
In my teenage years, “hump” took on a new meaning. A meaning that Dad might imply, but would never come right out and say. I appreciate that, Dad.
4 Singing in the shower
It’s pretty good, right? It was Dad’s idea to put the acoustics in there, you know. We could hear him all the way in the kitchen, bellowing out the “Scooby-dooby-doo” verse from “Strangers In the Night,” over and over again. His favorite shower numbers were definitely Sinatra tracks. But on rare mornings, when the mood was right, we’d hear him sing “Habenera” from Carmen, or that song that goes “B-b-b-b-b-bird bird bird, bird is the word.”
I want to be clear here: it wasn’t my idea to flush the toilet when Dad was on the bridge of “More Than a Feeling.” It was Matt’s idea, okay? You gotta admit, though, the sudden rush of cold water did wonders to help Dad reach that high note.
5 Slurping milk straight from the bowl after you’ve eaten your cereal
“You want to grow up big and strong, right? Just like Dad? Then put that spoon down, son. The time for spoons is over. Wait. Hold on. Okay, Mom’s not looking. We’re good now. CHUG, CHUG, CHUG!!”
6 Lighting a match after pooping
In the summer of ‘96, my dad sat me down for a serious conversation. “Look, son. You’re developing into a man. Soon you’ll have hair everywhere you can imagine. Yes, you’ll be rich with hair. Richer than you could ever know. Sorry about that, by the way. It’s genetic. For now, your manhood is announcing itself–uh, what’s the word…aromatically–when you step out of the can.” And that’s when he handed me my very first book of matches.
As I lit a match for the first time after pooping, I was reminded, yet again, that Dad was a genius and an innovator–albeit, one who was too cheap to buy air freshener.
7 Oh, and Dad definitely invented the regulations for loading the dishwasher
He just refuses to tell anybody what, exactly, they are.
Did my dad really invent these things? My heart says, “Yes.” My semi-functioning adult brain says, “No way, José.” But that’s not important! What really matters is that Dad taught me the skills, tricks, and quirks that helped me develop into who I am today. For that, I’ll always be grateful.
Now if only Dad could invent a way to tell me what to get him for Christmas…