Of all the mammalian species of North America, few are as paradoxically mysterious and demanding of attention as the human father of the United States. Often quiet in his affection and deafeningly loud in his anger, the American dad-as much as we love him-is a particularly exciting study, which is why we’ve created this guide as an aid for readers to identify themselves (if you happen to be a dad), their dads (if you happen to have a dad), dads on television (often a stand-in when your dad’s not around), and dads in the wild.
In The Father of All Dad Guides: from A(doring) to Z(addy), you will learn how to identify fathers through:
- Their markings: Some dads have mustaches. Others do not!
- Dad calls: These include: “I’ll turn this car around right now” and “Can’t you ask your mom about that?”
- Migration patterns: Why does Dad constantly ignore directions when he clearly doesn’t know where he is going?
- Hibernation: Dads are tired all the time.
- Defining characteristics: All dads are different, but they typically fall into at least one of the categories we’ve collected here. Is your dad obsessed with barbecuing? He might be a Grill Dad. Did he only really begin to see women as people deserving of political and social equality after he had daughters? That right there is the Feminist Dad! Does he collect guns and canned food in an underground bunker? Yep, your dad’s a Prepper! Don’t know what a “zaddy” is? It’s the world millennials and Gen Zers are using instead of “sugar daddy!” What a world!
Did you touch the grill? We hope not because, as any Grill Dad will tell you, grilling is an art that only a Grill Dad can perfect. The Grill Dad is a seasonal father who hibernates for most of the winter, only occasionally climbing out of his cave to tailgate before cold weather sporting events. He is most active in the summer, typically stirring when the weather is above 70 degrees. You can track the Grill Dad by following the scent of cooking meat, the smoke that wafts from his backyard (or on sidewalks in areas where backyards don’t exist), or his loud proclamation that while gas grills are easier to use than charcoal grills, nothing beats that charcoal flavor.
While he really doesn’t know how to cook anything that can’t be put on the grill, the Grill Dad is certain that he is the best chef in the neighborhood, if not the world.
The Vacation Dad is the rare dad that exists in specific circumstances, but not in perpetuity (unless, of course, he decides at retirement to drive across the country in an RV). Any dad can be a Vacation Dad, though some are certainly more prone to it.
A Vacation Dad loves organized fun, but is cursed to exist in a state of constant stress and chaos as he attempts to ferry his family from Niagara Falls to Mount Rushmore to Disneyland. Most commonly found shouting at his kids for misbehaving in the car-or misbehaving at the theme park or misbehaving at the museum or Gettysburg or the beach-his face is almost always red (both from anger and sunburn) and his legs encased in cargo shorts.
Will he ever learn from his past mistakes? Just ask the family travel agent, Karen, who’s currently booking the next family vacation to Myrtle Beach.