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Review: Shit my Dad says

Remember when you had plenty of seemingly very dramatic personal problems that later turned out to be just plain trivial, but no wise old men could persuade you NOT to take them seriously? Remember when you did have serious problems and looked far and wide and found no help, then came home and saw the safety net in the embrace of your grumpy old people? Remember the moments you, against your own stubbornness, quietly admitted that the old ones who raised you were right 98% of the time?

If you don’t remember any of those, lucky you — you are one happy carefree young bastard. If you do, here’s the one book that could put the rush of nostalgia in perspective. Sh*t my Dad says, by Justin Halpern. And since I hate the pretentious * symbol, I’m gonna write it down here. The name of the book is Shit my Dad says.

One loser, having plenty of time on his hands, started to tweet shit that his Dad says on Twitter. Somehow people liked those one-liners. Over a short time, the guy – or rather, his Dad’s words – became a sensation on Twitter. He got a book deal out of this shit. He got to reflect on his own journey to maturity through all the shit phrases over the years, wrote it down on paper, then published. The final result is one original book that is now in the top 5 of New York Times’ non-fiction best sellers.

I’m gonna pull out some one-liners here instead of writing a lengthy review that defeats the joy of reading the book.

—————–

On toilet training “You are four years old. You have to shit in the toilet. This is not one of those negotiations where we’ll go back and forth and find a middle ground. This ends with you shitting in a toilet.”

On first day of kindergarten “You thought it was hard? If kindergarten is busting your ass, I got some bad news for you about the rest of life.”

On getting in trouble at school “Why would you throw a ball in someone’s face?…Huh. That’s a pretty good reason. Well, I can’t do much about your teacher being pissed, but me and you are good.”

On LEGOS “Listen, I don’t want to stifle your creativity, but that thing you build there, it looks like a pile of shit.”

On fair play “Cheating’s not easy. You probably think it is, but it ain’t. I bet you’d suck more at cheating than whatever it was you were trying to do legitimately.”

On how to tell if food’s gone bad “How the fuck should I know if it’s still good? Eat it. You get sick, it wasn’t good. You people, you think I got microscopic fucking eyes.”

On practicing “Nobody likes practice, but what’s worse: practicing, or sucking at something?… Oh give me a fucking break, practicing is not worse than sucking.”

On the SATs “Remember, it’s just a test. If you fuck up, it doesn’t mean you’re a fuckup. That said, try not to fuck this up. It’s pretty important.”

On moving out of parents’ house for the first time “I’d say I was gonna miss you, but you’re moving ten minutes away, so instead I’d just say don’t come over and do your fucking laundry here.”

On built-up expectations “Your brother brought his baby over this morning. He told me it could stand. It couldn’t stand for shit. Just sat there. Big letdown.”

On baby being a little slow to start speaking “The baby will talk when he talks, relax. It ain’t like he knows the cure for cancer and just ain’t spitting it out.”

—————-

There are all kinds of non-fiction best-sellers out there. There are truly intellectually challenging books packed with humankind’s hi-end knowledge, the kind most of us try and never really get to appreciate because we simply can’t understand. There are also the grown-up versions of baby-Einstein products, blatantly aiming at educating the audience with the “how” magic word on the cover. And then there is Shit my Dad says. The one that sticks in our head, warms our heart, makes us smile long after its completion, and teaches us plenty of good – the one that does all of those with “shit,” “fuck,” “ass,” “damn” and “I love you.”

At my intellectual level, I fucking love this shit.

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Categories: Whatever
  1. 22/05/2015 at 7:46 am

    Normally I don’t read article on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very forced
    me to check out and do it! Your writing taste has been amazed me.

    Thank you, very great post.

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