Much to my mother's chagrin, I owe much of my sense of humor to the usual gang of idiots at Mad Magazine. Imagine my reaction when I read this weekend that Al Jaffee, mastermind of back page fold-in, received a long overdue Reuben for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year from his peers at the National Cartoonist Society.
Where would I have been without Al Jaffee, Mort Drucker's movie and TV satires, Sergio Aragones' "Spy vs. Spy" tales, Don Martin's "Adventures of Captain Klutz" and the rest? Probably on my yacht in the Caribbean, counting the millions I made in a real profession.
But I'd be counting very, very dourly.
So, in tribute to one of Mr. Jaffe's most influential works in my life, here are some "Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions" about being an at-home dad:
Q. Do you miss going to an office every day?
A. Definitely, because nothing matches the thrill of sitting in rush-hour traffic.
A. Yes, I just can't seem to get enough exposure to florescent lighting on my own these days.
A. Sorry. I was too busy enjoying life to hear what you said.
Q. Does it bother you that your wife is the family breadwinner?
A. Of course, it does. I graduated with a degree in journalism specifically because the field offered such lucrative earning potential.
A. Well, it is completely throwing off my plans of living off welfare and food stamps.
A. I have a wife?
Q. Do you must miss interacting with other people every day?
A. The telemarketers fill the void, assuming you stretch the definition of "people."
A. Like a Greenwich trophy wife misses her wrinkles and saggy breasts.
A. With a credit card and an Internet connection, I interact all I like for $3.99 a minute.
Q. You must love doing housework?
A. Yes, especially in stilettos and a frilly French maid outfit.
A. Have you seen my house?
A. Yes, and if I don't get a hit of Pledge, Windex and Clorox fumes soon, I'm going to go postal on your ass.
Q. Your children must enjoy having you around all the time?
A. Those aren't my children. I rented them from a real working couple.
A. I have a court order here that says differently.
A. Shhh, they'll find me.
Q. Do the mothers look at you strangely when you show up to your children's events during the school day?
A. Strangely? No. Lustily? Yes.
A. Only when I forget my pants.
A. It's jealousy over how much better I fill out my sundress.
Q. Does being an at-home dad make you feel like less of man?
A. Yes, but I make up for it in beer consumption and poor hygiene.
A. No. Do you feel like more of a jerk for asking?
A. Yes … yes, it does. Excuse me, I need to cry now.
A. Not after I restore the balance by opening this can of whoop-ass on you.
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My Uncool Past
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