RaisingDad: Four More Stories

Not one to be chastised


I had an 8 o’clock appointment.

It was on the other side of town, so I left early to avoid rush hour traffic. Too early, as it turned out, because I got there with a lot of time to kill. A LOT of time. Stopping at a local coffee shop, I asked for their Wi-Fi password.

“Buy something first,” the owner told me.

I thought that was kind of blunt, but fair enough. After paying for my order, I laughed when I read the password on the receipt. 

It said: “BuySomething1st!”

You see, my friends, technology is for the young.

I might have a smartphone, but I don't really know how to use it. If I do ten percent of what my phone is capable of, I'd be surprised.

The other day, I forgot my phone as I left the house. No problem. It made for a day of less distractions. When I got back home someone had thoughtfully placed it on my nightstand. I figured it was my wife. Not only is she beautiful, but she’s very thoughtful that way.

Turns out I was wrong.

Checking my messages, I found one from my father, who NEVER texts me. He wrote: “Found your phone. I left it on your nightstand.”


You can file this under Kids Are Spoiled These Days:

When my daughter and her eight-year-old went to the store to buy me a birthday card, it took a while. My granddaughter was in no rush. She looked at one card and then another. Opening them up and quickly putting them back. My daughter thought she was just enjoying the funny pictures.

“Haven't you found a card for grandpa yet?” my daughter finally asked, trying to hurry her along.

“I’m looking for one with money in it,” my granddaughter explained.


The recent rash of celebrity deaths reminds me of how my father has become rather fond of attending funerals. It gives him something to do. He socializes with friends and family he hasn't seen in awhile, and the food is usually good. 

In my opinion, free food is ALWAYS good.

At one recent funeral, the family went all out. Instead of a potluck where everybody brought something, the family of the deceased had it catered. I noticed that my father went back time after time for seconds, thirds, and even fourths.

“You're going back AGAIN?” I asked him when he got up for the fifth time.

“Why not?” he asked me back.

“People will think you’re a pig,” I told him.

“Not me,” he laughed. “I've been telling them it's for YOU.”


When we were younger my father got pulled over for speeding. I take full responsibility for that.

You see, my brother and I were VERY rambunctious as young boys, and he had to spend half of his driving time threatening us in the backseat to get us to stop fighting with one another.

It was a stormy night, as this memory takes place, and the police officer who pulled us over peered through my father's window into the backseat at us. In his yellow rain slicker, it was obvious he was not happy to be doing his job.

“Isn't it stupid of you to be speeding with your sons in the car?” he chastised my father.

My father isn't one to be chastised.

“Maybe,” he told the police officer, “but I’m not the one standing in the rain.”

How is the moon like my father’s dentures? They both come out at night. theduchenebrothers@gmail.com, @JimDuchene