Tomorrow, I’m heading out to the Medi-Park here in the Yellow (that’s where people go to make out…ask my brother) for a class that is being marketed as “Daddy Survival Camp.” Since being enrolled for this (actually, I don’t think I’m enrolled. I think you just show up), I’ve been struck by the short television advertisements and the online component because they both feature the above photo (the website actually has added the most crudely illustrated flames coming out of each side…peep it) with the words on top: Tough Biker. And on the bottom: Great Father. And then there’s a period at the end. The period really bothers me.
Firstly, the period is unnecessary. It’s not a complete sentence. It’s a headline. You don’t have to punctuate a headline. A horrible copywriter would’ve known this. Such lack of attention kinda scares me a little. I’m just like that.
Secondly, what’s with the marketing angle on this. Tough biker? What if I’m not? What if I hate bikers? Am I going to be out of place? I get the message here that they’re trying to strike up, but it’s too restrictive. They’re trying to say, “Just because you’re a tough biker and you’re mean as hell, doesn’t mean you won’t make a great father.” I get that. Not only do I not care, it’s also just a stupid angle. And that picture is horrific. He looks like he’s stealing the kid. The only thing that saves it is that the kid is kinda smiling and the dad doesn’t really look like a “tough biker.”
Why didn’t they do “Gangsta rapper, Awesome dad”?
Or “Bear wrestler, Still shows up for PTA meetings”?
Or “Trains pit bulls to kill, Learning to love his new ‘puppy'”?
Why stop at “tough biker”?
And while it’s called a “camp,” it only lasts two hours. You don’t stay overnight. Just call it a “class.” That’s okay. I was about to pack a couple of meals and some ointment in case I blistered during a hike out of the canyon.
And, most importantly, I resent the “survival” notion. I’m not going to survive being a dad, I’m gonna col’ whoop it’s ass. When I think of “surviving” fatherhood, I think of some sixteen year old with his baby screaming in his ear as he wrestles it into position to give it the bottle while he’s whimpering to his mommy on his phone, “Mom, I don’t know what to do! He won’t stop crying!” I think of some kid at the mall in his Fubu gear (that’s Fubu: For Us, By Us), languidly pushing a stroller from storefront to storefront while his girlfriend searches for a new hard case for her iPhone. That’s “survival.” I don’t wanna be that.
I wanna be champion dad. Where’s that class? “How to kick fatherhood’s ass”
I’m a sucker for learning and new experiences, though. I’ll go. You betcha. Even if I’m surrounded by twenty teenagers who are learning to change diapers. I don’t know how to do it either.
Here’s what the class is marketing to teach the attendees: feeding, bath time, diaper changing (hopefully this includes how to quell your gag reflex), what to expect during delivery (and where to stand) and “supporting mom.” See, that last one kinda scares me. Who is this class intended for? Do I need a class to tell me how to support my lovely wife? Have I not been doing a good job at that? “Supporting mom” sounds like it’s going to turn into some deadbeat father sitting on the instructors knee getting a fathering in how to not be a loser father. Can I opt out of that portion if that’s the direction it goes?
Anyhow, I’ll report back on my findings. Should be interesting.