From the Belle Tower | British teens say dads can do better

From the Belle TowerJune 21, 2014 

I probably shouldn’t even bring this up so close to Father’s Day, but British teenagers, who are exactly the same as American teenagers except without all the orthodontia, said in a recent survey that their dads could do a few things better if they’d only try.

Yes, here’s a nice way to come down from that ever so brief Father’s Day high, the one day of the year when everyone in the family let you nap in peace. The one day when you could eat fried pork skins straight from the cellophane bag without a lecture about what trans fats can do to a middle-age colon. The one day when you didn’t have to apologize for wondering why they even bother to televise women’s golf.

Asked to name the top five things their Dads could do better, 500 British teens voted for no dancing, no singing in public, dressing better, telling better jokes or, ideally, no jokes at all and not trying to be cool by using age-inappropriate language.

I am forever telling Duh Hubby about that last one. I have often explained that such behavior is embarrassingly gnarly. Specifically, it’s not cool when Duh takes a bite of a burger and says: “This burger make me feel some kind of way.”

Bloody awful it is.

As to the other offenses, well, understood, cheerio and all that. British teens, like American teens, really just want to be left alone. And now we know how far exactly. The poll found that British teenagers preferred an average “22 foot exclusion zone on their dads in public.”

I’m sure this can be nudged down significantly upon arrival at the cashier at the Cineplex. Sorry. Trying to talk British isn’t as easy as I thought it would be so, well, bollocks.

On the plus side, teens were asked to also list the things that their dads did that were worthy of praise.

These were fairly predictable to anyone who has ever had a teen or been a teen. Dads were praised for giving rides, giving money, fixing stuff, having a “relaxed attitude” (I’m guessing that’s code for “unlike Madame Ovary over there who is always nagging over some dumb limey thing or the other”) and, my very favorite response, for “willingness to have meals in front of the TV.” After reading this I’m just now realizing that I am, in actual fact, a British Dad because I do all of those things, especially the last, having recently blessed a family meal of Trader Joe’s lasagna from a TV tray during the opening credits of “Orange is the New Black.” I fancy it; sod off!

The survey also reported that, at least in the United Kingdom, fewer than half as many Father’s Day cards are sent as Mother’s Day cards.

Crikey Moses!

British teens, you have nearly an entire year to correct this injustice. The world is watching so stop being such cheeky monkeys. We good? Brilliant!

CELIA RIVENBARK is the author of “Rude B****** Make Me Tired” and six other humor collections. Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.

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