Top 10 Fictional Dads

With Father’s Day tomorrow, I thought that I would do a tribute to the fictional dads that I really liked.  Whether they are the biological fathers, or father figures, they are loyal parents and often go to incredible lengths to protect their children.  Sometimes they are diligent, doting parents, other times they are aloof but prove their loyalty in other ways.  I’m not limiting this to any one genre of fiction, because my favorite fictional parents come from all sorts.  Let me know the fictional parents who you admired most in the comments.

10. Sojiro Sakura
Persona 5
When you first meet Sojiro, he’s a stern and almost cold character.  He doesn’t like you and makes no secret of the fact that he sees having to watch over you as a burden.  However, as the plot unfolds you realize that there is a caring man, who has a secret.  He has been caring for the daughter of a dear friend who passed away a long time ago.  The girl is a shut-in and he desperately has been trying to be a good dad while also respecting her very strict boundaries.  But once she is able to come out from that shell, their bond becomes just that much more apparent, since he can finally be a doting father figure to a child who has had a very hard life.  Stern, yet compassionate.  A Japanese father to a fault.

9. Peter (last name unknown)
Animorphs
The father of one of the main characters, Marco, he is one of the most interesting literary parents.  His wife died a long time ago, and he has been looking to move forward with his life ever since.  This has caused more than a little strain between him and his son.  What I like most about the character is the fact that they show him to be human.  Very much so.  He’s lonely, and wants to be able to move forward from losing his wife.  Now, granted there is more to what’s going on with his wife, which makes Marco even more unhappy about how his father is trying to move on, but Peter doesn’t know that and so his son is trying not to hold it against him.  When you finally see the two of them bonding, it feels genuine.  Not the most dynamic character, but a human one all the same.

8. Lieutenant Colonel Griswald
Recess
A military man through and through, and father to Gus Griswald, the Lieutenant is probably the most stern character on this list.  He talks to his son as if he is one of the men under his command, and does have high expectations of him.  However, there are numerous times in the episode where you see him genuinely care for him and even go out of his way to help him in whatever way he can.  The fact that his son wants to follow in his footsteps as a soldier constantly makes him proud, along with the fact that he is loyal to his friends.  Again, not the most dynamic character but having known a few Army brats growing up, this makes me think of them.  One of them had a really shitty dad, but another had one who reminded me of the Lt. Colonel.

7. Hank Hill
King of the Hill
Hank is the quintessential typical American dad.  He’s conservative as all get-out, has no understanding of his son or the world he lives in, and constantly sees the youth culture as strange and disconcerting.  But despite all that, he is still a strong family man.  Not only does he constantly try to be a good husband, but he tries to be a good father too.  There are a lot of moments where he looks after Bobby despite not understanding the first thing about him and the world he lives in.  At the end of the day, him and the family can bicker and argue, but they’ll still have a grilled steak, so long as the grill uses propane.

6. Jack Foreman
Prey
A stay-at-home father who is trying to get used to the dynamic he is living in, all while battling his sense of uselessness and his growing sense of ownership over the home and the relationship with the children as his wife is growing more and more distant.  Jack is a fantastic father.  Not only does he make sure the house runs smoothly, he goes out of his way to try and be understanding of his wife’s situation with her increasingly demanding job.  However, when he gets involved in his former employer’s situation in the desert, and things are looking their worst, the first thought he has is to protect the children that he left behind.  The book ends with him taking radical steps in order to protect them, but he’ll do whatever it takes.  So loyal that he fights against forces so radically overpowering in order to keep what he has waiting for him safe.  Naturally he’s from my favorite book.

5. Bryan Mills
Taken (the first one, not the shitty sequels)
This character is probably the most loyal father ever.  A former CIA badass who ends up retiring so he can try and reconnect with his daughter.  However, when she is kidnapped by Algerian sex-slavers, he will stop at nothing to secure her freedom.  He’ll attack cops, shoot the wife of a former ally, even torture a man by electrocuting him until the power shuts off just to make a point.  Bryan is a no-nonsense, do not fuck with me dad, and has years of “specific set of skills” to prove it.

4. Victor Sullivan
Uncharted (series)
Sully has no children of his own.  However, as you learn in Uncharted 3, one day he happened upon a little punk in Spain who he took under his wing.  That punk just happened to be Nathan Drake.  What came from that was a relationship of two career criminals who just happened to rob the artifacts of ancient empires in order to sell them and live the good life.  Sully is crass, suave, a complete man-whore with all the talent to be cool as fuck while doing it.  He also has no problem using a gun. The scene where he tells Nate that he always saw him as the son he never had was pretty touching.  No matter how he may not have been the best father figure, he is Sully, and that’s all he’ll ever need.

3. Ethan Mars
Heavy Rain
Bryan Mills would kick whoever’s ass to keep his daughter safe, but Ethan Mars is a bit on the different spectrum.  After a moment of losing track of his first son led to him being tragically killed in a car wreck, Ethan and his wife are separated and he is a little overly protective of his younger child.  So when the Origami Killer steals him, Ethan is now in a position where he will do whatever it takes in order to keep him safe.  Even if that means complying with the increasingly-twisted demands of the killer, like to cut off one of his own fingers.  It’s horrifying, but when you see him weather it in order to get his child back, it makes you want to fight even harder to make sure it happens.

2. Maes Hughes
Fullmetal Alchemist
Probably the most doting father on this list, Hughes attachment to his little girl is more than a little insane.  And he makes sure that every single person around him is forced to suffer through it at all hours.  However, underneath that there is an incredibly intelligent investigator who is not only looking to keep his family safe, but also his best friend Roy Mustang.  When he happens upon a truth so horrible that it threatens to destroy everything, he rushes out without hesitation to confirm it.  But in the end, that determination to dig up the truth is what gets the better of him.  The enemy becomes the one thing that he can’t raise a weapon to – his wife.  A good man, a loving father, and a tragic end.  He is pretty awesome like that.

And my favorite fictional dad is…

1. Joel
The Last of Us
While the relationship he had with his daughter Sara is a profoundly beautiful and tragic relationship, we don’t get much chance to know them.  It’s his relationship with his companion Ellie, who becomes his surrogate daughter, that is the one I want to talk about.  Joel is a survivor.  After Sara is tragically killed, he has 20 years for his heart to harden to ice.  But when this teenage girl comes into his life, and goes out of her way to try and bond with him and reach him on a personal level, he finds that ice melting away.  Eventually, he grows to see her as his own child, and will stop at nothing to keep her safe.  To the point that when he finds out the only way to get Ellie’s immunity into a form where it can be made a vaccine would kill her, he sells the ENTIRE human race up the river to save her life.  A cold, calculating, kind of monstrous person, Joel finds his humanity again in that little girl.  When you hear him telling her unconscious body the things he said to Sara and he ran with he, it makes the situation that much harder.

Who are all of your favorite fictional fathers?  And to all the dads out there, Happy Father’s Day

Until next time, a quote,

“Yeah, you keep telling yourself that bullshit.” – Joel

Peace out,

Maverick

A Smile for Father’s Day

Well, it’s another Father’s Day coming up.  And there’s something to know about my old man – he is unimaginably difficult to shop for.  What do you get the guy who has everything he wants and wants nothing else? (I want to put it out there that I acknowledge that being happy with what you have is a good character trait.  But it still makes holidays difficult.  So sue me) Here’s an example – when I asked him what he wanted for Christmas, he said mousetraps.  Because it seems that my cat is not living up to her namesake and killing a mouse somewhere in the house.  That’s what he told me he wanted.  Now, I could have tried to be creative and really go the extra mile.  But you know what I did instead?  I got him the fucking mousetraps.  Okay, I wasn’t that much of a douche.  I included some candy with them.  But still, I got the guy exactly what he asked for.

Now, with Father’s Day on Sunday, I am at a loss again as to what to do?  I’m currently in crushing poverty due to joblessness, that he didn’t believe me when I said that I put in 4 to 10 applications/resumes per day.  If only I could show him what my Sent folder in my email looks like.  The family would know why I’m depressed.  But I can feel my luck changing.  Things are coming together.  I can feel it.  But I digress.  I’m at a loss again as to what to get the old-timer.  Didn’t even ask.  Partly because I am strapped in the extreme for cash (and being forced to ask for their help for that.  Don’t think that makes me proud for a moment) and partly because I knew that I would likely groan at the answer.  Or at least my mother would.  When she heard him say he wanted mousetraps for Christmas, her reaction was almost vocally-exact to what her mother said to her husband.  I swear, it was almost pitch-perfect.

So what am I going to do?  I thought long and hard, and I figured out what I’m going to give.  It’s the best gift I know how to give – a smile.  How will I do that?  With the written word.  Since I know the parentals read my site, they’ll come across this and hopefully they get a laugh.  I will retell an anecdote for you all, which will make you smile, and hopefully the memory of it makes him.  Here goes.

My father is a hunter.  Pretty good at it, too.  I watched one time where he shot a moose so perfectly that it did a backflip and died.  That was kind of amazing.  Good eating, too.  Unlike hunters who just want a head to mount on their wall, we eat what we catch.  Moose is awesome.  Best burgers in the world are made from it.  Man, I am the king of digressions tonight, aren’t I?

Anyway, it was one fateful night when he was out on the hunt.  Left the dog home.  He’s a giant lug, who has all the brain cells of marbles in a tin can.  Carefully stalking prey isn’t what the albino lab is made for.  Myself, the mother-unit, and the dog were doing whatever, when the mother calls me out to the living room.  I do so, and she tells me that he sent her a text, telling her that he’s on to something and coming our way.  Since the prey is likely to come by the house, the logical thing to do is get a rifle for her to shoot, if she gets a chance to finish the job.  Turns out, she gets that chance.  What happens next is just the first part of a wonderfully-hilarious night.

The rifle was a lever-action.  Cocking it should have been the easiest thing.  But did she?  Nope.  Why?  Because for reasons totally unknown, she couldn’t.  I got a laugh while this moose was literally right outside the door.  I should have grabbed the rifle and shot it myself.  I at least know how to cock a lever-action rifle.  But because my mother is incapable of doing so, the old man ended up shooting it.  And it didn’t drop.  It kept moving.  Moving to where, you might ask?  Into a giant grove of trees, that’s what.  A giant mess of old, dead trees that are rotting.  Getting in there was a mess.  It was late at night.  The sun was setting fast.  The light was very limited.  Which means that they had to work quickly.  The animal had to be skinned, gutted, and the vital meat components taken out and hung up.  We couldn’t leave it out there.

Working at night, someone had to have the honorable duty of holding the flash-light.  Believe it or not, but this is something the old man takes very seriously.  Something he apparently got from his father.  If you messed up with the light, that was not a good thing.  Guess who got to hold the light?  Me!  It was deemed my duty.  The parentals would skin and gut, while I held the light.  While the holding of the light is something that my old man takes very seriously, I am in insufferable smartass who is utterly-incapable of stopping myself from being such.  And we were out there for some time.

So what did I do?  I found a way to liven things up!  See, the parents are getting on in their years.  Old couples like the argue.  The parents do it all the time.  While the skinning and gutting of the moose was taking place, they were bickering almost non-stop.  So what did I do?  I found a way to make it into a joke.  I did my best David Attenborough impression and narrated their skinning and gutting as if in a nature documentary.  I was quite proud of myself.  The parents both looked like they wanted to strangle me.  But because I am quite good with voicework and my narrations were funny, they couldn’t bring themselves to stop me.  Who else was going to hold the light?

We ended up getting a crap-ton of moose meat.  It was a good night.  But the thing to take away from this is – if my mother had been able to cock a lever-action rifle, none of that would have happened.  But where’s the fun in that?  To this day, whenever something ridiculous is going on at my house (you wouldn’t BELIEVE how often that happens) I decide to take up the smartass tradition of narrating.

And that’s the Father’s Day story.  None of this happened on Father’s Day, mind you.  But it’s just a story to make people smile.  Hopefully that worked.

Until next time, a quote,

“Here we see the two hunter, stuck in a natural hazard, trying to quickly skin their catch while the light fades.  The hunters do not work well together, and thus there is tension in the group.”  -Lucien Maverick

Peace out,

Maverick

An Ode to Fabio

Woe be the nickname I hath stricken you with
Thine art heard it before knowing who it referred to
In the moving picture with the little fish who was lost
Thine hath been flattered by the comparison
However unfitting though it may be

Thou art the leader of thine family
Strong and noble in thou actions
Be it hunting the wild moose, or flaw in the smoking carriage
Thou hath done many things
Most of which are rather impress, though some…not so much

Verily I say, the patriarch has been a proud teacher
Whether it be the endless spiel about safety in smoking carriages
Or safety in the smoking sled
Thou art’s wisdom lingers with us, and shall until the end of our days
Lest we end up a carriage driver like the Mother, Spirits forbid

Many adventure into faraway lands, thou hast undertaken
Whether it be the island paradise of Kona, or the wet beaches of Seward
Thou hast conquered the mighty salmon!
Many times over
Bringing home a banquet to feed thine family

Wherever thou travels, he does not go alone
Indeed, there is a large white hound who follows
Never far from his master, the loyal mutt goes
He even layeth upon thine lap when thou watches moving pictures
A privilege that was unheard of, in your younger years

Thou takes great comfort in the moving pictures
But there be-ith a man whom you take great offense
He speaks of weather, in a way you find unsatisfactory
Yet thy son finds him quite knowledgeable.
Woe be this dichotomy in the home!

In the future, thou plans to rest from employment
Verily, the wife hopes that thou art find other things to do
Lest you get up in her business and she doth strike you, roughly
Unto thine retirement, good fortunes be
Tho, in all seriousness, do find things to keep thou busy

Thine does not like the son’s cat
Thou art not give her enough attention
Nor the wife
It must be constant
For she is a cat

Yet, in this year of our Lloyd, let us reflect on thine accomplishments
Thou art built a three-story home!
Almost by oneself!
Thou art had two children
One smarmy and charming and writing this Ode

And yet, as the year continues, let us hope for better things
That thou will find peace and contentment
Tho, as is more likely, thou art shall complain about all the things that need doing
Because it’s not as if you have plenty of time
Like, all that retirement time

With that in mind, we say – a happy fatherly day to you, man with the nickname – Fabio
And to all the other fathers, may yours be good as well
But not as good as his
Just saying, he has seniority

Until next time, a quote,

“Ask me no questions, and I’ll tell you no fibs.”  – Oliver Goldsmith

Peace out,

Maverick

The Mother’s Day Dissonance

Dissonance, that is the word that I would use to describe my thoughts on this holiday.  Don’t think that I am going to be criticizing it on its merits or just saying that it’s dumb.  Far from it.  And I also want to point out that I am not in any way criticizing your mothers or what they have done in your life.  There are a ton of amazing mothers in the world who have done great things for their kids.  But at the same time, it must be recognized that there are also a ton of deadbeat moms who mess their kids up and are a detriment to their kids’ lives.  But here is the thing that gives me dissonance about this holiday – why is somebody just being a mother celebrated?

For those among you who want to do the knee-jerk reaction that they gave birth to the kid, don’t.  So do dogs, cats, snakes, sharks and army ants.  If anything, the queen of an ant colony should get a lot more respect if simply bearing children is why this is a celebrated holiday.  They bear thousands of them.  Most queens bear hundreds of off-spring per day.  So yeah, that is not a good criteria for why there should be a special day for them.

Perhaps it is being a parent.  That reason does make some sense to me.  Honoring the parents in your life who make your life what it is is a wonderful thing to do.  But why one parent in-particular?  Since I won’t be making a post about it, I should point out that this post is also a commentary on Father’s Day.  Another day that has the same problems as this one.  Though it can’t be defended as easily as Mother’s Day can.

However, the problem in celebrating this day because of the good mothers doesn’t hold up because as I have pointed out, not all of them are good.  Some of them are pieces of shit.  My late fiance was abandoned at a group home with her little sister because her mother couldn’t take care of them.  Part of me still wants to find their mother and kick the shit out of her for abandoning her kid, because she couldn’t get clean off of drugs and look after them.  But let’s not drill into the past.  I am hashing this out because I am trying to look for a good metric to have this holiday be what it is on merits alone.

When I brought this up to a friend of mine, she pointed out that religious implications.  In most religions, the mother has a special place that is supposed to be honored.  Most religions see them as sacred because they can create new life.  I guess the writers of their text didn’t know that it takes two, and that the father is equally-important to provide both the genetic material but also in creation.  While the mother may carry the offspring, it cannot be denied that the father is just as important in the creation of it.  Not to mention that I am not a religious person.

Since religion means nothing to me, as I am a man of science, how am I supposed to accept that one parental-unit should be honored exclusively for that reason?  Similarly, how can I accept that the other parental-unit should also be given a special day as well?  There is no direct correlation between a holiday and a group of people existing.

So, what do I think should happen?  Well, to be honest, I think that we should scrap both Mother’s and Father’s day.  Instead, since there are some mothers and some fathers who are worthless sacks of garbage who do nothing but bring pain and misery, I have a different idea – Parent’s Day.  A day that honors the contributions of your parents and all that they have given you.  A day that recognizes that you are who you are because of what they gave you.

For those who want to call foul because the same problems that I said before are prevalent here, I think that this holiday undercuts them, to an extent.  If one of your parents suck, then you can recognize the other.  If both of them do, then you only have one day to have that point ground home in your mind.

Like I said, I’m not criticizing your parents or saying that this holiday is worthless.  Recognizing what your parents have done for you is something that we all should do.  But a parent isn’t worth recognizing because they exist.  This is tied into my thoughts on respect.  Respect is earned.  It isn’t given just because of who somebody is, or their relation to you.  Whenever somebody tells me to respect my elders, I want to almost laugh.  Why?  Because they’re older?  That does NOT entitle them to respect.  Similarly, a parent just being a parent doesn’t mean that we should treat them with some sort of unearned respect.

Don’t take this personal.  I mean no offense to anyone.  Just think about it.  That’s all I ask.

Until next time, a quote,

“Get to know your parents.  You never know when they’ll be gone for good.”  -Baz Luhrmann, Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen 

Peace out,

Maverick