CSotD: A Day That Shall Live In Infancy

Wallace the Brave (AMS) takes a sweet but kind of downer look at Father’s Day.


Their wistful pessimism is not, however, to be confused with Prickly City (AMS), which takes the occasion to be genuinely unpleasant and divisive.

Spud and Amelia don’t hate their fathers. They miss them in their own quite different ways: Spud literally never knew his father, while Amelia doesn’t really know hers, either, despite the fact that he’s physically, if not emotionally, present.

Hard to say who has a greater right to be frustrated, but at least they’ve got each other.


Mark Parisi could have gone political with today’s Off the Mark (AMS) by having it be Herschel Walker sitting at the computer.

For those who haven’t been following Walker’s saga, he’s made quite a point on the campaign trail of lecturing fathers about the importance of living up to their roles.

And then it turned out he has a passle of secret kids out there, abandoned as was Spud.

The GOP apparently treats being “The Party of Family Values” about as well as it treats its self-proclaimed-but-unpracticed dedication to Christianity. Walker’s attitude towards fatherhood isn’t hurting him any more than his other preposterous lies, which would be humorous except for the fact that he is in a dead heat with incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock (D).


Well, cheer up, because if that one-time football star is a lousy father, he’s been overshadowed in recent years by football stars who are not. I don’t remember the first player who missed a game — and their season is only 16 games long — in order to be present at the birth of his child, but I do recall thinking the world was changing.

I know that it was several years before Drew Brees brought his son down onto the field to help celebrate his 2010 Super Bowl victory, and, by the way, note that the little fellow is wearing sound-cancelling headphones, which we’ve seen on other players’ kids at these events.

Being a dad has become indisputably cool. When our first son was born in 1972, I had to fight my way into the delivery room. By the time our second came along in 1976, it was assumed that you’d be there. I remember a coworker that latter year who planned to go old school and wait outside, and I remember the universal shaming he endured from the whole building.

I also remember my 20th college reunion when I asked about a former defensive lineman and was told that he couldn’t make it: It was his week to be with his daughter.

None of his teammates had ever questioned his toughness back in the day, but neither did they question his priorities now.

Of course his kid came first!


Spud is not the only kid whose dad didn’t stay, and we won’t get into who chooses to leave and who is forced to do so, because for all the little Spuds in the world, that’s not their issue.

But as long as I’m including father-and-kid photos, this story: When I decided my beard should go, I called my son’s teacher and asked if she’d like me to come and shave it off in front of her K-2 classroom.

She was mystified by the offer, until I asked how many of her students had never seen a man shave?

The answer was “Too many” and they were fascinated by the demonstration.


Joe Heller plays upon the current popularity of “Dad Joke” gags, but the daughter’s groan is affectionate, and the impact of silly jokes matters.

Fathers have a challenging style of humor that includes silly jokes that force kids to think and evaluate and understand the simple twists behind a Dad Joke. They also have a related play-style that includes wrestling or tickling or throwing kids into the air and catching them, which simulates risk and helps prepare kids to step out of their comfort zone and learn to embrace adventure.

Yes, of course it can be overdone. And moms also do positive things that can be overdone. And candy is dandy but too much can make you vomit.

Few things are divided into either “Too Much” or “None at All,” and discovering the fun center is part of developing healthy relationships.


Baby Blues (KFS) riffs on the fact that most men don’t gush and go on, and that both Darryl and his dad are pleased with having touched base even though they didn’t have a lot to say.

Deborah Tannen contends that men are buttoned-up at home because their competitive nature makes them more outwardly chatty in the workplace and home is a safe-space where they don’t need to mount displays, while women are the opposite: They reduce their perceived vulnerability in the workplace by not revealing, and then want to expand and share in the safety of home.

This taciturn style can result in the Distant Dad that Amelia mourns, but times are changing and you see far more fathers walking babies in strollers or taking kids shopping or coaching T-ball teams these days than you did 25 years ago.

If the trend keeps up, kids will begin to know their fathers well enough to give them more personal gifts on Father’s Day than neckties and “Best Dad Ever” coffee mugs.

Maybe then the Spuds and Amelias will have to find other things to bond over.


Juxtaposition of the Date

(Dave Granlund)


(Clay Jones)

I’d have led with Juneteenth, but there were very few cartoons marking the holiday.

Granlund pays homage to its importance, while Jones notes how little anyone seems to care, and, while he’s right about that, I think he’s as wrong to pin it to politics as Stantis was to condemn progressives for not honoring fatherhood.

It’s not our political divisions that minimize the new holiday.

The majority of Americans see both Martin Luther King’s Birthday and Juneteenth as holidays for African-Americans, which means they completely miss the significance of Dr. King, and of the end of slavery, for all Americans.

The point of abolition, and the point of the Civil Rights Movement, was not to make all people identical, of course, but to make them equal. That means everybody.

Apparently, closing the post office and the banks has not accomplished this.

Can’t blame Sly.


9 thoughts on “CSotD: A Day That Shall Live In Infancy

  1. The best Father’s Day mug I gave my dad said “The first man I ever loved”. I’m the oldest and an unrepentant daddy’s girl.

  2. I really appreciated the WtB when it came up on my feed last night. You don’t see much acknowledgment of the pain that Father’s day poses for children with absent or unsatisfactory fathers in general and finding it on the comics page is even rarer.

    And Amelia swearing her outrage on Spud’s behalf? Another moment of emotional honesty that I’m sure is going to inspire shocked letters from people who prefer to imagine that children are never so ill done by as to merit the right to curse about it.

  3. Rich, you’re right. And having someone indignant on your behalf when you’re feeling down can be very comforting.

  4. Well, my charming father disowned me and said that if I ever came to his house, he would call the police. Luckily, he died in agony.

  5. Lee’s ‘The Other Ones” had a Juneteenth toon on 17 June and sadly appropriate for this day & age

  6. It is also painful for father’s who have estranged children whom they can not reach. Children who have to be mad at someone and you are the only choice. It is a sad day for grandfather’s who are substitute fathers. They could do away with the day as fat as I’m concerned.

  7. I am fortunate to have had a Dad growing up. It was a love/hate relationship, to be sure, but he was there. I didn’t really come to know him till I brought him home to live with me in his later years. Old, and disabled, he was mellowed a bit, but ornery as ever. No one was able to make me as mad as he did. But no one before or since has made me laugh as hard either. It’s been six years, and the mere thought of him has me in tears.
    Happy Father’s Day, wherever you are, Daddy ?

Comments are closed.