In my closet there is a hat
And that hat purports a fact
Worlds’ Best Dad it claims
But I’m not sure I’ve earned the fame
With so many dads in a world so fat
Other than occasional conferences and the like, I’m fortunate enough not to have to wear a tie for work. So, I don’t have to worry about the dreaded Father’s Day gift – the diagonal wide-striped necktie. But I did receive a cool article of clothing from my brood this past Father’s Day. It’s a black baseball cap. Fits well. On the front, in silver thread, the hat boldly proclaims the wearer is the World’s Best Dad.
Problem is, the world is a really big place with hundreds of millions of fathers. That’s a ton of competition for the title on my hat. I mean, what if there’s a padre in Bogota that can get his kids better chocolate? Or a fader in Stockholm that can make a tastier Swedish pancake? Or a vater in Bavaria that can tie a better hair braid? It could be, perhaps, there’s a Who dad in Whoville that can read Dr. Seuss at a higher grade.
If one claims to be the world’s best boxer there is a pretty clear metric – bouts won and lost. Similarly, the concert pianist that sells the most seats can claim to be the world’s best ivory tickler. And we all know who owns the title for best actor and role (in case you’re a little unsure, the answer of course, is Leslie Nielsen in Airplane!)
But how can we set up objective metrics and evaluations for World’s Best Dad?
Maybe we could institute a comprehensive formula, similar to the the passer rating for a NFL quarterback. Something like this:
Daddy Rating = ($ + PG) + (Y-n) / Yrs
$ = aggregate spent on yearly birthday and Christmas gifts
PG = monthly trips to the playground
Y = times he capitulates and says yes
n = times he holds his ground and says no
Yrs = his age
But getting back to my point about an overwhelming amount of competition, I entered “World’s Best Dad” into the search bar on Amazon. Yikes. There are World’s Best Dad t-shirts, buttons, license plate frames, coffee mugs, mouse pads, canvas totes, and even a trophy (looks kind of like an Oscar, just seems to have a bigger belly). All of these items anoint the owner to the ultimate place in fatherhood, and judging by the available overnight shipping, make a perfect last minute birthday gift.
So, what do I do if I’m wearing my hat and I see someone on the street wearing their World’s Best Dad hoodie? Do we rumble, like some modern day West Side Story? Instead of switchblades, we pull out our smartphones to see who has the most adorable kid pictures or the most nauseatingly cute Facebook posts from the school recital.
I’m just not sure how we can arrive at a resolution. Maybe the answer is a World’s Best Dad pageant, ala Miss America. Al Bundy can host. Events could include:
- Personal intro: “I hail from the Borough of Red Bank, because with three kids my bank account is usually in the red. I’m Mr. Best Dad New Jersey…”
- Talent competition: “Tonight I am going to change a diaper and wipe a hiney with one hand while I download Disney apps on my smartphone with the other.”
- Swimsuit competition: Well, never mind. I’m of European descent, but I just don’t do the Speedo thing.
- Evening wear: Since evenings out are a rarity, and I’m typically home finishing dishes at 8:00, do sweat pants and a faded Nirvana t-shirt count?
- Onstage question: “Mr. Best Dad New Jersey, how do you feel about the Illuminati symbolism in Nickelodeon kids shows?”
If anything, it would be a t.v. ratings bonanza. I figure the winner, instead of a crown, could receive a Mike Brady wig. There he is, Mr. World’s Best Dad… (as sung by Laurie Berkner).
But maybe World’s Best Dad isn’t an objective discourse. Even Homer Simpson’s kids seem to really love him – despite the (hilarious) buffoonery. World’s Best Dad isn’t a chest beating title with bragging rights. It doesn’t have strict metrics and is actually a bit subjective. It’s definitely an intra-family matter. Because in the end, the only judges I care about are my three World’s Best Children.