1. An article titled “16 Die In Scenic Hot Air Balloon Accident.”
No, you’ve never been on a hot air balloon ride, but your old man knows that’s the exact type of millennial shit you’re dying to do. You’ve always said your Instagram lacked an aerial shot. He saw Up! He gets it! And apparently this happened in Texas, so maybe you should just steer clear of these adrenaline-junky Southerners until things calm down.
2. Rape statistics.
He sends these fun facts and figures while you’re on your evening commute home. You open the email at the exact moment you pass by a strange man muttering praise for Brock Turner while loitering in a shadowy alleyway. You know, the one where they found that dead hooker frozen to a dumpster. According to your old man, your neighborhood is rich in sex crimes, didn’t ya know? That’s why they always film SVU on your block! It all makes sense now! Run!
3. A weather update that doesn’t apply to you.
Boy oh boy, it’s unseasonably hot in Michigan for this time of year. It’s really taking its toll on the usual fall foliage he and your mother enjoy. Your mom’s real worried that her English daisies won’t blossom, but to hell with it. Your dad can sneak in one last game of golf before the end of the season! His Bermuda shorts are ironed and ready to go!
4. His colleague’s obituary.
He died at the ripe old age of 48 from a heart attack! In a personalized note, your dad makes sure to mention that, “ 🙁 the stress from his wife nd kidz was 2 much 4 him. Gave him <3 attack.” Thank god he translated it into Youth Speak so that you can fully appreciate the patricide you’re partaking in. “Life is short. 🙁 YOLO,” he adds, in a reflective afterthought.
Old man dad just wants to make damn sure you know that life is but a fleeting mirage in a desert of misery, and that when you finally claw your way out of the k-hole that is your existence, you’ll be greeted with an ill-attended funeral, featuring some mediocre mini sandwiches and your ungrateful children.
5. A late night theory on what really happened to JonBenét Ramsey.
You know your mother saw a girl who looked awful like her at the supermarket the other day. When he figures out how to attach a photo, he’ll send you a selfie your mom took with the unidentified blonde cashier. You guys live in a real nice town, after all. Why wouldn’t JonBenét Ramsey want to live there? Leave it up to dad to crack the case!
6. There’s been a new addition to the endangered species list!
It’s the ivory-billed woodpecker, an animal so unimportant that its bill, a vital part of its birdness, was embellished just so people would almost give a fuck. Keep an eye out, kiddo. They’re native to North America and, just like your old man, they could die and be gone forever at any moment, and should be appreciated and cherished while you still have them.
Oh, and they would like some new golf clubs for Christmas.
7. An article about what it means to be gender neutral, along with a lengthy note about how back in his day men were men and also, who is this Bruce Gender fellow everyone’s always talking about?
He pines for the simpler days, when a man could fart at the urinal with abandon. If dames start coming into his bathroom, he’s gonna have to go out and buy a damn tux, he laments. You sympathize, as this new bathroom attire and etiquette law will surely be costly to the taxpayer. He signs off with a brief heartfelt sentiment, “That Laverne Cox, though, is one helluva lady, a real looker that one is.”
He and your mother have started watching “Oranges Are The New Black” on the Netflix. A whole gaggle of lesbians on that show. He’s got an article on them, too. Hold on, he’ll email it to ya.