I waited until relatively late in life to start having kids. It’s just the way it worked out. With my son, this could present a problem if he decides to become an athlete, as pretty soon throwing a baseball around will be about as attractive a prospect to me as an annual prostate exam (and will probably occur with about the same frequency).
With my daughter, however, age just might give me an advantage. I may not be as quick as I once was, but experience has given me cunning. And I’m going to need every bit of guile at my disposal in order to deal with the problem I can already see unfolding right in front of my eyes. She’s going to be gorgeous. The drop-dead variety. This isn’t just my opinion as a dad who naturally thinks his kids are perfect and all that. I’ve seen signs. Bad signs. And they all point to a gigantic headache once my little girl gets boobs.
What signs? Well, sometimes she’ll come home from preschool with a toy or three in her backpack that weren’t there in the morning when she left. At first we thought she was stealing, until the teachers informed us that she often receives “gifts” from the boys. Super. Not to mention the kid from up the street, we’ll call him $#£@head, who nearly falls off his bike staring at her whenever she makes an appearance on the front lawn. $#£@head is at least three years older than my daughter.
Things are only going to get worse from here, I’m sure, and clearly a preparatory strategy must be implemented. I’m not a particularly big or scary-looking guy, so the intimidation gambit will probably have to be ruled out. A more cerebral approach (or as close as I can manage) will likely be required to keep all the drooling, pubescent miscreants at bay. My action plan has yet to be finalized (pending a comprehensive review of local statutes, etc) and is subject to change, but here are a few of the bullet points I’ve worked up so far:
Staying on the cutting edge of technological advancement will be a must. Panoramic surveillance systems, chip implants, thermal imaging, airborne drones… all of these are invaluable tools that must be considered if you’re truly serious about making your home (and your daughter) impregnable. Another option might be the “photonic fence.” This device, still in the prototype phase, can detect any pimple-faced male intruders on your property and swiftly burn them into oblivion with a laser array. At least it will soon, hopefully. Its short-sighted developers have thus far only designed it to work against mosquitos, but you can see there’s a lot of untapped potential here. And best of all, there’s even a DIY alternative, in case costs are a concern.
You might also be wondering how to address the communications security issue. Between all the posts on Facebook (and on Craigslist in the worst-case scenarios) combined with time spent on the phone texting, the sheer volume of digital information generated on a daily basis by the average teenage girl is daunting. The near future will likely only see this trend continue and expand, so how can the vigilant father hope to deal with this situation? Well the answer is simple, my friends: Data mining. With just a few keystrokes and the right gray market software you can take a page right out of the NSA’s playbook. All you have to do is input the right trigger words and you’ll be able to effectively keep abreast of all of your little girl’s comings and goings!
#2 Misdirection and Subterfuge
It is a well-known phenomenon that the more a father shows approval in regards to his daughter’s choice of boyfriend, the less chance said boyfriend has at survival. And we’re all aware that over-preaching on the perils of premarital sex often results in a “preacher’s daughter” scenario. Nobody wants a son-in-law with a neck tattoo and/or toddlers in the house while you’re working through a midlife crisis. Therefore, if a father wishes to exert his influence in a direction of his choosing, a working knowledge of reverse psychology is essential. It wouldn’t hurt to acquaint yourself with some time-tested propaganda techniques as well. However, just as any PSYOPS specialist worth his salt will tell you, don’t even bother with this approach if you plan on half-assing things — the chances of a backfire are too great. You must be determined, and willing to wage a sustained and relentless disinformation campaign.
Your main concern, as always, will be the elimination of undesirables. First off, you don’t have to do it all on your own. You could always hire some misfit on Fiverr to do a sloppy job with your dirty work, but you’d be much wiser to spend your money on professionals. Consider outsourcing your misdeeds, AC/DC-style, to a revenge-for-hire company like Alibis and Paybacks. For the right price, this California-based outfit will “plaster scathing fliers all over a victim’s neighborhood” to humiliate the wispy-bearded, ear gauge-wearing teenager of your choice. What’s on the fliers, be it a sexual predator alert or venereal warning, will be situational.
Or maybe you could visit revengecall.com, where you can learn how to “hide your phone number, disguise your voice, pretend to call from a different number and more.” It’s an invaluable resource for those with the stomach for it. And once you’re sent to prison for doing the things they suggest, your new “street cred” will surely discourage any of your daughter’s remaining paramours.
But what if your daughter happens to bring home a boy you actually do like? Some well-mannered, sensible young lad whom you could actually envision marrying your little girl and becoming a beloved part of your family forever? What then? Don’t worry about that too much. It will never happen.
#3 Getting Your Significant Other Involved
This one might be tricky. But assuming you’re not a single dad by this point in your daughter’s development, convincing the mother to fall in line with your way of thinking is a goal you must pursue. Perhaps she considers the harsh (but necessary) strategies and doctrines you’ve devised over hours spent scribbling in notebooks in the dim light of the garage are a little extreme. It’s your job to convince her that what may appear to be the deranged obsession of a self-serving lunatic is actually a loving demonstration of your level of commitment. After all, we’re talking about the future happiness of the precious fruit of both your loins here!
Once you’re both on the same page and share the same dedication to the cause, you can finally get down to the business at hand: keeping the filthy mitts and all other appendages belonging to hormone-addled boys the hell away from your daughter. Let’s try on some examples of how you can work in tandem to achieve maximum effectiveness.
The indirect approach: So your little girl has brought some gangly idiot home to “do homework” or “hang out.” Presuming you’ve had the foresight to remove the locking mechanisms from all household doors, you can proceed to stymie any attempts at clandestine hankpankery by way of your own, very public displays of affection. You and your wife can make like Mickey Rourke and Kim Bassinger in 9 1/2 Weeks (or Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider in Last Tango in Paris, depending on your level of fitness) from room to room and up and down the hallways. This will serve the dual purpose of immediately obliterating any and all lustful thoughts from your daughter and her beau, while simultaneously strengthening your marriage.
The direct approach: Instill fear. When a father is hostile towards his daughter’s boyfriend, everyone knows it’s just an instinctual reaction. It’s practically a tradition, and his antisocial behavior tends to be taken with a grain of salt. But what if the mother is the one with the crazy eyes who’s doing all the stomping around and the door slamming? Judging by a lot of family dynamics, the threat has now become very real, and should be taken pretty damn seriously.
For your part, you can assume a submissive, terrified demeanor to enhance the atmosphere of imminent danger. This is also a good opportunity to utilize the “good cop, bad cop” ploy. While the enraged mother storms about the house, murmuring angrily while periodically breaking appliances, the “meek” and “friendly” father can engage the young male visitor, assuring him he is welcome to visit at any time. While doing so make sure your posture is slumped and dejected, while your eyes silently express a desperate cry for salvation from the unmitigated hell that your life has (and his potentially could) become. After he’s gone you can all have a good laugh about it. Your daughter might not find it as funny as you two do, but she’ll come around eventually.
E. Reid Ross loves the ladies, and by “ladies” we mean “microwaveable burritos purchased in bulk.” Feel free to friend him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and check out his supple body of work over on Cracked.com.