Justin Halperin and his dad, Sam, have been on my mind a lot lately.

I just finished reading the junior Halperin’s 2010 book, “Sh** My Dad Says,” which is an expanded version of what he has posted on Twitter (Which by the way was the vehicle for making his book possible, and the upcoming CBS show staring William Shatner even possible.) with some of the details that help better explain why his dad is being quoted as saying what he apparently said.

Now like it or not, Halperin’s old man is one for using four-letter-words like a $.10 bubble gum machine is one for spitting out a bunch of those little gum pellets. (“They’re offended? F—, sh-, a–hole, sh–f–; they’re just words…Fine. Sh–f– isn’t a word, but you get my point.”)

Like I said, like it or not, often what his dad says, has at the heart of it, a practical life message.

“Sometimes life leaves a hundred-dollar bill on your dresser, and you don’t realize until later it’s because it f—ed you.” Doesn’t it take most of us a long time in life to finally realize that?

On young parents not being able to wait for their infant/toddler to speak:

“The baby will talk when he talks, relax.  It ain’t like he knows the cure for cancer and just ain’t spitting it out.”

I know I’ve said similar things to my own kids like this, particularly to Kari’s eldest son, on a number of occasions where I was serving steak, or cheese burgers or BBQ chicken breasts:

“Your mother made a batch of meatballs last night.  Some are for you, some are for me, but more are for me.  Remember that.  More.  Me.”

Like his dad at the dinner table, I’ve even done the demonstration to the kids on, “See, Mom and I are up here on this level.  And down here, on this level below us, see?  This is you.  Up here, us.  Down here, you.”

On Justin wanting to be a screen writer in Hollywood, and really, when you apply it to how the world works on most of us:

“It’s like being on a merry-go-round, except the horse you’re riding f—s you.”

On picking furnishings in your home and having a knock out looking wife:

“Pick your furniture like you pick a wife; it should make you feel comfortable and look nice, but not so nice that if someone walks past it they want to steal it.”

And the book goes on and on.  For the first 3o or so pages, I laughed so hard, it was hard to refocus my eyes and see the pages again.  (I must just be getting old as hell.)  And then it got to a point where I thought, okay, the shock factor here is wearing on me.  I put the book down a few days and then started reading it again.  More laughing.  More trouble refocusing.  And then at the end of the book, it all is brought back home–the guy’s dad, tough guy that he is, is human, like all of us after all.  He just has a way of summing up the troubles of life we all endure, and, well, saying it in such a way that it’s funny, and two, as shocking as it is to hear it said, when it comes down to it, ultimately, is right.

Before reading the book, I wrote a post on how I was appalled at CBS for doing another stereotypical representation of dads that seemed negative.  After reading the book, my perspective has changed.  I found a lot of how Halperin’s dad responds to things that go wrong in life who I feel about them, I just don’t have as colorful a command on expression as he does.  That or I’m just a chicken to really use it.

The beauty of this book is the practical perspectives it offers about life.  If you can’t handle foul language, you might want to wait for the CBS show.  Though I wonder how they’re going to make the show as funny as the book–the shock value is part of what gets it there.  It’s gonna be like trying to watch a white Eddie Murphy trying to do RAW without cussing, or even making fun of Bill Cosby without the cussing.

Two last references, one, on getting a tattoo, which you know by now, I am opposed to even my kids putting on those silly play ones:

“You can do what you want.  But I can also do what I want.  And what I’ll be doing is telling everyone I know how f—ing stupid our tattoo is.”

And on Telemarketer phone calls–you know the ones that interrupt the dinner hour–that remind me of getting another stupid phone call from my ex wife about some stupid things she’s done or doing or manipulating?

“Hello?….F— you.”

Thank God we finally have phone blocking.  It cuts down on so much of this. Which means this whole thing of having previously given her control with her lies and manipulations can be summed into a simple thought:

“Don’t focus on the one guy who hates you. You don’t go to the park and set your picnic down next to the only pile of dog shit.”

Okay, one last time:

“Hello?….F— you.”

That feels better.  Thanks.

  1. Kevin Gainey

    I’m also interested in seeing how they are able to recreate the humor in the TV show sans foul language. My favorite part of the whole book is when Justin meets his next door neighbors after realizing his new apartment has very thin walls.

  2. Donny Claxton

    Agreed on both points. That’s a funny story, and I saw Shatner do a dead pan of a joke the other night on a tease. I knew the book version. I didn’t laugh.


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