Gee, Dad, You’re Such a Dork!

Photo of Martin C. Fredricks IV with his father, Martin C. Fredricks III
Photo of Martin C. Fredricks III with his son, Martin C. Fredricks IV, June 16, 2002 – Father’s Day

“Mart probably fell into the toilet, and Dad’s making a list of ways to get him out.”

That punch line, originally delivered by my older sister when we were just kids, never fails to bring a laugh at family gatherings. It’s a short story that recently took on new meaning for me.

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The Curse of Christmas Present

Unwanted, useless gifts. They come out of nowhere, from relatives I wouldn’t dream of asking for receipts. Toss them and forget it, I tell myself. But I can’t, I won’t. If something can be purchased, surely it can be returned….

In the wee hours of Christmas morning, after we’ve opened all the gifts and thrown out the wrapping paper, as my relatives gently slumber, I confront the curse of Christmas present.

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The Big Attraction

How to keep the Joneses and all their cash from driving on by on the new Interstate system? Enterprising business owners and chamber of commerce leaders pondered and pondered. Finally, an idea took shape. The Big Attraction was born.

Not long ago, National Public Radio did a piece about a free spirit who has created a mobile desktop publishing office and taken his show on the road. In the tradition of John Steinbeck and his faithful companion, Charley, this gentleman is traveling across the country, meeting folks and printing their stories.

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The Man Chair

A Few Tips for the Hapless Male

photo of guy in chair while women shop

There I sit, helplessly, in The Man Chair.

Don’t confuse this with the infamous lounger where men devour chips and beer in front of the game. Far from a throne overlooking any urban kingdom, this chair is reserved for the stalwart few who venture forth to malls on weekends.

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Blue Skies and North Dakota Slams

Image from above of people holding coffee cups

Many an old codger has been heard of an afternoon here in North Dakota praising the extreme weather.

“Keeps the riffraff out,” says Old Boy, motioning out the window of the local cafe over a cup of scalding black coffee.

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Rock ‘n’ Roll, Acid Freaks & Blow-Up Dolls

“The Rolling Stones,” said my poetry professor. “Hmmmm… I suppose that’s poetry, too, only a little louder. Have a good time.”

RollingStones

In this age of black tennis shoes and Bugle Boy jeans… Oops, excuse me, that was two fads ago. Now it’s boat shoes and the preppie roll on Guess jeans. Or am I still a year behind?

I never was too good with the fad thing. All you have to do is look at the way I dress to know I’m an individual. A slob, perhaps, but an individual.

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