List love: dads who make you feel glad you have your own

It’s Father’s Day in the land down under. The day we celebrate the man who fertilised our egg, showering him with gifts and telling him how wonderful he is. Just in case you’re struggling to think of your dad as world’s best today, reflect on how bad life could be if fiction became reality and you had to call one of these guys father…

5) Al Bundy

He hates his wife. He hates his kid. He hates his life. In fact, he pretty much hates anything that isn’t beer, sport or television. Bundy is the quintessential American bogan. His schemes to get himself out of his dreary life are constantly foiled by his own stupidity and he endlessly blames his family for his miserable circumstances. He spends inordinate amounts of time reminiscing over his past footballing feats… and would happily trade in his family if he could go back to his apparently promising high school football career. Now that’s fatherly love!

4) Michael Jackson

So he may not technically be fictional, but he did live in an amusement park known as Neverland and make a seemingly magical transition from black to white! Bizarrely named Michael Joseph Jr, Paris-Michael Katherine and Prince Michael II after their egotistical dad, these kids were already off to a rough start. Then the icing on the cake. Maybe he just got confused for a minute and thought he was starring in an action hero dangling his arch-enemy over the balcony… but it fact it was his own small baby. Tut, tut, Michael. Parent Michael, that is, not one of the kids!

3) Jack Byrnes

We’ve all heard of fathers being over-protective of their daughters but Jack Byrnes of Meet the Parents fame takes it to the ultimate extreme, making himself the father-in-law-to-be from hell and nearly driving his poor daughter Pam crazy. During the first meeting, Pam’s choice of fiance, Gaylord Focker, is subjected to humiliating jibes about his name and his profession (nursing), forced to sleep in a separate room and given a polygraph test. And to top it all off, Jack’s threat “I will be watching you” turns out to be true… with hidden cameras!

2) Darth Vader

Who needs enemies when you’ve got a father like Darth Vader??? As if it’s not bad enough that he is one of the most evil people not just in the world but the entire galaxy, he is completely missing in action from his offspring’s childhoods. Then, when he finally does show up in his childrens’ lives, what is his method of making up for all the long-lost years? Showering them with love and affection? No. Trying to kill them and cutting off his son’s hand. Brilliant fathering.

1) Homer Simpson

This man is “indubitably” in the running for worst dad ever. Whilst intelligence need not be a criteria for being a good dad, Homer’s complete lack of said characteristic must be difficult for his children to cope with, particularly clever little Lisa. And it doesn’t stop there. Greedy, impulsive, crude, lazy and ignorant, Homer’s pearls of wisdom to his kids include lines such as “Kids, you tried your best and failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.” and his favourite disciplinary technique for Bart is strangulation. Hmmm.

And whilst somewhere underneath all the bumbling stupidity there is a deep love for his family, poor Bart, Lisa and Maggie often come a distant second to his love of alcohol and food… “Well, it’s 1am. Better go home and spend some quality time with the kids.” Yes, Homer, that’s definitely the best time of day (night) to be hanging out with the kids!

But Homer’s greatest fault potentially lies in his happiness with mediocrity…  “As a husband and a father I’m sub-par… I’d rather drink a beer than win Father of the Year…”

Now… happy you’ve got your own dad?

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