January 31, 2014
Punk rock is a great way to spend your adolescence, but is has some drawbacks when you”re an adult. For example, having a full back tattoo of a skull-head jellyfish eating Chiang Kai-shek and Fidel Castro enhances your stage presence when you’re screaming into a microphone about anarchy, but the same tattoo makes you feel like a Coney Island freak when you’re at the water park with the kids twenty years later. Punk was about fighting, looking stupid, listening to noise, and being gross. That’s what childhood is all about. Outside of permanent mistakes such as tattoos and ODing on heroin, punk rock is a great way to prepare for fatherhood.
1. YOURE FINE WITH ROOMMATES WHO PUKE ON YOU
While all teenagers get wasted, punks had this thing where you had to be as disgusting as possible while you got wasted. Puking was considered hilarious, and puking on someone was enough to win you the Mark Twain Award for wit. Young kids barf on your shoulder almost as often as they drool, and the only thing that concerns an old punk dad is when his kid didn’t get a good enough arc on it.
2. SNOT DOESN’T GROSS YOU OUT
Babies don’t know how to blow their nose so they’ll just sit there bubbling green slime out of their nostrils until the cold goes away. One night when my infant daughter was congested, I put my lips up to her nose and sucked out about a pound of snot before spitting it into the sink. My wife was mortified but my daughter could breathe, and I felt like a great dad. (I didn’t know the Swiss had invented a handy rubber tube that can get it out of there.)
3. YOU DON’T MIND LOOKING LIKE SHIT
Speaking of gross, we spent almost a decade wearing black shirts covered in barf, dandruff, and snot. As a new dad it’s almost impossible to make it to the office without looking like you slept on the floor of a porn theater. This is embarrassing to many fathers. We don’t care.
4. YOU ARE NEVER EMBARRASSED
Little girls love doing this thing where they divide your hair into a million tiny ponytails with multicolored rubber bands. It’s so hard to get these out that you often have to leave the house looking like Tommy Lee at his most annoying, and that means people on the train laugh. We used to spend hours on our hair trying to look as retarded as possible, so being laughed at is considered an accomplishment.
5. YOU UNDERSTAND BEING OBSESSED WITH PANTS
Ordering tartan bondage pants from London took months of saving and waiting, so when they finally arrived, you never took them off. Skinheads would attack anyone wearing Doc Marten boots, so owning a pair meant you were willing to die for them. So when your daughter is so attached to her red cords that you can only wash them when she’s asleep, you think, “That’s perfectly reasonable.”