Road- Tripping on Father’s Day
By GARRISON KEILLOR
Father’s Day is a family’s chance to demonstrate their profound appreciation for the hard work and dedication of fathers. However, the line between gratitude for fathers and an excuse for sales on beer and power tools has long been crossed. In the article Road- Tripping on Father’s Day, Garrison Keillor rants about the hypocritical Father’s Day promises that spouses make with tacky Hallmark cards and cheap cologne. Keillor continues to challenge this so- called, “holiday," when he bluntly declares he never wanted to be a father- it just, happened. He then changes his focus from father’s day in general to the impossible task of being male. Keillor refers to this task as, “our dilemma.” The same dilemma that all men sign up for the day they read their wedding vows; the same dilemma that men put up with when their menopausal wife wants her husband to quit her job and move to Alaska to avoid hot flashes. Keillor’s droning complaints continue throughout the article, yet only one solution is offered- move away. Garrison Keillor is simply the voice of millions of hopeless fathers who do not dare to make these complaints in public, and it would not be a surprise if Keillor is currently under witness protection. However, these harmless rants were the source of new hope for fathers-- Keillor is not alone.
Road- Tripping on Father’s Day lacked any intellectual backing, yet Garrison Keillor’s rants were witty and entertaining. Keillor’s objective in writing this one-thousand word complaint was not to change Father’s Day or to provide a factual synopsis of a male’s response to an annoying wife. It was simply a mindless article for men to relate to. Keillor did, however, effectively use humor to portray his, “dilemma,” and as a result he made a personal connection with the reader. A male reader would feel a bond with Keillor because they are fighting the same battle. Contrarily, a female reader would be aggravated by the claims made in the article, and as a result take it out on the closest male—her husband. The ironic correlation between the male and female readers parallels with the argument presented in the article. Although there was no factual premise to the article, this article is unique in its ability to stir the reader’s emotions. Keillor’s humor was light and appropriate, and as a result the article was effective. This tirade about the hardships of fatherhood was refreshing, and his amusing prose is evidence of a man’s fight to survive another Father’s Day.