In less than five months, Justin Halpern's Sh*t My Dad Says went from Twitter to TV. CBS picked up these funny rants as a comedy project just a month after HarperCollins acquired the book rights. All of which is interesting, but much, much less funny and outrageous than the voluble wisdom of Halpern's outspoken dad. Samples: "A parent's only as good as their dumbest kid. If one wins a Nobel Prize but the other gets robbed by a hooker, you failed." "Pressure? Get married when you want. Your wedding's just one more day in my life I can't wear sweat pants."
Shit My Dad Saysby Justin Halpern
After being dumped by his longtime girlfriend, twenty-eight-year-old Justin Halpern found himself living at home with his seventy-three-year-old dad. Sam Halpern, who is "like Socrates, but angrier, and with worse hair," has never minced words, and when Justin moved back home, he began to record all the ridiculous things his dad said to him:… See more details below
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After being dumped by his longtime girlfriend, twenty-eight-year-old Justin Halpern found himself living at home with his seventy-three-year-old dad. Sam Halpern, who is "like Socrates, but angrier, and with worse hair," has never minced words, and when Justin moved back home, he began to record all the ridiculous things his dad said to him:
"That woman was sexy. . . . Out of your league? Son, let women figure out why they won't screw you. Don't do it for them."
"Do people your age know how to comb their hair? It looks like two squirrels crawled on their heads and started fucking."
"The worst thing you can be is a liar. . . . Okay, fine, yes, the worst thing you can be is a Nazi, but then number two is liar. Nazi one, liar two."
More than a million people now follow Mr. Halpern's philosophical musings on Twitter, and in this book, his son weaves a brilliantly funny, touching coming-of-age memoir around the best of his quotes. An all-American story that unfolds on the Little League field, in Denny's, during excruciating family road trips, and, most frequently, in the Halperns' kitchen over bowls of Grape-Nuts, Sh*t My Dad Says is a chaotic, hilarious, true portrait of a father-son relationship from a major new comic voice.
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Shit My Father Says
By Justin Halpern
HarperCollinsCopyright © 2010 Justin Halpern
All right reserved.
"Well, what the fuck makes you think Grandpa wants to sleep in the same room as you?"
In the summer of 1987, when I was six years old, my cousin got married
on a farm in Washington State. My family lived in San Diego,
and my dad decided there was no way he was paying a thousand
dollars for himself, my mother, my two brothers, and me to fly up
"Why am I going to pay two hundred dollars so a six-year-old can
see a wedding?" he said to my mother. "You think that's a moment
Justin cares about? Two years ago he was still shitting in his pants. If
everyone has to go, we're driving."
And so we did. I squished in between my two older brothers
Dan, who was sixteen at the time, and Evan, fourteen and gangly
in the backseat of our '82 Thunderbird. My mom rode shotgun, and
my dad took the wheel as we began the 1,800-mile trip up to Washington.
We made it about four miles before my brothers and I started
tormenting one another, which mostly consisted of them hitting me
and saying stuff like, "How come you're sitting like a gay? I bet it's
'cause you're a gay." My dad dramatically swerved off to the side of
the road, tires squealing in our wake, and whipped his head around
to the three of us.
"You listen to me. I'm not going to deal with any of your bullshit,
understand? We will all behave like human fucking beings."
But we didn't. There was no way we could have. This wasn't
a situation that "human fucking beings" were built for. We were
three of us males under the age of seventeen, sitting
a half-inch from one another for sixteen hours a day as the seemingly
endless highway inched by. This was not a normal sightseeing
family vacation. It was like we were running from the law: We
drove all day and all night, growing more and more sweaty and on
edge by the hour, with my dad regularly making desperate comments
to himself like, "We just gotta fucking get there, it can't be
that much farther."
More than a day and a half later, after twenty-four hours of driving,
we made it to Olympia, Washington, where we met our extended
family in the lobby of a hotel. In total, about sixty of us Halperns were
staying there, including my ninety-year-old grandpa, my dad's father.
A quiet but tough guy, he hated when people made a big deal about
him. He had run a tobacco farm in Kentucky until he was seventy-
five, and just because he was older now, he wasn't about to start
accepting help where, in his opinion, it wasn't necessary.
My family had reserved a block of hotel rooms, each to be shared
by two people,
but no one had been assigned to a specific room yet.
My brothers quickly decided they would share a room with each
other, and my mom and dad would obviously share one, which left
me without a partner. For some reason, all my adult relatives thought
"it would just be so cute" if I shared a room with Grandpa. Grandpa
had stayed with us in San Diego before, and I remembered that he
always kept a bottle of Wild Turkey in his room, and would clandestinely
take a swig from time to time. Once when my brother Dan
caught him in the act, Grandpa shouted "You got me!" and then
laughed hysterically. I also remembered that he needed help getting
out of bed but got really angry when anyone tried to assist him. There
was no way I wanted to share a room with Grandpa, but I kept my
concerns to myself because I figured my family would hate me for
being so unfriendly.
So, like any six-year-old who doesn't want to do something, I
faked being sick, which attracted a lot more attention to me. Upon
hearing that I wasn't feeling well, my aunts hurried me down the
carpeted hallway to my parents' room and burst into it like it was an
episode of ER.
"Okay, everyone calm down, goddamn it. Now leave, so I can
check out the boy," my dad shouted. My aunts cleared out, leaving
the two of us alone. He looked me in the eye and felt my forehead
with his hand.
"You say you're sick, huh? Well, it looks like you've come down
with a case of bullshit. You ain't sick. What's the problem here? We
just drove a goddamned continent, and I'm tired. Spit it out."
"Everybody wants me to share a room with Grandpa, but I don't
want to," I replied.
"Well, what the fuck makes you think Grandpa wants to sleep in
the same room as you?"
I hadn't thought about that. "I don't know."
"Well, let's go ask him."
We walked down the hallway to the room Grandpa had staked
out. He was busy getting ready for bed.
"Look here, Dad. Justin doesn't want to share a room with you.
What do you think about that?"
I cowered behind my dad's leg, as he kept shoving me away
toward my grandfather to make me face him. Grandpa looked me in
the eye for a second.
"Well, I don't want to share a room with him, neither. I want my
own room," he said.
My dad turned and looked at me like he had just uncovered the
missing clue in a murder case. "There you have it," he said. "Apparently
you're no goddamned peach, either."
"You are four years old. You have to shit in the toilet. This is not one of those
negotiations where we'll go back and forth and find a middle ground. This
ends with you shitting in a toilet."
On My First Day of Kindergarten
"You thought it was hard? If kindergarten is busting your ass, I got some bad
news for you about the rest of life."
"I don't give a shit how it happened, the window is broken. . . . Wait, why is
there syrup everywhere? Okay, you know what? Now I give a shit how it happened.
Let's hear it."
On My Seventh Birthday Party
"No, you can't have a bouncy house at your birthday party. . . . What do you
mean why? Have you ever thought to yourself, where would I put a god-
damned bouncy house in our backyard? . . . Yeah, that's right, that's the kind
of shit I think about, that you just think magically appears."
On Talking to Strangers
"Listen up, if someone is being nice to you, and you don't know them, run
away. No one is nice to you just to be nice to you, and if they are, well, they
can go take their pleasant ass somewhere else."
On Table Manners
"Jesus Christ, can we have one dinner where you don't spill something? . . .
No, Joni, he does do it on purpose, because if he doesn't, that means he's just
mentally handicapped, and none of the tests showed that."
"I had no problem with you crying. My only concern was with the snot that
was coming out of your nose. Where does that go? On your hands, your shirt?
That's no good. Oh, Jesus, don't start crying."
On Spending the Night at a Friend's House for the First Time
"Try not to piss yourself."
On Being Teased
"So he called you a homo. Big deal. There's nothing wrong with being a
homosexual. No, I'm not saying you're a homosexual. Jesus Christ. Now I'm
starting to see why this kid was giving you shit."
On Feeling Comfortable in One's Own Skin
"It's my house. I'll wear clothes when I want to wear clothes, and I'll be naked
when I want to be naked. The fact that your friends are coming over shortly is
inconsequential to thataka I don't give a shit."
Excerpted from Shit My Father Says by Justin Halpern Copyright © 2010 by Justin Halpern. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Meet the Author
Justin Halpern is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Sh*t My Dad Says, inspired by his massively popular Twitter feed. SPOILER ALERT: He lives with his wife in Los Angeles.
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