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Dad on Arrival
July 21, 1987, was the day I became a father. My wife, Kathy, had gotten pregnant nine months earlier on or around my thirtieth birthday party with things we had around the house.
My wife had been having contractions for over a month, and the doctor decided to induce the labor during the hottest, most humid stretch of the year, on the kind of day when Angelina Jolie would try to adopt a kid from Antarctica. For my wife's induced delivery we showed up very early at the east door of the George Washington University Hospital, just a few blocks from the White House. This was the same trauma center where six years earlier they rushed President Reagan, when the world discovered that John Hinckley liked Jodie Foster in a much stranger way than Joanie ever loved Chachi.
We have a very romantic story. I met my wife for the first time when she was five. We weren't neighbors or schoolmates or even vague acquaintances. I saw her on television, where she starred as the most incredible girl in the world, Mattel's talking doll, Chatty Cathy. Pull a string in her neck and without moving her lips she'd start repeating one of numerous recorded sentences, bossing around whoever was unlucky enough to be holding her.
"Please change my dress."
"May I have some tea, Mummy?"
"Will you play with me?"
A limited conversationalist, she'd incessantly repeat the same handful of demands over and over again. No wonder there was no childhood obesity back then—little girls were jumping through hoops for Chatty Cathy,one demanding hunk of rubberized plastic. At age five, I watched the commercials on our black-and-white Zenith in Kansas, not knowing that twenty-three years later I would not only meet Chatty Cathy but also marry her.
My future wife wound up a child television actress thanks to the confluence of geography, a persistent stage mother, and general cuteness. Their family lived in the San Fernando Valley town of Encino, which was crawling with A-listers. In my wife's cozy neighborhood, Judy Garland, Tim Conway, and Walt Disney all had houses, as did the biggest movie star of all time. One day on the grocery checkout line my future wife was making a typical five-year-old's demand for her mother to buy her a Hershey bar.
"Please, I want it!" she begged.
Standing her ground, her mother, Lillian, said no. The kid kept begging until some impatient man in line behind cleared his throat. The mother didn't need advice on how to deal with a screaming kid, so she turned to give the stink-eye to the man. The buttinsky was John Wayne.
"Give the little lady the candy, ma'am," the Duke directed.
The fear of insulting Hollywood royalty momentarily immobilized her, so he drove home his point by mouthing the word "Now." A candy purchase was immediately made.
Directly across the street from my wife's house lived the biggest TV stars in the world, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. Monday through Friday they were shooting at rustlers and bad guys, but by Sunday morning they were always cleaned up for services at Saint Nicholas'Episcopal Church. A sign in Roy Rogers's front yard said BIENVENIDO, which translates "welcome," which they did every Tuesday afternoon, opening the front door to the neighborhood kids.
"Who wants to see Trigger?" Dale'd ask as the starstruck children filed by the most famous horse in the world. Trigger didn't mind the attention, but why would he? He was dead. When Trigger went to that big haystack in the sky, Roy and Dale had him stuffed and then placed him in their foyer. Maybe it became a neighborhood tradition, because when their neighbor Walt Disney passed away somebody apparently liked the idea of keeping Walt around, but they didn't stuff him and put him in the hall, they just cut off his head and put it in the deep freeze.
"Okay, kids, when I open the refrigerator door, look on the left, and you'll see the guy who invented Epcot."
My wife's father, Joe, was a salesman for a New Yorkbased lingerie company. When I eventually met him I admitted I was unfamiliar with that line of work, but he cleared it up by explaining, "I work in ladies' underpants."
My wife's mother, a onetime New York model, started reading the show business trades, finding open auditions, and putting the kids to work. Barely knee-high to a William Morris agent, they did commercials for cars, fast-food joints, hair color, you name it; when they smiled and held up the product, America bought it.
"You deserve a break today!" My future wife lip-synched Barry Manilow's jingle for McDonald's while looking really cute in a paper hat.
"Here, O. J." was her line when she tossed the Hertz keys to O. J. Simpson as he dashed through the concourse of the Palm Springs airport. Just think, had my future wife not given him the rental car keys, he might never have gotten back to Los Angeles, and American history could have been much different. Slow-speed chases are almost impossible unless the car is turned on.
Eventually she wound up at ESPN, as one of that network's first on-air women, and later at NBC in Washington, where I spotted her in the commissary and made it my life's mission to get a date with her. After a series of awkward encounters I eventually wore her down, for a mercy date. As I left her apartment that night I told her we'd be married. She presumed I was mentally unbalanced, but real life never lets you down—we were married five months later, and fourteen months after that, she was begging to have a word with the nurse who controlled her pain medicine as the real-life Chatty Cathy was about to birth a baby. Somebody please alert Mary Hart.Tales from the Dad Side LP
Posted October 4, 2009
My husband bought it to read actual tales from a father's point of view. Instead he got a wannabe comedy routine.
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Posted February 10, 2009
Posted November 24, 2008
> <BR/> <BR/> <BR/><BR/><BR/> <BR/> <BR/> <BR/>Want to change your mood. Buy Steve's book "Tales from the Dad Side". Bought it saturday at LSU. Really helped me get out of the dumps. I laugh so hard I was crying and that was just on the foreword and the 1st chapter. After the game instead of a beer to drain my sorrows I just picked up the book to get a good laugh. You will find yourself laughing out loud. Giving the book to my son. But I am going to get another one for myself for anytime I need a quick pick me up.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Mr. Brady has nothing on Steve Doocy! I think he may just be the best father on earth after my Dad and Hubby of course. This book is a fabulous family must read. It is touching and yet humorous. I love how he has a humorous spin on life as as Dad. We are raising two kids of our own right now and it is wonderful to finally read things from fathers point of few. The best part of the book is that it is so real! I am happy to finally read a book from the Dads Side. <BR/><BR/>Mom in the MidwestWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I did it to myself again - I bought a book authored by Steve Doocy and chose an evironment inappropriate for bursts of laughter when I cracked it open for the first time. <BR/><BR/>It was during the 2nd half of the last game of the World Series, while sitting on the couch with my husband suffering from a cold. We're Tampa bay residents and Rays fans; the picture is now complete. <BR/><BR/>Knowing Steve Doocy's entertainment factor from his first book, I read "Tales from the Dad Side" as a non-Dad. Don't let the title fool you: Steve's Doocy's book applies to practically every family member you know - including yourself! <BR/><BR/>The fits of laughter started with Steve's choice of activities following the birth of his son Peter (God bless you, Mrs. Doocy!) and continued beyond his experience at the spa/salon with his two daughters. The humorous and heart-felt recounts take the reader all over the world: from Steve's hometown, to a volcano in Hawaii, to Ireland and many stops along the way. <BR/><BR/>Sidenote, after reading this book, you will definitely take on a different view of parmesan cheese and the Blarney stone! <BR/><BR/>For me, Steve's book comes at a time when we need as much laughter and positive family experiences as possible in our lives. I quickly turned to Steve's book while our Rays lost the world series, the market continued to tank and the Presidential election kept us up for several nights leading to and including election night. <BR/><BR/>This book shows us the 'behind the scenes' Steve Doocy we watch every morning on Fox & Friends. If nothing else, we now know the greatness behind Steve's success (in addition to his hard work and humor): his family! <BR/><BR/>This is a must read - once you start, you will find yourself soaking in pages at a fast pace while reflecting on the quirks and laughs supplied by your own family. <BR/><BR/>Thank you Steve and THANK YOU Doocy family! <BR/><BR/>Erika Grace <BR/>Tampa, FloridaWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Steve is a great story teller and just an average dad. He's a man that loves and defends his family, even to his own embarassment! (How many dads will go to the salon with his girls?) <BR/><BR/>The most touching stories of his book were about his father. Calling his own dad a legend and honoring him with a trip were stories that brought tears to my eyes. <BR/><BR/>This book was a fun, easy enjoyable read. Any dad will love the stories and will probably nod in agreement at the stories Steve tells.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 7, 2008
I just read this fantsticly intresting book about things from a slightly diffrent point of view...I don't want to give too much away but I will say this I hope you spend every morning with Steve Doocy on Fox and Friends (sky ch 509 for those in europe) and I hope you buy this wonderfully funny and inresting book and spend a good few nights snuggled up having a few laughs at Steves expence! Go on get out ur cards and start ordering...I kno I'll be ordering his other books right now!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 3, 2008
I read Steve Doocy's new book "Tales From The Dad Side" & just loved it. I couldn't put it down & hated when I finished it. It was very entertaining, funny & inspirational. I highly recommend it & have told others about it. I will be buying it for other family members for Christmas gifts. All dads, especially with children still at home, should read this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 26, 2008
I Also Recommend:
Watching Steve on the morning show Fox and Friends I learned about this fatherhood book. As positive books about fathers are rare as Acorn organizers at a Country Club, I was excited about this book's potential. <BR/><BR/>I was not disappointed. As a father of five that have now flown the coop, I could certainly relate to most of the tales. Steve wrote this in a very humorous and easy to read flow. I finished it in two readings and have now passed it to a friend of mine. <BR/><BR/>If you enjoy good, clean fun along with that rare positive view of fatherhood, I would recommend this book. If you prefer the dark side and think that all dads are deeply flawed, I "highly" recommend this book. <BR/><BR/>I hope you found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Both my husband of 44 years and I have read the book and thouroughly enjoyed the laugh a minute humor and family stories of Steve Doocy.<BR/>Don't let this one pass you by!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 11, 2009
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Posted November 19, 2008
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Posted November 16, 2008
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Posted December 19, 2008
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