In honour of father's day, I decided that for the 'dads are no joke challenge', I'd do something a little different. I decided that instead of one long story about my dad being my dad, I'd tell you ten mini stories of times when my dad was... well... in classic dad mode.
Without further ado I introduce to you my dad, Steve.
10. Stone cold tea
We both watched as the stone I'd thrown bounced off the garden fence and then the hanging basket before finally rebounding off the arm of the garden bench, only to land straight into his cup of tea that he'd placed on the paving slab.
"Oh, Bill!" he exclaimed.
I remember thinking it was a shot I'll never make again and that it was an incredible trick shot, but that I was definitely in trouble. My dad loved his morning cigarette with a cup of fresh tea (milk, two sugars) and here I was throwing stones into it by accident.
"Now it'll be stone-cold." He continued.
The pair of us just burst into laughter. Another dad joke, straight in the memory bank.
9. Old spice is nice...
My dad had an accident when I was younger, where some scafolding collapsed whilst he was working in the area. In the process of recovery, he lost his sense of smell and to this day still can't smell anything.
It affects a lot like the things he can and can't taste.
Anyway, he was offered a job interview working as a welder on aircraft equipment and he was adament he wanted to get a new aftershave but ofcourse not knowing what they smelt like, he needed a right hand man (or woman) to help him choose.
So off we went to Bury St Edmunds to pick him a new aftershave. In the end, I told him that old spice smelt the nicest out of the ones he liked the look of and he ended up buying it.
He went on to wear it on his job interview, and soon after got the job. He's been working there for over a decade now.
To this day, he still says he only got the job because he smelt nice.
I'm 28 years old and not once had I considered that he was qualified and confident enough during his interview to have been offered the job.
It was definitely the old spice I'd helped him chose.
8. My Dad's mixtapes...
If it wasn't for my dads mixtapes, I probably wouldn't listen to half the music I listen to now. The beatles, Elvis Presley, Billy Fury, Lonnie Donegan. All the classic 60's tracks that he listens to, even now.
My dad plays guitar, and I remember many a nights being sat downstairs with him after he'd had a couple of beers and just watching him play guitar in awe. He'd always encourage me to sing along and honestly, I think he's half the reason I enjoy singing now.
People can tell when i'm happy because I sing when I am. I'm sure I get that from him.
6. The ketchup across the table...
I feel like this might've been accidently payback for the stone in the tea.
My mum was working late, my brothers were all out and it was just me and my dad. We were just about to eat dinner when my dad pulled out a glass ketchup bottle from the cupboard and got himself seated properly.
He unscrewed the lid, gave it a whack and...
the ketchup had made a perfect line across his plate, the table, my top... and my face.
The sheer shock of such a horrific attack left me speechless, until my dad let out the most nervous of chuckles.
After that, the pair of us couldn't stop laughing. I've bought squeezy bottles ever since.
5. The time the radiator blew...
This is dad genius at it's finest. When I was younger we had a seven seater renault espace so as to be able to fit our family of seven; four brothers, me, mum, and dad.
We were making our way on holiday when the radiator of the car burst. It was looking like our only option was to call the breakdown service and cut the holiday short but ofcourse, dad wouldn't let that happen.
We pulled into a garage where Super dad proceeded to buy each of us a packet of Hubba Bubba and instruct us to chew. One by one, he took our gum and placed it over the hole before covering it with a mountain of ductape.
Would you believe it held up for the entire holiday? We made it there and back with no further issues, all the whilst having spent a maximum of £10 on fixing the broken radiator.
Quick thinking at its finest.
4. "You know the score"...
He'd put everyone to bed and tuck me in last and each time he did, he'd say to me "You know the score". You know the score meant, if I could stay awake by the time everyone was asleep (which was often, being as i'm a natural night owl like my dad) then I could get out of bed and watch a movie with him.
We'd watch old school funny films, some ridiculously silly slapstick ones and sometimes a horror movie (but never anything too horrific). I used to live for those moments at night.
As a kid, I used to have a lot of nightmares so it helped being able to put bedtime off until I was absolutely shattered and in no energetic position to fight sleep.
I still remember some of the classics we watched, and watch them regularly now; When death becomes her is a favourite of mine.
3. The time his bum was 'warm'.
This was almost my number one moment... If only for the sheer comedy value of what was to come. However, there a two moments in my life that me and my dad have shared that are more important to me.
So this took spot number three.
We were on holiday in the caravan one weekend and again and myself, my brothers and my mum had decided to go for a walk whilst my dad had decided to stay behind. When we returned, there was a smell of burning in the caravan.
As previously mentioned, my dad has no sense of smell so lord knows how long it'd been present for but straight away, we each said something.
A few moments later, my dad proceeded to lift the sofa seat up only to reveal a fire under the very spot he'd been sat in for the last 10 minutes or so. We dealth with the fire (not so) calmly and before anyone had a chance to say anything, my dad simply turned around and in all seriousness said -
"I thought my backside was getting warm".
2. My 13th Birthday...
At number two is without a doubt my 13th birthday. Having received a phone call from my biological dad, It was planned that he'd come over and take me out for my birthday but he was a no show.
I wasn't too upset and I think a part of me knew it was going to happen given his history but it still sucked. My step dad waited with me, as time went by and soon decided that we'd go out instead. It was clear he was a no show, but my Steve wouldn't let my thirteenth birthday go by without celebration.
We hopped in the car and hot foot it to the nearest city center listening to all my favourite songs on tape. The beatles, Elvis Presely, dad music at it's finest.
At the time, I had an obsession with spongebob and boy when I tell you that man hunted down anything spongebob related, he really hunted down anything spongebob related. Pyjamas, tops, pens, pencil cases, we even found a spongebob cake in ASDA.
We spent the afternoon shopping, then headed to the beach for a picnic and some cake, the rainbow coloured windbreakers up and everything and honestly, It was one of the best days of my life.
One of the many reasons I appreciate and respect him not only as my dad, but as a male role model in my life is because of the number of times he picked me back up when no-one asked him to. He always did it because he cared.
1. Reconnecting again after 12 years of not talking...
Which is why I'm glad we reconnected after 12 years.
My mum and my stepdad got divorced when my youngest brother was two. To put it in perspective, I was around 14/15 years old when we moved out of our family home and into another place.
For one reason or another, my mum and dad had decided to split and having reconnected, I now understand that my step dad didn't want to step on my mums toes when they did.
He's always been my dad and always will be.
He's also about to become a grandad to my first child.
Honestly, when I tell you he was chuffed to pieces when I told and visited him... the first thing we did was look at baby clothes and even after 12 years of having not spoken properly, it's like nothing had changed. Like seeing an old friend after a little while apart.
I'm really glad we got back in contact after all these years because in all that time, I've still called you dad.
So here's to papa's everywhere, especially the ones that become a lifelong friend.