Justin Halpern
My Father’s Take On Internet Comments

I don’t get to spend as much time with my father as I once did, and he’s not the type to call me up just to shoot the breeze.  So when I receive calls from him I know it’s either my birthday, I pissed him off, or the world has pissed him off.   Yesterday was one such day.

            “Hey Dad,” I said, answering my phone.

            “I just read on the internet that you’re a talentless piece of shit,” he said.

            “What?”

            “Yeah, I was on the internet trying to find that picture of you from your college baseball team where you look real skinny and gangly like a circus freak, and so I type your name in to Google, and I see some comment about you that says you’re a talentless piece of shit,” he said.

            “Why were you looking up that picture of me?”

            “Cause you look funny in it and it makes me laugh.  I wanted to show your brother.  That’s not my point though.”

(the pic he’s referring to)

            “Doesn’t it bother you that people can go on the internet and call you a talentless piece of shit, and never have to say it to your face?,” he continued.

            “I don’t know.  Doesn’t really bother me.  I got my break by writing down things you say.  I think just karmically speaking I deserve to hear that on occassion,” I said.

            “I’m not talking about you.  I’m speaking fucking globally.  If you can’t handle some pissant writing something nasty about you, then I failed as a father.   What I’m trying to say is, don’t it trouble you that there’s a whole generation of people growing up that just say whatever the fuck they want, without any consequences?

            “I don’t know.  I mean, that’s just the internet,” I said.

            “Don’t you get what that means, though?”

     ”Not really.”

            “Jesus H.  You’re a bright kid but you sure like to wear an asshole’s costume every once in a while.  It means that the future leaders of your country, I say your ‘cause I’ll have long decomposed, are gonna be people that have absolutely no experience with actual confrontation.  Thirty years from now the President of the most powerful country in the world is going to be some little shit who sat at his computer and hurled insults three feet away from his mommy’s tit like it was no big deal. I don’t condone fighting, but when a human being understands that his or her actions might result in a giant fist up his or her ass, he learns a thing or two about acting before he speaks.  All I’m saying is, I’m glad I’m gonna be dead.  Also, Happy birthday.  That’s why I called.  

My Cousin’s Thoughts On My New Job

I was fortunate enough to get a new job writing for a television show coming out in the fall called “How To Be A Gentleman.”  I’m very excited about it, and think it’s going to be a really funny show.  The ironic thing is that it’s the show that’s replacing Shit My Dad Says.  Same time slot, same day, same everything.  I didn’t see any problem with that, and if anything, just feel lucky to have a job on a show I like.  Also, Shit My Dad Says had its shot, we just weren’t that good, and it ran its course.  

Anyway, I have one cousin in particular who likes to weigh in on my career choices.  He’s a “farmer” (WINK WINK) in northern California.  

All you need to know about him is that he wanted me to do an episode of Shit My Dad Says last year “Where that one blond chick almost gets raped, but like, in a funny way.  It’d be physical comedy.”  

I got married last week and at my reception, he asked if I had found a new job.  I told him about the new gig as we stood at the bar waiting to get a drink.

"Wait, so, like the same station and shit?  And same time?" he asked.

"Yeah.  Same everything."

"Damn.  You’re a straight bitch," he said, then turned to the bartender and asked for "a sick ass mojito."

"What?  Why am I bitch?" I asked.

"Yo, make that mojito sick," he said to the bartender, then turned back to me.  "You’re in to analogies and shit, let me try and explain it in an analogy. Think of it and shit like your show is your wife, right?  So they cancelled your show, aka cancelled your fucking wife, homey.  You with me so far?"

"No."

"So then they take your wife, and then they’re like, ‘hey, we’re going to bring some dude in to your house, and he’s going to fuck your wife, and you’re going to like, help him fuck your wife and shit.’  And you’re like ‘Oh fuck yeah.  I’m excited about that shit.  I’m excited to help think of new ways for this dude to fuck my wife.  You see what I’m saying?"

"I don’t think that’s a very good analogy," I said.

"And that’s why you’re a straight bitch.  But also you’re family and I straight fucking love you and congratulations on getting married."