Illustration by Marc L. Thomas
Not-So-SuperdadWho’s the Coolest Father of All on Doughnut Day? By Carlin Trammel

As a way to celebrate Father’s Day, I was invited to a “Doughnuts for Dads” day last year at my daughter’s preschool. The gist of it was that the kids’ dads were encouraged to bring their children to preschool, stay for a few minutes to eat a doughnut, and meet with the teacher and other dads.

As all of us dads squeezed around the little preschooler-sized table next to our offspring, Ms. Susie asked us to share what we do for a living. I’m usually not one to compare myself to others, but for whatever reason, I wanted to be the coolest dad there. I think working as a production coordinator for Emerald Coast Magazine is pretty cool, so heading into this competition, I figured I had the other dads beat.

That didn’t turn out to be the case.

To make matters worse, my overactive imagination began to get the best of me. As we went around the table, I imagined what might happen if all five of us dads formed a crime-fighting team.

Garrett’s dad was a police officer. I instantly realized that was going to be tough to beat, but what a perfect fit for a crime-fighting team! With the most real-life experience as a crime-fighter, I imagined he would probably be the leader of the group. He would also have connections to law enforcement agencies to get us access to the resources we would need to track down the bad guys.

Bryce’s dad was a mechanic. This was also an easy fit, as we would need someone to keep up with our various crime-fighting vehicles. I imagined we would have some sort of van similar to the one that carried the A-Team.

Lauren’s dad worked for a local cell-phone provider. He’d be the communications and gadgets guy, equipping us with all we needed to stay in touch with one another.

If all that wasn’t enough, Walter’s dad built robots! Talk about the royal flush of dad’s occupations. The only thing cooler would probably be astronaut. (Well, I suppose an astronaut who builds robots and is in a rock band would be the absolute coolest.) The practical applications of having a robot-builder on the team were almost limitless. That was especially true in conjunction with a mechanic and communications guy already on the team.

At this point in my musings, I was having a hard time figuring out where a magazine production coordinator fits into this crime-fighting quintet. I like my job a great deal, but as the discussion finally made its way to me, I suddenly felt like the Aquaman of the group. Just as Aquaman was really only useful if there was a water-related issue to deal with, my talents are only valuable if there’s ever a publishing crime that needs attention. I guess I could roll up magazines and swat flies. Or maybe I’d just be the guy who documented the others’ exploits and got in the way. Even worse, perhaps I’d be rejected from the group; then, in my hurt and anger, I’d become the villain who dresses up in a CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black — it’s a color printing thing) outfit and uses magazine-themed weapons against the team.

As my crime-fighting fantasy came to a close in my mind, I realized that whether I built robots, fixed cars, sold phones or just made magazines … none of that matters as much as being a dad. I love that job most of all, and I love having a daughter who appreciates whatever silliness I can conjure up in my head.