Friday, January 14, 2011

S#*t My Son Needs to Hear

S#*! My Dad Says is a popular Twitter feed started by Justin Halpern. It consists of quotes made by Halpern's father, Sam, regarding various subjects. Halpern started the account in August 2009, soon after moving from Los Angeles back to his parents' house in San Diego. He intended it only as a storage site for his 74-year-old father's expletive-laden comments, but a friend posted a link to it. Comedian Rob Corddry then tweeted the link, and it went viral.

Some examples of comments are as follows:

"No. Humans will die out. We're weak. Dinosaurs survived on rotten flesh. You got diarrhea last week from a Wendy's."

"No, I'm not a pessimist. At some point the world shits on everybody. Pretending it ain't shit makes you an idiot, not an optimist."

In less than a month the page was mentioned on The Daily Show and a popular San Francisco blog called Laughing Squid. As of October 2010 the feed had over 1,800,000 followers and has been since turned into a popular television show, with William Shatner starring as the father.

I find many of Sam's comments to be hilarious (the television show, less so). In many ways they remind me of my own father and some of the things he'd say - especially when I was younger. But now that I'm older I'm noticing something else too - namely that I'm starting to sound a lot like this myself.

I first learned of S#*! My Dad Says around the time my son Kevin started taking up custom furniture making full time. His decision inspired me to start this blog to help catalogue some advice, and since some of my views are rather caustic I briefly considered calling it "S#*t My Son Needs to Hear". Ultimately I settled on the more politically correct "Musings of a Furniture Maker" .

The purpose of this blog is to share my almost 30 years of experience being a full time studio furniture maker and small business owner. By no means do I consider myself an expert in either field, because along the way I have probably made just about every mistake imaginable. But somehow I've been fortunate enough to survive, and that alone has to be a testament to something - even if it is just pure luck.

This is my son Kevin and when I look at him I see an innocence and youthful optimism that I once had. Somewhere along the way I lost it, and it saddens me to think that this is something I'll probably never get back.

At the same time I also know that the real world isn't the fairy tale "la la land" most of us think is reality when we're younger. I've been screwed over enough by furniture industry players to know that the business side of this vocation has more whores per capita than Las Vegas, but I didn't know that when I was 20.

There are times when I come across as a somber prick or a cynical hardass, but it's not without reason. After 30 years of constant battle and war in this line of work I believe I have caught enough proverbial shrapnel in my ass to have earned those stripes. For me this isn't just a hobby - it's what I do for a living.

At the end of the day this blog is ultimately for Kevin, and anyone else who cares to read it. This blog is also for me, because I'm having fun doing this.

"YOU, a published writer?. Internet don't count. Any *sshole can throw shit up on there."

(Thanks, Sam. So true)


  1. John you are not just any *sshole to us.

  2. HA HA HA...I almost fell out of my chair laughing when I read that. Thanks Leta. I guess that makes me "special" in that regard.

  3. 'S#*t My Son Needs to Hear' - I like that one.

    The definition of an Expert: a. highly practiced and skillful, or well-informed, in subject.
    Sounds like you.

    P.S. Happy 44th Birthday Wiggers!

  4. Thanks for the birthday greetings, Karen. If I'm reading this correctly are you calling me an expert at S#*t talking?