(WASHINGTON DC) – Noted cryptozoologist and science blogger Dr. Garth Pooht has released a paper in the science journal Stuff About Stuff that hopes to debunk once and for all the rumored existence of the mythological cryptid known as “the special needs father”.
“I’ve done extensive research on this matter,” said Dr. Pooht, from his office in his mother’s basement, “and despite the persistence of rumors claiming that there are fathers out there who actually get involved in the education, therapy and care of their children with disabilities, the internet-based evidence strongly suggests that these cases are so rare as to make the consistent existence of this creature extremely unlikely. Many of these reported incidents no doubt represent cases of ‘feel good about dad’ stories from special needs moms, who as we know are the only truly vital caretakers in the lives of these kids. And some may be intentionally perpetrating this hoax.”
Dr. Pooht, the acclaimed author of My Dinner with Bigfoot and Jet Skiing on Loch Ness, does not discount the possibility that in extremely rare cases, special needs fathers may occasionally step up to complete simple tasks, provided that they have been given detailed and repeated instructions on how to do so by their spouses. “You would be surprised at some of the basic commands some of the more clever fathers can learn, with a lot of patience and hard work from the mother. But as always, it is mostly a testament to the near superhuman strength and skill of the special needs mother that can very occasionally compel the father of the species to get off the couch and do anything. And of course, this is virtually unheard of during football season.”
Dr. Pooht will be signing copies of his books at the Kinkos on 17th and Elm on Sunday at 4 pm.
AUTHORIZED WIRETAP TRANSCRIPT,
MYTHOLOGICAL CREATURES FRIDAY NIGHT POKER GAME
BIGFOOT: So yeah, I am so tired of the blurry photos. Can I just say?
LOCH NESS MONSTER: Aye, don’t even get me started. Don’t any of these new camera phones have the capability to focus?
BIGFOOT: Right? Did you see the last one in the Inquirer? Not flattering. It made my butt look like a beanbag. Please tell me I don’t look like that.
YETI: No way, man. The camera adds a couple hundred pounds. And the fur. Hey, who’s the new guy?
SPECIAL NEEDS DAD: Hey, everyone. Thanks for letting me in on the game.
LOCH NESS MONSTER: Not a problem. We had a spot open up after Chupacabra got spotted passed out on the beach and went back to rehab.
YETI: That dude’s got a problem. Fame has messed him up.
BIGFOOT: So what’s your beef this week? We like to talk shop. It’s hard, being a cryptid.
SPECIAL NEEDS DAD: You mean besides the usual string of online articles about how special needs mothers are doing God’s work, all by themselves? And the dearth of writing at all about special needs fathers? Google “special needs moms” and “special needs dads” and see what you get. I only WISH someone would take a blurry picture of me at my kid’s IEP meeting.
BIGFOOT: Wait, you go to those? I didn’t think fathers were even allowed.
SPECIAL NEEDS DAD: That’s the thing. I’ve been to every single one of those meetings, along with every single doctor’s visit and every therapy session. I spent two nights in the hospital with my kid, I never left the room. And every time, every SINGLE time, I get that look that says “What are you doing here?”
YETI: I get that a lot during the Everest climbing season.
SPECIAL NEEDS DAD: If I go up to the school and meet with a teacher, I get handed instructions and reports and told to “give these to Mom and tell her blah blah blah.” Same thing when I call for tech support for my daughter’s assistive tech. “Oh, Mom must be busy saving the world. When she comes down from Valhalla next time, show her how to reset the system.”
YETI: Dude. You’ve kind of got some issues.
LOCH NESS MONSTER: No, I totally get it. That’s not right. Do they ever come at you in wee little submarines?
SPECIAL NEEDS DAD: Well, no. Not really. But still. Last time I had to go find my own chair.
BIGFOOT: Man, I totally get how you feel. You’re suffering from a persistent narrative. I get the same thing. Have you seen my Wikipedia entry? “Bigfoot is commonly reported to have a strong, unpleasant smell by those who claim to have encountered it.” Really? That’s just hurtful.
LOCH NESS MONSTER: I got called a piece of driftwood.
YETI: I’m still trying to live down that Bass-Rankin “Bumble” thing.
SPECIAL NEEDS DAD: How do you guys keep doing what you do? This is starting to wear me down a little.
BIGFOOT: The thing you have to do is remember why you’re doing what you do, and just keep doing it, regardless of the narrative. I mean, it’s not like special needs moms don’t deserve the good press, right?
SPECIAL NEEDS DAD: Of course, they’re awesome!
BIGFOOT: Exactly. Think of yourself as the invisible partner in all this. It does’t matter what society thinks of you. It doesn’t change what your kid knows, or how your family functions, right? Like, I read how one photo of me was actually a bear with mange.
BIGFOOT: Yeah. Did that sting? Of course it did. I work hard on this coat. I like to think of myself as possessing rich, buttery fur.
SPECIAL NEEDS DAD: It is very nice.
BIGFOOT: Thanks. And I have to have the self-confidence to know that, despite what others may think. I’m not just going to let myself go and stop scaring campers just because someone doesn’t appreciate my hair care regimen. Are you out there, fighting just as hard for your kid? You know you are. And I’ll bet you could rattle off a list of other special needs dads who do the same thing. Just because that social narrative says you’re Homer Simpson doesn’t mean that you are. You guys should just keep doing what you’re doing.
YETI: Hey, are we going to talk all night, or are we going to play poker?
LOCH NESS MONSTER: Just once, I wish we could play Twister or something. I can barely even hold my cards with these stupid little fins.
Be sure to check out site co-founder Julia Roberts’ posts about her daughter and Champerina and about traveling Champ on Build-A-Bear Workshop‘s blog! They are a huge supporter of this special needs community!