Wanna Date My Daughter?

When I was in high school I used to be terrified of my
girlfriend’s father, who I believe suspected me of wanting to
place my hands on his daughter’s chest. He would open the door
and immediately affect my good-naturedly murderous expression,
holding out a handshake that, when gripped, felt like it could
squeeze carbon into diamonds.

Now, years later, it is my turn to be the dad. Remembering how
unfairly persecuted I felt when I would pick up my dates, I do
my best to make my daughter’s suitors feel even worse. My motto:
wilt them in the living room and they’ll stay wilted all night.

“So,” I’ll call out jovially. “I see you have your nose pierced.
Is that because you’re stupid, or did you merely want to appear

As a dad, I have some basic rules, which I have carved into two
stone tablets that I have on display in my living room.

Rule One: If you pull into my driveway and honk you’d better be
delivering a package, because you’re sure as heck not picking
anything up.

Rule Two: You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may
glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her
neck. If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter’s
body, I will remove them.

Rule Three: I am aware that it is considered fashionable for
boys of your age to wear their trousers so loosely that they
appear to be falling off their hips. Please don’t take this as
an insult, but you and all of your friends are complete idiots.
Still, I want to be fair and open minded about this issue, so I
propose this compromise: You may come to the door with your
underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, and I will
not object. However, In order to assure that your clothes do
not, in fact, come off during the course of your date with my
daughter, I will take my electric staple gun and fasten your
trousers securely in place around your waist.

Rule Four: I’m sure you’ve been told that in today’s world, intimate relationship
without utilizing a “barrier method” of some kind can kill you.
Let me elaborate: when it comes to intimate relationship, I am the barrier, and I
WILL kill you.

Rule Five: In order for us to get to know each other, we should
talk about sports, politics, and other issues of the day. Please
do not do this. The only information I require from you is an
indication of when you expect to have my daughter safely back at
my house, and the only word I need from you on this subject is

Rule Six: I have no doubt you are a popular fellow, with many
opportunities to date other girls. This is fine with me as long
as it is okay with my daughter. Otherwise, once you have gone
out with my little girl, you will continue to date no one but
her until she is finished with you. If you make her cry, I will
make YOU cry.

Rule Seven: As you stand in my front hallway, waiting for my
daughter to appear, and more than an hour goes by, do not sigh
and fidget. If you want to be on time for the movie, you should
not be dating. My daughter is putting on her makeup, a process
which can take longer than painting the Golden Gate Bridge.
Instead of just standing there, why don’t you do something
useful, like changing the oil in my car?

Rule Eight: The following places are not appropriate for a date
with my daughter: Places where there are beds, sofas, or
anything softer than a wooden stool. Places where there are no
parents, policemen, or nuns within eyesight. Places where there
is darkness. Places where there is dancing, holding hands, or
happiness. Places where the ambient temperature is warm enough
to induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff
T-shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a
goose down parka zipped up to her chin. Movies with a strong
romantic or intimate relationshipual theme are to be avoided; movies which feature
chainsaws are okay. Hockey games are okay.

My daughter claims it embarrasses her to come downstairs and
find me attempting to get her date to recite these eight simple
rules from memory. I’d be embarrassed too– there are only eight
of them, for crying out loud! And, for the record, I did NOT
suggest to one of these cretins that I’d have these rules
tattooed on his arm if he couldn’t remember them. (I checked
into it and the cost is prohibitive.) I merely told him that I
thought writing the rules on his arm with a ball point might be
inadequate –ink washes off–and that my wood burning set was
probably a better alternative.

One time, when my wife caught me having one of my daughter’s
would-be suitors practice pulling into the driveway, get out of
the car, and go up to knock on the front door (he had violated
rule number one, so I figured he needed to run through the drill
a few dozen times) she asked me why I was being so hard on the
boy. “Don’t you remember being that age?” she challenged.

Of course I remember. Why do you think I came up with the eight
simple rules?