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All you want to do is sit in a cafe and quietly enjoy this podcast when you can, I have a tall Hemi Demi semi half caf goat McClarty. Oh, and can you serve in a macchiato class?


Oh, give me strength.


Cut the nonsense and keep it real. With Trebor, pick up a refreshing boost of Creber extra strong mints or a cherry trees of Borshoff mints.


You know what I did today, what know what I did this morning, I woke up with a goal of researching and purchasing outdoor Christmas decorations. And my wife, if you can fucking believe this is a.. Inflatable. I'm not pro inflatable, but I think one giant 12 foot snowman is a fine centerpiece for the yard.


Why is Jordan a. inflatable? Who knows what her deal is?


Because those things deflate during the day. So then you, like, look and it's like a dead nativity scene and I agree.


And then they blow back up and start moving, which are which is so fun at night.


I we didn't really do decorations growing up and I didn't really do them my whole life. But now that we own a house, I'm like, let's go big. Yeah. So we did an inflatable for Halloween and she was like, I don't want to do another inflatable. And it's like I don't know how to tell her she's wrong. Does your mom go hardcore on like when you were growing up, which you like.


We're doing lights. We're doing. Yeah. All of it. Oh yeah. Our house is like, well, our house at the end of a cul de sac. So it was kind of like the you had to. We had to and also we were super into it. So yeah. Yeah. Tons of. But then it was like scale back because as I got older I'm an only child, you know. So I was like with my mom so I was like, OK, there's like twenty five Christmas stuffed animals set up.


That's a lot of work for us to be doing for two adults.


Yeah, I think we used to go pretty big and then we just stopped. I think my dad was like, I'm not doing this. And now at 40 I'm like, I totally get it. I'm like, it's a lot.


Which is why I fucking like these inflatables. You set it and forget that you plug it in, you walk away, you let the snow man do the talking, right?


Yeah, well, I could see you channeling your inner Clark Griswold for Christmas vacation.


Do I buy 20 inflatables? And when she's sleeping, go set them all up and then refuse to take them down and refuse to return them to target or wherever.


I want to be on Jordan's side and say, don't do that to her.


You want to be on her team. But if you found out I did do it, you go, that's great. If your entire driveway was lined with inflatables and they and if they were all able to move a little bit like those ones, that the guy does get ten like Verizon Wireless Wave guys.


Yeah. He's like, these aren't even Christmas decorations. We don't run a car wash here. That one says car wash.


Yeah, I think people are like that one is promoting getting your taxes done.


One's a Statue of Liberty, OK?


And they're there for Christmas. Babe, you need to get in the mood.


I have known our guest, Justin. I've known him for a number of years now. I want to say seven or eight. Yeah, I've worked with him twice now on two different shows. And I have to say he's one of those people that makes me realize I don't work hard enough. You know, those people were like, you read their resume and you're like, what the fuck am I doing? And then you remember there's a little thing called drive and talent.


And those two roads need to intersect at a place called success.


Anyways, we talked to him earlier this year and we had a great time talking with him. It was it was a weird time. It was right when things were starting to shut down because of the pandemic. You're going to notice that in the conversation. We're fresh to the pandemic, which honestly, for listeners, that should make you feel good. Who did we used to be? Well, you're about to listen to who we used to be. And we're also going to listen to who this guy is.


He's a comedian, author of the Twitter feed Shit My Dad Says became a New York Times best selling book and TV show. We had a great time talking about. He's a fantastic dad and the source of all these amazing tweets and stories.


He is very, very funny. And he's a good man. He's a good man, Ruthe says. Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, Justin Halpern.


Where are you right now? What's going on? I'm in Los Feliz and I've made a couple of trips to the grocery store, which have been like, really harrowing. So how many kids do you have? I have to. I have a seven year old. Well, almost seven and a four year old and a dog. Now, that's the dog. Was that the dog we heard? No, that's my seven year old.


When you're going when you're going to the grocery store. I mean, it must be like intense. Are you like, all right, I'm going to go I'm going to buy so much food to not have to come back any time soon knowing that it's for four people or are you, like, picking and choosing and you're going once a week, once every two weeks.


I just try to think of like what my kids are going to yell in the mornings of what they want because they just like, you know, I don't know if you find this very, but I like in the mornings, it's just like being bossed around for a straight hour as you're trying to get breakfast ready. So I got through and but basically anything I even could imagine them wanting.


Yeah. Here's what I think I've done as a father that I have painted myself into a corner is that I have a lot of fun trying to make the type of breakfast that you would maybe get at a fancy hotel. And I because it's fun to make. And so with my daughter, I'm like, what do you want for breakfast? Like, I'm willing to, like, make some coffee and really have fun making breakfast. And now it's I think I've spoiled her.


I think she's like these pancakes aren't quite as fluffy as they were the last. Where's my fruit cup?


Are you that style, dad? Are you like, hey, I'm going to make you an omelet.


So I'm not I'm not that way for breakfast because I'm like, generally my kids wake up super early and I'm kind of in a bad mood for breakfast. It's just like I just need to get them said so. But for dinners, I've been doing that. And then I realized, OK, same thing you're saying, because I've been making these like elaborate dinners. And then the other day I was really tired. So I just I got leftovers out of the fridge and and my oldest son does this foods from yesterday.


This is old food in a pandemic deal. I was like, well, guess what? We're going to eat it today. He's like, you didn't even make it today. It's like, yeah, I know. Yeah. We're still going to eat it, though. And it's amazing because it's a pandemic.


And he's like, well, I'm sorry, do you not have the time to make us something to do? Dad, are you so busy?


Do you guys give your kids choices?


Like are any of them picky eaters now because of that or are they picky eaters in general?


Yeah, I mean, my my kids are pretty picky eaters. They'll like they do that thing where if I try a new if I put a new food on their plate or I don't know if you can do this, but my kid will I'll be like, you have to at least try it. We have to know because of Daniel Tiger. Yes. You got to try and. Exactly. Daniel Tiger for life, bro. I got the tap.


I think I tell you this, that I've been making up fake Daniel Tiger songs, trying to get my kid to do stuff.


That's actually a great idea. It's a very smart idea.


I'd be like your teeth and then put your jammies on or get to read books like that.


And in writing those songs, did you realize you had such an angelic voice like that?


You discovered that I'm recording an album now? Yeah, it works.


It works until it doesn't live within just like anything else. Sure. Yeah. They'll like put like put stuff to his lips, not even like it won't get anywhere near actual taste blood, but he'll put it to his lips and be like OK, yeah.


Yeah I don't like it. Yeah. Yeah I get that all the time. I wonder do you think that's like our fault by giving them options at some point. Because here's what I always try to do. Whenever we're eating and my daughter doesn't want to eat, I'm like, well this is what we're having and there's no other options. And if you don't eat it then you will just be hungry and you try to take this hard line.


But you also know, like, well, they got to eat. I can't deal with her getting up in the middle of the night hungry. Now, I got to deal with it. And I think over time we've just been like, well, we're not going to eat that. Do you want this? And now they just expect that second option.


Yeah, I know. I, I've kind at first we at first we gave them a lot of options and we had that problem where he'd be like, well, I don't want this. I want to look at something else on the menu. And I'd be like and thank you every night like that.


And that's when you realized making the play menu was a bad choice. Terrible idea.


Well, you are doing it up at dinner. Yeah, well, I'm actually very impressed. Yeah, it's actually a prefix at my house. Yeah, yeah, well, soon as quarantine started early March, we started calling the house Justin's Day Spa, and I think that gave the kids the wrong impression of what this is, fresh squeezed orange juice.


And back when you were growing up, what was it like with with your dad and like meals and and food? Discipline, I guess, is kind of what it is.


Well, OK, so this is actually doctor, my therapist, because this is what our podcast gets hard.


And I love it when you hear the guests go, oh, I just talked about this. It's like we got the right question. Yes. So my brother was a fisherman for many years and now he does something else.


But my dad also fished one month out of the year. Can you imagine just leaving your family for one month out of every year to just fish by yourself?


That's one of things that is so extreme. Yeah. And he always came back with nothing.


And from some landlocked place, it didn't make any sense. You know, Vegas, it was always in Vegas for like a month. He's like, I got a lot of stuff, none of it fish.


Where would he go for a month? Like what was the location?


Well, we're from San Diego, so we go to the Sea of Cortez down in Mexico. Cool. On a 30 day boat. And we'd always help him, like, load up all his stuff to go on this boat. And my dad was like the only one who was on that boat that wasn't like running from something like everybody else on that boat was like trying to evade the law or something else like that.


Like it didn't look like he was just a little shit fish. Yeah. Yeah.


So you go for a month. And so anyway, we had a giant deep freezer and it just filled it, filled it with fish that he caught.


He come home with like hundreds of pounds of fish.


And so and that was legal. Could you legally bring that back across. Yeah. Yeah. Oh yeah. OK, yeah. Justin my dad would do the same thing now for 30 days, but he was always out ocean fishing and would come back with huge fish and we'd eat it for like a year and talking to mahimahi some yellowfin.


Oh yeah. He caught a marlin one year in Mexico and it was like he'd won the Super Bowl. Yeah. Yeah. So we went fish. I would have fish sandwiches for lunch and fish for dinner. And I have that five out of seven days a week till I was sixteen and then. Yeah. So I hated, I hate fish, I don't eat it now. I'm like yeah I hate him.


And what he would do to your body is filled with so much mercury you couldn't possibly because I like I got, I got my blood test since they were the doctor called like a couple other doctors because they're like you got to see.


Yeah, yeah. You might be a superhero. You actually might have superpowers. Yeah. Yeah.


So what he would do is I'd be like I don't want to eat this and and he'd be like, are you not hungry? And I'd be like yeah I'm not hungry. He dug well I am. And then he would just take his fork and he would put it into my fish and then bring it over to his plate. And at some point you get so hungry that you're like, well, fuck it, I eat this fish. And yeah, that's what I would.


So in a way, I guess he was saying, like, this is what's for dinner, except that dinner was the same thing for every single night. So I don't do that. Yeah.


But then I feel like that's like the evolution of parenting where you you want to say to your kid, like when your kid is like, I don't wanna eat this, you're like, yeah, but you don't even understand. When I was growing up it was only fish and you actually have it great and your kid is going to have kids and that kid's going to complain about something and your kid's going to go. You don't understand. We had a variety of things right all the time and it was awful.


And it's like wind is the wind is the wind, is it? And then a kid is like, well, we actually have a pretty good.


Yeah, well, the funny thing is that you that you say that question is because when I was protesting the most, my dad told me this story where he was like because he grew up on a farm in, like, deep poverty in the South. And he was like, let me tell you what I went through when I was know. He's like, I had no friends because we had we're nowhere near anybody else on this farm. I would only go to school a couple of days a week.


I had a pig that I loved and I named and my dad found out who I named it and he made me watch him slaughter the pig and the pig.


Oh, my.


Oh, yeah. In my fish thing, but it's still like, you know, your dad grew up in a prison. That's crazy. Do you know what I love is that the further the further back you go with, like dads and grandfathers, you just you can sort of see the timeline of when no one understood trauma.


Yeah. Like no one. How does it fly now? Yeah.


Like no one had any concept of, like, long lasting traumatic events and how they affect your child.


I still don't think he does because he thinks the worst part of that he would if he was like, you know what the worst part of that was? I had I had given the pig my name and I was like, that's not the worst part of that story.


What are you talking about? That's the weirdest part of that story that you just gave up your name. Yeah.


That's weird that you were more creative than that. Right?


Like, I'm just going to call everything my name.


What do you think that do you think that was like Dad's being like you're a boy and I need you to see this, because this was this is what will make you a man and you're just like crying, going like, well, no, I love that pig.


Yeah. But then you take that first bite of bacon, you're like, yeah, well, that bacon is like my favorite food.


So it obviously didn't have a bowl, of course.


And you know what? It actually is in his favorite. He's coping with it. And that's why he would go fucking fish for a month.


He would slaughter reparations for that poor pig.


You just that like this thing for 30 days a year, going fishing for a month.


And what he's not telling you is I fish for two days and then twenty eight days I cried for the loss of my friend. Yeah.


Yeah. I'm very happy to announce that all of our golden tickets have been released. If you were one of the lucky people who found a golden ticket. Well, good luck to you. And be sure to listen to how it all goes down on a future episode.


Thank you all for playing. And thanks to State Farm for being a good neighbor and helping me realize my lifelong dream of becoming sort of a weird, badly aging redheaded Willy Wonka. You're a weird Willy Wonka. You're a wizard Wonka.


People thought the original Willy Wonka was weird enough yet. And I was like, nope, that guy could be even weirder.


And now I've done it with my golden ticket competition. Anyway, very happy they're all out there.


Good luck to you. Hey, everybody, if you're like me, your friends might be getting really sick of hearing you talk about your favorite video games. That's why we created a good game.


Nice try. The newest podcast from Team Coco. It's hosted by Twitch streamers Sonja Reid and yours truly. Aaron blared. Each week we kick out about gaming with people like T Pain, Ben Schwartz, a lot of peers and a ton of other great guests to talk about the games they love, the games they hate. And we'll be offering up reviews and giveaways. Listen, wherever you get your podcasts and follow Team Coco podcasts on Instagram for weekly guest lineups.


So when he was gone for a month, did you feel like because I know Dad sort of have the I bet a lot of us grew up in this where, you know, the dad was kind of this bizarre alpha presence. And so when the dad was gone for any period of time, it was like, all right, we can all finally fucking relax, mom's chill and gets it and actually says, I love you.


It definitely it was like turning the volume down on our house when he would be gone for 30 days.


So much done. Yeah. Yeah. There were so many hugs.


Yeah. It was definitely like I was I never really asked my mom about it now as an adult, like, was that weird? Because like if I just left for a month for a hobby, I would be like, what the fuck are you talking about? You're not allowed. Yeah.


That's like some serious trust to, you know, like, well, obviously is on a boat with a bunch of convicts.


So it's not the same as like he went on a business trip for a month to Tokyo and you're like, OK, what do you do?


She's like, I don't know, what are you having to homeschool and figure out the the home schooling?


Yeah, I actually have kind of this will show you how bad I am at it. So like what my oldest is in first grade and I'm like, you know, we get the homework sent to us, we print it out and he's like he looks at one of the papers that I printed out and he's like, I don't know how to do this. And I'm like, he's a pretty smart kid. No, never usually has problems with the homework.


So I come over and I'm like, damn, I don't really know how to do this either. Like, this can make any sense. And it's frustrating. And I'm like looking through it. I'm looking through it. It's like this weird flowchart. I'm not getting it. And then my wife's a therapist who diagnoses people with like PTSD and stuff and she's like this. You took this worksheet from the person's mind.


This is to diagnose people with PTSD. So I had him for thirty minutes. We're trying to diagnose whether he has PTSD.


And I thought it your homework.


God, I thought she was going to be like, you have PTSD from having to do this as a kid that now you can't even remember. I love that your kid at no point was like, I don't know, dad.


I just feel like we have never talked about flowcharts class. Yeah.


Also, I love your your amount of respect for what you what you think the first grade should be, that when you saw just the just the mere presence of a flowchart did not deter you in thinking this might be your homework.


Well, I was like, is this what Common Core is like? I didn't know first grade.


That's a tough quarantine home school level to be like if your kid is in fifth grade, I feel like they're probably decently self-sufficient getting through the work and picking it up.


But first grade is still just hard core fundamentals that you can't you can't just send them to their room and have them figure it out. You still got to read them the directions and show them how to do it.


It's definitely my older kid is a real self starter. Pretty he's a pretty chill guy. The four year old definitely has like a little fire in his belly. So it's it's like it's definitely like he doesn't want to do much by himself and learning time for him. Like we will be like, OK, nine thirty to ten thirty learning time and he'll just be like five minutes into it and then he'll just take the book and just slowly push it off the table.


Yeah. So it's like OK, learning time for him is over and he gets to go play Legos. Yeah I like that.


I like that. He's like I'm not look I don't I'm not here to play by the rules man.


Yeah. Boy, energy crazy.


Was there ever a part of you that was like I want to I wish I had a girl or wanted a girl or.


Yeah, we wanted a girl.


He senses that. That's why he's got a little. He's a little bit. Yeah.


He's even though he's like, look, neither of us wanted this but we're trying to work. Boy, energy is just like it's so destructive.


Like it's it's interesting to me to see it even at a young level, like how destructive boys are. Like there there's very little that that they do that like makes things better.


Then you see that it's so it's it is a lot of like intense energy and a lot of like a lot of wrestling and a lot of like talking about, like farting in people's faces and buttholes and like oh yeah.


Never go away. That's right. Like that's how Daddy buy this house. Yeah.


Yeah. That's not that's not totally inaccurate. Yeah, you know, if you learn to be really eloquent about farting in people's faces and talking about buttholes, you can really make a living.


Yeah, that's a I know what you mean, because I've seen the self-destruction when my daughter is like at the park or around any other boys.


It is just like there's this element of where I always try to think about the I know as I was before, but sort of the evolution of dads communicating, specifically dads communicating with sons about, you know, being more calm, being more vulnerable, the things that we all know are beneficial later in life to learn early on, because for so long, there's this macho style of like this is what a man is supposed to be and what you're supposed to do.


And I think we're now learning the traumatic effects of of not scaring people away from that and being more open minded and communicative. It's interesting to me because I don't get the impression that your dad was like that with you, but I get the tiniest sense that you are maybe more like that with your your kids. And then you got this four year old flicking you off at the dinner table.


Yeah. Yeah. Like, I like my dad. I've never seen my dad cry. And to my knowledge, the only time.


That's because he's a man. Justin. Yeah. I am the product of that thing.


I just talked about how it works. My dad my dad's the only time apparently my brother or any family members have seen my dad cry is when Seattle Slew won the Triple Crown.


And he just said, oh, no, Secretariat and Secretariat, one way trip, the final leg of the Triple Crown by thirty three and a half lengths, my dad says is the greatest athletic achievement he's ever seen. He cried during, but I've never seen him cry. But like, I want my kids to feel like like crying is a good thing. Like you're letting stuff out. Sure. But I've spent so many years repressing all my emotions that I really want to cry in front of my kids.


But I can't cry because I am crying is hard to do.


It is. Yeah, it is. If you repress it long enough, it's hard to be like, oh, I'll just cry. It's like you got to throw on some Pixar if you're going to get anywhere close to tears.


It's the opposite of riding a bike. It's like you can just like jump back into it.


Yeah, I feel like there's because boys are so naturally self-destructive. I mean, what I love about my daughter and what I see in like in young girls when they're like playing, is this more like it's not like they're angels. The kids can be shitty no matter what they are. Yeah, but you do see you do see girls in more of a you know why why is that.


Why are you doing that.


Or they're saying what they think about something and boys are just like picking up a truck and throwing it at another kid and the girls are like, why did you just do that?


And the boys are like, I don't even know you, but just know there are things that there's got to be like pros and cons to the way that your dad was with you and your brothers.


You have two brothers, right? Yeah. And then the way that you are with your kids like things that you learned from your dad that you knew you wanted to do in your fathering.


Yeah, I thing. Right.


And that things that you knew you definitely didn't want to do, like you're not going to you're probably not going to make them watch a pig be slaughtered. Right.


You know, like you're missing. Yeah. Yeah.


Like I think my dad always he told me he told me this one funny one time we were on Father's Day, I took my dad out to like this one. I was like eighteen. I don't have any money. But he loved Jamba Juice, so I took him out to dominate for Father's Day. So we're like standing in line and telling me this story about his dad. And he was like his dad lived to be ninety nine. So he told me the story about his dad and how like emotionally distant his dad was.


And finally he gets the crux and stories like that man lived ninety nine years and not once did he ever say, I love you. And then my dad goes, I'll have a razzmatazz with immunity boost because we were at the front of the line point.


The lady was just like listening to the end of it so that other people within earshot, her crying, texting their parents. I love you.


Yeah, my dad says I love you, like after every single conversation. And it is like this really nice thing. That I was like I remember even before I had kids being like, I always want my kids to know like that, they're like my dad always used to say, like there's nothing you could do to make me not love you. But there are things that you could do to make me hate you.


So, like, interesting, because that is the opposite.


Yeah. So if you did get them to hate you.


Yeah. Then you can make you know, it's true.


So I say the first half of that to my kids all the time does not the second half.


Look, I love you until I hate you. Yeah. Is there any part of you that feels like you catch yourself sort of becoming your dad or saying or doing something in a disciplinary way where you feel like you're like, oh, that was my dad slipping through because I have it a lot. That's why I want to know if that's a common thing amongst dads that they. Yes, that does happen.


And it is like I feel like. Do you ever get the feeling when you do that, when you do something that your dad did that you want to do, that it almost feels like this primal connection to dads of like thousands of years ago that you're like, you know, can this like inner dad rage that's been there since the dawn of the first person who had a child?




Yes, that's what it feels. And it started when fire was first discovered and one of the kids accidentally got like a hot coal on a dad.


And he was like, motherfucker. And that's where it all generates from that one moment.


Like the thing the thing that my dad did that I hated, that I do all the time is I will threaten. I will go from zero to the worst possible punishment in no time. Like, I'll be like, yes, like we could be dry. We could be like in Disneyland, like about to walk in. And then one of my kids does something that's like not that bad. It's something I've asked them not to do and be like, let's go, we're out of here.


No, we just do this. You. Yes.


Do you do you pull it? Do you have you ever pulled the ripcord like that and been like because I've gone zero to a thousand way too quick too many times and it is my greatest regrets. When I look back at myself as a dad, I'm like, what in the why did I lose my shit?


One that wasn't even that bad too. That definitely was not the way they.


Yeah, no, I, I've definitely I've only pulled the trigger one time when I said I was going to do something like that, but they were for that one time. They both do. They remember it like so vividly that they, I think they still think it's a real threat, even though I look back at that one time and I'm like, God, I was such an asshole. Why did I do that? Like we were little. You know, you're taking your you can disguise them.


Yeah. The trampoline thing. Yeah, that's the thing. That's a harder of a workout than advertised.


Yes, yes. Yes.


You just see like all these dads, just like back sweat and it's like gross negligence on the part of the guys, guys that are out there like just sweat, like they look like they just got off the court from playing pickup basketball.


Yeah. One time we were at one time I was there and I and somebody broke their leg and the paramedic was there and tried talking. I just am talking to the paramedic and I'm like, how often do you have to come here?


He's like, Brother, we're here all big brother. We are right over there in the same way.


We got we got sort of a lemonade stand style location over there in the corner.


We were walking into a this guy's on trampoline park. And I had like asked them so many times to not open the lids on their water bottles and forget to close it because the water spills everywhere. It's like juice. It spills in your car just like, you know what it is like. You're just inside us and we get out. And he knocks his water bottle and it spills all over the backseat of my car.


And I was like, no, we're going home. And we went home and it was like wailing.


And I felt bad about it. Like a minute into it. I felt terrible as we're driving back. And I was like, this is like really bad parenting. But now I feel like I put myself in this, like, bad situation where I can't like then go back on it because what does that say? And so I like I didn't really know what to do, so I just kind of stayed with it. But then I was like, mess of it.


I'm like, don't do that again. This was in the Mazda me.


And it was water, right? Not like orange juice or anything. So water is just water.


Oh, Dad, I would ask when you maybe maybe you can relate to this in terms of that regret you felt because.


Yeah, when, when I do that and I immediately or when I feel bad I'm like this is too extreme. The next time, like for instance we we bought a couch for the living room. It was expensive. And I was like, this is the couch. We're going to take care of this couch. And I didn't want anything spilled on it at all. And my my daughter spilled some milk on it one time. And I was just like, why are we drinking milk on the couch?


Like, I lost it.


And then the and that this was like when we first got the couch, then the other night. She has, like her sippy cup that's like fully clothed, you couldn't really spill anything anyways, and it tipped over on the couch and she picked it up so quickly and like, looked at me and I was immediately shattered that I created this fear that I don't think can be relinquished.


I think it will just now live there like, oh, God, I spilled something on the couch.


I'm like, well, while I want you to be careful, I don't want you to be fearful, like reading the book, walking on eggshells in bed at night, knowing how to tiptoe around.


Dad asked that it never got over. My oldest son came up to me the other day. He walks up to me and he goes, I, I can't have any chocolate. Right?


I was like, not. I'm always like, you can't eat this until you eat this other thing. You can't have any sweets until you eat this other thing.


And I'm just I harp on that shit nonstop. And I was like, oh God. Like, he's going to be like thirty seven with like a problem with him covered in chocolate chip cookies, like he's going to be so black that is this because like why can't I just have a yell and you just hope to God it doesn't turn into some weird sexual fetish.


Your kid is an adult is like do you want some chocolate. He's like am I allowed to have that?


Yeah. Like, oh God, this is all my fault because of the order, the food order.


You know, what's funny is that I did some incense in the house and a little bit of it flew off of it and it actually singed the couch.


And it was my my fault. And my wife was like, see how we didn't lose our minds when you mess up the couch? And I said, I was like, that was your decision. That was your decision to not lose it to me. Because if you lost it at me right now, I would go, you are right.


You are right to just shove me into the wall. I deserve it. I should not have burned. But here's what makes me laugh so much is that my daughter, another time she had spilled something on a chair. And I go, You spilled that on the chair because you weren't being careful. She walked over to the couch where I had singed the couch and she goes, And this is when you weren't careful.


And I was just like, Oh, Jesus Christ, she's right. I can't even I, like, let it sit there because I was like this. It's almost like stepping on a punch line. I had to, like, not talk.


You were like, show me the place where you did 30 tour dates in a year. You bought this couch.


You show me the flights, the waiting in line to board the going up there when they call first class. But you just hope they don't catch you because, you know, you're not in first class. And sometimes they do catch you and it's embarrassing.


You don't need a Twitter argument. You've got into with Delta about your lost luggage.


You are. And you are in that two hundred dollar flight credit.


I used to do that early on. I used to complain to Delta on Twitter and they would just give credits. They would give like maybe like we put one hundred dollars in your credit thing. And I was like, why do I always complain to Delta? Like people said, it looked tacky.


And I was like, they keep giving me money and they're one of the best. I'm like, I've complained even when something didn't even happen, they didn't even look into it.


Yeah, I understand that. But only with Delta. Yeah. One time when I was nine, I wrote to Frito-Lay to tell them how much I liked baked barbecue lathes and they sent me like thirty five bags of them.


And it was like to this day I'm like, I need to write to Frito-Lay again.


I got to write a letter to Elon Musk. Just see to show the house.


Yeah. I would have thought you're going to say I wrote a letter to Frito-Lay and it's the proudest my dad's ever been, if that's what you do. You take charge, you write a letter, you let people know.


I was going to. I was going to. I love finding out that your dad says I love you, says I love you at the end of every conversation. I think I overdo it a lot, too.


And I always wonder if it it loses its meaning with your your kid.


If your kid hears it so much, it's almost like saying hello or goodbye. It doesn't really have this this the shot of something you could you say you try to do that too.


Do you overdo it.


I, I do overdo it but I will just say as someone who had a dad that like I just got a text from him last night that said, what do you think the Chargers draft pick. I think it sucks. Love, Dad.


Good. I love you. I love it. Yeah.


And it is I just I don't think you can overdo it. Like, I don't think I can tell Mike, like I don't think I can tell him too much that I love them.


Yeah. Maybe there's no overdoing it. It's always just feels good because anytime I lose my mind I do like I love you.




If I remember a personal view I become like a nineteen fifties boyfriend that I love, you know, is a Abramsky.


Yeah, I love you, babe. Yeah, like what do you talk to her like that? Weird. Oh, I don't. I don't want to mess her up. Julia, I know how to love.


Yeah, but just like your dad.


Like as a grandpa. Is he the same or is he like. He's great. Yeah. Really, really great.


Yeah. His only issue is that he talks to everyone no matter what age they are, because he was a cancer researcher. He talks to them like they're also cancer researchers. So, like, you just have to like what? You just have to also listen in to make sure his conversations are not getting too deep because like because I remember when I was six, he was like I was like, you know how your kid has to ask, do you like what happens when you die or when something dies?


What happens?


Yeah, no one told her. No one dies and everything lives forever.


That's one way to go. And she'll be fine. She will be just fine with that knowledge.


We don't allow people to look like we care so much about the couch.


And I tell her I'm like, we never die. And that's why I care so much about the couch. I will have to look at it forever. Yeah.


So like my dad when I was six, I asked him that and he was just like, it's infinite darkness.


Like, well, it really messed me up for really long. Just the answer.


It's infinite darkness paints the picture that you stand there the whole time.


You're a part of it and you're present and you're like, wish someone turn the lights on or somehow you're somehow they're experiencing Muntari. Yeah.


Like you're still conscious for it. So, like, if I have to be careful, he's not getting into those kind of conversations with my kids. But other than that, he's like very loving, like he plants a guard at our house. We have a couple of garden beds and he like when he comes, he goes with them to the nursery and buys plants and they all garden together. I love it.


And were you surprised by that, given how your dad was with you growing up?


Like, is he. Are there things that sometimes like I remember my mom would always be like my parents sucked, but they're great grandparents.


Like, she would openly say that, yeah, she'd be like, oh, my parents were like not great parents, you know, like but they were I'm not I'm not saying that about your dad, obviously, but I am.


Are there things that have surprised you about him?


Did he soften at all with them being grandpa?


Yeah, definitely. I think, like, I was like a little worried at first. Like, he's not great. He wasn't great when they were babies because he just is like, yeah, I know how to interact with this. And it's not interesting to me. I mean, he would like hold them and he'd be fine. It was like he was bad about it. But so I was like, oh, how's he going to be?


But he will, like, read them stories and then he'll like do voices of like which he never they didn't do with me and he'll like get into character since of going on a little show, you know, and he's like he has told me before and I bet you feel like this to rori that like he always had this underlying crippling fear of like I have to like provide for this person and also make sure that when they go out into the world, they're not like a negative to the world that they can like.


Yeah, like I want my kids to be like positive forces in the world. I want them to, like, take care of other people around them. And I also want them to be able to, like, make a living. And and so he was just like in constant terror of like all of us being huge fuck ups. And I think that now with a grandkid, you're one removed from that. It's not your responsibility.


And you can just be like, oh, you know what? I'll just do this. And it's totally fine. Yeah. Yes.


And also the consequent, like when you see, like grandparents, like sneaking sweets to the kid, they're like, yeah, I care. I'm going to head back to my house in a second and I don't have to do, you know. And it's like even as a parent, you're like, I bet that is fun. Yeah. To like, get to buy their love and not have to worry about the consequences.




Especially when a parent is like now we don't want her to have squeezing dad's real. Yeah. That's a real loser. Your kids. Yeah. It's me and you Grambow. You're like. That's right. Yeah.


That's what I wonder about your your dad treating you and your brother as equals. Do you feel like you do that with your kids or you like you make it a point to be like, all right, I know these are two different people, but I, I want to make sure I'm giving them both the right amount of attention or energy or whatever.


I think that there is a thing in my head where I'm just kind of like subconsciously keeping score in terms of like how I've been towards each one of them. So like if I've been kind of like on top of one kid's shit for a while, I'm like, you know what? I need to ease off that kid and I need that kid to see me go.


A little new punching bag. No, but like, I need a new punching bag laying dos kids and those kids can do good. As a kid, I feel like I want to be equal to I don't want to I don't want one kid to feel like I'm treating them differently. But I it's funny because I remember when I when I first had my second kid, I asked my dad not not apropos of any way I was feeling towards my own kids, but I was like, did you ever have, like, a favorite kid?


Did you. Was that hard for you to not have a favorite or did you. And he was like, oh, you always have a favorite, just like changes all the time.


That was that's kind of interesting. Kind of interesting to know that it wasn't a permanent choice. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. That makes me feel better about that statement to know like. All right, it's in flux, you know.


Yeah. So I do think of that a lot with two kids and like I want them to both feel like I'm not like treating one differently than the other. I think you can drive yourself a little crazy doing that because it's right. So I try to, like, detach from it and just be like, here are my overall ways I want to treat my kids. I'm going to try to do that. Sometimes I'm going to fail. If I fail, I need to remember that and not make that affect the way that I parent the other kid.


But it's hard. It's hard to do.


Well, Justin, this has been fucking great.


There's something so great that I dropped the F bomb whenever I can, you know, just to prove to you that I'm a dad on the edge. Thank you, Justin. Thank you.


Thank you, guys. Boom. Ladies and gentlemen, Justin Halpern. If you guys love Justin as much as we do, then you're going to want to give him a follow on Twitter, which I think is a great investment of your time, because he's hilarious these days. He's tweeting from Justin Underscore Halpern. He's writing and producing the Harlequin animated series, which just goes to show you that taking obsessive notes on all the shit your dad does will take you straight to Hollywood.


Yeah, that's right.


And of course, Justin's hilarious New York Times best selling book is called Shit, My Dad Says, and he also has a follow up book called I Suck at Girls. And that's our show will be back next week with a brand new guest, Dads. The podcast is produced by Jen Samples. Nick Liaw and me, Ruthie Wyatt are executive producers, are Joanna Solotaroff, Adam Sachs and Jeff Ross, engineering by Wil Beckton and Anya Jeschke. Our theme song is by Strange Hotels with additional music by John Danek.


Special thanks to Sean Doherty.


And as always, you can keep up with us over here at Dad's the podcast by following us on Instagram at Team Coco podcasts. And when you're on Apple podcast downloading this show, go ahead and subscribe. Go ahead. Rate and review. It's a huge benefit to us and we really appreciate it. Thank you for listening. And we'll see you guys back here next week.