For five years I published a weekly column, called Fatherhood, in several Florida newspapers. At its peak, the column was in five papers -- not really enough to call it syndicated, but too many for a neurotic egotist to think of it as "local." So I always said it was Semi-Syndicated, which allowed me to seem self-deprecating and, at the same time, let everyone know that it was a much bigger deal than they might have thought.
The column began when my wife took a job producing the evening news, which basically meant that I was raising two little girls by myself. So it was good old Dad, for example, who bought his daughter her first bra, much to the vast amusement of everyone but me.
The column ended suddenly and with no real explanation. The editor of the local paper, the mainspring of the whole thing, informed me that I had, "really said about all there is to say on the subject." I pointed out to her that they had been running three columns on fishing since the dawn of time, and even though a lot of my fishing buddies would argue the relative importance, you at least had to admit that raising kids was slightly more complicated. No response; no further explanation. Column Over.
Since that time I have come to ponder the following: 1) The editor in question, a woman, had no children, and 2) She was Cuban-American. I mention this because I had just gone to Cuba and proposed to her a humorous article on the subject. Other Cuban-American friends have mentioned to me that this is like proposing to a Jewish editor a humorous article on the Holocaust.
Whatever the case, Fatherhood went down with a wimper.
Since that time, not a week passes without some new and mind-numbing outrage from my kids that makes me wish I was still writing the column. At least writing about it provided some kind of closure -- and I got paid for it, which took away some of the sting.
I have also heard from people in California, Oregon, Baltimore, New Jersey, and Canada, that my old columns are taped to the fridge and, since they're finally getting a new refrigerator, they need a new column and would I please get back to work?
With the success of Dexter, books and TV show, I really don't have the time to go back to a weekly column. Monthly, maybe, but so far, inexplicably, there have been no lucrative magazine offers.
So I thought, why not blog it?
I'm going to start by posting some of the old columns, one at a time. If there's enough interest, I'll start writing new ones again. And if there's no interest at all -- well, what the hell. Don't tell my agent.
I always had fun writing Fatherhood. I hope you enjoy reading it.