Homer Simpson is a Hero

Tap. Tap. Tap.

          We are talking about Heroes on CoupleDumb. No, we are not talking about the TV show Heroes because we have chosen to break off that relationship as one might leave an abusive lover. This week we are looking at Heroes in the world and in our lives. Since it is Tuesday, we must be talking about children. Of course, heroes plus children brings us to dad. Gandhi must have had a dad that he idolized as did Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Today we will place upon the pedestal a true American father, an icon of fatherly role modeling, a man who knows love like a prostitute knows a good slap in the head. Homer Simpson. Doh!


          Paul says:   So how does an overweight, four-fingered, balding, rageaholic dad with obvious signs of jaundice make it to my list of heroes? Because he reminds me of my dad if my dad was missing a digit. Do you find that mean? I don’t. There are some events that only a father can do and flip from tragedy to hilarity. Now I will close my eyes and drift back to a childhood example. My dad went to fix the toilet, one day of my youth. The seat seemed to wiggle a little when we sat on it. So with screwdriver in hand, he entered the bathroom with the intensity of a surgeon. Several minutes later, after letting loose a string of obscenities that would make a Tourette sufferer envious, my father immerged, red and sweating, to get another tool. A hammer. Nothing good could come of this but dad was on a roll and would not be dissuaded. Tap. Tap. Tap. Curse. Tap. Curse. Crack and water. Blue water came flowing out of the bathroom and into the hall. By the time that my father was done with this little project, we had a new toilet and the bathroom had a fresh coat of paint.


          The thing that makes the Homer archetype so important is that it is real, like the big red balls of my childhood, bearing down on my head. Homer is a guy that just keeps trying and somewhere in his string of failures he finds that he has succeeded. The Catholic newspaper, L’Osservatore Romana, recently gave our man Homer a big thumbs up because he reflects, in their opinion, real life feelings towards faith and God. I agree and I am going to say that he also mirrors real parenting attitudes. Hey, I have three kids also and I know firsthand how hard it is to remember all three of their names when I need to. Jeannie, Bobby and the other one that looks like Bobby are the nucleus of my fatherhood but that does not mean that they can’t work a little harder at making me a better father.


          Yesterday Lee wrote about the folly of putting a hero up on a pedestal, making them something that can only lead to disappointment. I am saying that Homer is a hero, not because of the things that he has accomplished but because of the road that he has taken to that success. Like my dad and, I hope, like me, the important part of Homer’s herohood is that the children are always around to witness it.


          Lee says: I am happy Paul chose to discuss fathers as heroes since I see him in the running to be a huge influence on each of our kids. Jeannie, our newly turned 17 year old, has learned that a man can be geeky, powerful, vulnerable and affectionate. She will choose a man with the same energy of a 7 1/2 year old who is also intelligent, playful and romantic. He has no idea how lucky she is to have him.


          My Dad is a great man too. Sure, he has his human flaws but after we extract human folly, he was the perfect example of a self made person I could have. My Dad escaped communism, worked hard and, with my mother, opened their own risks make life exciting.


          I will add, now that they are older and trying to settle down, they’re like putting a tarp on a race car. They are always racing around trying to participate and make things happen. Sure, they are older but regardless of their flaws, they are still my heroes. Of course, at their age, pedestals are just dangerous.

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