‘On the couch’ with Jasminda

DEAR Jasminda,

WHENEVER he visits, my now-retired dad insists on doing odd jobs around our home such as cleaning the gutters, painting hard-to-reach ceiling cavities and replacing roof tiles.

I’m worried he’ll injure himself.

Jim’s son.

Dear Jim’s son,

Retired dads fit into four broad categories, which I’ll briefly describe before offering a solution.

1. The SKIing Dad: You’ll never find the Spending-the-Kids’ Inheritance Dad up a ladder. He’s too busy protecting his physique for grey nomad adventures, adults-only saunas on luxury European cruises, and Country and Western ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ dance tournaments in Texas.

2. The Blankey Dad: The Blankey Dad has been ready for retirement since turning 40. Now he’s 70, he watches free-to-air TV while dunking Scotch Finger biscuits in tepid tea. Readily identified by the crocheted rug over his knees, easy-to-access couch-arm table, and plaintive cries of ‘What’s for dinner?’ from around 11am.

3. The Keyboard Warrior Dad: This dad has to keep his fingers limbered up to give his two bobs’ worth on any local issue. With a cat in one hand and an iPad in the other, this dad will wreak havoc on community pages on any subject from stray dogs to storm cells.

4. The Bunnings Dad: This is your dad. Five minutes after he pulls up in your driveway (armed with a tape measure, hammer, Ryobi Allrounder, spare batteries and WD40) he’ll be scouting around for leaking taps, frayed flyscreens, broken dishwasher baskets and leaking gutters. There’ll be no time for a cuppa. After a quick assessment (shaking his head at your lack of maintenance), you’ll hear the ‘I’m just going to Bunnings’ war cry. An hour later, with the dexterity of a Cirque du Soleil trapezist, he’ll be straddle whipping gutters, somersaulting into manholes and balancing on ladders to gasps of astonishment and occasional family cries of ‘Get the hell down before you kill yourself.’

My solution is to let this dad go.

He really is the best type of dad to have and you are the envy of your peers the world over who are burdened with SKIing, Blankey, and Keyboard Warrior Dads.

Carpe diem,

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