Let's face it, fiction is wish-fulfilment. We authors have utterly non-exciting lives. A job you can do wearing your pyjamas is not one that is filled with thrills, high adrenaline moments and a bevvy of beauties drapped across the furniture.
Rather than going out there and, like, doing stuff, we compensate by having an over-active imagination. Anything else would involved breaking out a sweat. That's not where we writers are at. It all sounds like hard work. If I'd wanted to work hard I'd have stayed in the day job.
Now, there's nothing wrong with wish-fulfillment. Who wouldn't want to be James Bond? Harry Potter? Bella Swan or Captain Jack Sparrow? Who wouldn't want the world to turn on their desires and demands, to be feted by the bad, mad and beautiful?
We, the dads of the world, have hearts of goo. We've put aside the wild parties, the crazy nights and the dancing till dawn for nappies, school runs and sorting out picnics. But we dream, oh how we DREAM! So, this is for the brothers in arms, those who slave away at their desks, bringing in the daily wage and slowly watching their lives unwind, but still look at their kids those moments and marvel at how lucky they are to have brought someone like that, so carefree and beautiful, into the world.
This is about the dads we'd want to be, in those midnight, quiet, honest moments.
1. Tony Soprano. Now I've only just got into this series which is, I know, several years after it's ended. But last night I went througha bit of a marathon up till late (or early) session of seven episodes of Series 1. Tony takes his daughter to visit the colleges she's applying to. They have a heart to heart about how he's in the mafia, and then, while she's having her interview, he detours off to strangle a man to death. It's rough, brutal, and hard work. A man could break a sweat killing like that. Not a gun, not a knife. But a thick piece of cable. Tony, a man who likes to get his hands dirty. And wants a better life for his kids.
2. Hank Moody out of Californication. You know what I said about writers having a dull life? Well Hank is twice the wish fulfillment in one package. A writer dad who does get the party life. Ridiculously gorgeous partner, cool daughter, dedicated agent (who has no other clients, so the perfect agent, are you listening, Sarah?) who's dreams are filled with naughty nuns. If I can't be Bruce Wayne, I'd trade a kidney for a day as Hank. Just checking, I can survive without a kidney, can't I?
3. Big Daddy. If you've seen Kick Ass I really don't need to explain this any further, do I?
4. Voldomort. Okay, he's not Harry's biological dad, but let's face it, James Potter was basically a sperm donor, it's Voldy who made Harry the hero he is. Before Voldomort Harry was merely Harry Potter. After Voldomort he was Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived. Legendary status established. There's a whole lot of Oedipal stuff going on here, I might save that for another day, though.
5. Any discussion of bad, mad dads must include the dark father himself, Darth Vader. Kills his wife, tortures his daughter and dismembers his son. The family therapist will need to clear all other appointments on this one.
6. Captain Hook. Like Voldomort, he's not really a father (well he is acutally, see below), but he's critical for both Wendy and Peter Pan on all sorts of levels. Typically he's the same actor playing the Mr. Darling and Hook, and that's the fundamental truth to his, to a father's, dual nature. Pan is Hook, all grown up and no longer believing in fairies. Hook hates Pan as a reminder to what he's lost, and Pan hates Hook because that's who he's destined to be. Hook's crew of pirates are the Lost Boys, grown old, grown weary, grown out of the wild dreams and games of childhood. That's why both parties are so keen to have Wendy. Again, Oedipus looms large here. It's all about having mother.
7. Cameron Poe from Con Air. Ex-convict. Ex-Ranger. All he wants to do is get home, see his wife and his daughter. With a bunny. And no amount of bad guys are going to stop him. Testosterone overload. If I'd give up a kidney to be Hank, I'd give up a lung to be Cameron. EXTREME BAD-ASSNESS.