Thursday, August 7, 2008

Pop Philosophy

Today on I Have a Hat, we're going to talk about Dr. Pfil. No, that's not a typo. Dr. Pfil is the name I've decided to give Boyfriend's dad on this blog. I've chosen this name for him for several reasons.
  1. I don't want to give his real name because, let's face it, the man has enemies. I don't particularly want said enemies to associate my name with his, so let's all become friends of anonymity.
  2. He's a doctor, at least of philosophy (whatever that means), so "Dr." is appropriate.
  3. He's my Prospective Father-In-Law, so Pfil is appropriate.
  4. He shares a few characteristics with the real Dr. Phil:
    1. They're both bald...ish.
    2. When I think of them, I think of Mel Brooks' Roman character in History of the World Part 1. Brooks plays an unemployed stand-up philosopher who goes to the unemployment office to collect his check. His conversation with the clerk goes something like this:
      Clerk: Occupation?
      Brooks: Stand-up philosopher.
      Clerk: What?
      Brooks: Stand-up philosopher. I coalesce the vapors of human existence into a viable and meaningful comprehension.
      Clerk: Oh, a bullshit artist!
      Brooks: Hmmmmmm...
      Clerk: Did you bullshit last week?
      Brooks: No.
      Clerk: Did you try to bullshit last week?
      Brooks: Yes!
      This is what goes through my head when the Dr. Ph(f)ils speak.
  5. This is the last reason, and I think perhaps it's the most important and compelling: I think he'll get annoyed at being associated with Dr. Phil. Since Dr. Pfil's chief delight in life is raising my ire, I'm only too happy to return the favor. Ha!
So why is Boyfriend's father featured on I Have a Hat today? Because he's a character of characters, and given that he is guaranteed to pop up here from time to time when he annoys me, I think it only proper that he be given a fair and impartial introduction while my feelings waver in the realm of neutral toward the big dumb jerk him.

And okay, so he's got degrees from Yale and Princeton and Notre Dame, and so he's published all sorts of intellectual books, and so people pay him the big bucks just to hear him motivationally speak. So what? Most of the time, I'd pay him the big bucks just to get him to shut up. But I suppose he does ask me about my day every time I see him. And I suppose he fixes a mean cup of Assam whenever my day isn't going so hot. And I suppose he's endearing when he tears up the moment anyone starts singing "Sunrise, Sunset" from Fiddler on the Roof. (That works without fail, by the way. Try it sometime.) And I guess you could describe him as generous and supportive and enthusiastic, and you could even say he raised one helluva son.

I still contend that he leaves his kitchen cabinet doors open all the time on purpose, just because he knows I can't stand that. He also purposely pushes my buttons whenever he senses an opportunity. In the end, I know only this: Dr. Pfil is as provoking as he could possibly be.

But I love him...the big dumb jerk.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Seriously, anyone who knows him knows he is such a sweet man.

Woo said...

You know, Dr. Pfil, compliments don't count when you say them about yourself.