Cleaning The Shotgun

As a father of many many girls I get the frequent question about “the dating years”. Well, not so much a question as a knowing look down the end of a nose followed by, “You better get your shotgun ready. Keep them boys at bay.”

My lord people. Are we such a violent and harsh society that it takes a threat of force to protect our children and convince teenage boys to think twice about their actions?

Absolutely. Without question.

But I have a better idea. Timing is critical for this idea to work right but if done correctly it will cascade as urban legend down through the years and cover all of my children in a protective blanket of mystery. “Mystery of what?” you say. Mystery of who I am and if I am indeed insane. Convince the first boy that comes around that something is wrong with you and the word will spread like wildfire. Let’s be careful here, I don’t mean something wrong like you wear women’s clothing to go jogging in the rain. Try and stick to upbeat but possibly psychotic under a happy faced disguise. The objective is uncomfortable fear not weird looks.

For example…
Scenario One: A young man is coming to our house to escort our daughter out on her first date. I instruct her to remain inside while I meet this fine young man and assess his mannerisms. She rolls her eyes at my quirky and overbearing nature. I promise to behave.

In anticipation of this day I will have prepared the following; one black garbage bag full of smashed watermelons and one pack of raw ground beef (Allow to sit for two days so flies are bouncing around the inside of the bag.), a fresh four foot hole around the side of the house near the edge of the woods, one dirty shovel.

Prince charming arrives a few minutes early. Two points for punctuality. I walk around the corner to the front of the house as he is getting out of his car. I imagine that I will be slightly sweaty with maybe some dirt smudged on my cheek. He will smile hesitantly and maybe even half wave to acknowledge me. I will stare for a second to increase the awkward, all the while beaming a Sunday church smile. Once the young man looks sufficiently confused I will thrust out my hand and say “Hi! I’m Jane’s father! Really nice to meet you. I know Jane is excited for her date.” He responds politely, “Hello, nice to meet you too sir. Oh yes I am excited too. I really respect Jane for her intellect and solid moral stances.” I’m sure this small talk is all heart felt but the moment will turn as I step up close and place an arm on his shoulder.

“Say, Dan, do you have just a second to help me with something?”

He will say yes, social protocol guarantees it. I will turn and head back around the corner of the house. I will place my dirty shovel on the ground near the freshly dug hole and beckon Dan to come closer. I say, “Grab the corners on that bag, CAREFULLY, you don’t want to bust this.” It will be much funnier to me than him and I will suppress a giggle, “huh hu hu ha ha ugghmm.”

The weight is lumpy and awkward with some mystery liquid sloshing in the bag and giving a half rotten smell. We heft the bag into the hole and I stare at it for a few moments in deep thought. I realize he is still standing nearby and I say, “Hey… Thanks for your help. And don’t tell anyone about this.”

“About what?” He looks confused and concerned.

“Exactly! I like you already!” Then I pick up the shovel and start filling in the hole. I talk over my shoulder as he walks slowly away, “You kids have fun. Don’t be late.”

Hopefully the first thirty minutes of the date will be spent trying to figure out what was in the bag. He may ask Jane what she knows but I refused to tell her earlier so the mystery will build. In fact, I will never mention the incident again. Each new wave of teenagers will carry the legend and try to solve the black bag mystery. Some of them will notice a sunken spot at the edge of the woods. The grass grows well in that spot. Perfect.

All I want is the title. The “crazy dad who buried someone in his yard” has a nice ring. It is like an old horror movie, the unseen is much more terrifying than something that can be visualized.

There may be other psychological warfare games that can produce the same results. Feel free to use any good ideas as your own or send me a better one. I’m open minded. And if you are planning on protecting your daughter’s virtue through intimidation this post is for you. You’re welcome.

Underdaddy to the rescue.


  1. LOVE. IT! Follows the KISS principle. You may become an internet legend for this idea. And I *will* pass it on to The Rock to consider when Pebbles starts dating. Although he’s already said her first date will be her wedding night.


  2. This is BRILLIANT! My own father had this sort of reputation. (Probably for good reason.) I found it annoying at the time but now that I am grown I see the utility of it. Saved me a bunch of heartache!


  3. If my memory of my awkward teen days is at all accurate, you don’t have to do anything more than just be around when the guy shows up to scary him silly. I’m still terrified when I’m around my wife’s dad, and we’ve been married for 8 years with a kid.


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