To all the fathers and father figures out there, I wish you the happiest of Father’s Days. Becoming a dad is not always something you plan on, it’s not always something you want to be, and it’s certainly not the easiest of jobs. I was lucky enough to have been born to a father who is at the tippy-top of the A-list in the dad category… or dadegory. He has bestowed his wisdom, wonderful sense of humor and life savings onto me, and for that, I will spend my life trying to repay him.
I could write a loving, heart-felt essay about how my dad is exponentially cooler than your dad, but I think both of our time would be better spent elsewhere. Maybe you don’t feel as though your dad falls under that elite dadegory, but whether you have one dad, two dads… red dads or blue dads, I can assure you that you are luckier than a lot of children… both human or otherwise. So, in honor of the celebration of paternal love, I bring to you a list of the absolute worst dads in the business.
Cuckoo birds are some of the most immoral parental figures anyone could ask for. They have become famous for several reasons, one being those irritating cuckoo-clocks, and another being their bizarre and morally bankrupt breeding habits. Cuckoo birds are classified as brood parasites. For those of you who are not up on your zoology vocab words, brood parasites are organisms that manipulate hosts parents into raising their young. In even simpler terms, these sons-a-bitches lay their eggs in another bird’s nest, and then proceed to trick the other bird into raising their chicks as its own offspring. It seems like the other bird would quickly realize that one or more of its babies is an entirely different species, but I guess the Cuckoo birds bank on the fact that for the most part, birds are pretty dumb. Needless to say, Cuckoo birds do not make very good dads and they probably do not celebrate Father’s Day with the same enthusiasm as we do. Fun fact: The term cuckold, which refers to a man whose wife has taken a lover outside of the marriage, is actually derived from the nefarious breeding habits of the cuckoo bird.
With the exception of Mufasa, lions are some of the worst dads around. Once their cubs are born, male lions contribute basically nothing to their upbringing. They sit around in shaded areas while the mothers hunt, and provide for the family. If they were humans, they would be the kind of dads who sit in the garage drinking beer and watching sports center all day, while their wife works 3 jobs and goes to school in order to put food on the table, and once there is food there, he eats all the good stuff and leaves the scraps for mom and the kids. Most of us can probably agree that we wouldn’t want a lion as our father, but what you really, REALLY don’t want is a lion as your step-father. As worthless and lazy as daddy lions are, they are much worse when it comes to raising step-cubs. When a new lion takes over as head of the pride, (basically man of the house) he then proceeds to murder all the cubs who were born to the previous head of the pride. This is to avoid any potential competition, free up resources, and to allow him more opportunities to mate with the lionesses of the pride who no longer have to worry about their cubs. Despite the advantages of killing the step-children in cold blood, I think it’s safe to say that this is still kind of a dick-move by the King Of The Jungle.
Bears (Polar & Grizzly)
Despite being very solitary creatures, male bears will travel great lengths to mate and reproduce. However, once they impregnate a mamma bear, they get while the gettin’ is good. Abandoning your baby-mamma is pretty common among both the animal kingdom, and humans, but there is one major difference that makes papa-bear worse than your average absentee father. Not only does a Male bear skip out on child support payments, if it comes across a bear cub (even its own) it will kill and eat it. This violent, territorial, cannibalistic form of parenting is unanimously frowned-upon, and earns papa-bear a secure spot in the bad-dad-category… or badadegory (okay I might be reaching with that one).
With such a good-natured name, it comes as a shock that Assassin Bugs are not up for the Father of the Year Award, but they too dabble in the art of killing and eating their own offspring. Assassin Bug dads are charged with the task of protecting their eggs from parasitic wasps, just as any good dad would, however they are known to snack on a few babies here and there. Protecting the nest can be exhausting work, and similar to carboloading before a marathon, Assassin Bugs will eat the eggs on the outer edges of the brood in order provide themselves with much needed nutrients. Eating the eggs on the outer edges of the brood is also a method of protecting the eggs in the center. And you thought your dad picked favorites…
With these dads in mind, I hope you have a greater appreciation for how great your dad is in comparison. Maybe your dad wasn’t there for you as much as you would hope for, or he couldn’t afford to put you through college or buy you an Xbox, but hey… at least he didn’t kill you and eat you. Happy Father’s Day everyone!