Hi RD,
Thanks so much for your time on the phone. It’s wonderful to hear about how you and your wife Reservoir Mum have made things work for you, instead of just following the stereotypes.
Let me know if there are any other dads who you think I should speak to before we start filming.
Kindest regards,
Ruth*
Associate Producer
Popular Current Affairs Program

  

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HaysiNo worries Ruth,

I’m on to it. I’ll find you some fine Stay At Home Dads with great stories to tell. I know where they hang out and how to talk to them.

Hey, sorry I was a bit dry on the phone. There are two reasons for this.

Firstly, I’d just been perfecting my choreography to the 80s classic song Shiny Shiny by Haysi Fantayzee. Your call interrupted me in the middle of my signature dance move The Cabbage Patch and made me aware that I lack the mental strength and focus to match it with the world’s greatest dancers. (Note to self – to reach that level of excellence I need to practice dancing for longer periods, with more enthusiasm, and far more often.)

The second reason for my evasiveness is that I’ve been dealt with harshly by TV programs in the past – their dishonesty, their ferreting for ratings, their will to skitter their subjects to the curb like hession bags filled with screaming kittens. I now have a deep suspicion of them, Ruth, which is really hampering my deep desire to become famous and handsome.

Here are some of my bad TV experiences in chronological order –

  • 1984 – They killed Molly in A Country Practice.
  • 1991 – The writers of Twin Peaks decided the series didn’t need a real ending.
  • 2012 – Anthony fame-fucked The Wiggles

But the worst of all was my experience with Channel 7’s Today/Tonight in 2010.

They’d somehow cottoned on to my Most Mentally Sexy Competition (possibly because I kept calling and emailing them about it) and came to the house to do what I assumed would be a positive story. Unfortunately it quickly became obvious to Reservoir Mum and myself that they were trying to pain us into a Dom/Sub relationship (which is simply not the case outside the bedroom) – Reservoir Mum being the dominant working wife, I being the weak-willed house husband.

Strangely, in all the hullaballoo, we went along with it. If you’ll allow me to quote myself… this is from a blog post I wrote about the experience –

I open the door and the next three hours are a whirlwind of crazy directions, big microphones and bright lights, strange people asking me all kinds of crazy questions, Archie acting unusually defiant, Lewis acting usually defiant, Tyson screaming through his desire to sleep, and even though I am somehow aware that I am ultimately in control of my own actions I find that I am easily directed from one scene to another – the camera man’s voice taking the place of my own usually unrelenting, inner dialogue.
I wash and rewash dishes, iron a singlet with long intense strokes, dust vigorously, lower my eye to the tops of tables as if to locate the barest hair of debris, load the washing machine three times and, although I have never done it before, measure the washing powder into a cup with the piercing glare of Clint Eastwood. I clean the toilet from five different angles and when I am instructed to look up in shock/fear when I hear Reservoir Mum return home I do so and then deliver her a cup of tea and vacuum around her as she sits on the couch. I ask her to lift her feet and then I even re-vacuum an area when she is told to point out some bits that I missed.
Occasionally, I see tiny, red, shiny-toothed demons in the darker corners of the house and their presence is an indication that the person who is following these directions is me – in the sense that my arms and legs are me – but the inner me, the less tangible but more important thinking part of myself is strangely absent.

As if to take full and final advantage of my vacuous obedient state the camera man instructs me to polish the staircase knob and even though I have never polished that particular knob before, I do so with furious intent.
(Read the full post here)

 

Funnily enough the story never aired but both RM and I know the footage is still out there…

So you can see why I was all business and no fun during our conversation today, banging on about social expectations and injustices and women being forced into certain roles and men being limited by gender.

It was only after I asked, ‘So what’s your angle?’ that I realized you were keen to do a balanced, positive story and that you weren’t out to do a hatchet job on our life and lifestyle choices. If I’d known that earlier I would have talked about how much I love my kids and my role and focused on the details like snot and vomit and the smell of dirty nappies, and how – after all of that – Reservoir Mum and I are still having sex.

Bottom line is I think it’s great you want to do a story on stay-at-home-Dads, mainly because I am one, but also because I like watching myself on the telly.

We’re becoming a famous lot us SAHDS. Have you heard of the new TV Show Househusbands? You should get your footage quick before I start charging appearance fees.

I’ll put a call out to SAHDs on my website today by posting this brief email as an open letter. But first I’ve got to get back to Shiny Shiny and the The Cabbage Patch. 

Party on Ruth,

RD

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So there you have it! If you are a full time Stay At Home Dad and have an overwhelming desire to get famous and handsome, send me an email – reservoirdad@gmail.com

*Real name changed.