According to the phone company, Mother’s Day has the highest phone call volume of the year. And Father’s Day? The highest number of collect calls. What more can we say? You’re going to need a sense of humor to make it through the year as a Dad. And Steve Morgenstern is here to help, with the advice you need to make it through the toughest challenges as a husband and a dad with a smile on your face. For Valentine’s Day, he counsels “Never buy a woman an electrical gift, even if it’s delivered in a package festooned with roses and adorable cupid tushies. Remember that even after years of close personal contact, Black and Decker were still just good friends.” For party-going survival, he explains the fine points of etiquette – or rather, “synthetiquette – artificial rules created for the sole purpose of making guys feel apologetic.” He recalls with no special fondness having to buy products for his kids’ fundraising drives. “Do you want to order the Quilted Blender Cozy, the Garfield Lasagna-Flavored Dental Floss or the Battery-Powered Nose Wiper, Dad?” He feels grown-ups stealing Halloween is a crime, and says so in verse: “Candy? Who needs it! Cause Mom and Dad choose / To skip past the “boos” and head straight for the booze.” On the joys of mall life: “Going shopping with children is like shaving with a kitchen knife. You’ll probably get the job done, but there’s going to be some damage along the way.” He has the perfect way to avoid changing diapers: adopt a Don’t Ask, Don’t Smell policy. “It takes mental discipline to shrug off the sometimes pungent evidence that confronts you. If all else fails, try making believe you’re a handsomely bribed health inspector at a particularly ripe greasy spoon.” From spring Little League to summer at the beach, back-to-school in the fall and a shiny Death Scream 2000 RoboVoice Action Figure for Christmas, The Year of the Dad provides a cranky, crafty, comical approach to surviving fatherhood. About the Author Steve Morgenstern is best known as a tech journalist, whose work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Men’s Journal, Playboy, Popular Science and elsewhere, but he’s also proven his comedy chops as a writer for the Muppets, and creator of the online version of Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?