March 25, 2011: Superdad

PAGES READ on Wednesday: 68
PAGES READ on Thursday: 0 (!)
PAGES READ on Friday: 58
CURRENTLY READING: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson and The Devil & Sherlock Holmes by David Grann
-1,568 PAGES

First things first: I was a witness to Leigh-Anne’s perm and it was indeed awesome.

Remember when Leigh-Anne said that she had to like Nazneen Sheikh in order to like Moon Over Marrakech? The same holds true for Superdad: A Memoir of Rebellion, Drugs and Fatherhood by Christopher Shulgan and I have to say, I don’t like him at all. I mean, honestly, what an asshole! This guy somehow draws a straight line from growing up under the influence of Harrison Ford movies to having a competent high school sex-ed teacher who taught boys not to get girls pregnant to smoking crack in his own basement while being solely responsible for his infant son who is sleeping upstairs. Hmmm. What am I missing?

Reading this book, I got the sense that Shulgan fancies himself the most clever person in the room and certainly the coolest. I also wondered if he might have developed a crack addiction because he thought it would get him a sweet book deal. I wouldn’t put it past him. He writes as if he’s the first urban hipster to ever sacrifice a piece of his social life to take on the responsibility of parenting and oh! what a martyr he is for doing so. It’s not particularly well-written either – Shulgan (and perhaps his copy editor) needs to attend my mother’s clinic on “you and I” versus “you and me”.

Having said all of the above, I sort of couldn’t put this book down. Shulgan’s bio is eerily similar to many of my friends – white, middle-class, Queen’s grad, born in the early ’70s, fan of Han Solo and Indiana Jones, understands the fundamentals of birth control, enjoys the odd night of drinking. So there was a that-could-be-me element to reading about his downward spiral. It was also perversely fascinating to learn, in great detail, how to go about scoring crack in downtown Toronto a block away from where I worked for seven years, or how to make a crack pipe from materials found right beside the cash register at my local corner store. Two skills I really don’t need but now have…

Another reason I kept reading is because I was waiting for him to admit to his addiction. I was looking for a few simple words: “I am a crack addict” and “I am an alcoholic” or some variation thereof. But it never comes. I hope Shulgan doesn’t fall off the wagon (no schadenfreude here) but if he does, it might be because of this. No need to admit it to his readers, really, but I hope he has admitted it to himself.

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2 Responses to March 25, 2011: Superdad

  1. leighannegraham says:

    A picture of my hair arrived in the reuinion mailer yesterday. It’s having a moment, clearly. Maybe it’s time for another perm?

  2. daddy says:

    i found how to see you reply
    one has to go to the original comment and there it is

    and I just saw that there is a place to request an email notification of a reply

    I am on it

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