So your Dad wants to reunite with you after running off on you when you were six, and you’re afraid you’re such a loser that he’ll realize he was right to put you in his rear view mirror. Sounds like you need to better yourself in a hurry. Start with some dance lessons! Learn to tango at Elegant Expression Dance Studio. When your dad finds out you’re capable of grace, he’ll be filled with regret that he couldn’t spend all those years watching you flourish into the elegant human that you are.


DADS LOVE ASHTRAYS! It’s a fact! If you can’t make your dad a clay ashtray, why are you even bothering to meet him? Clay Creation Pottery is offering intensive 18-hour classes in making an ashtray that no wayward father could resist. You can even learn to write the word “See?” on the base. As in, “See? You were wrong to walk out. I have worth.” He’ll get it.


Learn to box. Your Dad might show up feeling guilty and he’ll say, “I need you to take a swing at me. I deserve it for what I done. Let me have it right on the jaw.” If you end up landing a weak, rubbery slap on the ear, he might just pick up his duffle bag, throw down not enough cash for the check and walk right out the restaurant. Mort’s Gym is offering a special to adult children of sons of bitches. $30 bucks to develop a punch that your dad will feel deep down where his father gene lives (that’s in the intestine).


Buy some alpacas and put them in your garage. Then when your dad comes by, he’ll say “What’s that all about?” You’ll say, “Just an investment.” Your dad will get the idea you have a head for business and you probably have some money he’ll be able to mooch from in his declining years. That’ll keep him around. Pastoral Wonder Alpaca Farm always offers a discount to anyone who uses the code, “I’m trying to figure things out in my life.”


If you aren’t good with words, take a class in mediation skills at Speechify For Adults. That way you can ask your sister if she’ll agree to forgive your dad and respond to his calls. She’s the one your dad really loves anyway, and you know he’s just trying to use you to get her to reconcile with him. She’s smarter than you though. You were never smart. That’s one of the reasons your dad left, isn’t it?


Just one more day till you meet him, so you’d better hire a Tom Cruise lookalike to come by your table during your meeting and pretend to be your friend. Hollywood Lookalikes has Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, even Casey Affleck! What kind of dad wouldn’t want to be a father to a son who’s friends with Tom Cruise?


Make a reservation for 7 at Franco’s Trattoria. Make sure you have the ashtray, a boombox with music for you to dance to, some alpaca fur on your sweater that he can ask about, and an excuse for why your sister couldn’t make it. Don’t forget to make a second reservation for “Tom Cruise.” At around 7:45, you’ll get a text from your dad saying he can’t make it and maybe next year, but don’t sweat it. Just invite “Tom Cruise” over to your table and ask him if he has a dad. Ask him what his dad is like, and what he did to keep him from going away.

Bob Powers is the author of several humor books, including Happy Cruelty Day! and You Are A Miserable Excuse For A Hero. Read his writing daily at Girls Are Pretty and follow him on Twitter at @bobpowers1.