A tale of two chick lits.
Aging with Leonardo DiCaprio.

Ranking of the Daddy Memoirs.

Dad Is Fat
by Jim Gaffigan


Well, I finally got Jim Gaffigan's Dad Is Fat from the library.

And I really, really enjoyed it. I've always thought Gaffigan was funny (thanks to a friend who turned me on to the Hot Pockets bit, which, as Gaffigan admits, is what people mostly know him for), but now I just plain like him. The book is a collection of very short chapters; anecdotes about Gaffigan's experiences parenting five children. Or, more accurately, being in awe of his wife's skill in parenting five children.

That's right: five children.

As you can imagine, Gaffigan has a lot to say about having five kids: how they put five kids to sleep in a small fifth floor walk-up two-bedroom Manhattan apartment (one of my favorite chapters); how people look at their family when they go out to restaurants; how they rent an actual bus sometimes when Gaffigan heads out on tours to do comedy shows so they can all be together.

I bookmarked a lot of bits in this book that got me to laugh out loud:

"Toddlers are a virus's best friend. Viruses are usually spread by close contact and saliva. If you look up the definition of toddler, the first thing it should say is 'close contact and saliva.' Toddlers are always the contagion. Our home becomes the CDC every winter." (p. 92.)

And, being Catholic myself, I REALLY loved the Catholic bits (both Gaffigan and his wife are Catholic). In the chapter on how he still takes his family to church: "I empathize with my children. If you've never been to a Catholic Mass, don't worry, it's still going on, you still have time to catch it." (p. 169.)

I also enjoyed his attitude toward selling chocolate as a fundraiser for his daughter's school: "A three-year-old is not going to go around selling chocolate bars. I certainly am not going to go around selling chocolate bars. The solution? Write a check, and Dad eats a case of chocolate bars." (p. 217.)

It's a very different parenting memoir than Drew Magary's Someone Could Get Hurt, which I really enjoyed, but I think this book just edged it out. So what I'm going to do is start a ranking of parenting memoirs and see how it all shakes out. Here's what we have so far:

1. Dad Is Fat, Jim Gaffigan

2. Someone Could Get Hurt: A Memoir of Twenty-First-Century Parenthood, Drew Magary