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Tim Belford: Short Takes On Life
Tim Belford
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Tim Belford
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Tim Belford is host of Quebec A.M. -- CBC Radio's popular English- language morning show (91.7 FM, 6-9, Mon.-Fri). He also is said to know a thing or three about wine.

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Posted 06.16.01
Quebec City

TIM BELFORD

Dad, pity poor old Moulay Ismail

Moulay Ismail was the last sharifian emperor of Morocco. He was also apparently known as "Moulay the Bloodthirsty."

He was around from 1627 to 1727.

Now, the only reason I mention him at all, is because this was Father's Day this weekend.

And if Moulay didn't get anything else right, he at least did the parenting thing.

He is reported to have fathered 548 sons and 340 daughters.

Think of it. Eight hundred and eighty-eight reasons to tear out your hair.

There was probably no time in the man's entire adult life he wasn't dealing with at least forty teenagers.

I'm surprised he wasn't known as "Moulay the Pitiful." Being a Dad is tough.

It doesn't matter whether you're a working class stiff from Thetford or Sept Iles or view the world from summit circle in Westmount.

It's all the same when it comes to your progeny.

Take good old George the VI.

When he married off his daughter Elizabeth to Phil the Greek he wrote the following to her:

"Your leaving us has left a great blank in our lives but do remember that your old home is still yours and do come back to it as much and as often as possible."

Seeing that it her "old home" was Buckingham Palace, it was probably pretty much of a sure thing she'd be back on a regular basis.

` But whether you're a king or a clown, you can't help but feel responsible for your kids.

That makes Dad pretty often a soft touch.

As a matter of fact, there is an old French proverb that says "A father is a banker provided by nature."

But just because he passes out the loot doesn't mean he rates any special consideration, particularly with daughters who will go to great lengths to convince would-be suitors they are, in fact, orphans.

Take these lines from Ogden Nash.

"I always found my daughter's beaux invisible as the emperor's clothes, and I could hear of them no more than the slamming of an auto door. My chicks would then slip up to roost; they were, I finally deducted, concealing tactfully, pro tem, not boys from me but me from them."

What is it Rodney Dangerfield says -- "I get no respect."

And it's no different with sons.

A quote from an old issue of the Lady's Home Journal in 1946 sums it up when a young lad asked about his father's occupation replied, "My daddy doesn't work, he just goes to the office; but sometimes he does errands on the way home."

So, Dads, wherever you, are don't expect too much. Just try and remember the words of Lafcadio Hearn.

"No man can possibly know what life means, what the world means, what anything means, until he has a child and loves it. And then the whole universe changes and nothing will ever again seem exactly as it seemed before."

Hope you had a happy Father's Day.

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