birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Advice from my Father

1.ADVICE FROM MY FATHER.

"Yeah, you're going to be the new kid in school. So what? Big deal, Aunt Gertrude. You march in there and say, 'Hey, I'm new in town. Nice to meet you. How do you do?' Tell them who you are, look them in the eye, shake their hand! By God, they'll respect for it."


2. ADVICE FROM MY FATHER.

"Now listen, slick, you're the oldest and we depend on you to get the job done. You're the disciplinarian. You're in charge. We all have our roles in the family, and that is your role. We're proud of you. You know how to listen and take care of business. So you just run a tight ship while me and your mama are gone. And make sure that kitchen is cleaned up before we get home."


3. ADVICE FROM MY FATHER.

"Stand up straight. No slouching. Keep your underarms shaved. Nobody needs to look at that."


4. ADVICE FROM MY FATHER

"Here's the rule, Aunt Gertrude. To all adults, you say, 'yes ma'am, no ma'am, yes sir, no sir!' Understand me. I don't want to hear any bullshit yeahs!"


5. ADVICE FROM MY FATHER.

"Keep throwing your hat in the ring. Those sumbitches are going to toss it right back out, and you just toss it right back in. Don't take no for an answer."


6. ADVICE FROM MY FATHER

"Don't be a quitter."


7. ADVICE FROM MY FATHER

"Don't show your ass in public."


8. ADVICE FROM MY FATHER

"See that girl over there under the streetlight? She's pretty. You want a boy to kiss you like that? You gotta watch that weight, Aunt Gertrude. Or it's not gonna happen."


9. ADVICE FROM MY FATHER

"Sure it's sad he/she died. Very sad. Very sad. Poor bastard. But you gotta buck up, kid. It's in the past. You gotta look ahead. Focus on the future."


10. ADVICE FROM MY FATHER

"You want to stay in the town your whole life? What kind of life is that? That's a bullshit life. You want me to be a banker, clocking at five helping you with homework? Say good-bye! You won't even remember these people. We got ball games to win, and you need to get with the goddamn program!"


11. ADVICE FROM MY FATHER

"Do you want to be the next Nancy Lopez or not? Hell, if I had known you could swing a golf club, I would have taught you to golf at six, not sixteen. So you gotta get out there and practice everyday. Forget French IV. Nobody needs French IV. Whatever that is is. Get out there and hit some balls. Work on your swing. Back to the hole. Front to the hole. Maybe you can play on the women's golf team in college. I'll make some calls."


12. ADVICE FROM MY FATHER

"Take the internship doing Sports Information with the Lady Vols. Then be a sportswriter. Maybe you can get a job in Knoxville or Chattanooga writing sports."


13. ADVICE FROM MY FATHER.

"There's no reason to go to China. China's a black hole. The Chinese clearly don't have their act together. Forget about going to China. Get a job in Atlanta. Can't delay your life forever. You're married now. Nobody needs to go to China married. Get on with it."


14. ADVICE FROM MY FATHER

"You're writing about Harper Lee? What do you mean she won't talk to you? Wear her ass down. Do what you got to do. Wear her ass down."


15. ADVICE FROM MY FATHER

"Word to the wise. Never ever criticize your mother, children. Don't do it. Don't do it. Do not criticize Jannie-Lou!"


16. ADVICE FROM MY FATHER

"Quit spreading the red ass. Nobody needs that crap. Now straighten up and put a smile on your face. What's that? 'Yeah? Yeah?' What do you say? That's better - 'Yes sir,' you say, 'yes sir!'"


17. ADVICE FROM MY FATHER

“Jesus Christ, Aunt Gertrude. Smile. Laugh a little. The poor bastard has told you every joke he knows.”

I Do Not Recall

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