He was always so busy, working away from home for weeks at a time. Coming in, late, tired, irritable. We understood that what he did was very important, and that in his time at home he needed to rest and recuperate, not to be bothered with the small concerns of children.

Mum was there solid, reliable, tangible, but Dad... Dad was heard about, but rarely seen -- a voice on the phone, a door closing at midnight, a car starting up outside early in the morning before we were fully awake.

You had to believe in him, because Mum said so, but 'Dad' wasn't real to kids of five and six. He was a threat of retribution -- "I'll tell your father what you did", or an unseen benefactor -- "You couldn't have that bike if Dad didn't work so hard", he was a phantom.

Of course, as we got older, his presence got more solid. We were actually up when he got home, he would talk to us now we had conversation, rather than prattle, he became three-dimensional.

But for the first seven or eight years of my life, all I had was a ghost dad.

Ghost Dad (1990)
Tagline:
America's Favorite Dad in a Spirited Comedy!

Get it? Spirited?

Anyways, if you were thinking to yourself while watching Bill Cosby on his sitcom, "I wonder what it would be like if he was dead..." then this is the movie for you. Bill Cosby, Elliot, is having trouble finding time for his family. His kids are getting depressed about it, especially his son who is quite upset with him. His cynical eldest daughter basically has to parent the rest of the children.

One day, Elliot is hit by a car after falling from a bridge.


He mysteriously is still able to walk around but with "ghostly" consequences. He is able to walk through walls but he can't be seen in daylight. He struggles to maintain his job and reunite with his family, and actually begins to enjoy his newfound powers but will his fooling around hurt his family? (yes.)

In my opinion this movie was... cute. I would watch it if it was playing on network television but I wouldn't pay to see it in a movie theatre. Know what I mean? It's not a movie that you will quote in your daily life, but you will chuckle pretty hard while watching it.
I know hindsight is supposed to make me smarter, to give me some sort of insight. But I’m still tempted by the idea of a conspiracy.

My dad is a truck driver. He quit being a cop when his friends died and became a truck driver around when he got married. It was a shitty job. He would be away for days and bring back almost nothing to show for it. I never really saw him. Then he changed companies and started doing local deliveries.

My dad worked nights and his schedule was perfectly aligned so I wouldn’t see him. He would leave for work at three in the afternoon. I would be coming home from school. Maybe I would see him long enough to say goodbye. And he would come back at six or seven in the morning. That’s when I would leave for school. Maybe I would see him and say hello. Maybe he would be asleep. Maybe he wasn’t home yet. This was how it was for most of my life. He slept most weekends. Then my mom told him to shift to working days. It was so he could see us more. I guess my mom thought he should be a dad while we were being teenagers. Or maybe she was just finally getting tired of us.

Nothing really changed. Now he leaves for work around 4 or 5 in the morning. I sleep by the door and sometimes I wake up. I say goodbye. Other times he’s running late and is rushing out the door when I wake up at 5:30 or 6. I say goodbye. He gets home anywhere from 8 to 10 at night. And I say hi. But we’re always either doing homework or asleep.

I physically see my dad maybe for a total of 30 minutes a week. I talk to my dad for may 5 minutes a week. I listen to him for maybe 6 or 7. He still sleeps weekends.

I want him to go back to working nights. Now he sees us about the same time but for less sleep and lower pay. I haven’t heard him complain though. He just wakes up every morning and comes home every night. And he wakes up and comes home to a house asleep. A ghost in his own house.

He once used me for a shrink while sitting in a Subways. We were waiting for our sandwiches when he said he was unhappy with how his life turned out. But he then said six words that stay with me. "I'm not asking for your pity."

And I give him none.

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