Dad’s Birthday

T. H. McClung, she/her(s)
2 min readSep 30, 2021


A failed attempt at humor

Photo by Hamid Roshaan 🇵🇰 on Unsplash

If Dad had lived, today would be his 83rd birthday. When I was a teenager, he had one of those birthdays that warrants a party. He was a pastor and an all-around fun guy so he had lots of friends. I was the only kid living at home by that time. It was a surprise party at my one of my sister’s houses. People from the church were invited and friends.

I had the funniest idea I had ever had in my whole life. I knew the gift to buy for him. He is the reason it is so important to me to be funny, so I knew he would also love it. I just knew he would find it as hilarious I did.

I went to the drugstore and bought a pack of Depends, “the incontinence protection.” It will be hard for some to imagine, but this was back when such a thing was fairly new to the market. There certainly weren’t different types of Depends or any other brands. There was no such thing as “Fit-Flex Underwear for Men” Depends. There was just one kind. The adult diaper kind.

I wrapped the pack in beautiful wrapping paper. I put a huge bow on it. The best part? The best part was that it was one of those parties where the birthday boy opened all of his gifts while the guests sat in a circle and watched. I held my gift for the end. I wanted it to be the big finish.

Dad unwrapped the pack of adult diapers. There was a little bit of laughter from the other adults in the room. Some people, including my mother, gasped in surprise. My father looked at “the gift” then looked at me and simply said,

“Well, thanks.”

He set the pack of embarrassment to the side and I laughed to try to make sure everyone knew it was a funny joke.

“Get it? Because you are so old!”

It was my father’s 50th birthday. I don’t think it is funny now either.

This is Year 49.



T. H. McClung, she/her(s)

In no particular order: Writer, pastor, Mama Bear, LGBTQ+ ally, wife, preacher, watcher of TV, seeker, mystic want-to-be