Jon Dawson: Kinston resident discovers relation to 'Batman' star

Jon Dawson: Kinston resident discovers relation to 'Batman' star

Despite my children's best efforts, I made it to another Father's Day.

As a reward for cheating death for another year, I was given a potpourri of gifts by my beloved Tax Deductions. How lucky am I that my kids cared enough to gift me a lint applier, a jar of pickled Cheetos and a subscription to Aloof & Lethargic Monthly?

A few years ago a Kinston native and musician buddy of mine we'll refer to as "Frank" received an membership for Father’s Day. Being a bit of a conspiracy theorist, Frank wasn't comfortable sending a sample of his DNA to strangers on the internet.

"The same shadow organizations who took out Marilyn Monroe and Yahoo Serious still exist," Frank said. "We all know Marilyn was knotted up in some sort of hoodoo with the mafia and JFK, but Yahoo Serious was silenced for telling the truth. After advising people to buy peanut butter and spread their investment over the full tax year, I believe the U.S. government labeled him a radical and blocked the release of his films in this country."

Frank may have spent too many years in a poorly ventilated tour bus, but he's right in that it might not be a good idea to send your DNA to a group of strangers. To that end. Frank contacted a friend who works at a zoo and procured a few hairs from a penguin.

Against the advice of family, legal counsel and clergy, Frank submitted the penguin DNA as if it were his own. Several weeks later, he received this email from

"Thank you for your submission. Our research indicates your ancestors originated in the Arctic Circle, with your most famous relative being the actor Burgess Meredith."

Burgess Meredith stars as The Penguin on a 1966 episode of “Batman”

The best gift I ever received on Father's Day was a sun shield for my car. Since this infernal summer that everyone is so crazy about is now sitting on all of humanity like a galactic hen, by the time the afternoon rolls around, the interior of a car is warm enough to melt the shields off of the Space Shuttle. 

When applied correctly (i.e. not on top of the trunk, Bryan Hanks), a sun shield can lower the temperature inside a 2011 Chevrolet Impala from “hot enough to poach a cement block” down to the more tolerable “warm enough to sweat a brick.”

The first day I used the sun shield on the car was very momentous. Reveling in the joy of sitting in a shaded car that wasn't unbearably hot, I attached my seat belt, checked the rear view mirror, recovered quickly from the sight of my own face, and dialed up a little driving music. I cranked the car and headed home in the lap of lower-middle-class luxury.

My mellow was immediately harshed by the sound of scraping metal and screaming. I was so focused on how cool the temperature was that I'd forgotten to take the sun shields down. I must have driven a good 3 miles before realizing the people on the sidewalk weren't trying to place flyers on my windshield, but rather diving for their lives. 

The octogenarians who managed to shoulder roll smoothly over the hood of my car were especially impressive, which proves they truly are the Greatest Generation.

I hope your Father's Day was great. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a bug screen to install on a Moped.

Jon Dawson's humor columns are published weekly by Contact Jon at and


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