You’ve been putting it off for weeks now, but the time has come: You should probably call your dad. Don’t have the time or emotional stamina to have an actual conversation with him? Want to be spared the empty banter about the weather and the dog’s recent eating habits? Call during these off-peak times and you’ll be able to lie about how “everything’s going fine,” directly to his voicemail:
Call: Late at night. Everyone knows dads can’t stay up past the end of Letterman. Call him late enough and he’ll be dozed off, dreaming of golf clubs. Be careful not to call too late—he may assume it’s an emergency. Also, careful not to be too drunk when leaving the voicemail because you’d probably bring up the time he didn’t show up to your thirteenth birthday party. Don’t do that. You were right, but now is not the time.
Call: Early in the morning. Set an alarm and call him while he’s still sleeping. This will create the appearance that you have a very important job that requires you to wake up at 5am and work until 10pm, six days a week. He’ll think you really did finish medical school after all!
Call: During Jeopardy. Dads love Jeopardy. More than they love you. Jeopardy airs every Monday-Friday at 7pm EST.
Call: When he just sat down to dinner. It’s important that it’s exactly when he takes a seat in front of his freshly prepared Hungry Man frozen dinner. He still might answer, but only to tell you to call back later because he just sat down to dinner. This one is extra useful, because it makes him seem like the one who’s avoiding you.
With these handy tips, you can avoid the crushing silences and flimsy explanation of how you’ve spent the last few weeks of your life.