The Microwave Song and The Big Hill

“Daddy, can you play The Microwave Song?”

That’s Mabel. We listen to a lot of music when I drive. And no, I have no idea what The Microwave Song is.

I try “Heads Carolina, Tails California,” one of her current favorites.

Not it.

I try “We Belong,” another current Mabel fave.


I try “The Chain,” one of my favorites.

“Daddy, I said THE MICROWAVE SONG!” Like I’m an idiot. Usually, the requests are fairly easy to interpret. Like “Daddy, play the song where they don’t cut people out.” I dig up Somebody That You Used To Know and everybody is happy. Not so this time.

Honey, how does it go? She hums some nonsense. Do you know any words? NO! Or else I would have TOLD YOU! Is it happy or sad? What key is it in? Anything at all?

This is one of the most frustrating parts of being a child. Knowing exactly what you’re talking about, and being sadly unable to convey it to the idiots that drive the cars and operate the CD player. I had gotten in the habit of recording CDs of MP3s – which fit around 150 songs on them – and using them as my car music. So there are a lot of songs that could be The Microwave Song. I thought long about my collection. I have 109 Billy Joel songs. It could be any one of them. I googled “The Microwave Song.” Trust me, that’s not it. I even outsourced it to Facebook. Not even the brilliant people on the internet knew. And still, Mabel kept requesting it and I kept coming up short as a father.

Until one day, when I was listening to Weird Al on my way to pick Mabel up from school. Put your head in the microwave and get yourself a tan. Finally! Victory is mine! I FOUND THE MICROWAVE SONG! Of course it would be by Weird Al. I don’t know why I didn’t start there. So when Mabel got in the car, I was overjoyed. Guess what I found…

“That’s not The Microwave Song!”

What?! Yes it is! He says microwave! Put your head in the microwave and get yourself a tan?

“No, Daddy. UGH! That’s not The Microwave Song!”

Idiot. How could I be so dense as to put forth as The Microwave Song what was clearly NOT The Microwave song? Why do I even bother waking up in the morning?

A year passes.

I have long forgotten about The Microwave Song, or at least I stopped actively searching for it a while ago. I’m in the car with Mabel and Tall, Tall Trees by Alan Jackson comes on.


Really? Tall, Tall Trees by Alan Jackson is The Microwave Song? Well, of course it is. It all makes sense now.

Well if it’s lovin’ you want, then I’ve got it. If it’s money you want, then I’ll get it. I’ll buy you tall, tall trees and all the waters in the seas, I’m a fool, fool, fool for you.

Mystery solved. On to the next case.


Once you get to within a half mile of our house, there is a small variation in the way we can go home. There’s “the way,” and then there’s this other way that adds maybe 30-45 seconds to our drive time. It’s great for songs that I know are 30-45 seconds too long. Mabel started requesting on her own once in a while to go this way. She called it “the big hill,” and I have no idea why. I didn’t prompt her to call it this or anything. “Daddy, I want to go down the big hill.” And if I already passed the big hill and couldn’t turn around or if I just didn’t want to go down the stupid big hill – which, incidentally, isn’t a hill at all – there would be screaming and tears and screaming. (There is another way home that is less of a variation and only adds about 5-10 seconds. She named this “the little hill.” That one is actually a pretty big hill.)

Anyway, she called this way “the big hill,” and when requested, I knew what she meant. This went on for years. Her brother, who is now the age she was when she started calling it the big hill, also calls it the big hill. Recently, I asked preemptively if they wanted to go down the big hill, because I didn’t want the burden of figuring out how to stop them from screaming when I didn’t go down the stupid big f@#*ing hill when they REALLY WANTED TO. To this, Mabel asked a very interesting question, which I always figured I’d have to answer one day…


Quote of the Day 3/10/2018

“Daddy, why do we call it ‘the big hill’?”

  • Mabel


Great freakin question, honey. Great question.


Putting my head in the microwave and getting myself a tan,
Weird Dustin.


Still Standing Right Here…

Weird Al, singing what is clearly NOT The Microwave Song

Weird Al, singing what is clearly NOT The Microwave Song

Before I Begin


A while ago, I read something on the internet that was so damn hilarious, I wanted to find out who wrote it so I could read some other stuff they wrote. Turns out it was by a guy named Dustin Fisher. Well that can’t be right. That’s my name! And this isn’t the internet at all!!! This is a crumbled up Bennigans napkin from 2003!

D Rec, circa 2005

D Rec, circa 2005

It sucks when you realize that you aren’t as funny as you used to be. I can handle not being as fast or limber – I don’t really run or squeeze myself into lockers anymore. But through some politically correct jobs, a lack of regular adult interaction, and a quinoa-heavy diet, my comedy muscles seem to have atrophied in the last decade. I was reading some of my old blog posts (which were originally emails, back when people read emails) and got jealous of that guy. He was free, sharp, and damn funny. But I also see no reason I can’t be him again. So in an effort to recapture these glory days of humor writing, I have decided to recreate my blog in the image of my old “Quote of the Day” daily email humor column (see The Dangers of Day Camp, Rating Street Signs, or Review of Memento for reference). Hence the moniker “Quote of the Dad.” Hopefully it works. If not, there are still over 100 movies on my Netflix queue.


I turned my column into a blog back in 2005 and I was already late to the party then. Why reboot a blog now that everybody else has left the party and moved out and got jobs and kids and mortgages? Because I have no idea what I’m doing, but I need to do something. There is a very subtle and mostly overlooked line in Big Fish when a young Edward Bloom is leaving Spectre and the mayor tells him “You won’t find a better place” and Edward says “I don’t intend to,” basically forgoing paradise because he feels the need to do something. In my case, paradise is sitting on my couch and blazing through my Netflix queue, and doing something is writing a blog no one will read. Perhaps I will turn this into a podcast in a couple years. With any luck, that will be obsolete by then.


I have taken over I say “taken over,” because I want to sound bold and confident, not sheepish and full of regret, like a guy who forgot to renew his domain and let a squatter swoop in and scoop it up for his junk drawer. Sorry. I suppose it could have also been her junk drawer.


March 3rd is a special date in Dustin lore. I started the original Quote of the Day 23 years ago today, and I auditioned for Last Comic Standing on March 3rd in 2008. I think I did something else recently too, like I bought a TV or something. Anyway, it seemed fitting to roll it out on a March 3rd. Especially since I can’t afford another TV right now.


Well, me. And the kids. And occasionally my wife, though she doesn’t like it when I air out our actual dirty laundry, so I’m not sure how she’ll take to the metaphoric dirty laundry. But I will do the writing. They will just provide the content. You’ll see.


My 3-year-old son has an impeccable bargaining technique that does all the work for his opponent, often times shouting things like “Well if you won’t let me watch Mickey Mouse, I’m not watching ANY TV EVER!!” Like it’s a threat. When “OK” is a sufficient comeback, your opponent’s argument game needs work. One night, he was bargaining with time. He gets it right about half the time, but the other half, he doesn’t do himself any favors. But a few nights ago after waking up around midnight, he caught on to his mistake…

Quote of the Day 3/3/2018

Me: “OK, Morris. You have to go back to bed in 5 minutes.”
Morris: “No. 2 minutes.”
Me: “OK, fine. 2 minutes.”
Morris: “No… 40 minutes.”

Well, damn! That’s a hell of a jump! And a very specific and somewhat reasonable time, almost exactly the length of an episode of Monk. I’m starting to think he may be slow playing me.

Blogging like it’s 1999,
Daddy Dustin.

Still Standing Right Here…