Chariat de Children
"Anything big enough to double as a sporting-goods superstore one day and a children's tour bus the next," says Dan Gets a Minivan author Dan Zevin of his ideal wheels. "Once I stopped thinking of it as a car and started thinking of it as a second home, I realized just how amazing this thing [the minivan] actually is. I use it to haul my children, my children’s friends, my children’s friends’ friends, friends of my children’s friends’ friends, random individuals I’ve never met, Costco merchandise, skis, beach chairs, bikes, scooters, groceries, footballs, baseballs, balls, kickballs, and Goldfish crackers. I don't even call it a minvan. There's nothing mini about it. I call it my Maxivan."
Cool Dad's Top Three
"Band-Aids — I don't only save them for cuts and scrapes, either," says Dan Gets a Minivan author Dan Zevin. "I recommend them as a mood-enhancer when they have meltdowns. The SpongeBob ones work best in that regard. Two, some kind of child kibble to be used for positive reinforcement training, the way dog trainers use biscuits or dolphin trainers use mackerel. I don't recommend mackerel, though, for human children. They'll cooperate 100% if I provide one M&M every time they do what I ask them to do. Three, a sense of humor."
Get Thee to Costco
"The 60-packs of Kirkland beer are amazing; it's incredibly similar to Sam Adams if you conduct a blind taste test (which I have)," says Dan Gets a Minivan author Dan Zevin. "I hoard the paper products in the back of the warehouse. I feel a little guilty about destroying the environment by buying 250 rolls of paper towels and enough toilet paper to take care of future generations of Zevin tushies — but I can't help myself. I have a whole chapter about Costco in my book, which is called ‘The Day I Turned into My Father,’ because my father goes to Costco three times a week. He turned me on to their shrimp recently, which I've been grilling on our new barbecue."
How to be a Humor Writer
"Speaking as a nice Jewish boy from New Jersey, the main qualification is that you couldn't get into medical school or law school,” jokes Dan Gets a Minivan author Dan Zevin. "Start your own blog, write for other blogs, and get your work out there with social media," he continues. "You'll get the attention of editors. Write what you know. If you don't know what you know, write about me. This last technique has been pretty successful for me."
"Adam Sandler's company is developing Dan Gets a Minivan as a sitcom and is also developing my previous book The Day I Turned Uncool," says author Dan Zevin. "I feel very lucky and honored that they think it's funny enough to pursue. But I don't think there's any magic trick to getting the attention of Hollywood that's any different than getting the attention of readers. Hopefully, people will recommend your book through word of mouth, or a producer will just see it in a bookstore or read something about it that makes them go out and read it themselves. Obviously, it helps to have a good agent who believes enough in your work to make sure it then gets into the right hands. That's their job."
It was Father's Day a couple of days ago, and Dan Zevin, for one, was a happy dude. And we mean dude. The longish hair, the sh$t-eating grin, the bada-bing one-liners: this is the walking, talking definition of dude.
Except...er...um...he's all grown up. Married. Has kids. A freakin' minivan even. How does that work? Well, if you've tracked his life — and all of us could have, since he's basically written about every human phase save puberty — you'd see that Dan was born to be a dude. As in not the doctor or the lawyer that his New Jersey father (a lawyer) wanted him to be. Dad's over it — his son is considered one the country's preeminent humor writers, having been a comic correspondent for National Public Radio’s WBUR, Boston Magazine, and the Boston Phoenix, as well as a contributor to national publications, including Rolling Stone, Maxim, Details, TheNewYorker.com, and Parents. Why? Read his stuff. He's hilarious.
Having charted the rocky road from college to the real world, from dating to marriage, and from coupledom to family life, Dan rules Dude Nation. He represents all the guys who feel like they're still 15 years old, yet are miraculously pulling off responsible adulthood. Dan, of course, has more than pulled that off. He’s developed enough perspective on his own life passages to write how-to-live manuals that mix wisdom, philosophy, and lots and lots of jokes. Married to a successful children's publisher, he is a stay-at-home father to his son and daughter, having left his hip Brooklyn ’hood for suburbia, land of sippy cups, rabid soccer moms, and designer bibs. Dan gropes his way through it all and discovers — egad! — life in the ’burbs ain't so bad; it's actually kinda rad. Costco rocks, there are no more parking brawls, and that eyesore called the minivan turned out to be awesome — and the set of his new YouTube series, Star Vehicle. So he's not a lawyer. Some would argue he's something bigger: Supreme Justice of Coolness.