VOL 50 Issue 365

Even though he is a very formidable authority figure, Ralph Bunker says he is still calibrating his delivery of “What the hell is going on here?” The admission comes after returning with his wife from an overnight trip to the Hudson Valley, to find his house in disarray and a group of sketchy teenagers, three of whom were his children, engaged in numerous shades of irresponsibility in the backyard. An already imposing father can’t be satisfied with his booming, demanding utterance of the stock question, according to Bunker, he has to keep perfecting his timbre and timing, along with the accompanying glare, in order to achieve the desired results—imprecisely defined though they might be. After unpacking and watching the teenagers disperse, Bunker practiced in front of a mirror before heading downstairs to confront the next instance of filial non-compliance.