This photo compliments of Noah.
Photo compliments of little Noah holding dad's giant camera.

I thought I’d have a little fun writing a post to confirm or bust many of the funny myths that I’ve seen going around the Internet about Single Dad Laughing. Heck, some of these have made it all the way to the people in my own personal circle. Some of them have even been brought up on first dates (that’s always fun conversation!)

All the disinformation and baseless speculation used to drag me down to deep states of horrific depression in which I’d want to go do something crazy like machete the neighbor’s plastic flamingos. Now, they make me laugh as I’ve come to realize they’re just a part of having a big blog. And I bet you’ll get a kick out of hearing them, too.

Anyway, here are the top ten eleven myths/rumors about SDL. In no particular order.

Okay, I lied. They’re in the order that I thought of them, which I guess is a particular order.

Myth #1: Dan is a pseudonym that I use here on Single Dad Laughing. My real life name is actually Tony.
Busted. Kind of.

This myth originated from when I posted a video of me on The Price is Right. My name tag had Tony written on it, and in a subsequent Q&A post, I told everyone my first name was actually Tony but that I go by Dan. I maybe should have clarified this a little better. My middle name is Daniel. My dad’s name is Tony. My parents raised me as “Danny” and when I was an older teen I shortened it to Dan. While on the Price is Right, they made us use our legal names or we wouldn’t be eligible for prizes. It didn’t matter because I blew my chances at fame and fortune anyway. Or more accurately, all the people who bid a dollar above me blew my chances. Those jerks.

But I’m not bitter.

No sir.

Those backstabbing weenies did what they had to do. 😉

Myth #2: Multiple writers write this blog pretending to be one person. I’m just a pretty face on a giant conspiracy.

This myth was started by fellow dad bloggers back in the earlier days of Single Dad Laughing. It’s still one of the favorites being passed around. It’s always made me laugh. I mean, come on, is it that hard to come up with a post each day all by myself? All it really means is that I’m a nerd without a life, right?

Plus, there’s not much pretty about this face.

Except maybe when you look at it upside-down.

Myth #3: I beg for money from my followers.
what is the definition of beg?

This myth comes from my September post in which I told my followers that my overhead had gone up, that I hadn’t been able to figure out how to monetize this blog properly, and that if two-hundred some odd of them could pitch in a dollar a month to help me pay for the new server, I could keep going with it.  The aftermath of that post led to the information I needed to get my blog properly monetized, and I later removed that post to keep more donations from coming in. I also shared a post later on letting people know that things were okay for me now. I’ve never asked for money since and never will again. Why would I when all my dreams have come true? And by all my dreams, I mean that I have enough to cover my expenses. And by expenses, I mean I have the money I need to enable me in my chocolate addiction.

Myth #4: The Brave Teen post was fake.
Busted. More or less.

There are two versions of this rumor going around. The first was that I wrote that email myself. The second was that whoever sent it to me made the whole thing up. The Daily Beast (Newsweek’s blog) even interviewed me and talked about it.

The honest truth is, I have no way of knowing if the story was true or not. It was sent to me anonymously and the sender hasn’t contacted me since. Of course, the fact that it couldn’t really be authenticated was a given when I posted it so I’m not sure why some people think they’re onto some big conspiracy. When I got the email, I thought to myself, hmmm, this is really touching and powerful, I bet my readers would enjoy it, and I shared it with you. Never in a million years did I think it would go viral.

I’ve had a long time to think about whether it matters to me if it was true or not, and I can say that 1) I don’t care if it is, and 2) I have no reason to believe that it’s not true. I mean, I can’t think of a single reason anybody would make that up and send it to me.

The reason I don’t care if it’s true or not is because… it is true even if the story isn’t. Teens struggle with such dynamics every single day. Parents struggle with such dynamics every single day. And, love conquers even the biggest hateful divides every… single… day.

Anyways, I took a screenshot of the email a couple days after the post as evidence that I did indeed receive the email. Click here if you’re dying to see it. If you’re like most people, you simply don’t care.

On a side note: my favorite part about the “he wrote it himself” rumor is that the same people crying that I masterfully wrote it are the same ones constantly screaming that I’m a terrible writer. Choose a side, people! Do I suck or am I a masterful writer? I can’t be both.

Myth #5: The majority of my comments are fake comments to make my blog look bigger than it is.
Myth: Busted.

I still see this one all the time. The first time I remember seeing it was when those same dad bloggers started the rumor back in October of 2010.

Since starting Single Dad Laughing, more than 115,000 comments have been left here. Many of them are thousands of words long. By my calculations, it would take me about 26 hours per day since the day I started if I were to write all the comments on my blog.

I have better things to do than sit there all day creating fake accounts to make fake comments with. I mean, how am I supposed to write fake blog posts if I’m spending all my time writing fake comments? Oh, that’s right. I have a team of writers doing that for me.

Anyways… SURPRISE! You don’t actually exist.

(I know, I know, I’ve made that joke before.)

Myth #6: I make up a lot of the stories that I tell.

The people who spread this rumor usually spread it by saying everything I’ve written couldn’t possibly have happened to me. I’m just looking for traffic, some say. Others say I’m just banking on whatever’s a hot topic at the time.

What I can’t seem to find is a single story on my blog that has been made up.

Embellished. Yes. From time to time. This is a blog. I am a blogger. Funny embellishing is part of what I do.

But they’re always minor and they’re never embellishments of things that didn’t happen.

I’m 31 years old (almost 32!). Isn’t it possible that a lot of hilarious, poignant, hurtful, or life-altering things have happened to me in the 11,670 days I’ve been alive?

Maybe I need to sit at home doing “nothing” more often so that I don’t have so many stories to share. Oh wait. Can’t tonight. I’m off to belt out some karaoke with some friends of mine.

Don’t worry. I’ll probably cry over something amazing and powerful while I’m there. I’ll probably stand up to bullies who are ridiculing some poor schmo on stage and call on all of you to help me end such bar room incidents. I’m not sure. I’ll let you know tomorrow. I gotta figure out how to tie it into the current election coverage first.

Myth #7: I quit my job when my blog went big.

But why does it matter?

I had a very time-consuming and well-paying job when Single Dad Laughing first started going viral. It became very apparent very quickly that there was literally no way I could do both. One of them had to go. Being that I had just been divorced (thus feeling okay about starting over) and that the thought of building something worthwhile could be an exciting new move in life, I took a leap of faith and turned in my two weeks notice.

There are some things I’ve never told any of you about it though. Like what opportunities I had lined up for me when I quit.

I had several universities across the country who had offered to pay me a lot of money to come speak at graduations or events. Many high schools were also offering to pay me for an afternoon of my time. I thought it was something I could do for immediate income while I figured the writing thing out. In fact, I had more than $20,000 of speaking opportunities lined-up when I left my career in business. Contrary to some bloggers’ opinions, quitting my job wasn’t exactly a stupid or irresponsible move as a parent. It was just a different path.

That being said, those speaking opportunities all centered around one topic. Bullying. And after quitting my job, the reality hit me that if I started down that road, my entire career would swing that way and it would be very hard to come back from. That may have been okay (I actually really enjoy public speaking), if I was ready to be a big voice for bullying like that. But I wasn’t. The invitations were given to me based on my post Memoirs of a Bullied Kid. I wrote that post as an attempt to overcome my very heavy demons, not as a voice of somebody who had all the answers. I was still battling those demons, and to pretend I wasn’t would be a misrepresentation.

And so, I made the tough decision to cancel all of the speaking gigs I had lined up and focus on getting myself to the right place by focusing on blogging first. This made making a living difficult for a while as I had no clue what I was doing. The information I kept getting in the limited time I could spend getting it was all the wrong information. And trying to make the wrong information work is what took me to the brink of giving up on this whole thing. I’m so glad I didn’t.

Cause as it turns out, you can do a lot with the right information. And as bad as it sucked, getting all the wrong information is what ultimately led to me getting some of the best information I ever could have gotten, so I can’t complain too much.

Myth #8: I publicly declared that my goal is to have the highest paying blog in the world.

Never in the history of my blog has a lot of money been my goal. Ever. And I’ve never said anything like that. I have no idea where this one originated from but I’ve seen it popping up lately.

What I have said is that it hurt when my finger got a staple stapled into it. I also said that a chicken got trapped in my suburban garage and pooped all over my new car. I also admitted that I crapped my pants on a Boy Scout hike, which led to the organization of a search party.

But nope, never said my only goal of this blog was big money. I mean, please. I could never compete with most of the biggest bloggers out there. I’m small potatoes, and I like it that way.

Myth #9: I created a fake email account and wrote to several dad bloggers about how awesome Single Dad Laughing was.

I mean, it hasn’t happened yet, but it’s a great idea so I’m going to confirm this myth in advance. I think I’ll do that when I have absolutely nothing to do.

Which means you dad bloggers can expect a fake email from a fake person about how awesome I am in, oh, I don’t know, fifty years or so? If I’m not out fishing with my then 55 year old son and his then 30 year old son and his then three year old son.

Which I probably will be, come to think about it, so make that sixty years. By then Noah will have stuck me in a home.

Myth #10: I purposefully craft my posts to go viral and I purposefully pull all of your gullible heartstrings on a constant basis.

I have never written anything in an attempt to make it go viral.

Oh, fine. I lied.

I have. Several times.

But nothing I ever tried to formulate to go viral (all humor stuff) ever did.

It’s actually quite the opposite. Almost everything I’ve written that has gone viral was something I thought was so opinionated and controversial that it might be the end of me and my blog. For many of them it took me a long time to get the guts to post. I knew they had the power to alienate me from not only my readers, but the people in my personal life. And that’s a scary thought.

But in the end, I really believe in being honest in what I believe and what I would love to see changed in this world. I’m thankful that so much of what I’ve written has touched so many people. Really, really, really thankful. Like, smack me with a frying pan thankful.

As for the pulling of all of your gullible heartstrings, I have to laugh.

As a great irony, a few of the posts I’ve shared that have gone viral have also mentioned me “crying” or “weeping” about the issue. I have only mentioned crying in an extremely small handful of posts here on SDL, and because those are the ones that went viral, they are also the only posts that some people ever read. This of course spurred the rumor that it was all part of my “formula” for writing viral posts, and that you’re all a bunch of naive, gullible, idiots who can’t see me for who I really am.

What I like to think is that you’re all the genius, real, awesome readers who have tuned-in to many of the other 830 posts that I’ve also shared. Posts that were made to entertain you. Made to make you laugh. Made to make you think. Made to get good discussion going. And made to have fun with. Oh, and that didn’t mention crying or weeping or being a big man baby.

The truth is, I am a big man baby sometimes. I’ll admit it. I cry a *little* more often than the average man, I bet. I get my feelings hurt really easily. Just ask both my ex-wives. I cried when I watched The Notebook. And Titanic. And probably even X-Men. But all joking aside, a lot of my past really hurt me to the point that writing about it to try and overcome it was overwhelming to the senses. That’s all.

My “big crime” was sharing those emotions with you. Which I thought was okay to do being that this is my blog and all. I didn’t realize there was a set of rules to which I was supposed to adhere.

Oh wait. There’s not. I know cause I just looked up the definition of blog on wictionary and it defines it as:

“A website that allows users to reflect, share opinions, and discuss various topics in the form of an online journal while readers may comment on posts. Most blogs are written in a slightly informal tone.”

In other words, this is my diary. And if you don’t like hearing about my feelings, stop snooping around in it.

BONUS Myth #11: I’m gay.

I’m sure this myth originated from my post I’m Christian, unless you’re gay, as well as all the follow-up posts. But nope, not gay. Sorry guys, I like boobs too much.

Did I just say that?

Yes I did. Happily. I happily like boobs.

Anyway, I don’t know where these “websites” are, but I keep having men (many of them rather good looking, I’ll admit) email me and invite me out for coffee or whatnot. When I tell them I’m not gay, they usually apologize profusely and tell me they read somewhere that I was.

Of course, I always feel flattered no matter who flirts with me. Just because I’m not gay doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the compliment it is to have a person hit on me, right?

I do have some funny stories of prominent women in my life asking me straight up if I am gay, always based on the funniest misinformation.

And by prominent women, I mean my mom.

And both my ex-wives.

I’m still trying to decide if that’ll make as funny a post as I think it will.

What do you think?

Anyway, those are the first ten eleven myths/rumors that come to mind. There are lots more, but those are another blog post for another day.

You know, whenever my team of writers can jump on that for me.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

PS. Do you find the rumor mill to be as funny as I do? Have you heard any other SDL myths that could use a good myth busting?

And, just for my own need for information, what posts of mine have touched you the most, made you laugh the most, and [gulp] turned you off the most? I’d love some real feedback from y’all moving forward. 🙂