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Deference to doting dads

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By John Pawlak

A day of recognition.  A day of relaxation. A day of spilt lighter fluids, burnt fingers, steaks charred beyond recognition, and ubiquitous outdoor cursing.  Yes, it’s that time of the year again.  Father’s Day is nearly upon us.
  Its history is often debated.  Most references credit Sonora Dodd of Spokane, Washington, for the inception of Father’s Day. Having been raised by her father, she decided that fathers should have a day of celebration just like mothers.  The idea was quickly encouraged by lobbying charcoal and grill companies and the first Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910.  
In 1966, President Johnson made it an official national holiday and in 1972, President Nixon established the third Sunday of June to be Father’s Day.
You know, I’ve always wondered why Father’s Day wasn’t set as Washington’s birthday.  After all, he was the father of our country, right?  Man, that really must have put a strain on his marriage.
Uh, where was I?  Oh yeah - over the decades, Father’s Day promoted increased sales of ugly ties and various liquors (my dad’s favorite was Southern Comfort).  I can still picture Dad wearing that very forced smile as he opened up the telltale poorly wrapped long thin box on Father’s Day.  Of course, he had the last laugh.  He drank all the comfort and I inherited his ties.
But times have changed.  Tie boxes are passe’ and stores offer more and more “out of the tie box” gifts for dear ol’ Dad.
Does your father golf?  Forget the ugly pants (that’s something only a man should buy for himself).  How about a golf club cooler?  Looks like a club but dispenses his favorite liquid.  It may not help his game, but he’d probably like it better than a year-long subscription to the Pickle of the Month club.  Then again, those pickles can be mighty tasty!
If he favors toting a beer now and then, you could consider a beer holster (they come in single and six shooter style).  It helps leave both hands free to burn meat on the grill and it’s legal in all 50 states.
Of course, these gifts are still within the realm of “normality” for fathers.  Someone once told me that the best gift is something that the person wouldn’t buy themselves.  Well then, there is a wide spectrum of “gifts for father” being hawked on the internet.
How about a  28”, 3 pound gummy worm?  It’s 4,000 calories of chewing fun and gluten free (maybe you can convince him it’s healthy?)
And if health is a factor, nothing says “Hey Dad, you’re fat but I love you!” better than a Father’s Day membership to a diet club.  
 Now, back to the strange.  Wouldn’t dear ol’ Dad just love a USB powered chainsaw?  You know, for those days when he’s on the computer and just has the urge to start cutting up the furniture?  Would he go gaga over a “Make your own ukelele” kit?
  If he hogs the ketchup and mustard jars during dinner, then the “condiment gun” is the gift for him!  Heck, he can splatter your burger at 10 paces!
 Perhaps the worst I’ve ever seen advertised - a mankini.  Yeah, telling Dad that you’ve always wanted to be the spawn of Borat is a great way of celebrating Father’s Day.
The list of unusual gifts (for those unusual fathers out there) continues to challenge the bounds of creativity.  A personalized gallon jug of Tabasco sauce.  A Samurai umbrella.  An alligator head toilet roll holder.  A Dr. Frank-N-Furter rubber ducky.  A coffee cup that farts when lifted (helps if Dad doesn’t own a dog).  An iPhone hard-case with a built-in bottle openers.
 Or a “Let my people go” toilet seat cover (for the religious man)?  Squirrel underwear?  (I didn’t ask and neither should you!)   A bacon scented air freshener?  
 I read an advertisement for a Father’s Day weekend gift certificate at a “clothing optional” resort.  Hmmm, you know, that mankini idea is looking better and better.
  Anyway, here’s to all the dads around the world!  Enjoy your day, light up that barbeque, and watch those fingers!
 John Pawlak