Sunday, June 5, 2011

A DAMN Father's Day Gift Guide

Father's Day is two weeks away.

Since almost all of us have at least a father or stepfather or ex-stepfather whom we still like but our mom and sister hate after that Fourth of July slip-n-slide incident, we need to begin brainstorming about a decent gift.

Fourteen days allows us enough time to utilize any means at our disposal to procure a memorable token of appreciation, whether via the internet, the sketchy, yet convenient, local mall, or Target.

And since nearly half of the adult men in this country are fathers, including this bloggist, I'd like to grab the conch of speakership for a new group I've founded, known as Dads Against Mediocre Niceties (heretofore to be known as DAMN). Our purpose is to raise public awareness about what we really like versus what you believe we like (I had considered calling my group Fathers United, but F.U. isn't a good organizational moniker when looking a gift horse in the mouth.).

We at DAMN also would like to declare a couple of items off limits in our critical analysis of Father's Day gifts: Any arts and crafts created by youthful offspring, such as unidentifiable, shiny ceramic wads, stick-figure crayon drawings or painted rocks are always welcome. The cute factor creates immunity for the young.

This guide pertains more to those who have the time and resources to consider a gift, but are swayed by advertising, stereotypes or procrastination. So, without further ado, here is the DAMN Gift Guide:

–You may think that we want a nice tie or expensive shirt, but we don't. Even if we wear a shirt and tie to work every day, we especially don't want this on Father's Day. It's like giving Sarah Palin a yard full of crazed racists for Mother's Day.

–We actually do like stuff to use around the house, like hammers, drills or even a new garden hose. Hey, it's not Freudian and I'm not overcompensating.

–Slippers are always good, but since it's June, they're not exactly a season-friendly gift. Most of us dads yearn for instant gratification on this day, so consider just handing us a Guinness and a pair of flip flops from the dollar section.

–Breakfast in bed is totally cool. And please don't argue with the kids when they suggest serving their favorite meal of Blueberry Pop Tarts with Strawberry Pop Tarts. We can be very flexible.

–Gift cards, while nice, aren't always carefully considered. Please peer a month into the future, after we've come home with an pseudo-vintage Jethro Tull concert T-shirt and our forty-second pair of Chuck Taylors, which we've purchased with that seventy-five-dollar Macy's Father's Day gift card, and you say, "Oh, those are useful." That's what we buy when we get those things.

We hope our DAMN Gift Guide has proven useful for those of you who have a fatherish figure to toast on June 19. Most of us don't want an expensive gift; we just ask for a kind word or a laugh. As my favorite philosopher, Jack Handey, once said:

"Dad always thought that laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis."

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