What's Dad Got to do, Got to do with it?.....
(c) David Volk
Today, Father is Fathers Day,
And Were giving you a tie,
Its not very much I know,
But its our way of showing you,
We think youre a regular guy .
--Groucho MarxIn case you havent been paying attention to the calendar, Sunday was Fathers Day.
Although I tell people I was raised by wolves, Im only joking. I did indeed have a human father (and mother, for that matter), but thats not as funny as being brought up by wild animals.
My father died when I was 13, long before I was old enough and had enough money to get him the really cool gifts. You know, the good stuff. Home electronics, power mowers, Viagra ..
As a result, I havent had to look for a Dads Day gift in 26 years. So, I wouldnt have any idea what I would get my dad if he were alive today. Thats why I decided to flip through last Sundays Fathers Day Sale ads to see what the state of the art in gift giving was these days and, Ive got to tell you, I noticed some disturbing ideas on what makes a great gift for dad.
The Fathers Day Sale at Walgreens, for example, features manly razors (except that one for the legs), grills, ties and deodorant (which makes me wonder exactly what would you be trying to say with that gift). The ad circular also features Cover Girl Outlast Lipstick, disposable diapers and Tampons.
K-Mart was selling weights (good), baseball bats (better) and golf clubs (best). It was also hawking mascara (um), Kathy Ireland sportswear for women (er) and exfoliating cloths (huh? Didnt they use those in Nam?).
Thank goodness for local chains. Oregon-based Fred Meyer was pitching such testosterone laden stuff as camping gear, mens clothes, Dockers, Capri pants, tank tops and applique tees.
Well, at least theres old reliable J.C. Penneys. This national chain had mens shoes (always a good start), dartboards (not bad), Nioxin treatment for thinning hair (hey, wait just a minute, I like that combover), bras, panties and purses (and not the good ones, either).
And Rite-Aid Pharmacy has cologne, mens watches, camping chairs, beer (my only true friend) plus nail polish, hair coloring kits and make-up remover (well thank goodness for that. Dad may need it after that trip to Walgreens).
You know, Frank Zappa could joke about Sears all he wanted when he wrote the lyric Is it real or is it Sears? but Ive got to tell you, it had the only circular that was fully laden with testosterone. None of that womens stuff. No, sir. It had TVs, recliners, wrench sets, camping chairs, tents, grills and TIRES! Yeah, tires. It cant be a real manly catalogue without tires. I think it even had a gag gift section featuring a public address system that dad could use to amplify his belches.
So, what have we learned from this exercise? That advertisers think todays dad has some truly strange tastes. Sure, its all well and good to wear manly clothes, do manly things and use manly cooking equipment, but its best to feel comfortable while doing it by wearing the right bra and panties.
Have a happy dads day, you mascara-wearing, nail-polishing, Capri pant-sporting, hair-coloring, lingerie-loving, purse-toting, makeup-removing guy you, whereever you are. Shows over, go on about your business .