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Jon Mark Beilue column - Posted May 27, 2016 noon
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artwork by Andy Chase Cundiff

Give Dad the gift he can really use

The Oh-By-The-Way National Holiday is nearly upon us. For a day that no one seemed to want for more than a half-century, Americans certainly go to a lot of trouble over it.

It’s Father’s Day, June 19. The day this year shares the same date as World Sauntering Day, which can be confusing. Sauntering is slowly walking around and doing nothing, which is what dads do better than any other species.

All anyone really needs to know is that Father’s Day didn’t become a national holiday until 58 years after mothers got their special day. It’s universally agreed that moms deserve any and all recognition, but what about the guy staring at the car engine in the driveway with three other neighbors?

Congress three times failed to pass a bill to make Father’s Day a national holiday after the first recognition in 1910. This was mostly a male-dominated body at the time. If Congress, which never saw a pay raise it wouldn’t hike, couldn’t bring itself to honor most of its members with a dad’s day, what’s that say?

But in June 1972, Congress finally relented, and President Richard Nixon signed the third Sunday in June into law as a national holiday. That same month, burglars were arrested breaking into the Watergate hotel. Draw your own conclusions.

So we’ve been guilted into a holiday, but that’s OK. I mean, Columbus Day is a federal holiday, so the standard of what gets a day off and/or is worth a card is not that high.

Americans certainly do buy for fathers, quite a bit actually. Last year, $12.7 billion was spent on dads. Now that’s not the $21 billion spent on mothers, but no one buys dad flowers, and that’s a few billion bucks right there.

It’s always a hard call on what to get a dad. It was always hard for me to think of something. When asked when our boys were small, the only thing I could think of was, “To be left alone.” But I didn’t say it.

The most purchased gifts are the ones everyone knows – the necktie, the electric shaver, the set of wrenches. Dad always makes over anything he gets because that’s what dads do.

But I know there are more practical, useful items for Dad out there. If we’re going to have a day for us – and it’s not going anywhere – might as well do it right. Save those other gifts for birthday, anniversary and Christmas.

I know males and I know dads as I’ve been both now for quite some time. So here are some actual gifts that a dad could use:

The Flat-D Flatulence Deodorizer: From the Flat-D Innovations family of products. This is a reusable charcoal pad placed discreetly in a man’s underwear and designed to absorb odors before they escape into the atmosphere. It’s Better Business accredited and in more than 50 countries.

It’s for dads who are lactose intolerant, have irritable bowel syndrome, but mainly for ones “who just don’t like to hold it.”

Benefits the entire family, not just dad. $13.95

“Go The F--- To Sleep” book, Unabridged Version: More for the younger dads with that 3-year-old night owl who just won’t settle down.

Or, as it says on its website: “A bedtime book for parents who live in the real world where a few snoozing kitties and cutesy rhymes don’t always send a toddler sailing off blissfully to dreamland.”

A sample page: “The windows are dark in the town, my child, the whales huddle down in the deep. I’ll read you one last book if you swear you’ll go the f--- to sleep.” $8.97. Kindle, $3.02.

Men’s hand soaps: We don’t mind using soaps, but no man wants his hands smelling like lilacs, cucumbers or cherry blossoms.

Masculine hand soaps are available in a variety of scents, notably bonfire, top soil, baseball glove, freshly cut grass, and, of course, bacon. Mmmmmm. $7.

Tattoupees stickers for the bald dad: For the dads who are follically challenged, here’s a way to roll with it while making a statement. A plain, clean skull is boring. Liven it up with one of several stickers.

Slap a bulls-eye target, a thinking bubble, or a light bulb on that bald head. It’s guaranteed for a day of laughs at work or at home. It’s good therapy, too. $8.30.

Flair Hair visor: If the Tatoupees sticker is not the way to go for your balding dad, go the opposite route with a Flair Hair visor. It’s a visor with a mound of hair attached. Perfect for the outdoor summer months and Dad will feel like he’s 30 again. $12.99.

I don’t know, maybe a set of wrenches is not so bad.

by Jon Mark Beilue

Jon Mark Beilue is an award-winning columnist for AGN Media. He can be reached at jon.beilue@amarillo.com or (806) 345-3318.
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