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June 15, 2002

-- Humor column --

Give Dad what he really wants this year

By Sam Naishtat

So, it's Father's Day weekend yet again, and nowhere is Father's Day more richly celebrated than at my house.

Every year, we spend all of a grueling 16 seconds deciding what to get Dad for his day of days.

My brother will suggest something like socks.

"Socks?" I say, with an air of disgust.  "Do you not love our father?  Socks are the lowest of the low as far as presents go.  I suggest a tie!"

No doubt my suggestion is far superior to my brother's, but my mother goes one up on me.

She leans forward and whispers, "How about ... a shirt!?"

"A shirt!" we yell in unison, raising our fists in the air.

At last, the gift has been decided upon!

Surely this shirt will be different from the other 47 shirts that dad affectionately uses as kindling for our Father's Day Fire. (Well, flame-retardant cotton is too expensive.  We aren't made of money, after all.)

Besides, it's not like Dad will tell us what he really wants.

Believe me, we've tried to pump that information.

Every morning at 4 a.m. on the days leading up to Father's Day, we nudge Dear Old Dad and ask him what present he'd enjoy the most on his special day.

His answer is always the same: "Nghmfmphahg."

People, if you only knew the hours spent at every store in our local mall looking for any sign of a product called "Nghmfmphahg."

So, we get him shirts.

Shirts are great -- cheap, neutral, inoffensive, and, most of all, not what Dad wants!

He doesn't have to say a word, either.

When he opens that gift, he switches into Super Mecha Guilt-Inducing Father.

All the times he sees our shirts, he gets the eyes of Super-Guilt, and we know we've made another mistake.

However, the way our dad works is as follows:  he, like all Dads, will pretend he loves it.

But unlike other Dads (or maybe very much like other Dads, I wouldn't know for sure), he will activate Sarcasm Mode.

All through the day he'll shout, to no one in particular, "Wow, this shirt is SOO GREAAAT! I LOOOOOVE IT SOOOO MUUUUUCH!"

Since this is really the only day in which Dad has to be respected, we must mind his sarcasm.

I think I know the perfect present for Daddy Dear this year.

This year's present will be an entire day of nothing.

We just leave him alone, not give him any shirts or socks, not even speak to him, just let him lie in bed and watch the College Baseball World Series.

Let there be complete silence and inactivity through the house.

This year will be the Anti-Father's Day.

That's right, the only sounds heard throughout the home will be Dad yelling, "Better get your GLASSES CHECKED, Ump!"

Father's Day is a day of love, sharing and family togetherness.

But, if that doesn't work, go with the shirt.

Hawaiian is in this season.

 

 


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