Here it comes again – Sunday June 15 2014, Father’s Day. A day on which to honour the paterfamilias, the man about the house, Big Daddy, He Who Must Be Obeyed (Or At Least Ought To Be).
And not, as some cynics may suggest, a cheap marketing ploy invented by card manufacturers to drum up trade in the lull between Easter and Christmas.
Oh no sirree boss, Father’s Day is the real deal, and don’t you forget it, because if you do, your dad will think you don’t love him.
However many times you may call him “Popsicle”.
Right, that’s enough moral blackmail. Onwards to the presents. And what do you get for the man who has everything? Or would have everything, if certain offspring hadn’t borrowed it, covered it in paint and dumped it at the bottom of the garden?
Perhaps Mrs D’s magazines will point the way. In among the sofas, soft furnishings and sconces that grace the pages of the country-home-and-garden-style glossy periodicals strewing the floors of Dixon Towers, there must be something suitable for Popsicle on his own special day.
Let’s see now... Fabric cleaner... Nerve tonic... Wait, how about a shepherd’s hut? They’re all the rage, you know. Tastefully painted in rustic shades of sage, slate, or russet, they trundle around your garden on wooden wheels and offer the put-upon Pa a haven from the incessant demands of family members for him to fix the printer for the third time this week.
“Let your soul breathe,” says the advert. If only. That printer won’t fix itself, and if we ever did get a shepherd’s hut there’d be no room left in the garden to swing a cat.
Speaking of which...
How about an electronic cat tracker? This ingenious device uses the power of GPS, 3G and who knows, maybe USB too, to log your moggie’s wanderings in the great outdoors and relay them to your computer, tablet or smartphone.
All of which would be fine and dandy, and would no doubt offer hours of instructive fun, if it weren’t for two things.
First, the cat that condescends to live at Dixon Towers would consider a tracking collar an infringement on its liberty almost as heinous as being decked out in a big pink bow, and would react accordingly: claws first.
|I ain't wearing no damn collar|
Second, said cat spends 99.37 per cent of its time in bed, only occasionally stumbling through the catflap to make sure the sun is still shining before mooching back to bed for another prolonged nap.
The cat tracker sounds rather like the techno-feline equivalent of watching paint dry, and it won’t be making it onto our Father’s Day gift list.
No, Mrs D’s aspirational reading matter is no help at all when it comes to choosing the perfect paternal present for June 15.
So perhaps it’s best to stick to the novelty stuff. That Darth Vader “I am your father” T-shirt was well received a couple of years ago. Anything that says “40%” on the label and can’t be bought by kids is just great. And there’s a chap at work who is very proud of his “Who’s the Daddy?” coffee mug.
Oh, and some shower gel would be nice, too.
Last year’s has nearly run out.