Mother’s Day has come and gone and once again I bought my wife a lovely gift. Father’s Day is getting close, but Mary Ellen never gives me anything. She explains, “You’re not my father; you’re Brett’s father.”
“But I always give you a gift for Mother’s Day!”
“Come on, Dick. That’s a totally different situation.”
This will be the 32nd year in a row I’ve fallen for that.
I still have hope for this year to be different, so I’ve been skimming through the Father’s Day edition of the Hammacher Schlemmer gift catalog. I’m not sure what makes the Father’s Day edition any different from any other edition, but I must admit that a set of monogrammed lighted grilling tools seems like something every dad needs. Here are some other actual choices…
The Campfire Beer Caramelizer: You heat this rod in a flame, dunk it in the beer, and it “caramelizes residual sugars, mellows the flavor and creates a rich creamy head.” That sounds smooth, but — and I’m no expert —doesn’t it make the beer warm? I can’t be the first person to ask this question.
The Thin Kangaroo Leather Wallet: I’m sorry if this makes me appear callous, but it is ironic that the only animal that could actually carry a wallet, they made him into one.
The Central Park Bench: This is a facsimile of the park benches that are still scattered throughout this iconic public area in Manhattan. Comes with metal slats, arched armrests, 6 squirrels and 15 pigeons.
The Pocket Pac-Man Game: A hand-held device brings all the fun of this classic ’80s game to the palm of your hand. Marketing is targeted to folks who still have flip phones and won’t part with their AOL account.
The Pace Reacting Ultraslim Treadmill: This fitness device has all the bells and whistles found on every good workout machine: heartbeat monitoring, speed control, distance read-outs and calorie counter. But the best part? The treadmill is so slim that you can store it under your bed … so you totally forget you have it.
The American Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course: They offer a homemade re-creation of the course seen on the TV show American Ninja Warrior. Says the manufacturer, “This is a 33-piece kit that easily sets up…“ I’m not interested: they lost me at 33.
The Enamel Preserving UV Teeth Whitener: It plugs into your car’s power source and has a 30-inch cable so you can brighten your teeth while driving. There’s also the LED Lip Rejuvenator that boosts blood circulation and amps up collagen to make your kisser fuller. It plugs into the USB port in your car. Luscious lips and a sexy smile could be just the ticket if you get stopped for speeding. Or, maybe it would mean no ticket.
And finally, The Instant Pet Sunshade: It’s a portable device that protects your dog from harmful UV rays anywhere outdoors. It provides 50+ UPF protection, an alternative to your pooch wearing protective clothing. It looks like a lounge chair that was opened by somebody who had slammed down too many margaritas.
Happy Father’s Day!
Dick Wolfsie has been a reporter for WISH-TV in Indianapolis the past 30 years. His columns appear in 30 Indiana newspapers and he can be heard each weekend on public radio stations across the state. He is a resident of Indianapolis. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.