Tag Archives: Conspiracy

Planning For Next Father’s Day Or Rushing For This One

Dads are easy. We have to be, considering how much we’re getting shorted in the national holiday of appreciation competition.

Father’s Day didn’t exist until 1909, when the daughter of a single father from Seattle came up with the idea. Wasn’t until Richard Nixon set aside the third Sunday in June in 1972 that it became a national holiday. And this is America? Probably one reason for it. I mean, we celebrate the Founding Fathers every July and the vast conspiracy of Moms felt that was enough.

 In 2011, Dads who received a gift averaged $106.49, which was a nice jump from 2010, when dads only saw gifts worth $94.72, but still not a patch on moms, who averaged $140.73. In 2012, dads only raked in $117.14, while moms bumped up to $152.

“His gifts usually range from a simple tie for work to a new spatula for the grill—all of which can make dad very happy.”

 Mother’s Day gifts, by contrast, tend to be more luxurious than Father’s Day presents—jewels, flowers, a trip to the spa, or dinner at a restaurant, for example.

The most popular gift was a card, and, even then, dads lag behind behind Moms, lovers on Valentine’s Day and people trying to kiss up to Santa on Christmas.

Which is exactly what I thought was happening when my youngest little dude referred to me as a superhero. I swelled with pride. And then he told me my superhero name” the Wondrous Wallet, because I’m the one who gives him the money. He’s having a birthday on June 13 and wants to go paintballing. I’m allowed to go with him, but can’t participate, must only be there in my superhero guise. Who, in addition to being free with the money, is mostly invisible.

The number one reason why Father’s Day doesn’t get as much attention is because it happens during summer break for schools. Moms get the attention of the child in school, teachers who, in elementary school are most likely moms themselves, and have their classes make something for mom.

Moms rake it in because, just like Valentine’s Day, there is an entire industry based around the idea that not getting the mom in your life an expensive, amazing gift is tantamount to saying, “I hate you. You’re worthless, now go get into the kitchen and make me a sammich.”

But, enough whining. Although, if you’ve been around me for more than three minutes, I think you’ll realize whining is what I do. Anyway, enough of it for now. Let’s talk about ways to make dad feel loved on this special third Saturday in June. See if we can’t make up for the appalling $30 gap in gifts.

  1. Move Father’s Day a week back to June 22. That way he can go to Heroes Con, one of the largest comic book, pop-culture conventions in the country. Once there, Dad can mix and mingle with the other super heroes in his guise as the . . . Wondrous Wallet!
  2. You know that tie you’re going to give Dad? You remember: the one that looks suspiciously like the same boring tie you gave him last year? Yeah, that one. Ditch it. Use it to hogtie a, well, a hog. Ties are the dead, bloated skunk on the side of the road that somehow gets into the space under the driver’s seat on a hot summer day and then stay undiscovered for months of gifts.Ties stink, is what I’m trying to say. If it’s too late, if you’ve already purchased one, then do something useful with it, like maybe burning it. Or maybe Mom can give Dad a tie in one of those shades of gray I’ve been hearing about.
  3. I’m different in that I was lucky enough to stay home with my sons and be the primary caregiver, but I know a lot of my fellow dads weren’t that lucky. One of the greatest gifts you can give us (even dads like me who sometimes begin twitching uncontrollably when certain words like (shudder) art project are used in our hearing) is time. Make a date with Dad. Go to the movies. Go out to eat at a restaurant that takes more than seven minutes to serve your food.
  4. Every once in a while the universe demonstrates that I might actually have done a good job with the young dudes. I asked middle son, Zippy the College Boy, what he would do to make dad feel loved and he said, “I’d go to his amazon.com wish list and get him something. Every man has a wish list. It just doesn’t have to be written down.” Of course, that could be just me. But if it’s not, remember that going to smile.amazon.com and buying stuff will lead to amazon.com donating 0.5 % of the purchase plus $5 to the charity of your choice.
  5. Robert L. Brown is a cab driver in Washington, DC. He gave Zippy the College Boy and me a ride over the weekend. During the scariest cab ride of my life, during which I clutched Zippy the College Boy to my chest and prayed for mercy, Mr. Brown told us his idea of perfect parent gifts. He suggested giving three inexpensive gifts. Always and only three gifts. Each gift stood for a single word. I. Love. You. It didn’t matter what the gifts were, but just to let him know “I love you.”
  6. Take dad out for a day of paint ball. Because nothing says I love you quite like sneaking quietly up through the bush, parting the tall grass with the barrel of your gun and firing until your gun runs dry, blasting enough paint to cover a four-story mansion in two coats of paint and leaping joyously into the air while doing the dance of victory over the thoroughly broken. . . erm. Uh. So I’ve heard. I don’t even play paintball and you can’t prove differently.
  7.   Take dad out to the movies. Kids, let dad pick the movie and I can guarantee you’ll enjoy it. You ladies might not know this, but I think you’ll be surprised to know just how very similar a dad’s taste in movies is to that of a 12-year-old boy. You’re on the same wavelength, kids.
  8. Don’t buy dad a card. Seriously. Just get a piece of paper, fold it in half and then write something nice on it. Or even draw something. It doesn’t have to be good art, but just knowing you spent time thinking of dad, and did something you thought would be cool for dad is an amazing gift.
  9. Give the wallet back. Don’t look at me like that. You know what wallet. I’m just going to close my eyes for one minute and, when I open them, I expect to have the wallet right here on the table.
  10. Fly fishing, golf, bike ride, football game baseball game. All at once. But make sure you sell the TV rights first because I think golfish riding basefoot games are going to be huge.
  11. Hugs. Lots and lots of hugs.

I keep telling my young dudes and my loving wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Getting Better Looking By The Day, that I don’t actually want stuff for Father’s Day.

Spend time with me, I tell them. Although I mean time quite differently when I’m talking to my blushing bride than I do when I’m talking to the young dudes.

It’s time and love and hugs, dudes. That’s really what we all want. I mean, nobody wants to reenact their own version of “Cat’s In The Cradle,” do they?

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A Poignant Note

Hey, dudes! Barry’s back for another tale from the road. Well, if by road we mean parenthood and by tale we mean he’s messed something up again. And, I’m pretty sure we do.


Here’s Barry with a quick hit.

My 13-year-old is, like most young dudes his age, in the middle of losing his last few baby teeth and growing in his adult teeth.

The only thing is that it’s a rather infrequent process. That is, it’s not often that he loses a tooth. Which means that sometimes my wife and I are a bit, well, um, lax in contacting the Tooth Fairy about heading over to our house so she can reward my little dude for losing another tooth.

Now, when they were little, my two boys weren’t what you would call a model of patience. Still, they did have their moments. And, when the patience ran out, we would hear the exact moment.

These days, though, they’re a bit more subtle. They’re also a bit more sneakily confrontational. By that I mean that their sisters know for a fact that the Tooth Fairy exists and the only reason she hasn’t been bringing my son his money is because she’s really, really busy. He, however, is not so sure. He’s beginning to think that it might all be part of the Great Adult Conspiracy.

And his protests are beginning to show that.

Take, for example, his gentle reminder that he still hasn’t been paid for his last tooth.



He just might be on to something with this one. I quickly took it down and made sure his sisters didn’t see it.

Strangely, he got the money the very next morning. I guess the Tooth Fairy really does respond to a little gentle persuasion. And, when that doesn’t work, some outright extortion, whether veiled or not.


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Tax Day, Dudes!

by Richard

Even though April 15 is the traditional Day of Tax Doom (patent pending trademark approval), it’s been moved around a bit this year seeing as how that day was on a Sunday. So why it was moved two days instead of one. . . ?

Not sure. Some might say it was because the fine folks running the government wanted to be accommodating to the average taxpayer, who needs as much time as possible. Some like me. Of course, there are others (most definitely not me) who think it’s a conspiracy to get people to forget about the right day and either let is slide so the government can reap the rewards of penalties or make them work extra hard to get the returns ready on monday. No, sir, Mr. Taxman, I certainly don’t believe that you hardworking, decent folks would ever do anything like that.

Anyway, today is the last day to file your income taxes without also filing for an extension. Remember, though, if you’re filing for an extension, you still have to pay an estimate of what you’re going to owe in taxes. You can’t just wait around until you actually file before you pay the taxes. That sort of thing leads to violations and penalties and that’s no good for anyone.

It’s sad, really. Every year, I’m waiting until the last minute (metaphorically, not literally) before finishing up the taxes. And every year I swear this will be the last year and that next year I’ll make sure to get them done early. Viscous circle, yeah, dudes?

This year, though, I mean it. Seriously.

I think the reason I put it off is that I don’t want to know how much we’re going to end up owing to the government. It seems no matter what we do during the year, we always end up owning because of that darned Alternative Minimum Tax that Congress won’t amend. I think I need to just bite the bullet next year, get them done, and then still wait until the last day before actually paying anything.

Don’t want to give away my money any sooner than I have to.

With that, I’ve gotta go. Got a little work to do before midnight. Going to be fun.

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