Tag Archives: Super Heroes

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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Sunday Serenade: She’s A Wonder

With the celebration of our independence just past, I thought it would be time for a bit of patriotism.

Being the comic-book geek that I am, I of course went to my stash of famous patriotic super heroes. Should it be Captain America, who has a horribly, awfully, deliciously bad theme song? No, I have too much respect for you dudes.

The Superman theme song? Or even the theme from Superman: The Movie, from which we all learned to believe that a man can fly. No, I’m still too depressed over how badly the current crop of filmmakers have misinterpreted the Last Son of Krypton.

Then I hit on just the right note.

It would have to be Wonder Woman, most notably from her first season. Starring the incomparable Lynda Carter‘s breastsWonder Woman the tv show was just a, pardon the expression, wonderful moment of culture. It ran for its first year as a period piece during World War II. Then, in the second year, it completely abandoned the past and moved right up to the future with the exact same cast and never really explained.

It’s just the way it is. Deal with it.

And, really, nothing says apple pie, baseball and America, all that patriotism, better than a single woman, arriving a stranger to our shores, having been raised by not one, not two but hundreds of mommies at the same time, having never been around a man and not actually sure what they’re good for. That’s America, y’all!


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Dude Review: Despicable Me

by Richard

Repeat after me: It’s the journey, not the destination.

That’s something to keep in mind when you’re taking the little dudes out to see some — any — animated movie in the theaters these days. And so it is with Despicable Me, the latest animated adventure to hit the big screens in, of course, 3D. I will say, though, that this movie’s journey is well worth embarking on, especially if you’re being dragged by or dragging little dudes to the theaters to escape the heat.

There was, however, one very large drawback to which I’ll return in a moment.

Gru, voiced by Steve Carrell, is a super-villain in a world without super heroes. These villains run schemes financed by the Bank of Evil, formerly Lehman Brothers, and must compete with each other for the best plan, to get the best backing, to make the most return on investment. A worthy lesson for the little dudes.

To make his latest scheme — to steal the moon and hold it for ransom — Gru needs the shrink ray, recently stolen by his nemesis, the younger and better-funded villain Vector. Unfortunately for Gru, he can’t seem to get inside Vector’s impregnable home. Nothing can. Until, that is, three little girls selling cookies waltz right in and Gru gets an idea.

The frosty Gru, with plenty of mommy issues of his own, decides to adopt the little girls so he can use them as a way into Vector’s hide out. Sure, a somewhat impractical plan, but in a world where people actually plot to steal the moon, why not?

Margo, the practical oldest sister, Edith the tom boy and Agnes the unicorn lover all go to live with Gru. I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by telling you you the little girls melt Gru’s icy heart and they all fall in love with each other. Still not a spoiler to say that Gru loses the girls and must win them back while also foiling his nemesis.

Come on, dudes. Of course that’s what happens.

But it’s the way it happens. There’s Agnes’s fascination with unicorns, Edith’s love of their beds made from possibly disarmed bombs and, especially, the Lorax shirt Margo wears. They’re just cute kids.


The girls really do win over the audience and Gru. His concern for the girls and eventual love of them softens his character, but doesn’t completely change it. It’s a nice bit of writing.

Filmed in 3D, the movie does a pretty good job of taking advantage of that technology. In this case, I’d say you should probably splurge for the third dimension. It works well. Minion-on-minion violence really works in 3D.

Overall, I’d give it five dudes out of five. It’s a good summer movie and Hyper Lad couldn’t recommend it highly enough. Even Zippy the Monkey Boy came out smiling.

Now to the downer. I was forced to actually sit through a trailer for the upcoming (and I shudder to write this) *ugh* Smurf *ugh* movie. Ack! I mean, I lived through this in the ’80s. Do I have to survive it again? I’ve got an idea: Let’s start a petition to strangle this horror in the crib. No Smurfs! Haven’t the children suffered enough already?

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