Father’s Day is only hours away and I’m one worried pop.
The reason for my angst involves television and radio commercials concerning this special day to honor fathers across the land. I have watched maybe a couple hundred such ads the past three weeks and apparently I do not fit into the father image being presented by just about all advertisers this year.
The big three gift ideas being pushed for dads in the media — power tools, clothes, anything for an outdoor grill master chef — have never appealed to this male, especially since the birth of my first child.
What are the poor, darling Carroll children to do this Father’s Day?
They are truly limited in what they may buy their dear old man. I honestly hope I do not disappoint them since I have never come close to being that great All-American fix-it, dressed to the nines cuisine colonel being depicted by advertising dudes.
There are plenty of commercials for power tools, yet I am disqualified from all of them.
I already have met my power tool quota — three pieces with no exposed blades — set during special action taken by the 2001 Indiana General Assembly. Let’s see here, I have a drill, lawn mower and Weed Wacker, but the state mandate has an escape clause that permits me to buy any tool deemed necessary to aid in the beautification of historic Vincennes.
Last January I toyed with the idea of purchasing a chainsaw to slice through an old, unsightly wood pile taking up space at Carroll Castle. I bought that chainsaw but before I could drive the six city blocks home both my health and home insurance companies tripled the family premiums.
Needless to say, I appealed to the state insurance commissioner but to no avail. The head guy upheld the verdict plus threatened to quadruple the rates if I so much as power cut one twig.
The chainsaw went back to the dealer and my insurance rates returned to bearable.
Mention clothes for me on Father’s Day to the three darling Carroll children and they most certainly will chortle. We’re talking about belly laughs with the possibility of some soiled clothing.
Except for the occasional “World’s Least Unobjectionable Grandfather” T-shirts or Cleveland Indians/Browns polos, clothes are way off the possible gift list. Remember, these kids grew up watching in horror and public embarrassment as I tried to dress myself while battling FADS (Fashion Attention Deficient syndrome).
Ties, belts and socks have slipped through on a couple of third Sundays in June since the Carroll children like to gamble every so often. They have given me ties of brown and blue but I prefer ones that light up even without the benefit of batteries.
One Father’s Day I received a wonderful pair of green camo flip flops and wore them day after day without fail until the Great Summer Splits of 2015. My right foot flipped while my left one flopped and I pulled every muscle in the body below the waist.
No big deal folks. I got back on my feet eight months later yet to this day never again have I worn a flip or a flop.
Anything to do with outside grills and cookouts is most definitely off the gift registry.
First, I have no grill and second it’s rare anything comes out edible even when I use a microwave. Furthermore, there is a rather gray area yet to be determined in a court of law concerning if touching a grill using flammable fuel with an electronic igniter can somehow be considered as me using a power tool.
Don’t forget outside grilling tools have points, sharp corners and serrated edges as well.
I am sure the three darling Carroll children know their old dad. They must be aware I am good on coffee mugs, ties, Red Skelton DVDs, golf balls, socks, T-shirts, books, CDs, unicorn figurines, Bluetooth stuff and tolerable colognes.
Perhaps I can assist the Carroll kids just a bit.
The Father’s Day gifts I cherish and have kept the longest are all homemade. I still have handprints plus footprints of my three darlings, original crayon drawings and a couple of finger-painted masterpieces even Picasso could not envision.
This collection now includes the next generation, what I prefer to call my four princess granddaughters. Handprints, drawings, finger paintings and a couple handwritten notes from my oldest granddaughter when she was four are precious and cannot be topped by any store-bought merchandise.
And, if something homemade is not possible tomorrow, a phone call with several minutes of actual human contact and conversation remains a glorious gift.
Here’s hoping fathers throughout the Wabash Valley enjoy their grand day tomorrow and receive gifts that do not quadruple their insurance rates.
Doug Carroll can be reached at email@example.com.