What to give Super-dad?

2013-06-15 00:00

FATHER’S Day is not at all like Mother’s Day — it falls way short of the sentimental slushiness that is expected of these blackmail “pay-back” days.

Fathers can handle the good and the bad. They do not profess to be saints and, going by the merchandising for Father’s Day, they leave a lot to be desired. Trawling the local mall for ideas on what to give a deserving father conjured up an all-round image of modern manhood that was just — um — scary.

Modern men are allegedly borderline alcoholics who pump weights, are all employed by the secret service and have a penchant for violence. This can be deduced by the Father’s Day gift displays at the local mall.

It seems that most shops would like us to believe that dads are all MacGyver wannabes who need the 16-gadget penknife in case they lock their keys in the car after a night out boozing.

Most presents are alcohol-related, such as the gimmicky tot glasses that encourage you to get smashed, and the mandatory beer mug with a bell attachment. This is assuming that mum would be willing to fill it.

Father’s Day presents are designed to make dad the willing butt of jokes. Being the proverbial good guy, he will go along with the “old-fart socks” and the garish Hawaiian tie that is bestowed upon him. He will wear the Naked Chef hat that claims he will strip for five pounds because he is the life and soul of the party.

Of course, there are presents for the mature dads who have allegedly grown up — and they will be the recipients of warm slippers, retro CDs and packets of biltong. This will be an improvement on the traditional soap-on-a-rope and bar of chocolate.

But the CNA manager at Liberty Midlands Mall, Vanessa Munusamy, says that their store has avoided the stereotypical gifts and they tried to put themselves in the mind of the man. “Those other presents are usually what women think of guys — but we thought we would like to consider what dad would like.”

In their store window they have three different books on Mandela, as they believe he is the ultimate “father figure” and an inspiring icon. They also have a snazzy remote-controlled car for those fathers who wish they could afford a sports car, but who can only afford the toy version.

They think Ferrero Rocher chocolates are just the thing for a deserving dad with a sweet tooth. “We also have a car work station for the dad who is always on the go. He can set up a mobile office in his car and do some work between appointments. The younger dads are also mad about games and technology, so we make sure our games and gadgets are competitively priced.”

There is no excuse for buying your dad a boring mug or pen these days, because there are so many choices. Budget dictates how much is splashed out and

Munusamy said that while they stock a wider range of gifts for Mother’s Day, the men’s gifts are much more pricey.

“The mothers who control the spending and the budget are also quite generous about giving gifts. But most men can get away with buying a box of chocolates.”

If you are looking for a practical but quirky gift, you might consider a pair of braai tongs with a built-in torch. This nifty implement is available at Cape Union Mart and will have the added advantage of encouraging dad to do the braaiing.

A hands-free drinking helmet from the Crazy Store means you won’t have to keep running off to the kitchen to replenish his beer, as he can keep sipping his beverage from his quirky hat. If your dad escapes to the loo for hours, you could invest in a set of toilet golf clubs so he can invest his time wisely. It comes with a “Do not Disturb” sign to hang on the door.

Or you can buy him a cartoon book from Exclusive Books.

But most of all, be kind. Everyone knows that all dads are just little boys in a big boy’s body.

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