HOW TO BUY A FATHER’S DAY GIFT THAT ISN’T A TIE

Poor Dad. His big day’s coming, and what’s in store. Solar-powered ear-hair trimmer? A tie covered with golfing ducks? Try something a little more sentimental:

  • Revisit Strawberry Fields. The Beatles, the Boss, Petula Clark. Buy him CD’s of the artists he introduced you to as a kid. He’ll be thrilled you remember his favorites.
  • Make it art-felt. Go back to the days when all your gift-giving was taken care of in arts-and-crafts. Paint a new family heirloom and have it framed. Or roll it, tie with a ribbon and include a few refrigerator magnets.
  • Go classic but personal. Pick out a money clip, a robe, PJs, socks, handkerchiefs, then get them monogrammed: D-A-D.

BUYING GIFTS FOR MEN

Father’s Day is Sunday. Buying gifts for men is not nearly as complicated as it is for women. Follow these rules and you should have no problems.

Rule #1: When in doubt, buy him a cordless drill. It does not matter if he already has one. I have a friend who owns 17 and he has yet to complain. As a man, you can never have too many cordless drills. No one knows why.

Rule #2: If you cannot afford a cordless drill, buy him anything with the word ratchet or socket in it. Men love saying those two words. “Hey George, can I borrow your ratchet?” “Okay. By the way, are you through with my 3/8″ socket yet?” Again, no one knows why.

Rule #3: If you are really, really broke, buy him anything for his car. A 99 cent ice scraper, a small bottle of de-icer or something to hang from his rear view mirror. Men love gifts for their cars. No one knows why.

Rule #4: Do not buy men socks. Do not buy men ties. And never buy men bathrobes. I was told that if God had wanted men to wear bathrobes, he would not have invented jockey shorts.

Rule #5: You can buy men new remote controls to replace the ones they have worn out. If you have a lot of money, buy your man a big screen TV with the little picture in the corner. Watch him go wild as he flips and flips and flips. Forget the program, your entertainment is watching him have fun!

Rule #6: Do not buy any man industrial-sized canisters of after-shave or deodorant. I’m told they do not stink-they are earthy.

Rule #7: Buy men label makers. Almost as good as cordless drills. Within a couple of weeks there will be labels absolutely everywhere. “Socks. Shorts. Cups. Saucers. Door. Lock. Sink.” You get the idea Again, no one knows why.

Rule #8: Never buy a man anything and then tell him he should read the instructions because the box says “some assembly required.” It will ruin his special day. He will always have parts left over.

Rule #9: Good places to shop for men include Northwest Iron Works, Parr Lumber, Home Depot, Lowe’s, John Deere, Valley RV Center and Les Schwab Tire. (NAPA Auto Parts and Sears Clearance Centers are also excellent men’s stores. It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t know what the gift is. “From NAPA Auto, eh? Must be something I need. Hey! Isn’t this a starter for a ’68 Ford Fairlane? Wow! Thanks.”)

Rule #10: Men enjoy danger. That’s why they never cook (but they will barbecue). Get him a monster barbecue with a 100-pound propane tank. Tell him the gas line leaks. “Oh the thrill! The challenge! Who wants a hamburger?”

Rule #11: Tickets to a sports event are a smart gift. However, he will not appreciate tickets to “A Retrospective of 19th Century Quilts.” Everyone knows why.

Rule #12: Men love chain saws. Never, ever, buy a man you love a chain saw. If you don’t know why, please refer to Rule #7 (Remember what happens when he gets a label maker?)

Rule #13: It’s hard to beat a really good wheelbarrow or aluminum extension ladder. Never buy a real man a stepladder. It must be an extension ladder. No one knows why.

Rule #14: Rope. Men love rope. It takes us back to our cowboy origins, or at least the Boy Scouts. Nothing says “I love you” like a hundred feet of 3/8″ manila rope. No one knows why.